Mile 81 Audiobook | Stephen King | Audible.com
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Mile 81 | [Stephen King]

Mile 81

At Mile 81 on the Maine turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side”. Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his 10th birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.
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Publisher's Summary

Mile 81 is Stand by Me meets Christine - the story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid.

At Mile 81 on the Maine turnpike is a boarded-up rest stop, a place where high-school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high-school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side.” Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his 10th birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn’t been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services”. The driver’s door opens, but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls “the ultimate insurance manual”, but it isn’t going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton’s cracked cell phone near the wagon door - and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids - Rachel and Blake Lussier - and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.

©2012 The Storyville Company, LLC. (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

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  •  
    Mary Z Atlanta, GA USA 04-23-12
    Mary Z Atlanta, GA USA 04-23-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Nailed it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I always recommend Stephen King to my friends. King, to me, is one of our most critically underrated American storytellers, even though he is a massive commercial success.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've read a lot of King's body of work, but, I have come to get more and more excited with what he's written at this point in his life. Unlike some popular authors, he really seems to try to constantly improve his skills as an author and storyteller, always trying new ground rather than resting on his laurels. This was yet another crisp, well constructed short story by a short story master. Maybe what I liked best his how, in this short space, he surprised me. Without being specific as to spoil it for other readers, I'll just point out that you cannot take anything for granted. He'll pull the rug out from under your feet ... then do it again. And you can imagine him laughing at his keyboard while writing it.


    Which character ??? as performed by Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski ??? was your favorite?

    Pete Simmons is the heart of the story. Not unlike Steven Spielberg, King does the perspective from a child's view very well. He never talks down to Pete, yet also does not idealize him. He's a real kid, but King finds in him his moment to shine.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot imagine missing a new King creation, no matter what form it is, but a short story? Never. This is HIS format, no modern popular author can compete with King on this.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 01-11-12
    Tim United States 01-11-12 Member Since 2010

    Toe reviewer.

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    "Better Short Stories from SK"

    From a constant reader of Stephen King (I have read all of King's/Bachman's books up to date), King's best work is not his short stories because there is not enough pages/audio for classic Stephen King's character development.

    Mile 81 is just okay. If you are looking for a darker and more gore, check out, "The Breathing Method" and "Survivor Type".

    The Breathing Method can be found in Different Seasons (4 novellas).

    Survivor Type is in Skeleton Crew (22 short stories).

    These are better short stories from SK.

    18 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    benjamin United States 04-30-12
    benjamin United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2010

    love to read ,but when i cant i love to listen to audible.....

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    "It's Stephen King"
    What made the experience of listening to Mile 81 the most enjoyable?

    It's a Stephen King story....
    It is just what you would expect from him.
    A good story with some very weird stuff in it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared West Jordan, UT, United States 04-05-12
    Jared West Jordan, UT, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Probably just me..."

    The narration was fine, no complaints there. Like most short horror stories, this one ended with no questions answered. I expected that, but my only real complaint is the language. I have no moral stance with it - it has it's place - I just can't take it seriously when used in excess. It takes me out of the foreboding atmosphere it's trying to create and puts me back in middle school where vulgarity was used as a pretense to maturity. Imaging putting the word "car" at the end of every other sentence. It has no meaning.
    This actually contains two short stories. Mile 81 and The Dune. The Dune was much shorter, but I think I liked it much better. Like early 20th century horror, it was more subtle, slowly sneaking up instead of trying to shock you.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 12-08-12
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 12-08-12 Member Since 2000
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    "A Deadly Detour"

    With all the eerie scene-setting of a Stephen King work, and more than a few horrifying events, this little story never really goes anywhere.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva Hardinsburg, IN, United States 05-20-12
    Eva Hardinsburg, IN, United States 05-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "The chills you've come to expect."
    Where does Mile 81 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's probably in the top 10. Mile 81 was a good story that is very well written. Basically what we've come to expect from King. However with that being said it may have been a little too pat. There wasn't alot of "shock or suprise" for me. However with that being said I loved the surprise story at the end. It was full of surprise and was really worth waiting for.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mile 81?

    The interaction of the children with the "horse lady" and the "state police officer". It gave it an extra quality that made the characters feel more three dimensional.


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No; however I look forward to hearing them more.


    If you could rename Mile 81, what would you call it?

    I like Mile 81, I am not sure I would change it. It's vague enough to make you wonder but yet tells you where you're at as well.


    Any additional comments?

    While I enjoyed Mile 81 the real gem for me is the suprise story at the end. It is a great peice that makes you think you know where you're going only to slap you in the face for your arrogance. Really a great peice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karltonwrites Huntsville, AL United States 05-22-12
    karltonwrites Huntsville, AL United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2005

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Short yet satisfying"

    Two short stories - worth my time and coin. "Mile 81" takes a while to start, but it was quite satisfying in the end. I'll say the same for the other short story "The Dune."

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-06-12
    03-06-12 Member Since 2009
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    "It’s sticky"
    Where does Mile 81 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its high it reminds me a lot of the scary stories we told camping as kids.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski – was your favorite?

    they both do a very good job of narration, the stories are compelling and they keep you interested.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Some of my favorite king book hook me early and take me for a ride and this is one of those.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 06-30-13
    Melinda UT 06-30-13 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Demon Station Wagon vs. Good Samaritans"

    From The Onion Book of Knowledge, A Definitive Encyclopaedia of Existing Information: "Literature, written works considered to be of lasting artistic merit that represent humankind's struggle to understand its essential nature and also there is Stephen King. Literature generally takes the form of fiction, nonfiction, and Stephen King's fiction..."
    Well said, Onion, well said.

    Mile 81 could be tucked into any collection of King's short stories, very classic King, including his familiar shout-outs to some of his previous works. He had me already smiling when the "station wagon" pulls into the closed rest stop; and when the first Samaritan, with the King James Bible as his co-driver, "the ultimate insurance manual," pulls over to help the stranded vehicle, I was doing that wicked chuckle of the absurd mixed with macabre that only King can inspire. Just like his demon station wagon, King ignores boundaries and rules; nothing is off-limits, safe or sacred. This isn't the more demure or sophisticated King--it is *Classic Stephen King Fiction*. Station Wagon 6; Good Samaritans 0.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melanie United States 04-10-13
    melanie United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Good"

    This was an interesting story, narrated well, and enjoyable, though not the best of Stephen King's work.

    I would still recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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