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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 listeners say about Mile 81

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  • Overall
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For a couple of dollars, more get Bazaar

The story is good. The story is typical King. I give it an A-. The thing is I bought it before I bought THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS. This is the first story in that collection. You can pay $7.24 or 1 credit or you spend one credit for Bazaar and get 19 other great stories. Seems like a no brainer to me.

27 people found this helpful

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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.

27 people found this helpful

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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.

23 people found this helpful

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Really disappointing on many levels

What disappointed you about Mile 81?

The story line was high school level. Although written in wonderful Stephen King style, it lacks any depth and the plot really was a poor take-off of Christine. Besides being a very short story it was unfulfilling.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Debating that now.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really. I still do enjoy how Stephen Kings describes his characters.

22 people found this helpful

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Boo

Too short, none of body, you don't even really get to know the characters, but at least I didn't have to suffer long.

18 people found this helpful

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Ripoff! This is not a book.

What disappointed you about Mile 81?

I thought I bought a book. Instead I got 3 short stories. I'd like a refund!

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

I thought I bought a book. Instead I got 3 short stories. I'd like a refund!

How could the performance have been better?

It could have been a book.

17 people found this helpful

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Not Good

What disappointed you about Mile 81?

The hole story line

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

I think it was just to short for Stephen King book .Went to fast ,His books are usually very intense.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski ?

They were fine

15 people found this helpful

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mile 81 did not go the distance

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was just "okay" for a Stephen King short story.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

The ending seemed uncharacteristically unimaginative.

What aspect of Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski ’s performance would you have changed?

The reading performance was done well.

Was Mile 81 worth the listening time?

I think I would have picked something else for the money.

14 people found this helpful

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Totally King

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I would not recommend this book. A car-thing that eats people??? Really?

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

I enjoyed listening to the Gunslinger, so maybe. Or possibly it was just that the narrator was just that good.

Did Mile 81 inspire you to do anything?

Turn it off.

Any additional comments?

This may appeal to a younger audience that is less mature. Half way through the story I still cannot find anything redeeming about it and I turned it off. I will not wonder what happened.

13 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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