Mile 81

Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
4 out of 5 stars (799 ratings)

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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
Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I WANT MY MONEY BACK

What disappointed you about Mile 81?

Pretty much everything about this book disappointed me. it started off pretty ok but as "Mile 81" went on it got worse and worse, and by the end of the story i didnot like it one bit. i read books like this expecting to be scared, but buy the end of this i wasint even entertained. especially beacuse the story was based around a MONSTER CAR WHO EATS PEOPLE,, and the end was HORRIBLE. the second story "The Dune" was pretty ok, better than the "Mile 81" story but it was still weak. all in all it was pretty WHACK in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

if your thinking about buying this...BEWARE!!. theirs no scares or thrills

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Didn't like Ending

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It's a short story but I would have liked it to have an ending

Would you recommend Mile 81 to your friends? Why or why not?

No, because it did not have an ending

Did Edward Herrmann and Thomas Sadoski do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, the differienation was obvious

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

NO

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

26 people found this helpful