Mr. Mercedes

A Novel
Narrated by: Will Patton
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32,846 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2015 Audie Award Finalist for Fiction and Solo Narration—Male

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. 

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. 

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. 

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. 

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

©2014 Stephen King (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 20 Best Audiobooks—The Definitive List


Stephen King is one of the most prolific American authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. His most recent novel, The Institute, was published in September of 2019, and we’ve already pre-ordered his novella anthology If It Bleeds, which is set to be released in 2020. With such a large portfolio, choosing one listen to start with can be daunting.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Meh

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

No, I wouldn't recommend this to a friend, unless he or she were the kind of person who faithfully reads every Stephen King novel and loves them all unreservedly.There was nothing fresh about this story. I've seen, read, or heard it all before: the crazy villain, the crusty retired detective, the beautiful, intelligent young woman who improbably falls in love with him, the high-achieving young African American boy, and on and on. If you watch a lot of TV murder mysteries or "law and order" type dramas, you'll be all too familiar with these characters. Everything was predictable -- I could have written the plot myself, as dull and obvious as it was. I knew what the characters were going to do, and how the story would end.I read something that Stephen King once said about his writing. Something like, he knew he couldn't be filet mignon, but if he could be the McDonald's of writing, he'd be happy. This book seems like the "you want fries with that" of writing -- a phrase we'd heard a million times.It seems to me that King got lazy with this novel. Granted, it's been years since I've read one of his books, but I've read all the "classics," and seen all the movies. It feels like all the quirkiness, the surprises and the originality has been drained from his work, and like he's just skating by and picking up another half-million dollars or whatever he earns with this novel.I haven't yet read "Doctor Sleep," and now I'm reluctant to.

Which scene was your favorite?

The best part of this audiobook was the narration. I've always liked Will Patton as an actor, and I'm even more impressed with him now. I was amazed that by the very slightest shift in his tone or pitch, he could convey a completely different character. At one point, I almost went to check if there was another person doing the narration with him.

Could you see Mr. Mercedes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It probably will be made into a movie or a TV mini-series. Any B-list actor could fill the roles.

13 people found this helpful

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Ending was a bummer

Loved it until the ending. Narration was great. Just can't get over how bad the ending was.

11 people found this helpful

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overdone

Story should have ended sooner, as if SK was told to write more pages. Still intriguing.

10 people found this helpful

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Not as good as I had hoped.

Maybe it wasn't a great place to start on King's work, but this didn't seem special to me. The characters were mostly two-dimensional and cliché, and aside from Holly, the female members of the story were particularly stereotypical and irritating. References to their inability to parallel park, vague masculine ideas regarding lesbianism, and a general disregard for their importance made up the majority of the story. I didn't hate it, but I'm far from recommending it to a friend.

8 people found this helpful

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The incredible ordinary charaters

What I liked about S. King is the complexity of the random ordinary characters. A lot of things to think about. Im not good at picking up certain foreshadowing, plot twist, but with this book I can.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Expected something more from King

Really primitive, in my opinion, some plot turns are so predictable and fake, that I wanted to quit listening

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Sorry Mr King, but I was a little disappointed

Any additional comments?

This is a review for those of you who like me, read a lot, but not that much fiction (due to lack of time), and thus want the ones you read to be unique, intriguing, thought provoking - something Stephen King is great at delivering - like King's 11/22/63.

I purchased this book based on the ravishing reviews here. And I ended up disappointed. So even though I seldom write reviews I am now taking the time in case there's someone like me out there.

What's the problem here?
Great characters, and the peformance is GREAT. Yet, it fails to deliver anything novel, intriguing. I found it predictable, a bit of a 'cookie-cutter' novel.

I know I'm going against the stream here, but hey, there are many other great Stephen King novels out there (even his book on writing is superb) so if you are a little bit picky due to time restraint and don't want to be disappointed: pick another one.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Can't get past Patton's reading

What made the experience of listening to Mr. Mercedes the most enjoyable?

Longtime reader of King books, this was a first on audiobooks.

Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

No. Perhaps his stories and characters are better left to the imagination of the reader than formed through someone else's delivery.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Overall his voice started to get to me. I started dreading passages where a woman - especially the sister/love interest - is read by Patton. So breathy and light, it was as though he got his inspiration from Jessica Rabbit. Really detracting for me. I may have to download the written version just to get to the end of the book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not at all. I can barely get through 3 of the 100+ chapters at a time without needing a break from the actor's drawl.

Any additional comments?

Hearing King's words spoken made them sound less developed, less interesting than when reading them myself.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Quickie Killer story..not a true King epic.

After only listening to Kings best stuff like IT, Misery and The Stand, I felt like this lacked what I like most about his work. His ability to go so in depth on the characters and environment of the story that he creates a whole world of suspense and horror totally sucking you into that world and then leaving you there freaked out and depleted of any hope. This was just a wham bam thank you ma'am killer gets ahead of the cops then gets caught sorta thing. Kinda like a season finale law and order episode or something, I'm sticking the classics from now on.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well read but a little too predictable

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes but not enthusiastically and with caveats not to expect Kings best.

Would you recommend Mr. Mercedes to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes but not enthusiastically and with caveats not to expect Kings best.

What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration adds depth and personality to the characters.

Any additional comments?

This is a little too predictable for Stephen King, granted there are a few good plot twists, but a lot of predictability. Ending is very anticlimactic for King. Not his best, but not his worst either. I do not regret listening.

8 people found this helpful