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Mile 81 (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
|Length: 80 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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With only a few exceptions, most of King's more recent work (everything since NEEDFUL THINGS really) has been more mysterious, paranormal, or suspenseful than horrific. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, and I've enjoyed most of what King's written from CARRIE all the way through FULL DARK, NO STARS, but MILE 81 is a welcome return to a purer kind of horror for those readers who fell in love with King back in the CUJO, CHRISTINE, and IT days. I'll save the plot rehashing for other reviewers, but I will say that I think this novelette is what King might have written if he'd gotten the idea for FROM A BUICK 8 25 years earlier.
It's a fantastic story. One of my favorite King stories of all time. And maybe that's all I really needed to say. If you're debating whether or not to buy this, stop. Go click that 1-Click button as fast as your fingers can move.
**Note: Although the novella earns a solid 5 stars from me (I'd give it ten if I could), the formatting could have used some more attention. There are missing section breaks, and the dedication--which should have been on a page of its own--comes immediately after the last line of the story. Somebody needs a slap on the wrist for that one. Or a kick in the teeth.
Also, MILE 81 ends at the 80% mark. What you get after that is a long excerpt from 11/22/63. That's just a heads-up for readers who like to know how close they are to the end of a story.
I'm not taking anything off my rating for those things, but I thought some of you might like to know.
The characters in the beginning - age 10 and 12 or 13 (he doesn't say exactly) - are well rounded, but the surely don't act their age. On the one hand, they act too young...a 10 year old too young to go ride his bike at the sandpile? Not when I was growing up! On the other hand, they act too old...a 10 year old using foul language so easily? Not in my world!
The beginning of the story really had me going in a different direction. The whole set up was a waste of time, though well written and easy to get into, it didn't really have much to do with the story as it unfolded. It seemed like King had sat down to write one thing, got distracted and a while later sat back down and finished a different story, being too lazy to go back and make the beginning fit better.
The horror part of it was pretty good. I did find myself a little tense, hoping they would stay away from the car...don't pick up the phone! But it was poorly ended, as if, again, King got distracted and came back and just finished it without thinking about it because his deadline had come and passed. I was VERY disappointed with the ending.
Normally I would never give Stephen King such a low review. His work is exillerating and twisted. This one just didn't cut it. $3 was too much to pay. If he went back and actually finished the story, I might change my mind.
As for me... I know of some closed rest stops in the area, and if I ever see a mud-covered car lurking in one, I'm not going to obey the speed limit in getting away from it!
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