Mile 81

  • by Stephen King
  • Narrated by Edward Herrmann, Thomas Sadoski
  • 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Tim "I read nothing that is popular."

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.
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- Mel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio