“Mile 81” was originally released on September 1, 2011 and only as an e-book. It’s a novella with a short story, “The Dune,” tacked on to the end of it. I have a copy of the e-book for iBooks, but it is hard to read on an iPhone, so I gave up on it a few pages in.
*Note to Self: Get iPad
On January 10, 2012, it was released as an audiobook, which is my preferred method of book consumption. I listened to the audiobook and wanted to give my thoughts on it here.
“Mile 81” Synopsis:
At the Mile 81 marker on the Maine Turnpike stands and abandoned and boarded up rest area. The place, as most places in such a state, has become a local hangout for kids to do the nastier things that kids do when left to their own devices and the influence of other kids. There we find a kid, Pete Simmons, doing just that… drinking booze while throwing darts at a Justin Bieber picture and looking at nudey mags. Aaahhhwww… the good old days. OK, so I didn’t throw darts at Bieber posters, but close enough. Near this rest stop, there is a junky station wagon that is all covered in grime. When someone pulls over to offer assistance to what seems to be a person having some sort of car trouble, the station wagon opens up and bites off the man’s hand. Not in a simple way like one of us would take a bite out of a carrot, think more like really sinewy meat. You have to kind of bite in and nash at it to get through it. Brutal. The man is soon devoured by the “station wagon.” This “car” manages to take down a few more people before it is finally thwarted by three children. The other victims and those children will go unnamed and the thwarting will go undescribed for those of you that have yet to get through the story.
I enjoyed this novella and it made me think of “From A Buick 8.” Then again, I’m not sure how a person that reads this story after reading “Buick 8” could think of anything else. I am not going to go in depth about “Mile 81,” however, because I thought it was just a good story. The real highlight of this book, to me, is “The Dune.”
“The Dune” was originally published as a part of Granta’s Horror Collection back in October of 2011 and was added to the audiobook release of “Mile 81” later. This story will take you less than an hour to read, considering the audio performance is less then 40 minutes, so my synopsis here is going to be rather short.
“The Dune” Synopsis:
Harvey Beecher, a judge in his 90’s, has an obsession. In fact, you could call it an addiction not that dissimilar to Rhea’s “relationship” with the pink ball. Everyday since he was a small child, Mr. Beecher paddles out to a tiny island that is within his property to that he may look at a dune that is on this island. He is very surprised that this dune has not blown away in one storm or another, considering it’s location within the Florida keys. He was always sure that he would paddle out after a hurricane and see that the sand on this island would have been blown or washed away, but there it remained. This dune has captured his fancy because one day he paddled out there and saw the name of a friend of his written upon the dune, as though with a stick. That friend of his died a few days later. As time passed, he would notice other names appearing on the dune, and would later see a story in the paper or on the news about that person’s death. What is a person to do with such information? One thing would be to get your will and estate in order, wouldn’t you think?
I will leave off there, as going any further would ruin the experience for you. I will say, this is one of very few stories that I have read/listened to that gave me chills while simultaneously laughing like a maniac! “The Dune” far exceeds “Mile 81,” in my opinion, and I would suggest that you check it out! Sooo good! *NOTE: “The Dune” is not part of the e-book, just the audiobook. You can grab the audiobook for free from Audible or $9.95 on iTunes! So worth every penny in any case! I really wish all of King’s short stories could be as good as “The Dune,” because it has trumped them all!
Posted By @alloy_matt
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