Matt’s Review: Stephen King’s “Mile 81” and “The Dune” Audiobook

"Mile 81" Audiobook

“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!

Purchase “Mile 81” and “The Dune”:  Amazon CD’sAudible | iTunes

Posted By @alloy_matt

Related Stories- Matt’s Review: Stephen King’s “11/22/63”

Matt’s Review: Stephen King’s “11/22/63”


"11/22/63" Audiobook Cover


I KNOW! The book has been out for over 2 months now, and not only did I just finish the audiobook, but I am just getting around to writing a review.  I know… better late than never. I had to wait until I finished it before I could read other reviews about the book, due to spoilers. So I have been handling my usual sites with kid gloves. That being as it is, I haven’t read any other reviews or listened to the most recent Castle Rock Podcast. I also didn’t want to be swayed by any other reviews I read prior to finishing the book.

Here’s a short synopsis of “11/22/63:”

Jake Epping is shown a wormhole into the past by a friend of his. Jake decides, that he can do some good, and uses the wormhole to drop him into 1958, a set point in time where the wormhole leads. He decides that he will live in this new time stream, temporarily, and will use his future knowledge of events to stop President John F. Kennedy from being assassinated. The tale twists and turns through the rescue of an entire family from, what should be, almost complete devastation at the hands of the family’s estranged father, the rescue of a girl from a hunting accident and Jake’s falling in love with a woman and getting caught up in her ex-husband’s dark delusions. On his way through this journey of time and tribulation, Jake learns that the past doesn’t want to be changed and is “fighting” against him and trying to make sure he doesn’t achieve his goals.

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A/V Round-Up: Stephen King’s “11/22/63”


I am working on a review for “11/22/63” right now, and thought I would tease that review (I’ll have it up tomorrow morning) with a selection of interesting videos that I found on YouTube that have to do with “11/22/63.” There are a few commercials here, but two of them include King talking about the book, so they are worth while. Also included, TV commercial, a sample from the audiobook and a funny Tuber. Enjoy! –@alloy_matt

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Online Book Club to Discuss Stephen King’s “11/22/63”

I recently stumbled upon an online book club called the Pioneer Page Turners. The book club was founded by published author, Laura Enright, and just got up and running. I went over to the blog and saw some interesting discussion on the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Issacson, which is a book I just finished not long ago. In an email conversation I shared with Laura, she stated that she started the online book club because, “… a digital book club is convenient for those people who might not be able to attend a book discussion physically.” I agree whole heartedly and feel like that is what the internet is for, and was my thinking on starting this blog and podcast.

The Pioneer Page Turners online book club will be doing a live chat, book discussion on “11/22/63”  on their blog. The live chat discussion will begin on January 5, 2012 at 7 p.m. Central Time. I am hoping to be done with the book myself before then so I can partake in this event as well. This book club could be great, especially if King isn’t the only thing you read. I hope they cover Chris Hardwick’s “The Nerdist Way” in a future discussion, because I just finished that book and really enjoyed it!

Purchase “11/22/63”: Hardcover | iBooks | Kindle | Audible | iTunes

Posted By @alloy_matt

Joe Hill’s “Locke and Key” Comic Nominated for Best Comic of 2011 by IGN

Teaser trailer for IGN’s Best of 2011 Awards

As a comic book fan, I really enjoy Joe Hill‘s “Locke & Key” series. I get them in THB (that means Trade HardBack, for all you non-comic nerds) as soon as they come out. As a Joe Hill fan and a Stephen King fan, I am pleased to say that “Locke & Key” has been nominated for IGN’s Best of 2011 Awards! Take a minute to head over to IGN’s site and give “Locke & Key” your votes!


Purchase “Locke & Key” THB on Amazon: Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft | Vol. 2: Head Games | Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows | Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom

Help Us Raise Funds for a New Stephen King Fan Experience

Posted By @alloy_matt