Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Mile 81

Mile 81
Mile 81 by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good old fashioned monster story by Mr. King. I'm not sure if this just feels less polished than his excellent Skeleton Crew and Night Shift-era stories, or if it's me who's changed. He spends a lot of time on character for people who are just going to be eaten by a transdimensional behemoth posing as a car in a rest stop. But I supposed that worked. It does get quite tense at the end, but I found the resolution almost silly and over too soon. It's a good quick read, but why isn't it as memorable as "The Raft," which is essentially the same story? I don't know. I'd have to go back and read his earlier work, but he uses more parentheses in "Mile 81" than I imagine he used in all his early story collections. I read a lot of young, hungry writers who write lean and mean, and while I like a story to be given its head and allowed to run, this one didn't have the meat on its bones to handle it.
Skip it and read his novel From a Buick 8, which is a much better take on the same idea.

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Chad Eagleton said...

I haven't read anything by King since I finished the last Dark Tower book and wanted to punch someone.

Thomas Pluck said...

Yeah, that was a huge letdown. He lost a lot of steam and created some truly awful deus ex machinae (the magic pencil... for fuck's sake) ... and did Roland really use people for his quest and deserve a Sisyphean torment? No. He was too much of a pussy to make Roland sacrifice his quest-mates, which would earn him that reboot ending.

Chad Eagleton said...

I think he knew it too. If your ending works, you don't need to write an afterword. If you believe in your ending, you won't write an afterword. King wrote an afterword.

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