Mile 81 by Stephen King - Review
Mile 81 by Stephen King
Reviewed by Amanda Kennedy on August 5th, 2016
Following my recent review of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I decided to dip my toe into more of King's recent works and discovered Mile 81, a short story offered by Amazon as a "Kindle Single". Time is for me, temporarily sparse. I have so many commitments sucking up my time that I figured it would be best to stick with something short and sweet for a while, and this brief story seemed to fit the bill exactly.
So far as I'm aware, Mile 81 is only available for digital download (though of course, I'd love to own a hard copy, even in paperback form).
The story revolves around a boarded up rest stop on a highway in Maine, where a young buy named Pete Simmons takes refuge when his older brother abandons him to play with friends. Having discovered - all too young - the effects of vodka on an immature body, he falls asleep inside an abandoned building, while a mud-covered truck with no visible driver comes off the highway and onto the ramp beside the rest stop...
Mile 81 started off so well: excellent characterisation, a gradual building up of suspense and the peril of children (who for me, were the most believable characters).Unfortunately though, the ending fell a little flat. Where I'd hoped (or indeed, expected) the climax to be a satisfying, gory and suspenseful conclusion, it seemed to have been squashed short. Had this been a paperback, I might be inclined to consider this edited to meet the requirements of a short format of lesser pages...
I did enjoy the concept of the story, but sincerely would have preferred a more drawn out ending. Mu apologies, Mr. King, I'm sorry to say this novella doesn't match up to your more complete works.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.