So, as most people in the known literary and popular culture universe know, Stephen King published an original eStory, Mile 81, today.
Even though there are no deer in the story, I imagined the monster driving by these two ghostly Bambinos and licking its chops (so the photo fits the eerie feeling and atmosphere – OK, this may be stretching things, but at least these deer are safe).
Yes, there are a few familiar King tropes but they fit like a worn baseball glove: A car, the occupant, as the evil Other, a bunch of kids hanging out and daring each other to do something on a lazy absent parent day (which King smartly veers away from), the creative and relatable backstory about why each individual character would even stop to help someone else in need, and the ickiness of the monster, which is reminiscent of his all-consuming monster in his brilliant short story The Raft that had to inspire Scott Smith’s The Ruins. Within Mile 81 there is even a self-referential mention of the film Christine. King sure loves cars, and each chapter of Mile 81 begins with a character’s name and the vehicle he or she rides: Julianne Vernon (’05 Dodge Ram).
But was Mile 81 scary? Did it do its job? The answer is a resounding yes. I felt for the characters and the dread of watching them do something I know I would never do (I swear) and unable to warn them away. This eStory also includes a Teaser for his new epic-length (kind of disappointed now if King’s novels aren’t really, really long) novel 11/22/63, coming out in November.
The pleasure of reading a new Stephen King story or novel hasn’t waned. He is writing at the same high quality and for good reason he was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Off to read another great story and then watch a classic film, and I wish you the best in your reading, Justin
Scribner ebook edition September 2011 under license by Simon & Schuster, Inc., the publisher of this work.
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