Mile 81 - Stephen King

Mile 81

By Stephen King

  • Release Date: 2011-09-01
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
4 Score: 4 (From 2,026 Ratings)


Mile 81 is Stand by Me meets Christine—the story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid.

At Mile 81 on the Maine turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side.” Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn’t been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services.” The driver’s door opens but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls “the ultimate insurance manual,” but it isn’t going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton’s cracked cell phone near the wagon door – and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids – Rachel and Blake Lussier – and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.


  • Very short quick read but still pretty entertaining

    By Readdds4Life
    Seemed to get enough bang for my buck. Nice short story in one read.
  • Boo

    By Wanancy
    Poor writing for an otherwise talented author
  • Good story,but……

    By mzkanga
    Good story! except it just stopped at the end.not worth the price!
  • I was expecting a whole book. Not 200 pages and done!

    By 6765468&
    Not pleased at all
  • Another winner by Stephen King

    By niles777
    Awesome read!
  • The story that started off an incredible collection!

    By ES the horror fan
    WARNING: Before you buy this book, READ THE REVIEWS!!! Some have been disappointed to find out that this is just a short story, not a full-length book. As a result, some of the reviews for this story have been unfair because they have been complaints that it wasn’t a novel or novella. Well, guess what, folks?? For years, it has been okay to publish short stories as individual books. I’m not crazy about it myself, but I won’t insult a short story that happens to have been a perfectly good story just because it was published individually. This story, as mentioned by another reviewer, is the first story in Stephen King’s short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. If you like this story but you don’t want it by itself, buy the “Bazaar” collection so you can review the entire book, this story included, but don’t write a review of this book just to bellyache about it being just one story by itself. Fans HATE that!!! I do, that’s for certain! For me, I have to agree with all of the positive reviews for this story. I’ve never read the book by itself because I don’t want to read ANY short story this way, but I really loved this story! It was a great start to The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, a masterful collection of short stories made even better by the fact that while King tried to scare readers with every story, he succeeded even more brilliantly with some than he did with others. This creepy, perverse story of a car that is actually some sort of strange, bloodthirsty monster in disguise was a perfect opener to an exciting collection and, for me, the biggest reason is because I got a terrifying taste of disturbingly chilling and creepy I knew some of the stories would be. And it was an awesome decision to cast a little boy as the main character. The bravery and courage of children who are ten years or older somehow strikes me as being totally conceivable that they could be very heroic in some very dangerous and scary situations. This is one of the scariest stories from King’s wonderful collection but, as any other King fan could also tell you, there are several other contenders. To me, Bad Little Kid, The Dune, The Little Green God of Agony, and That Bus is Another World are also real nightmares that I think could provide plenty of sleepless nights for those who are interested in reading Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. And not just because you can’t get enough of the book!!! I recommend reading this if you’re a fan of the King of Horror who is considering whether or not to read his short story collection. Just remember, though. You’ve been warned: You just might lose sleep even after you’ve FINISHED this story!
  • Who Knew a Car Could be Terrifying?

    By Persypie
    I read this in King’s compilation of short stories “Bazaar of Bad Dreams”. It was the first story in the book and left a solid impression for the rest. This story is not only gruesome and creepy, it has that fantastic touch of the supernatural that I’ve come to love of King. There were several characters that came in and out of this short story, but King developed all of them perfectly which made their dire circumstances all the more chilling. I would even say it is the perfect story to read for any writer struggling with how to portray a character. Read it.
  • Mile 81

    By S4d30g58
    Peeked my interest from the beginning but, the ending wasn't an ending. It was like you stopped writing.
  • Mile 81

    By Jennandpey13
    I enjoyed reading this book but was very disappointed with the ending. I didn’t like the end. I thought it was pointed and explain a lot.
  • Loved it!

    By Tesha_Renty7169
    I read this story in the book After Sunset and it was one of my favorites then and still is now. Will read over and over again.