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Mile 81

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  24,836 ratings  ·  1,821 reviews
At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop on a highway in Maine. It's 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, ...more
ebook, 80 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Scribner (first published 2011)
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Alan Braswell The car is a lesser demon from the prim which is the realm outside the dark tower universe. Christine is a lesser demon and Christine is used by dead …moreThe car is a lesser demon from the prim which is the realm outside the dark tower universe. Christine is a lesser demon and Christine is used by dead belch Huggins (IT) to pick up Henry Bowers. From a Buick Eight is a lesser demon as is the car in NOS4A2.(less)
Makayla It's included in his new short story collection, Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  24,836 ratings  ·  1,821 reviews

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Claudia Ramírez
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Little Rachel is one of the best "little kid" characters I've read in a while. I adored her.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Another great novella with fine ingredients: an abandoned rest stop (Mile 81), a mysterious muddy car, some perfect strangers entering Mile 81, a young boy named Pete exploring the location and having a sip of vodka (laughed about the description what he was looking at inside thinking about myself when being young), the disappearance of human beings, a fine twist at the end... great, compelling and page turning read. King even referred to Christine in this novella. Highly recommended!
May 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was crap. Seriously. Crap. It was actually embarrassing to read. I've read a long, long list of SK books, and found something good in all of them. This had me wishing he had actually retired. Let's start with the names. Every character had a made-up sounding name. Or at least one that didn't make sense for the story being set in the present day. I mean seriously, it's 2011 and the kids are Pete and George? Then there's the cringe-worthy self-referencing. Pete has American Vampire in his bag ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I give up. After having a very not-so-great time with ‘salem’s Lot last week I thought the easiest way to turn my frown upside down was with a newer Stephen King and a nice little shorty that’s been popping up on my recommendations list ever since I enjoyed (definitely not the right word – can you truly enjoy something that makes you dry-heave??? – so let’s change that to “high starred”) In the Tall Grass.

To say I did not enj
Ok I am serious, haha omg I can’t even explain...ok what was that ...I feel like someone did bake a awesome pie cake and left me sit waiting for that forever. Ok ok I get it creepy cars and all, it’s all a King Thing Dingeling but wth did happen to that end oh and I did like the Dr.Who reference but other then this I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ...that end.
Excuse me but no not so happy with it.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: september-list
It is two weeks surrounding the Easter holidays the slowest time of the year on the nation's turnpikes, and the afternoon is the second-slowest time of the day, the hours between midnight and 5 am is the slowest time. One abandoned service stop on Mile 81 is about to receive some helpful traffic.
We have all driven on the rapid fast lane but time and tiredness takes it toll on our souls and a long overdue rest is always advised but where? After reading this you may think twice on exactly where y
Ruth Turner
May 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stephen-king

(Collected in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)

Shades of Christine and Buick 8.

I loved Christine…didn't even like Buick 8…and this one?…well, it's well written, as to be expected, but that's about all I can say, other than thank God it was short.

And as for the sucked!



Christine, the movie, rates a mention – “Jimmy Golding hadn’t believed in monster cars since he saw that movie Christine as a kid.”

Auburn (Revival)

Falmouth (One For The Road, Jerusalem’
Kristopher Kelly
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Great story for a quick flight from Logan to New York. I'm not going to say too much about the plot, since the story's so short, but I'll say that, once again, it's the people not the monsters that King draws best. Something bad happens at an abandoned rest stop, do you really need more? Most of the characters meet a terrible fate, and it's King's ability to make you care so quickly about them that steals the show. Also, the atmosphere of the abandoned rest stop is outstanding. Loved every creep ...more
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
A long time ago I remember seeing Stephen King on a talk show telling the host about this idea he had for a story.

I think it was going to start with this guy who pulls over at a rest stop area so his wife can use the restroom. She runs in and he waits in the car. 5 minutes pass. Then 10. The guy keeps waiting and waiting for his wife to come out of the damn bathroom. But she never does. Then he notices a whole bunch of people have gone into the women's bathroom, but no one seems to be coming ou
Adam Wilson
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
All right, Mile 81 seems to be a little novella thrown out there to make us desperate and starving King fans happy, if only for an hour or so. It did not impress me at

all though. The story was fun, but it seemed like different versions of several of King's short stories and novels including Christine (obviously), From A Buick 8, The

Raft, and The Mangler. A car comes out of nowhere and for some reason decides to stop at a closed road stop at Mile 81. If anyone touches it, they die, horribly. I
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Remind me never, ever to get in Stephen King's car.

... OK, who am I kidding. I'd get in. :D

I really enjoyed this story. I liked the fact that we have two different stories converging in this little novella - a kind of self-discovery adventure and a classic gore-horror. But there is more to it than even that. The little things are what make King's books and stories so awesome. The little details that bring his characters to life, and have us rooting for them, despite only knowing them f
"Jimmy Golding hadn’t believed in monster cars since he saw that movie Christine as a kid, but he believed that sometimes monsters could lurk in cars."...

Oh Jesus! That was f****ng awesome. Absolutely mind blowing short fiction from King. Glad that I finally read it...

At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded-up rest stop where Pete Simmons sneaks away from his older brother and arrives there. Finding a bottle of vodka and pornographic magazines. He drinks enough to pass out on that plac
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Yes I gave it three stars but this little not-quite-a-novella irritates the hell out of me for two reasons.

First, that Goodreads description and half the reviews. If you read the description above you have basically read 60% of the story. Way too much information and not much else to read. There should be a law.

Second, what is this about Stephen King and monster cars? First Christine, Then From a Buick Eight, and now this. Add the fact that the two mentioned novels are among my least favorite of
Mile 81 was pretty good. I actually thought the store would be the crux of the horror, but I was proved wrong. I kind of like how sometimes King just ends a story abruptly, and this is one instance I did think the ending fit, especially with how sudden the car appears, does what it needs to do, and is gone.

This is a quick read. One you can read in 45 minutes or so.
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5/5.0

A short bizarre creepy story but has its moments. Stephen King is the king of horror and bizarre stories and also the king of drawing the scenes and sets in the reader's mind. I liked this short story even though sometimes I was confused of the settings and had a hard time imagining the location where the story was set. The 3 kids characters Pete, Rachael and Blakie were very adorable. This was definitely a fun fast read for me to finish the last day of May 2017!
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
Mile 81 isn't my favorite of Stephen King's short stories by a long shot, but it's still a very peculiar and unnerving book with an unforgettable plot.
Sumit RK
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
One of the most bizarre & creepy stories i have read. The central character is missing in action for most of the story, the 'mystery' part is never explained & the ending is anti climatic. ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

fulfilling my shortie Spooktober challenge to read one spooky short story a day.

Day one: The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells
Day two: Everything's Fine by Matthew Pridham
Day three: It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels by Gregor Xane
Day four: Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen King
Day five: The Curse of Yig by H.P. Lovecraft
Day six: The Spook House by Ambrose Bierce
Day seven: An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street by J. Sheridan Le
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I don't know exactly what King was going for here. At the end, he throws out a dedication to a few people who supported his earlier work, so I'm guessing he was going on nostalgia?

This thing reads like a really bad B-movie. Not in a good way. I could've done without the blatant and unnecessary plug for AT&T wireless internet. Also, all the mentioning of an ongoing series that he's working on (American Vampire) and a film adaptation from his previous work (Christine) was kind of distracting and p
Cande ♡
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mmmmmmm this turned out to be something different from what i was expecting... idk, I didn't like it
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mile 81
Mile 81 is a really short story, a classic King, featuring an evil car, Maine, and a few kids. 4 stars, but i felt that the end is a bit rushed.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not much to speak of. The ever-prolific King of Horror produced a short (70 pages) novelette comprised of interlinked stories about several characters who all reach the same place and the same terror: a filthy car whose door is open, "line an invitation".

Fans will undoubtedly recognize the theme which appeared in Christine and From a Buick 8, among with many other tropes from King's work, but I doubt that many of them will be satisfied. The whole thing seems more like an outtake from writing ses
Todd Russell
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, novellas
The King loves his cars :) I preferred his story "Trucks" from the Night Shift collection over Mile 81 but this is a decent Stephen King tale that fellow Constant Readers will enjoy.

Mile 81 will make you think twice of station wagons with muddy-covered windows and car doors that creak open. No spoilers but the ending was underwhelming and seemed a bit rushed. The best parts for me were King's signature characterization skills (man, he's good!) and King's cleverly scattered horror humor.

The sampl
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
The story itself was fun. Another King story with vehicles included. From Christine, a Buick 8, Pet Semetary, Big Trucker and others, vehicles seem to be popular characters or have a role in the storyline in many stories. A small cast that struck home with me and sucked me in was great. However the ending seemed to be cut short. Similar to the Colorado Kid, I'm left thinking what next. Maybe elongated to a novella with more character development and increased conflict with the cast would ease my ...more
Andrew Lennon
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this one!
King does like his monster cars doesn't he!
This was only a shorty, but it was creepy and fun. I wouldn't say it's scary. You could probably read this to kids aged 10 and up as a scary story. But it is a good story.
I enjoyed it.
One of the better little shorts from Bazaar of Bad Dreams, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Note to self, stay away from overly grimy old cars and abandoned places along the interstate!
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Avoid reading plot summary here on goodreads if possible. Too spoilery!! The less you know what to expect, so much the better.

Many readers have been underwhelmed by this one: too short to be a novella, too long to be considered a short story, King fans have been left feeling he'd written a tepid, and ultimately forgettable, little piece. The reception has been split though, because many other fans enjoyed it immensely. I am lucky enough to fall into the latter category. This story really gripped
Tammy Walton Grant
You can debate for years about Stephen King's place in modern literature but you have to hand it to the man -- he's prolific as hell and has about the most distinctive voice ever heard in fiction. Whether you love him or hate him, you'll recognize his writing by about three paragraphs into whatever it is you're reading.

I'm one of the folks King calls his "Constant Readers" -- we've been together since I was a kid. I saw 'Salems Lot on tv in the 70s and immediately ran out and bought the book. I'
T.L. Barrett
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't give everything by Stephen King five stars, although he is the most consistently entertaining author alive today, IMHO. Here are some of the reasons that I gave this novella the gold prize: It reminded me of his best and funnest works in his old anthologies. It has all the elements of great everyday characters, everyday objects and situations that are turned on their head and gruesome horror. Is it brilliant? No, probably not, but it was pure and delicious entertainment. Many of the char ...more
Alondra Miller
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kingphiles
Recommended to Alondra by: no one
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

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