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Mile 81: Includes bonus story 'The Dune'

Mile 81: Includes bonus story 'The Dune'

3.3 2127
by Stephen King, Thomas Sadoski (Read by), Edward Herrmann (Read by)

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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, armed only with the


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, 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.

By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. But two kids and a horse are the only living things left...unless you maybe count the wagon. With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, Mile 81 is Stephen King unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs.

In the bonus story “The Dune,” originally published in Granta’s October 2011 horror issue, retired Florida Supreme Court Judge Harvey Beecher tells his lawyer about a mysterious sand dune on an unnamed island a short distance off the Gulf coastline of his family’s property. Harvey first visited the island at the age of ten in 1932, after his grandfather, a scoundrel and land speculator who’d created the family fortune, told him Blackbeard’s treasure might be buried there. Traveling to the island became a daily addiction for Harvey…and now his lawyer is about to discover the shocking reason why.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
In King’s short story, just off the highway in Maine a mud-covered car sits quietly at an abandoned rest stop where a young boy named Pete Simmons is exploring a boarded-up burger joint. But his innocent excursion becomes a nightmare when the car reveals itself to be an unearthly predator, luring unsuspecting passersby to a hideous fate. Thomas Sadoski provides smooth, matter-of-fact narration that acts as a counterpoint to the chilling and unnerving story line. In the bonus story, “The Dune,” former judge Harvey Beecher is addicted to visiting a certain sand dune located on a small island just off the coast of his old family estate on Pelican Point, Fla. Knowing his time is short, the 90-year-old reveals to his lawyer the preternatural messages he finds written in the sand during his visits. Edward Herrmann brings Beecher to life in what is essentially a monologue with a soft, craggy, Southern accent that acknowledges the character’s age, but shows an underlying strength fitting for a former judge. And that voice is a perfect match for the story’s spine-tingling conclusion. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Audio
Originally released in 2011 as an Amazon Kindle exclusive, King's killer car story humorously references his novel Christine. While that vehicle was possessed, this one seemingly is a space alien that takes the shape of a mud-splattered station wagon stranded on the ramp to an abandoned rest stop off I-95 in Maine. The vehicle's door yawns open temptingly when anyone approaches to offer assistance. If any part of a person's body—including hair—touches the beastie, the rest is immediately sucked inside and gobbled. Only six-year-old Rachie Lussier has enough sense to dial 911 after seeing both parents ingested. Although the fiendish space thingie chomps the Glock-toting state trooper who answers the girl's SOS, it's no match for ten-year-old Pete Simmons, with his trusty magnifying glass and the sun's burning rays. The program also includes the bonus short story "The Dune" and an excerpt from King's recent novel 11/22/63. VERDICT Reader Thomas Sadoski is spot-on with the adults and especially the kids. The brief, wonderful "Dune" is read by the wonderful Edward Herrmann. King's enduring popularity mated to the sweet price makes purchase a no-brainer. [The Scribner ebook, published in January, was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Mike Rogers, Library Journal

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His most recent include 11/22/63, Full Dark, No Stars, Under the Dome, Just Past Sunset, and Lisey’s Story. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Brief Biography

Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

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Mile 81 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2127 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I pre-ordered this book and downloaded it today. Wow. Is it short. First 5 pages are intro and table of contents, etc. Story ends on page 43, then you get a preview for his next book. WTH????? 37 whole pages for $2.99? What a waste. Story was okay but weird. Beware! This is NOT an entire book!!! Barely a teaser. Very disappointed...
CyndiANC More than 1 year ago
1. Please stop giving books bad reviews because you don't agree with B&N's pricing. 2. Please stop giving books bad reviews because you couldn't get it to download. (B&N techs are not reading your message) 3. Please stop giving books bad reviews because you paid 2.99 and didn't scroll down first to see how many pages were in it. Your one-star ratings for technical issues bring down the value of the CONTENT of the book. .If you read the book and hated it - give it one star. Otherwise call the B&N 800 number to work out your other issues or try to get your money back. Me and at least 2 million other people are sick of scrolling through customer reviews like 'Help! it won't download', or 'I just paid 2.99 for 52 pages!" before we can get to one honest person's opinion of the actual story.
Clint Bensinger More than 1 year ago
Book was short, only 43 pages I think, last 10 pages are a preview of next work. It felt rushed and thrown together, the part where he said "left the safety on on his Glock" annoyed me, Glocks dont have a safety catch. He pointlessly pointed out ATT as a carrier, for no other reason than naming a brand. Cover page was indeed set up in a shoddy fashion. All n all it was a good hour long read, can't help feeling slightly disappointed, however.
Chrysie Gross More than 1 year ago
Good idea but way too short for $2.99.... should have been .99. Disappointed.
Ronald Mascenik More than 1 year ago
I don't understand how anyone can write a review before the story is even released.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having been a life long King fan I must say this was a waste and dissapointment. I'm upset. This is a silly pointless plot with a dumb "monster" and a really dumb ending. As in you find yourself saying "was that @#%& really the ending??? WTH???" Bad bad bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Stephen King but this is not a book. A short story that is not up to his usual standards at all. Very disappointing.
julie hamann More than 1 year ago
Dont waste you money on this one! Ive been reading King fotlr over 30 years. To day this book was s complete let down is an understatement. What a rip off!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book (should actually be called a short story) was such a disappointment. I have been a big Steven King fan but this did it for me. Maybe he doesn't care any more, but there are plenty of good writers out there who can deliver a much worthier story than this poor excuse. My time and money are better spent with another story writer. Sorry to see it end.
jac8304 More than 1 year ago
This is a great story, so you should still read it. I am frustrated with the formatting though. The cover page only showed me half of the cover image, then the next page was off too. Finally, the book itself was poorly formatted. No justification of the text, and it was just not pleasing to look at. I know that it was only 2.99, but come on if we are going to push the ebook format, then spend some time and make sure it's good. This was heavily pushed as a pre-order, you would think they would make sure it was good to go. You almost NEVER see a book that is printed without the text being justified, why is it OK on the nook? Also, we need the option to change the justification. It's available on the free nook app, why not the nook? Good book, poor formating....please fix it.
jaki82 More than 1 year ago
You didn't make clear that this is a short story, or I wouldn't have bought it.
Amy Gallagher More than 1 year ago
I have been a King fan for over 25 years, and I was so disappointed with this story. King`s version of how a 10 year old thinks and acts is ridiculous. The story ended so abruptly it felt rushed and forced. Even as a short story, it was just poorly done. It reminds me of something that might be published after the author's death to squeeze a few more million out of the estate, not serious work -- a literary doodle. Maybe King has finally sucumbed to his fame and thinks his fans will read anything with his name on the front. The excerpt from his new novel wasn't promising either.
Donna Godoy More than 1 year ago
This is the most ridiculous story ever! Don't waste your time or money.
Sass88S More than 1 year ago
I like how this book is going. Already finished and wanting the next installment to come out. Like The Green Mile, it has caught my attention!
danteIA More than 1 year ago
Wasn't worth the 3 bucks I paid for it. Was more of a short story than a book.
wookietim More than 1 year ago
This is a 3 page short story stretched to 30-odd pages. Basically, that is the problem. Too much padding and repetition. It has a core of a good idea to it but after awhile that core of a good idea is simply not enough to actually sustain the story. But this has other problems on top of that as well. Characterization, which is usually the strong point of any work by King, is almost non-existent here. In a shorter work, that's acceptable but when we have a work that is long enough to have it, it's completely unacceptable. We meet characters but they never feel like anything more than characters - unlike most of Kings other works. Bottomline, if you want to read a bit of writing by King about an evil car, read "Christine" or "From a Buick 8" - skip this unless you feel the need to read every utterance by him. It's just not worth it.
REFAL More than 1 year ago
I'm a longtime fan but this is the worst Stephen King "Book"? I've read. It's more like a teaser than a book. Wasted $2.99!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too Short to be called a book. Not one of stephen King's best.
tirednurse More than 1 year ago
What a waste of time and money.shame on you!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read for .99 cents. Way over priced for $2.99. Do they really think we are going to pay $3 for every installment? I knew $3 was too good to be true for a King novel. Buyer beware!!!
ZenFist More than 1 year ago
For us old school King fans, this hits the spot. Supernatural car and people you feel like you might run into just walking down the street. A combo that leaves you wanting to kill the car...but come on, this is King, it's not the car that dies!
Aquannie More than 1 year ago
This tale is new and fresh. In a short time you get to know all of the characters well and care about them. I could imagine a version of this really taking place where ever you may live. A great little read that is hard to put down.
LylakoiMoon More than 1 year ago
I wanted to enjoy this book but for me it felt rushed (well it IS a short story you might say). For one such as Mr. King, packing a great story into 40-odd pages should be gravy. While it reminded me of From A Buick 8 and Under the Dome, both of which I enjoyed to different extents, there was something missing. I was turning pages quickly but it wasn't because the story was great, it was because I kept saying to myself "This is King!!!! It has to get better!!!!" It didnt. I was so irritated that I didn't read the sample for the next book. I was too "Kinged Out" at that point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes this book is short i was able to read it within an afternoon but OMG this book was so intense and heart pounding.I felt so many emotions while reading this funny,sad,scary,intense,and it leaves me feeling really CREEPED OUT !This book may be short but its definitely worth the read.And plus this is the first book I've read on my new NOOK.And it may be short be for only 2.99 on the NOOK its so worth it.I would have paid $20 for this thats just how good it is.This is also the first Stephen King book ive completed.This books great. I think EVERYONE should read this!DEFINITELY 10/10!