Mile 81

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Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,309
4,103
#1
Just got around to reading this story. I thought it was excellent. Great narrative, great build-up.

But...

The ending was absolutely terrible. I don't know how else to put it, I really don't. I'm curious if others agree.

First, that ridiculous conversation between the kids about needing to chew gum -- way too unrealistic, silly. I'm not saying that in tragic, horrific situations people don't have odd conversations -- they most certainly do -- but in this specific case of story, it just reads awful.

Also: I just don't think a girl that young would be so precocious; not just about the gum, but about everything she did in the story. Even the stuff the brother was saying seemed off. Again, kids might talk like that at times, but the problem is a different approach is needed when writing a story; like King once said (I'm pretty sure he said this), you'll be criticized if two people meet each other in New York after many years have past.

The solution with the magnifying glass...no, Mr. King, no! Just leave the car as a mystery at the end! Maybe it takes out a SWAT team and then authorities have no idea what happened when they come upon the rest area completely deserted. The glass/sun thing was goofy.

There was a great opportunity too to send in a K9 dog to figure out what was going on. Imagine if the dog was seen through the windows being consumed? At some point the animal's skeleton, with still-working organs and with a transparent skull showing the brain still pulsing, would be flipping out in the interior. I honestly thought a dog was going to show up when I got to the trooper part, and I was preparing for a fun section. No such luck!

I also thought maybe the car would end up being a bit telepathic and would exert some control over the people, or maybe even broadcast messages of what it was, where it came from, etc. A nice Lovecraftian opportunity that was missed.

Oh well. And I reiterate...up until the final portions, I think it is a great story...actually, one of King's best.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
16,372
76,755
42
United States
#2
Just got around to reading this story. I thought it was excellent. Great narrative, great build-up.

But...

The ending was absolutely terrible. I don't know how else to put it, I really don't. I'm curious if others agree.

First, that ridiculous conversation between the kids about needing to chew gum -- way too unrealistic, silly. I'm not saying that in tragic, horrific situations people don't have odd conversations -- they most certainly do -- but in this specific case of story, it just reads awful.

Also: I just don't think a girl that young would be so precocious; not just about the gum, but about everything she did in the story. Even the stuff the brother was saying seemed off. Again, kids might talk like that at times, but the problem is a different approach is needed when writing a story; like King once said (I'm pretty sure he said this), you'll be criticized if two people meet each other in New York after many years have past.

The solution with the magnifying glass...no, Mr. King, no! Just leave the car as a mystery at the end! Maybe it takes out a SWAT team and then authorities have no idea what happened when they come upon the rest area completely deserted. The glass/sun thing was goofy.

There was a great opportunity too to send in a K9 dog to figure out what was going on. Imagine if the dog was seen through the windows being consumed? At some point the animal's skeleton, with still-working organs and with a transparent skull showing the brain still pulsing, would be flipping out in the interior. I honestly thought a dog was going to show up when I got to the trooper part, and I was preparing for a fun section. No such luck!

I also thought maybe the car would end up being a bit telepathic and would exert some control over the people, or maybe even broadcast messages of what it was, where it came from, etc. A nice Lovecraftian opportunity that was missed.

Oh well. And I reiterate...up until the final portions, I think it is a great story...actually, one of King's best.
I agree with you (more or less). It felt like a campfire story: forgettable fluff. Not bad but not great, either.
 

Ebdim9th

Dressing the Gothic interval in tritones
Jul 1, 2009
6,104
21,765
#4
I'm pretty gullible when it comes to suspension of disbelief.
I just rolled with the magnifying glass and the hyperprecocious little girl. And for me, the thing suddenly changing shape and shooting straight up out of sight; pure, sheer, awesomeness!!!!! (No gullibility required out of me to feel that one)
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
58,957
223,591
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#6
I'm pretty gullible when it comes to suspension of disbelief.
I just rolled with the magnifying glass and the hyperprecocious little girl. And for me, the thing suddenly changing shape and shooting straight up out of sight; pure, sheer, awesomeness!!!!! (No gullibility required out of me to feel that one)
I agree with you - I had no problems at all with this one - it was a great story and the ending, to me, was satisfying. Read this one last night, in the wee hours, after finishing Gwendy's Button Box.
 
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