The first few days in our new flat in London were a tad lonely. We didn’t have furniture or most of our belongings. Of course we had many pubs to visit down the street, but we also wanted to be in our new digs. Fortunately we enjoy each other’s company otherwise it could have been horrible. One thing that we did together was listen to the audio book The Mist by Stephen King. This recording is performed like an old-fashioned radio show. Before leaving the US, I uploaded some books to my laptop including this one. And since R.I.P. is currently in progress I thought it would be a fun experience to turn the lights down in our place, grab a couple of beers, and let one of the horror masters scare the crap out of us.
This novella was originally published in 1980 and was included in the anthology Dark Forces. Then an edited version appeared in Skeleton Crew, which was published in 1985. In 2007, a stand-alone paperback of the novella was released at the same time the movie based on the story was released.
Please note that I don’t give away the entire story in this discussion, but there are some spoilers. After a violent storm passes through the small town, Bridgton, Maine, several of the town’s residents find themselves in a grocery store when a mist descends on the town. The mist isn’t the terrifying part. It’s what lurks in the mist. Soon, the survivors in the store realize that monsters live in the mist and if you leave the store there is a good chance you won’t survive. Early on, one group makes a break for it. Before they leave, they tie a rope around themselves and after a commotion the only thing that returns to the store is the bloody end of the rope.
Things are not looking good for the patrons of the store. Terror also lurks inside. Mrs. Carmody is a religious zealot who believes that the storm and mist is a sign that the end of times have arrived and that the only way to appease God’s wrath is to offer a human sacrifice. Many people in the store begin to believe in Mrs. Carmody’s preaching. Only blood will make amends.
Not everyone agrees with performing sacrifices. A group decides to make a break for it. But the problem is how far does the mist go? Can they make it to their car before the monsters attack and can they escape the mist or is it worldwide?
King has said that he thought of this story after experiencing a gigantic thunderstorm in his home town. The next day, he and his son were wandering in a grocery store in search for hot dog buns. He claims that he envisioned a “big prehistoric flying reptile” soaring in the store. By the time he left the store he had the ingredients for the story in addition to a cookout.
I will admit that I have not read much by King. I’ve seen several movies that are based on his books and many of them terrify me. However, I didn’t find this story all that riveting or terrifying. I did enjoy that this was recorded like a radio show. It was a fun and an entertaining way to spend a night. But I wasn’t taken in completely by the horror. He didn’t scare the crap out of me. This does not mean that I will write Stephen King off completely. I would like to delve into other works by him and to find out why so many readers are devoted to his stories and novels. Any suggestions?
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I still don’t have access to the internet in my home. There might be a delay in responding to all comments. I’m hoping to be fully up and running soon. I appreciate all of your patience.