Mile 81

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686
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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 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.
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 1, 2011
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Pages
80
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ISBN
9781451665604
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Includes the story “Premium Harmony”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

The masterful #1 New York Times bestselling story collection from O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King that includes twenty-one iconic stories with accompanying autobiographical comments on when, why and how he came to write (or rewrite) each one.

For more than thirty-five years, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he introduces each story with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

As Entertainment Weekly said about this collection: “Bazaar of Bad Dreams is bursting with classic King terror, but what we love most are the thoughtful introductions he gives to each tale that explain what was going on in his life as he wrote it."

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. In “Afterlife,” a man who died of colon cancer keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Others address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

“I made these stories especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

Stories include:
-Mile 81
-Premium Harmony
-Batman and Robin Have an Altercation
-The Dune
-Bad Little Kid
-A Death
-The Bone Church
-Morality
-Afterlife
-Ur
-Herman Wouk Is Still Alive
-Under the Weather
-Blockade Billy
-Mister Yummy
-Tommy
-The Little Green God of Agony
-Cookie Jar
-That Bus Is Another World
-Obits
-Drunken Fireworks
-Summer Thunder
"I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it." - Stephen King

Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely.

He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first - and only - player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.

Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse...and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world once and for all.

This eBook edition features both the cover illustration by Glen Orbik and the interior artwork of Alex McVey from the limited hardcover edition published by Cemetery Dance Publications.

From Publishers Weekly (boxed review):
A quirky baseball player with a past shrouded in secrecy is the tragic hero of this macabre tale from the dark side of the all-American sport...a narrative steeped so perfectly in the argot of the game and the behavior of its players and fans that readers will willingly suspend their disbelief. As King's fiction goes...a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home.

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