cover image Mile 81

Mile 81

Stephen King, read by Thomas Sadoski and Edward Herrmann. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, two CDs, 2.5 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-4913-1

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.)