A couple of weeks ago I watched Stephen King’s Bag of Bones on A&E. I’m currently reading The Stand, and watching the movie on TV got me wanting to read the book. So I did a search for Stephen King on my NOOKColor, and up pops many books. Silly me for not just searching for the title of the book. Anyway, The Mist was in the top first few in the list, and the cover looked cool, so I clicked on it.
When I opened up the book to read it, I saw that it was only 134 pages. There was a note on the title page that said that the story was originally published in the anthology, Skeleton Crew. So it was a short story to Stephen King, and a short novel for almost every other writer (except perhaps Diana Gabaldon).
Anyway, the book started of very slowly. I probably wouldn’t have finished it if it weren’t for this blog. I have pledged to make sure you don’t waste your time on crappy books, so I went ahead and kept reading. And I have to say, I was glad I did, although I was disappointed in the ending. But more on that later.
The book begins with a terrible storm in a remote lake town in Maine (where else for a Stephen King novel). After the storm a strange white mist slowly moves across the lake towards town. It moves slowly enough that we see the family go about their regular day cleaning up after the storm for a few hours, before the mom, Steff, sends her husband and son, Dave and Billy, to the grocery store for a few items. By the time Dave and Billy get everything they need at the store, the line is huge (there is no power and the cashiers are doing everything by hand), and they watch out the windows as the mist approaches. In typical King fashion, he has found a way to isolate a small population and will proceed to torture them and show how people’s true colors come out in times of stress.
As expected, there is plenty of gore and suspense. As it turns out, there are terribly creatures living in the mist, which has probably been caused by a vague “Arrowhead Project.” And in true keeping with the formula King usually uses, the main characters make it out alive. So in a way it is a happy ending, since Dave and Billy made it out of the Federal grocery store. But that’s about as good as it gets. King doesn’t like cute, easy endings, and he does not provide one for The Mist. It’s one of those endings where you can imagine how it could come out. Some people may like that, but it annoys me. King knows the whole story, so why can’t he just tell it? Anyway, I felt like King could have kept going for at least a couple hundred more pages. Still, The Mist was highly entertaining, so I say…