The Mist by author Stephen King
I’ve been slowly attempting to see what Stephen King is all about. When I was way too young to appreciate it I attempted to read The Shining. I decided then that I didn’t care much for King and didn’t try again for a very long time. At the insistence of, well everyone, I picked up a random book of his and gave it another try. Since then, I’ve quite enjoyed the few that I’ve read and will continue to read more. I suppose there is a reason he’s so popular.
The Mist is a much shorter novel of his and has been adapted into a film like nearly every one of his books. It’s a quick read that is highly entertaining the whole time. It contains some of the usual King characters and it’s important to remember that these weren’t cliches before King invented them.
The concept is simple, a family’s lake house is destroyed by a storm. The father, David, and his son Billy leave the mother behind as they journey with their arrogant neighbor to the local market to pick up some supplies. They are trapped in the store by a mysterious mist that contains multitudes of deadly monsters.
The numerous patrons of the grocery store respond to this crisis in a few different ways. A few take immediately to alcohol by raiding the store’s supply of beer. Others completely shut down, nearly going catatonic. A few, like David, try to take any sort of action. And one responds with extreme religious zealotry, her fervor will convert a few of the others with time. Of course the religious nut is one of the standard King characters that you may expect already.
As they attempt to find any way to defend themselves and any solution of where to go next bonds start to form. David desperately tries to protect his son and ignore the nagging thought that his wife is almost certainly dead. He befriends a few of the townsfolk but also draws the ire of the growing religious cult.
The situation seems more and more hopeless as The Mist goes on. The ending is left open with the reader being able to decide if there is something beyond the mist or not. I like this style of ending sometimes, it’s much better than the other option of them being randomly rescued by some party that was never mentioned before. Deus ex machina should almost always be used ironically in my opinion, it rarely works otherwise.
The Mist is a tension filled horror novel that will keep you guessing and perhaps even praying. It’s a purely entertaining read and sometimes that’s exactly what you need. No fluff, no frills, just spooky monsters hiding and waiting. And the obvious, man is man’s real enemy the whole time thing. Just put aside your nonsense and work together toward a common goal people!
4/5 clouds of mist 🌫🌫🌫🌫
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For King’s son check out Joe Hill
The ending is fairly open ended. The few survivors from the grocery store venture off to find somewhere safe. They return to David and Billy’s home to find the road impassable and assume his wife has died. They make it to a hotel and it ends with them picking the next direction to drive in.
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