Book Review Wednesday: The Mist (4 stars)

Posted: May 7, 2014 in Book Reviews
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Another Stephen King. I’m slowly making my way through them.

This one ranks right up there with my current fav Stephen King book ‘Cujo,’ (I know everyone seems to hate that one, but you can’t help what you love). The writing as usual was excellent. The guy is a master of prose.

Sometimes I feel his stories meander, but this one felt on point all the way through. And before I continue, I best let you know what it’s about in case you don’t know. Here’s the blurb:

It’s a hot, lazy day, perfect for a cookout, until you see those strange dark clouds. Suddenly a violent storm sweeps across the lake and ends as abruptly and unexpectedly as it had begun. Then comes the mist…creeping slowly, inexorably into town, where it settles and waits, trapping you in the supermarket with dozens of others, cut off from your families and the world. The mist is alive, seething with unearthly sounds and movements. What unleashed this terror? Was it the Arrowhead Project—the top secret government operation that everyone has noticed but no one quite understands? And what happens when the provisions have run out and you’re forced to make your escape, edging blindly through the dim light?

He keeps the tension high all the way through. I did wonder about the religious lady though, she seems two dimensional. He did make a point to say she’d been harmless before the whole mist thing, which I liked. It made the psychology of it all more interesting. The other characters seemed decent enough.

The psychology side of things made it all more interesting. Some ordinary characters became heroes, and other ordinary characters became villains. Some people turned stupid, while others kept their heads. I love that exploration of how ordinary people react to a crisis.

We get theories about what caused it all, and some evidence supporting one of theories, but no one outright confirms it. For me that worked, because you as the reader are put in the same confused mindset the characters are in. You don’t know how far the mist has gone. If there is an end you can reach, or if it covers the whole world.

That same ambiguity covers the ending of the story. You leave the characters still in the mist. You don’t know if they’ll get out, or if they’ll even survive another day. There’s a certain hopelessness to the whole thing, but also at the end a thread of hope. They might make it, or they might not.

I think overall I preferred that ending to the completely downer ending of the movie version. Don’t get me wrong, the movie version had one of the most powerful endings I’ve seen, but I liked that the book ended with a little hope, no matter how meager.

So, if you like Stephen King ‘The Mist’ is worth a read. And in case you want to read more reviews on this book before making up your mind, here’s the link:


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