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The Mist

The Mist
Original title The Mist
Release date 1980
Author Stephen King
Genre Apocalypse
Pages -
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As a great fan of Stephen (the) King I absolutely loved this novel. Some might say it ain’t a apocalyptic story and more of a normal horror story, but it has every ingredient for a great (post) apocalypse story. It was first published as the first and longest story of the 1980 horror anthology Dark Forces. A slightly edited version was included in King’s 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. The story is the longest entry in Skeleton Crew and occupies the first 134 pages. To coincide with the theatrical release of the film based on the novella, The Mist was republished as a stand-alone paperback book by Signet on October 2, 2007.

Plot


The morning after a violent thunderstorm, a thick unnatural mist quickly spreads across the small town of Bridgton, Maine, reducing visibility to near-zero and concealing numerous species of bizarre creatures which viciously attack anyone and anything that ventures out into the open.

The bulk of the story details the plight of a large group of people who become trapped while shopping in the town supermarket, among them a commercial artist named David Drayton (the protagonist and narrator), David’s young son Billy, and their estranged neighbor Brent Norton who accompanied them into town after Brent’s car was smashed by a tree. Amongst others trapped in the market are a young woman named Amanda Dumfries and two soldiers from a nearby military installation, home to what is referred to as “The Arrowhead Project”. The two soldiers’ eventual joint suicide lends some credence to the theory of this Project being the source of the disaster.

Soon after the mist comes, something plugs the store generator’s exhaust vent. When a young bag boy named Norm steps outside to fix the problem, he is pulled into the mist by a swarm of tentacles. David and Ollie Weeks, the store’s assistant manager, witness Norm’s death and try to convince the remaining survivors of the danger lurking outside. Norton and a small group of others refuse to believe, accusing David of lying. They venture out into the mist to seek help, where they are killed by a huge, unseen creature. This, along with a deadly incursion into the store by a pterosaur-like creature and a disastrous expedition to the pharmacy next door, lead to paranoia and panic consuming the remaining survivors.


Influences

King, in the Notes section in Skeleton Crew, says that the inspiration for The Mist came from a real life experience. While there were no strange creatures, a massive thunderstorm much like the one that opens the story occurred where King lived at the time. The day after the storm, he went to a local supermarket with his son. While looking for hot dog buns, King imagined a “big prehistoric flying reptile” flapping around in the store. By the time the two were in line to pay for their purchases, King had the basis for his story: survivors trapped in a supermarket surrounded by unknown creatures.

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Bakkie-Pleur

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Total average

7.5/10

Details

Original titleThe Mist
Release date1980
AuthorStephen King
GenreApocalypse
Pages-
PublisherSignet Books
ISBN9780451223296
Buy the Epub, Kindle or PDF version on Smashwords-

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