Today I am sharing my thoughts on The Mist, a novella originally collected in his Skeleton Crew short story collection.
If you haven't already, be sure to read the previous posts in this series.
From the back cover: 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?
My first experience with this story was the movie that came out sometime in the 2000s. It was such a great film, and has one of the most gut punching endings I'd ever experienced in film. I won't spoil it for you. Go watch it for yourself, you won't be disappointed. (You can thank me later.)
As for the recent television series, I've only seen the pilot and cannot comment on the quality of the remaining episodes. The pilot did look intriguing, just not intriguing enough for me to sink hours of screen time into.
This was a fun and fast paced read. I loved all of the creatures and the atmosphere of this story. But the crown jewel of this terrifying tale is one very horrific character: Mrs. Carmody. So, all of these townsfolk are trapped inside a small supermarket together by a mist filled with dangerous creatures. You would think that the man eating bug things from another dimension would be the biggest threat. But nope; Mrs. Carmody handily takes that title in this one.
In the beginning she is just the local crazy lady who just goes around spouting off biblical apocalyptic drivel left and right. This whole story is worth the read just to experience the feeling of her slowly turning the desperate locals against our hero and those that stand with him. She is like a mind controlling evangelical itching to pin the blame for their catastrophes on someone and thirsting for vengeance.
The creatures and all of the monster fighting is fun too, but that crazy lady takes the cake.
The only real problem I had with the book is one scene that felt really out of character for the main character and hero of the story. You'll know it when you read it yourself. (No spoilers here.)
Dark Tower Connections
As per connections to the Dark Tower books, there only seems to be one. The Arrowhead project (the secret military project that leads to the mist and all of its monsters) is probably the same thing as the 'thinnies' from the Dark Tower books.
This is a great book, worth checking out. As is the rest of the Skeleton Crew collection this novella was originally published. For some classic King, be sure to give these a read.