The Mist by Stephen King

The Mist - Stephen King
When a dangerous storm rolls into town, all the residents can think about is the insurance claims they'll have to make and clearing away the debris. What they don't realise is that that the storm will quickly become the least of their worries. It's not long before 80 people find themselves trapped in a grocery store, unable to leave because something primordial and dangerous is living in the mist.  As the claustrophobia threatens to consume them, they must decide whether or not to take their chances with the outside world or get carried away with the hysteria. 
The Mist is a typical Stephen King horror/suspense story.  Everyone has been in the kind of fog where you can only see a few feet away.  It's never a comforting feeling to have darkness descend, particularly in a world that has become accustomed to electricity and convenience. In this case, the mist hides deadly creatures who few humans as prey. 
I must admit to picking up The Mist because we are currently recapping and reviewing the television show. I believe it's always important to be familiar with the source material when possible. From the very beginning, even before we are introduced to the mist as hiding real danger, the story feels anachronistic for something published in 2007.  Cell phones may not have completely decimated people's use of payphones yet but making a call for ten cents most certainly wasn't possible. 
We meet several characters who are stuck together in the supermarket but the story is told entirely from the perspective of David.  David is an artist, father and husband.  David's one of the first to believe in the danger the mist poses because he's given hard evidence that the world they knew is gone.  Even as the evidence mounts that they are in mortal danger, not everyone in the store is willing to believe.  David's neighbour, who tagged along with him to the market to pick up a few things steadfastly believes that this is all one big prank on him and goes into denial. Norton simply cannot reconcile what he knows to be true. 
The people stranded in the supermarket fall into three categories: 
  • people like David who accept with difficulty the world as it's presented to them
  • people like Norton, who are determined to imagine that what they are seeing isn't real and that they aren't in any mortal danger
  • people like Mrs. Carmody, who has a complete mental break and goes down a dangerous path of superstition and fear.

It's easy to identify with the fears of all of the characters and put yourself in their place.  I don't know however if I would find Mrs.Carmody, who starts going on about human sacrifice all that appealing, no matter how scared I happened to be.



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