The Mist: 100 Pages of Pure Chills

Don't you love the moment you hear a title and who the author is, and immediately know you are about to read a cleverly written book that can induce nightmares beyond your imagination? That's what was in my mind the moment I heard of The Mist by Stephen King. Although I have never been a fan of horror movies, horror novels and comics with psychological aspects have always intrigued me. And it was this, that pulled me in to reading The Mist, the first short story in the book Skeleton Crew. (It's also been adapted into a movie by the director of The Shawshank Redemption, as well as a new TV series currently airing on Spike, so it's a great time to revisit the source material!)

Set in a small town near Michigan, a storm strikes and leaves destruction in its wake. When the storm clears, David and his son Billy go to the supermarket to get food, and become consumed by a mist. Anyone that goes into the mist disappears without a trace. The mist is nearly impossible to see through, successfully hiding the obscure otherworldly creatures that lurk in it.

The novella is tense and claustrophobic in nature with King focusing on how people act to the unknown in a small space together. King focuses on the actions of the people more than the looming presence of death in the mist.  The coping mechanism of the people build up and fall apart from a more logical and rational way of thinking to that of fearing the unknown; a childlike fear of the dark. Our protagonist David isn't portrayed as an all-mighty or all-knowing, god-like human. Instead, he's portrayed as human as possible in that situation. Even he has his infallible and cowardly moments which make him relatable!

The Mist is a well put together, all-around strong short story.  With a quick-paced momentum this novella sucks you in fast. It's a great read for both horror newbies and enthusiasts alike. And if you've already read it, it will always be good for a re-read or give the audiobook  a try!

-Nitya, (Dusen)Berry Blogger and member of the River Teen Advisory Board