3 Sentence Summary
In “The Mist” by Stephen King, a dense fog shrouds a small Maine town, driving its inhabitants to the brink of terror. Trapped in a supermarket, they confront their inner demons as external horrors close in. King’s unsettling narrative draws readers into a chilling tale of survival and societal breakdown.
Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes
Actual Book Length: 176
First Published in: 1980
Seeing the success of the book, it was adapted into a film in 2007 while a television series was made and released in the year 2017.
Below is the detailed yet quick “The Mist” book summary:
David Drayton is a commercial artist living in scenic Maine with his family. When a storm wreaks havoc on their small town, David, his son Billy, and their grumpy neighbor Brent put aside legal beef to get emergency supplies. Just as they roll into the store, a mysterious mist engulfs the town. Someone bursts in, claiming the mist swallowed his friend. Yes, you heard right!
At the supermarket, the electricity game isn’t strong, so David concocts a plan to clear the generator’s exhaust. Bold Norm, a young employee, volunteers for the mission. Plot twist alert! Norm is yanked into the mist by what can only be described as gigantic tentacles!
The atmosphere in the supermarket shifts from uneasy to downright tense. David’s desperate warnings about Norm’s fate fall on skeptical ears. While some folks turn to the bottle, others are swayed by Mrs. Carmody, a local who spins apocalyptic tales faster than you can say “end of the world.”
What’s really lurking in the mist? Is it some military experiment gone wrong, perhaps connected to the enigmatic Project Arrowhead? The townspeople are divided: some are skeptical, some fearful, and some think it’s Judgment Day.
Just when you think it can’t get wilder, “The Mist” throws another curveball! Remember Brent, the guy who didn’t believe David about the creepy-crawlies in the mist? He leads a group outside and—spoiler alert—they don’t make it back. The remaining shoppers get down to business, barricading the store and making makeshift weapons. Even tennis rackets get weaponized! During the night, the store is besieged by insect-like and bird-like creatures. A man dies, but the critters are defeated.
Inside, cabin fever hits another level. More people drown their worries in booze, while others buy into Mrs. Carmody’s dark prophecies. David, seeking a break from the madness, finds solace with Amanda in a short-lived affair, but both are clearly haunted by thoughts of their loved ones.
David and Ollie, the assistant manager and makeshift marksman, decide they can’t stay put. Their exit strategy is foiled by Carmody and her cult, who demand a chilling sacrifice—Billy and Amanda. Ollie steps up, shooting Carmody and creating enough chaos for David and his group to make a run for it.
David and his team sprint to the car, dodging monstrous creatures. Ollie falls, but David, Billy, Amanda, and Hilda, a brave schoolteacher, make it. They speed off, leaving us wondering about the fates of those still in the store. Talk about a page-turner!
Part 3 – The Mist Book Ending
In a moment that tugs at your heartstrings, David reaches his home only to find his path obstructed and his worst fears almost confirmed. He holds onto a glimmer of hope for Steff, but the group has to move on through a world that now feels like a horror film set. Creatures loom, cars are abandoned, and civilization seems like a long-lost dream.
David takes a breather at a service stop to pen down the hellish events, leaving his notes for any possible future reader. Just when things seem utterly bleak, a flicker of hope sparks. Fiddling with a radio, he catches a fleeting transmission, a single town name. He never hears it again, but that whisper offers a sliver of hope that survival might still be within grasp.