Almost twenty years after the release of Christine, Stephen King would once again approach the subject of possessed cars in his novel, From a Buick 8. While both novels involved seemingly haunted automobiles, it seems they both also suffered from a somewhat muddled storyline as well.
Christineis the tale of Arnie Cunningham, a teenage boy who is the very stereotype of what we know as “nerd.” He wears glasses. He fights acne. He has little in the way of a social life.
All this changes when Arnie meets Christine, a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Arnie romances the Fury like a teenage boy would romance a girl. He falls head over heels in love with the car and soon, it begins to take over his life. As Arnie literally changes due to his ownership of Christine, he soon finds that the local high school bullies aren’t so taken with his new car.
To be fair, the car isn’t a pristine, nice looking vehicle. For as much love as Arnie puts into it, it’s still very much an old, “ugly” car and, as boys will be boys, it isn’t long before Arnie finds the car vandalized. It’s when the Plymouth Fury begins repairing itself that Arnie’s best friend, Dennis, decides to do a bit of investigating.
Tracking down the brother of the former owner, Roland D. LeBay, Dennis strikes up a dialogue with him and comes upon the true history of the car. Discovering that Roland was actually a cruel, violent man, Dennis comes to the conclusion that the car is indeed possessed by Roland’s demented personality.
As the car itself turns violent, mowing down those who had vandalized the Fury and almost successfully aiding in the death of Arnie’s girlfriend, Leigh, the two attempt to stop and destroy the car before more death is incurred by the wheels of Christine.
Christine is an entertaining novel, but it’s certainly not King’s best. Never quite reaching the heights of earlier novels such as The Stand and Salem’s Lot , readers will immediately see that this is not King at his best. However, it’s still a fun read and the ending will certainly amuse many, if not most, readers.
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