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Avg. Rating: 3.25
Don't Let the Negative Reviews Mislead You
I think a lot of readers missed the boat on this one. 'From a Buick 8' is one of the best novels King has written in a long time. If you'll bear with me, I'll tell you why.
The story involves the death of a Pennsylvania Trooper named Curt Wilcox. Curt's son Ned is about to finish high school. He takes a job with the police department, mainly to learn all he can about the death of his dad. The cops take him in, show him the ropes, and tell him an out-of-this-world story involving his dad...and what APPEARS to be a Buick Roadster. And as we've come to expect from King...strange things happen....
People who don't like King because of "monsters and gore" should enjoy this book. It's more of a thinking person's book - it's not really flashy and it won't gross you out, but you'll remember the story, the characters, and the atmosphere much more than you would after reading 'Pet Sematary' or 'The Tommyknockers' or even 'It.' What does King do differently in this book?
For one thing, his exploration of character has evolved into something far beyond the stuff of most horror novels. Writers who want to know about characters and character motivation could do much worse than to study King. 'From a Buick 8' is not jammed with characters, but there are several and they're all satisfyingly well-drawn.
King's use of description and the atmosphere he creates have always been good, but they really serve his purposes here quite well. You almost feel as if you are in Shed B with the Buick when these creepy events happens. King has always been a very visual writer and that gift certainly comes through here.
In his best works, King addresses not only our fears, but our hopes and dreams as well. 'From a Buick 8' is part coming of age story, part self-discovery, and part self-examination. The ending? When you get there, you'll understand that it couldn't end any other way. It's different and satisfying. If you haven't read King in a long time, now is the chance to give him another try. Ignore the negative reviews from people who want to see monsters and gore on every page. Judge for yourself. (Just keep an eye out for '57 Buicks, though.)
Great read, left me with the chills
I haven't read a Stephen King novel in over a year, and it's been about 7 since I first started reading his books, but the look of that Buick Roadmaster on the cover, it's headlamp looking like some psychotic alien eye, and it's grille looking like spiked and hot gleaming fangs made me pick it up.
Ned Wilcox is the young man of our story. His father was hit by a drunk driver (in a Buick no less, but not the same as the one in the title). Ned has been struggling for a year to figure out what his direction in life is, and soon finds himself joining the officers who his Dad worked with, in their station aptly named 'The Barracks.'
One day out back, Ned finds shed B, and inside, he finds the vintage Buick 8, sitting there like some odd display piece. when he inquires to his Dad's friends and co-workers about it, they begin to tell Ned that this Buick is not what it seems.
King then begins to go into flashback mode, which almost killed 'Dreamcatcher,' and was used sparingly but well in 'The Green Mile.'
..The pace of the book starts at a very leisurely, almost languid pace, but once the Buick 8 arrives on the scene, I was hooked. I don't know what it is about strange automobiles ('Christine' had meup for 20 minutes before I dared to turn off the lights) and the pulse-pounding storylines that were told about what this Buick 8 was doing had me read it entirely in one day, which was not easy.
this book is best to be read with only one light on and not normally in teh vicinity of lots of people. There is an intimacy about it that can bring out some of the terror in the book and make certain items even more clarified.
Why a car?
I have read the book, and the story was not too bad, but like Hearts In Atlantis he (King) does not quite manage to bring the story anywhere, and this occures to you just after reading the first chapters. It is a bit "out there", and off course it is ment to be, but did it have to be a car?? Could it not instead have been some "alien"-thing found, something really NOT of this world? Something no one had ever seen before, like the "droppings" of the car, perhaps. I finnished the book, off course, because you get a little curious, and you want to know what this "car" turns out to be the gateway to -which, off course again, you do not. King gives you a hint, but nothing rememberable. So, if you are a King-fan, this one might disappoint you a little. Not that it is bad written, it is simply just missing the usual touch one expects from King, and I really got the impression he has done it a little too easy for himself this time. This book has an end that does not reveal much, if amything at all...
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