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From a Buick 8: A Novel

1 rating: 1.0
A book by Stephen King

Years after his police trooper father is killed in the line of duty, young Ned Wilcox starts investigating a mysterious vintage vehicle, kept locked in the station barracks, in the hope of uncovering the sinister secrets surrounding it.

Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date Published: November 25, 2003
1 review about From a Buick 8: A Novel

From a Buick 8 – Stephen King is driving to the Dark Tower now

  • Oct 2, 2003
Pros: ........

Cons: ........

The Bottom Line: _______________

Don’t think I’ve heard more bad reviews on writing lately as I’ve heard on Stephen King novels, yet he continues to crank ‘em out and we continue to buy them. Perhaps my demands are lower than other ‘constant readers’ because I can’t really find fault with his works. I don’t know what others are looking for but all I require is to be entertained and temporarily transported somewhere else. I still think King has the power and capability to accomplish that.

Although as a writer King has always been classified as ‘horror’ I think many equate that word with monsters. And God knows, Kings demented mind has churned out a slew of monsters for us in the past, but there are all types of horror and all types of monsters. It is unfortunate that King feels that he must always toss in a monster or two just to keep his readers happy, or perhaps he can’t help himself, maybe the monsters grow on their own. Who knows what breeds in that head of his?

From a Buick 8 wasn’t horrific or terrifying, yet it still caused a few chills. It is often the simplest of things that evict terror or make the little hairs stand up, the perceived thought or impression. This is what King delivers best. His writing is descriptive, his characters are fleshed out, there is good and evil and you always have someone to root for.

The mysterious Buick 8 that appears in this small Pennsylvania town and belches out a ‘man in black’, who is never seen again, soon takes over the lives of all that come in contact with it. Kept hidden in Shed B, out behind the state trooper station, it holds the men that encounter it captive. Almost a living thing, the Buick has spells of action, light shows that defy interpretation, and often pukes out things from another place, perhaps another world. Like most living things, every time it exhales, it must inhale, so you are best warned to stay clear or become sucked into the world it came from.

The story of the Buick is told in a narrative form, by the remaining troopers that first captured it – or were held captive by it – as they tell young Ned Wilcox how the Buick came about and the hold it had on his father. The ‘Sarge’, sitting in the big chair, knows young Ned won’t be pleased or satisfied with the outcome of the story, as it has no ending, but knows it must be told anyway. Ned, freshly out of high school and painfully missing his dead father, is as drawn to the Buick as was his father. He hears the low thrumming, feels the pulse almost like a heartbeat, the sounds that could be ….. could be …… a soft melodic voice calling “Come here, come visit, sit behind my wheel, enjoy my luxury”.

Could I demand more from this novel? Why should I? King is a writer, he’s writing. It’s his job and it is how he makes a living. Do I think this writing is different from his older stuff? Of course it is and why not? He’s older, I’m older. Certainly his style is going to evolve over time, just as my reading requirements do and I can’t fault him for this. His work is still complete, it still does the job.

I didn’t have any problem with this novel. It started, it ended, it told the story in between. Each character was explained, thoughts were divulged, even his nasty descriptions of the things puked out of the trunk of the Buick were enough for me to picture what they looked like (well, I still might have a little trouble with the yellow creature with pink hair …… ). I knew why people were doing what they were doing and how they did it, what I didn’t and don’t understand is …… when in the Hell are we ever going to make it to the Dark Tower?


ISBN: 0743228472, 512 pages, Scribner Press


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