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From a Buick 8 : A Novel by Stephen King
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From a Buick 8 : A Novel (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Stephen King

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4,261451,164 (3.28)1 / 81
Member:tarheel
Title:From a Buick 8 : A Novel
Authors:Stephen King
Info:(2002), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Audio Books
Rating:**
Tags:horror, new england, 2000's, dark tower, small town, close encounters, cars, haunted

Work details

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (2001)

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English (43)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I picked this book up on a 3 for 2 sale and didn't really expect much from it. It wasn't something I was looking for and I didn't really expect the subject matter to be in my area, but it was written by Stephen King and that is always a good sign, so I took my chances and began to read. I have to say that I was very quickly caught up in the story. It focusses on the strange goings on around a Buick 8 and how a group of Pennsylvania State Police go about dealing with the situation.

The plot is almost entirely focussed in one place, but this is a strength of the book rather than a limitation. It helps focus on how a bunch of ordinary people go about dealing with extraordinary situations. As always, King's characters are down to earth and fully believable. The way the story is told is also very well done. It's pretty much a masterclass in story telling. I was hooked from the start and really liked the way the story unfolded, and how it didn't have cliches or predictable events. What it did have was credibility and character. This is a really good book. I enjoyed it a lot. ( )
  peterjameswest | Nov 21, 2014 |
I was told before I read this by other Stephen King fans that it’s not one of King’s better books, but I would like to read everything he has written, so I picked it up anyway. This is a book that builds thrills slowly and gently to a conclusion that may not seem satisfying to many readers.

The biggest thing that I think took the thrills out of the book for me is that I am not a car person. When the narrator was describing the Buick 8, I had no idea any of it was off at all, so it didn’t give me the creeps. When they first describe the engine, for instance, I was surprised they were freaked out by it because it just seemed like a mysterious engine to me….like all engines. I definitely think there are more thrills to be found here if the reader is a car person. A car person will get caught up in what’s awry with the Buick, and see it as the mystery that the state troopers recognize it to be immediately.

What this book excels at is what King always excels at. The book establishes the place and feeling of rural Pennsylvania beautifully. The characters all speak in accurate and easily readable dialogue. There is a large assortment of characters, and they are easy to tell apart. The timeline of the book is carefully selected for just the right tempo for the book. These are all wonderful things that kept me reading and made me engaged with characters I might not normally identify with.

Some readers might find that the plot and thrills move too slowly for them. The Buick has issues gradually over time, and the conclusion they build to might not feel like a satisfying conclusion for all readers. Personally, I enjoy slower moving thrillers, so this worked for me, but it might not work for all. Similarly, I believe the ending will be more satisfying to those who have read the entire Dark Tower series than to those who have not. What is going on with the Buick is more understandable and a bigger deal if the reader is aware of all of the context provided by the Dark Tower.

Overall, if you are a car person who will appreciate a car that is slightly off and also enjoys slowly moving thrillers enhanced by a strong sense of place, this will be a great read for you. Similarly, those who have read the Dark Tower may be interested in this book due to some possible connections to that series. If neither of those descriptions fit you, you may want to pick up a different Stephen King book for your thrills. He certainly has plenty to choose from.

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-1ag ( )
  gaialover | Oct 9, 2014 |
Not one of King's better works. Unusually for King the story is set in Pennsylvania. As it is about a supernatural car, it is hard not to compare the book with Christine, however it is very different. The characters are well developed and the story is well told as we have come to expect from the author, but the book is somewhat disappointing. ( )
  nebula21 | Apr 25, 2014 |
Not one of my favorites by King, & I generally LOVE him. This book evokes Christine, just a TINY sliver, as both cars were extant, seemingly self aware. Both are menacing, creepy, killers. However, the difference with the Buick, is that it's an impossible car to begin with. And that's where the utter weirdness of this car starts. It "spit out" a batlike "alien" type being, it has occasional "lightning storms" in the garage/shed that it "lives" in because the police department doesn't know what else to DO with it, & it's a mystery in it's own right that they can't solve. In many ways, the Buick is the ultimate puzzle, that affects a lot of people over the years since it came to be in the possession of the police. ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
I've read several evil-possessed-car stories by Stephen King. This one was by far the best. ( )
2 vote wispywillow | Sep 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Give this much to Stephen King: He doesn't sit on his laurels and rely on formulas.

Yes, "From a Buick 8" is about an evil car, in a manner of speaking. And yes, King trod that ground years ago with "Christine," which was engaging if mediocre. But this latest novel is different in many ways — in topic, style and in the way King chooses to tell his story.
added by stephmo | editAssociated Press, Ted Anthony (Oct 13, 2002)
 
Is From a Buick 8 Stephen King's last real novel? He insists as much, and -- bad sign -- his latest main character is a dissatisfied storyteller. A Pennsylvania state trooper fills a mournful teen in on the confounding history of a grinning, otherworldly Roadmaster that may or may not have offed the boy's father.
 
IT must get exhausting, inventing monstrous evils year in and year out, especially the sort of ancient, supernatural forces that start by insinuating themselves into the fabric of everyday life and grow to threaten everything sane and decent before being vanquished, against all odds, by a valiant band of unlikely heroes. You can see why Stephen King, who has done this many times, might get tired of it, might look around him at a world that certainly enjoys no shortage of terrors as it is, and write a book like ''From a Buick 8.''
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Laura Miller (Sep 29, 2002)
 
Back in 1983, Stephen King tried to send a collective shiver through his audience with "Christine," a novel about a killer hot rod that could mow down unsuspecting pedestrians all by itself. Despite some effective scenes, that book proved to be one of his sillier offerings.
 
Stephen King was driving from Florida to Maine in 1999 when nature called. He pulled off the highway, found a gas station and used the restroom. Then he walked behind the building and lost his footing, sliding down a slope and almost landing in a stream. That was when nature -- his nature -- called upon him to dream up ''From a Buick 8.''
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Sep 23, 2002)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Surendra and Geeta Patel.
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Curt Wilcox's boy came around the barracks a lot the year after his father died, I mean a lot, but nobody ever told him get out the way or asked him what in hail he was doing there again.
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Book description
The novel is a series of recollections by the members of Troop D, a police barracks in Western Pennsylvania. After Curtis Wilcox, a well-liked member of Troop D, is killed by a drunk driver, his son Ned begins to visit Troop D. The cops, the dispatcher and the custodian quickly take a liking to him, and soon begin telling him about the "Buick 8" of the title. It is in some sense a ghost story in the way that the novel is about a group of people telling an old but unsettling tale. And while the Buick 8 is not a traditional ghost, it is indeed not of their world.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743417682, Mass Market Paperback)

Stephen King, an evil car, and a teenage boy coming to terms with the fragility and randomness of life.... Wait, haven't we read this before? Diehard King fans, worry not. Aside from the titular car playing a main role in the story, From a Buick 8 could not be less like King's 1983 masterpiece, Christine. If anything, this story resembles King's serial novel The Green Mile, with reminiscing police characters flashing back on bizarre events that took place decades earlier.

The book's intriguing plot revolves around the troopers of Pennsylvania State Patrol Troop D, who come into possession of what at first appears to be a vintage automobile. Closer inspection and experimentation conducted by the troopers reveal that this car's doors (and trunk) sometimes open to another dimension populated by gross-out creatures straight out of ... well, a Stephen King novel. As the plot progresses, the veteran troopers' tales of these visits from interdimensional nasties, and the occasional "lightquakes" put on by the car, are passed on to the son of a fallen comrade whose fascination with the car bordered on dangerous obsession.

Unlike earlier King works, there is no active threat here; no monster is stalking the heroes of the story, unless you count the characters' own curiosity. In past books, King has terrorized readers with vampires, werewolves, a killer clown, ghosts, and aliens, but this time around, the bogeyman is a more passive, cerebral threat, and one for which they don't make a ready-to-wear Halloween costume--man's fascination with and fear of the unknown. While some readers may find this tale less exciting than the horror master's earlier works, From a Buick 8 is a wonderful example of how much King's plotting skills and literary finesse have matured over his long career. And, most of all, it's a darn creepy book. --Benjamin Reese

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:42 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Eighteen-year-old Ned, having taken to hanging out at the barracks of state police Troop D in rural Pennsylvania after the death of his father, Trooper Curtis Wilcox, becomes obsessed with learning the truth about a 1954 Buick Roadmaster--apparently a conduit to the underworld--the squad has had secreted in a locked shed since 1979 when its owner mysteriously disappeared.… (more)

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