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From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8 (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Stephen King

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4,236431,173 (3.28)1 / 73
Title:From a Buick 8
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2002), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:science fantasy

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From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (2001)



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English (41)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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 |
The officers of the Troop D state police in rural Pennsylvania have kept a secret since 1979. Since then, stowed out behind the police barracks in Shed B, has been a classic car - a Buick Roadmaster. In 1979, Troopers Ennis Rafferty and Curtis Wilcox answered a call from a gas station just down the road and came back with the abandoned Buick. Curt Wilcox knew old cars, and he knew immediately that this car was...wrong, just wrong. A few hours later, when Trooper Rafferty vanished without a trace, Curt and his fellow troopers knew the old Buick Roadmaster was worse than dangerous - and that it would be better if John Q. Public never found out about it.

With Curt's avid curiosity taking the lead, they investigated Trooper Rafferty's disappearance as best they could, as much as they dared. Over the years, the troop eventually absorbed the mystery as part of the background to their work; the Buick 8 sitting out there like a still life painting that breathes - inhaling a little bit of this world, exhaling a little bit of whatever world it came from. In the fall of 2001, some time after Curt Wilcox is killed in a gruesome auto accident, his 18 year-old son Ned starts coming by the barracks. Ned does various odd jobs around the barracks - mowing the lawn, washing windows, shoveling snow.

Sergeant Commanding, Sandy Dearborn, knows it's just the boy's way of holding onto his father, and Ned is allowed to become a part of the Troop D family. One day, Ned happens to look through the window of Shed B and discovers the family secret. Like his father, Ned wants answers, and the secret begins to stir; not only in the minds and hearts of the veteran troopers who surround him, but in Shed B as well...

I must say that I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. It was very exciting and my goodness, what an imagination Stephen King has. I've said before that I'm always a little wary of reading Stephen King's longer novels - the plots of many of his books start off brilliantly, and then they seem to go off the rails slightly, at least in my opinion. Anyway, while I found that some passages in From a Buick 8: A Novel were slightly verbose, overall, the book managed to capture my attention and successfully hold it until the end. I give this book an A! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Aug 31, 2013 |
Read in 2003 I think and I remember that I did not like it as much as I did his other books. I want to re read some of his books. Read them in English for the first time although I must say the Dutch translator of his work back in the days when I bought his books the minute they were in the shop, did a fantastic job. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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)

(summary from another edition)

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