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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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25 June 2014

From a Buick 8
Stephen King
Publication Date
September 2002
Science Fiction


The story begins in western Pennsylvania in 1979, when a mysterious figure parks a vintage Buick Roadmaster at a local gas station, then disappears forever. The police discover that the Buick isn't a car at all but rather a Buick-shaped enigma: self-healing; impregnable to dents, dirt, and scratches; composed of unidentifiable materials; and containing a completely nonfunctional engine. Confronted with a mystery of unprecedented proportions, the troopers of Barracks D claim the Buick for themselves and spend 20 years attempting to understand its nature, purpose, and provenance.

My Review

Teenager Ned Wilcox has a hard time dealing with the death of his father, a police officer, who was killed by a drunk driver. He seeks the company of his father's former colleagues at the local police station. Ned discovers an old Buick which appears abandoned in a shed, and when he asks the other troopers about it, Sergeant Sandy Dearborn decides to reveal the Buick's story as it stands so far to Ned.

The Buick just appeared one day abandoned at a petrol station, and not being able to find the owner, the local troopers took it to the police station for safe keeping. But it appears very soon that all is not what it seems with this car. Firstly, it is completely undrivable so how did it get there. The materials of the car appear alien. A police officer who sat in in simply disappeared, as if swallowed by the car. And over the next 20 years, strange creatures and plants appear from the car which have not been seen on this planet before. Ned decides to investigate.

There is more than a passing resemblance to King's earlier book Christine. A car with supernatural powers, a car who can heal itself. But here, the car is more of a gateway to a different dimension or planet. The story is told in 2001 but frequently goes back to the 1970's/80's when the police officers tell Ned the story of the Buick. There are several first person narrators throughout the book which at times, did get a bit confusing for me.

Though I did like the idea of this supernatural car as a gateway to another universe, it is probably not one of my favourite King books. I think I would like to have seen more about this other dimensions. I'm also missing the usual strong characters and I didn't 'get' the ending (or only after reading other reviews of it - this did not spoil the story for me though). However, having said that, it is of course still a very enjoyable read. In summery, I prefer Christine