Title: From a Buick 8
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 408
I started reading this one on a train journey home and then had to put it down for a few weeks about a third of the way through so that I could read the books that were shortlisted for the Young Writer of the Year award. I worried that I’d struggle to get back into it, but it turned out to be pretty easy – mainly because the story itself is relatively straightforward.
This book follows the story of a bunch of cops from the Pennsylvania State Police when they find themselves in possession of a strange car that seems to have some sort of unique evil, which spreads out from Shed B where they store it and spans a period of twenty years or so. The narrative follows the police chief’s son as he uncovers the truth about the Buick in Shed B and the role that his father played in keeping it under control.
It’s not the best Stephen King book there is, but it’s still a pretty good read and I like how it sort of disrupts the classic haunted house trope by portraying a haunted car instead. I also liked how King’s postscript explained how the story came about, because it’s pretty easy to follow his thought process and as an author, I like to see how stuff like this is created.
One problem that I did have is that after a while, it started to get kind of repetitive. The whole plot is basically that the Buick does some weird stuff, then it goes quiet, then it does some more weird stuff and then it goes quiet again. But that was kind of offset by the fact that by skipping all of the in-between bits, it was pretty much all action. King has a habit of delving too deeply into characters‘ pasts when it isn’t necessarily relevant to the story, but if anything, the opposite was true in this one.
Overall then, this is a pretty good book, but at the same time it has nothing on King’s classics. It feels almost as though he’s imitating himself, although I guess the problem he faces is how to stay ‘original‘ with so many books under his belt. This one is original, i just doesn’t stand out. He’s still better than most other writers, though.