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From a Buick 8 : a novel
Stephen King
Adult Fiction KING

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From Publishers' Weekly:

King, we learn in an author's note, hashed out the plot of this gripper while driving from western Pennsylvania to New York. The first draft took two months to write. That's quick work, and it's reflected in the book's simplicity of plot and theme; unlike King's chewy last novel, Dreamcatcher, this one goes down like a shot of moonshine, hot and clean, much like Cujo, say, or Gerald's Game. In 1979, an odd man drives what at first glance looks like a 1954 mint-quality Buick Roadmaster up to a service station in rural Pennsylvania, then vanishes, leaving behind the car. The state police of Troop D deposit the vehicle in a shed near their barracks, where, up to the present, it remains a secret from all but cop colleagues for the car isn't exactly a car; it may be alive, and it certainly serves as a doorway between our world and... what? Another dimension? Another galaxy? The troopers never find out, despite their amateurish scientific investigations of it and of the weird beings that occasionally emerge from the vehicle's trunk: freaky fish, creepy flowers and more. Moreover, the "car" is dangerous: the day it appears, a state trooper disappears, and experiments over the years with cockroaches, etc., indicate that just as the car can spew things out, it will ingest them. While the book's relative brevity and simplicity does lend comparison to earlier King, and King has relied on a nasty car before (Christine), the author's stylistic maturity manifests in his sophisticated handling of the round robin of narrators (both first and third-person), the sharp portrayal of police ways and mores and the novel's compelling subthemes (loyalty, generational bondings) and primary theme: that life is filled with Buick 8s, phenomena that blindside us and that we can never understand. This novel isn't major King, but it's nearly flawless and one terrific entertainment. (On sale Sept. 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Habitual readers of King know that he has a fascination for cars, preferably vintage gas guzzlers. In this year's just-in-time-for-Halloween offering, he indulges his fantasies once again by introducing an unearthly conduit of evil forged in the near-likeness of an eight-cylinder Buick Roadmaster. Although King's descriptions of the horrors that emerge from the Buick's trunk have the vibrancy of comic book illustrations heightened by allegorical overtones, it is the subtle story of the state police troopers who take on the task of sentry duty over the hulking sedan that captures the reader's interest. In the depiction of Troop D's encounters with the underworld for which the Buick is a portal, King reveals much about how individuals come to terms with malevolence in the world and how the undertaking itself transforms co-workers into a family unit. At the same time, the act of storytelling within the tale demonstrates the dissemination of wisdom from one generation to the next. For all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/01; this book's nationwide laydown date is September 24. - Ed.] - Nancy McNicol, Whitneyville Lib., Hamden, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ned Wilcox
Male
Age: Teenager
Fatherless
His father, a state trooper, was killed by a drunk driver.



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