I worked in a large office for an extended period during my somewhat checkered employment career. I don't think I had been there but three weeks when a gentleman suddenly took ill and retired on sick leave. He died a few months later of brain cancer. Another man inherited his desk. He, too, was dead within a year from a tumor in his brain. A third gent was given the desk, and within six months, he also was gone, for the same reason. A number of us attended his funeral, and when we returned to the office, four of us, by agreement common and unspoken, took the desk and unceremoniously shoved it into a storage room where it may still remain. I have been convinced since that time that there are some objects in this world that for whatever reason are salted with a wrongness. Maybe it's a storefront where a business can never successfully take hold, or a piece of jewelry that seems to herald domestic problems, or something else. It's as if they're not meant to be here. But they are...
I have generally heard bad reviews of this book, so I was little worried about picking it up. But I did, and decided to read it the other night whether than put it off. Now, there are many things to say about it: For starters, this is NOT Christine 2. This is not a sequel to the story. This is not a retelling. There are similarities, but the focus of this story is nothing like Christine. Secondly, this story is rarely in the details. Often, the details are the weak spot. It is when King gets nervous and decides to go back and fill in a few of the blanks that the narrative decreases. Thirdly, this book has a lot more personal philosophy to impart rather than horror. This is about growing old. This is about mysteries in life. This is about sticking to duty. This is about the chains that we can feel but rarely know. Finally (for now), what horror IS in this book tends to be strictly the real life stuff: a cop hitting an old woman, a suicide, genitalia ripped off by...
If this really is King's last real novel (the forthcoming Dark Tower books don't quite count), then he's going out with style and grace. "From A Buick 8" is a wonderfully gripping read, full of the creepy crawlies, but mostly it's a moving, melancholy meditation on time and loss, more "Green Mile" than "Christine". His command of character and flow are wondrous at times. You believe in these people; you can see them, you know them. I've always thought that was his great gift and the real secret to his popularity--his people live in the same world we do. In them, we recognize ourselves (and our landscapes), and somehow that provides solace, as if we're finally being seen and understood. (It's similar to what Springsteen does.) The scary stuff was always secondary. Anyway, this one's awfully fine. It kept me up nights--and there's really nothing better in the world than a book that keeps you up nights. (It's like having a secret power source, and is almost...
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