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Revisiting Stephen King: Reading "From a Buick 8"
Published on October 1, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about "From a Buick 8," the Stephen King novel I just finished reading.

Here's an excerpt:

"Every few years I read a book by Stephen King, and it’s a bit like visiting an old friend. I was an avid King reader in middle school and much of high school, but by the time I left for college I’d pretty much moved on. My focus was literature, and the pulpier pleasures of genre fiction struck me as childish and unimportant.

Now that I’m older, I see the error of my ways. As a writer, King might not be on par with, say, Melville or Tolstoy, but he’s a gifted storyteller, with a knack for characterization, description and making simple yet profound insights into human nature and the world. His horror novels are creepy and somtimes gross, but they’re also moving, and they get under your skin.

I recently finished reading King’s 2002 novel 'From a Buick 8,' which he wrote while recovering from a near-fatal accident that occurred when he was struck by a car while walking on a country road in Maine. (King wrote about this incident at length in his excellent memoir/writing guide, 'On Writing.') A similar event provides 'From a Buick 8' with a certain impetus: The story opens in the aftermath of the death of State Trooper Curt Wilcox, who was killed when a drunk driver smashed into him while he was making a routine traffic stop. Curt’s teenage son, Ned, has been hanging out at the barracks since his father died, doing chores. One day, Ned discovers the barrack’s secret: A vintage Buick Roadmaster without a scratch on it and some curious features, such as an immobile steering wheel. Ned asks the commanding officer, Sandy, about the car, and Sandy and some of his colleagues do their best to explain the mysterious vehicle’s secrets."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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