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From a Buick 8 [Paperback]

Stephen King
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 May 2003
For twenty years the officers in Pennsylvania State Police Barracks have kept a secret in Shed B. A vintage Buick which lures the troopers to come and take a look. Now young Ned Wilcox, son of the recently deceased officer Curt, has started hanging around the Barracks. One day he can't resist peeking through the windows. And it's time to share the secret. So the veteran troopers sit Ned down on the smoking bench and tell him every skin-curdling detail - from the Buick's arrival to the terrifying light-shows and what it sucks in and breathes out. For the Buick is a conduit to another world. As King puts it, "when we confront the deep and authentic unknown, we glimpse that place where our familiar universe stops".

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (29 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340770708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340770702
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 11.2 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 983,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Stephen King's From a Buick 8, a group of Pennsylvania State Troopers find, and keep secret, the Buick 8, a "car" that is a portal between our world and some world far more horrid. Animals and occasionally people disappear around the Buick 8 and every so often something unpleasant comes through from the other side. The alien monsters here are creatures of pure disgust; King terrifyingly argues here that somewhere in the universe there are things for which we can have no fellow-feeling. All of the narrators are marked by the Buick 8--it is a focus for personal disaster--but they believe, rightly, that they are the competent authorities, that to hand it over would make things worse. After the death of one of the original Troopers, the rest gather round his teenage son, and tell him the tale; this is a book about storytelling and about listening and about not hearing what you are told. As such, it is a worthy fictional companion to King's excellent On Writing; significantly, its considerable strengths come partly from King's imagination, partly from the technical mastery that lets him play the narrators off against each other, and partly from research, from King's own capacity to listen to real cops. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'A beautiful excursion into new narrative territory showing an accomplished storyteller making unusual choices and resisting the obvious at every turn...a portal into King's incredible imagination' Matt Thorne, Independent on Sunday on FROM A BUICK 8

'Excellent on police lore and procedure...enriched by a double plot that shows men ageing, changing and disappearing over two decades...Impressive in its handling of narrative voice and structure as well as character' The Sunday Times on FROM A BUICK 8

'A voice as distinctive as it is compelling' Scotsman on FROM A BUICK 8

'Stephen King is blessed with an apparently inexhaustible imagination and a talent for storytelling that shows little sign of waning. In his hands at least, the art is far from being lost' Daily Mail on EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL

'Still on top of his game...An unusual and disturbing mix that no other modern writer could pull off' The Times on EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL

'Astonishingly good' - Independent on HEARTS IN ATLANTIS

'Accomplished...unputdownable...his mesmerising best' - Observer on BAG OF BONES

'King has inspired a whole generation to read. He's made them read good, witty prose...a fabulous teller of stories who can create an entire new world and make the reader live in it' - Express on DREAMCATCHER

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King and his cars 6 Nov 2003
I am a huge Stephen King fan. I own and have read most of his books, and yet for some reason I bought this and it simply sat on the shelf for about 2 months before I thought about reading it. I think I felt a little let down by Mr King's most recent efforts... Dreamcatcher just didn't work for me. So when I finally did pick it up and start reading my first feeling was one of immense relief. The King is back!
I love the way King writes about cars. Everyone who has read Christine must realise that here is a guy who likes his cars. So 'Buick 8' was always going to be 'from the heart'.
It wasn't what I expected either. Having struggled through Dreamcatcher, I was expecting something similar, so was pleasantly surprised to find a book that was more like King's older works. Not wanting to spoil it for others, but it deals with a menace that all the characters know about but is never fully realised. The horror in the book is the horror of each character's own experience with the Buick. The way the book is written is also very clever, central narration with single person perspective from lots of different characters.
What can I say, I love this book. My favourite King? Possibly (and I do not say that lightly). Take my word for it, if you thought King was past it, try this book. You might be surprised.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the King in action...... 4 Jan 2004
By F M Kay
I love Stephen King's writing - I think he has a style and a class all of his own. I buy everything he writes because I have never been disappointed by anything he has written and I know that I am not buying something that will take me weeks to trawl through. Buick was not disappointing - just flat and a little below what King's fan's are entitled to expect from him.
His command of language and interesting comparison is usually second to none - but here it seems clumsy and forced. I appreciate that this is because the story is being told from the viewpoint of characters who are not by nature narrators; nonetheless it plodded in parts and seemed weak in places. Some of the analogies and descriptions were downright cringing worthy - falling straight into the traps King warns would-be writers of in 'On Writing.' Perhaps that is the problem - perhaps King has given us an insight into what we are entitled to expect from him and this misses the mark.
It won't stop me buying his other books - but if you are thinking about this as your first foray into the amazing world of Stephen King then I'd strongly recommend you opt for 'The Stand' if you have the time to read it - or something like the 'Different Seasons' novellas. Those will give you a real taste of why he is truly the King!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiosity killed the Cat!! 3 Sep 2002
Well here it is .... this years Stephen King release, I always look forward to it and after the release of some of his shorter stories earlier this year -- this is no doubt his main course.
A claustrophobic affair more in keeping with Geralds Game or Misery than his epics like The Stand. Not set in Kings Country and he explains the reason at the end ... the main characters are Troopers who have a secret sitting in the shed behind their Station --- in the form of a Buick 8, an odd looking (and feeling) car. The book is basically the troopers telling their tales to a son of one of there dead compadres .... and this fills out the story so well. Odd animals and disappearing people all linked to the mysterious vehicle in shed b. What is it? Where is it from? and more questions asked -- are any answered? Maybe.
This is one of Kings sojourn into the Dark Tower backdrop ... but lets be honest - aren't they all! So for a first bite of King I probably wouldn't recommend it. To his constant readers this is a great read. Very well written ... maybe as a literary offering its one of his best .... maybe a little frustrasting for his older fans who yearn for Salems Lot or Pet Sematary ... but these have been done so each new book is a piece to the jigsaw that is Kings Universe.
King is the best ... end of story -- this is a good book and is a must for his constant readers --- as a mainstream effort I ain't too sure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're on the road to nowhere... 28 Nov 2002
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
From A Buick 8 has been on Stephen Kings back burner for the past few years, and its perhaps easy to see why other projects would have taken priority. The most surprising thing about this novel is that the tale itself is so slight – a mysterious car shows up out of nowhere and strange occurrences surround it, that’s about it. Fears of comparisons with Christine are redundant, the fact that the mysterious object here happens to be a car is the only similarity – it could easily have been one of a dozen other objects without altering the story too much.

The story is told predominantly in flashback, not unlike Dolores Claiborne, and this has the effect of making a lot of the supporting cast rather faceless and interchangeable. Beyond the core main characters there is a large cast of cops who drift into and out of the story over the span of years, and these very thinly sketched characters often remain little more than names.
The main problem with From a Buick 8 is its length – it’s far too long, and much of the middle 200 hundred pages are taken up with repetition. Young Ned is impatient with the rambling nature of the story being told, wanting to get straight to the meat of the story – after the third ‘flashing light show, appearance of Lovecraft-ian creature, examination’ sequence in a row the reader sympathises. King also stoops to using the lowest possible form of reader misdirection I’ve ever read in the last chapter, which manages to end things on a sour note.
This is by no means a bad book, and there is still plenty to enjoy – plays on the attraction of dangerous objects, the chain of events that stretches between people and events over the years, the authors usual trait of a repeated phrase (“Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back”) – its just a bit of an uneven ride, and certainly a let down after the brilliant Black House…
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another good book by stephen king
Published 21 days ago by Diane Woodham
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As usual, extremely well written, Stephen King's descriptive prose is second to none. Enjoyable read, and what an imagination.
Published 1 month ago by mountiekindle
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite King, but still enjoyable
Teenager Ned Wilcox has a hard time dealing with the death of his father, a police officer, who was killed by a drunk driver. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Pegster
1.0 out of 5 stars Living hell
I was never into SK before I read one of his books before this one - the name escapes me now. I thought I would give this a go as the other one left me wondering what all the fuss... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Vincent Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Stephen draws you in so that you feel part of the plot. You really get to know the characters and feel for them. He never fails to entertain.
Published 5 months ago by Eric Witheridge
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable book
Stephen King is one of those writers who, when I pick up his books to read the description I never quite fancy the contents. It always sounds silly, like he's run out of ideas. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dan Crawford
2.0 out of 5 stars nothing really happens
A bunch of things happen to a bunch of cops ,king does make you care about ,then it ends.Leaving you feeling cheated. Read more
Published 15 months ago by dregj
2.0 out of 5 stars Short story material
I loved the premise of this story. Stephen King usually takes an interesting situation and then throws characters at it and watches how it develops. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Beanson
1.0 out of 5 stars From the bottom of the barrel
The first King book I read was Pet Sematary, in the early 80s. I was hooked and quickly read all he had written to that point. Read more
Published on 24 May 2012 by Philtrum
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
I gave this book one star and I think I was being generous,it just rambles on saying nothing ,it may have been better as a short story,then Stephen King won't have had to fill in... Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by billybob
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