Top positive review
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SERIOUSLY COOL, SERIOUSLY SHAKESPEARIAN, SERIOUSLY STEPHEN KING!!!
on 24 January 2014
I have had this book in my library for close to twenty years without reading it. Don't ask me why, it just turned out that way. And here I am, in the year 2013, reading it on my Kindle of all things, even though I have two copies of the gosh-darn thing in paperback in two different editions, taking up space on one of my bookshelves. And what is more, it is by far the longest 'book' that I have ever read in e-book format. That is a review in its own right, but I will choose to continue. Because this is fun.
Anywho, the story goes like this: A young lad by the name of Arnie Cunningham is cruising the streets of his hometown with his pal Dennis ... When Arnie just happens to catch a glimpse of a vision of something that he never knew that he wanted. A 1958 Plymouth Fury sedan. The problem is, the car is a wreck, a rust bucket which shouldn't be on the road. And there is no way in hell that our Arnie can afford to fix it up. Dennis can see it for what it is but he cant make his pal Arnie see the wood for the trees. But Arnie buys it anyway. Because when Arnie looks at this particular Plymouth he doesn't see what everyone else sees. He sees a stud bucket on wheels. He sees success. He sees easy living. He sees everything he has ever wanted without ever realising he wanted it. In other words, the devil has come to Libertyville and he has set his sights on Arnold Cunningham's soul as his first possession.
Stephen King has always been a delight to read. In CHRISTINE, his writing is suspenseful, compelling and at times down right addictive. Given that the book was written back in the 1980s it still holds up remarkably well today. At times, CHRISTINE is shocking, but in a good way. You switch on the kindle (or open your book) and see an innocent and innocuous looking chapter that (so my kindle tells me) will take me 15 minutes to read but once you read this chapter you are faced with the choice of re-reading it for the simple joy of it, or rushing straight on to the next chapter even though it is a work day and it is well past your bed time. Personally, i tend to re-read them. His "shocking" chapters are classic Stephen King gore fests, which are gruesome, highly enjoyable rides of absolute terror and completely unexpected. Hence the shock factor. They can also be quite moving and emotional once your heart beat and blood pressure drop back to normal levels. And also once you have regained your grip on reality and your own sanity.
Seriously, reading CHRISTINE is like attending a master class in writing sophisticated horror fiction. As always with Mr King, his characterisation stands out like a lighthouse on full power being pelted by driving rain and heavy fog. His plot is sufficiently complicated and complex that the book never seems long despite its 746 pages. I have already mentioned its gore factor, the shocks and the unremitting terror in the second half. The only thing missing is a happy ending but if we had one of these we can't really say it is a horror novel, can we? But I shall answer that question when I have read the final page. But for now, I hereby award CHRISTINE by Stephen King a mandatory five stars out of five.
And so to the ending. The ending to this novel is perfect. It is brilliant, shocking and yet, heartbreakingly sad. But what else would we expect from the Master?