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From A Buick 8 (2003)
Fiction Review by The Mortician

From A Buick 8 (2003) The latest horror novel (and allegedly last) from Stephen King is pretty enjoyable. Due to economics, I had to wait and pick it up in paperback and it was worth the wait...sort of.The plot deals with the titular Buick 8 in a small Pittsburgh town. The owner drives into a gas station, walks out back, and disappears forever. Troopers impound the car, which has very odd and otherworldly qualities (like an engine that can't possibly work).Soon, otherworldly creatures start to materialize from the trunk, only to die shortly after hitting our 'air.'
The Troopers decide to keep the car in 'Shed B' behind their station, and the story interweaves police characters past and present in with the car. There's a big focus on a Trooper who gets killed in the line of duty (who was obsessed with the car) and his son, who sort of follows his footsteps when he graduates high school.The characters are real and emotional, the back story is believable and fine. I thought the ending kind of wound things up nicely in a GREEN MILE sort of way.The big trouble is...the MONSTERS FROM THE CAR. While King's suspense writing skills are in fine form and you want to turn the pages, in restrospect, virtually NOTHING HAPPENS in this area. A lot is left to the imagination but too much isn't. Bat-looking creatures, lizard-looking creatures, beetles, and even a humanoid thing come through. In one thoroughly disgusting scene, the humanoid figure is sadly axed by Troopers, ala EVIL DEAD. Another 'autopsy scene' the Troopers engage in is where King 'goes for the gross-out,' a pretty routine trick he's used over the last thirty years. There's a nice tie-in to THE BLACK HOUSE/TALISMAN world if you catch it, though this was totally unnecessary---I think leaving the alternate world more of a total mystery would have been better, though readers not familiar with that world won't notice.FROM A BUICK 8 is a good, but kind of disappointing read. Again, I don't know exactly what I was expecting with the creatures and all, the situation did stick with me for days after, but I can't help but feel I was a bit ripped off in that area. They come, they melt. It's like the Cenobites from Barker's world coming and wreaking no havok.Word to movie producers: DO NOT MAKE THIS A FILM. The tone and atmosphere of the book work fine, but trying to make this into a scary romp where the monsters don't do anything would be impossible and BORING. What makes a pretty decent read DOES NOT always translate to celluloid well.If you like a few gross outs, some suspense, and a character-driven piece, definitely pick a copy of FROM A BUICK 8 up. Die-hard King fanatics should not be disappointed...maybe a little baffled at times...but not disappointed.
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