"From A Buick 8"

What a waste of time and money. It wasn’t the worse story I’ve read, but it didn’t leave me with the satisfied feeling I get from reading a good book. The story was like the Buick 8, something was not quite right about it. It would’ve been better as a short story.

I’ve got to agree with you, hillbilly queen. King’s last several books have seemed weird – well, more weird than is his norm, that is! What I really didn’t like and ended up skimming through were the grotesque descriptions. Between the descriptions in there and the ones in “Dreamcatcher,” I’m just about to be finished with King, except that I’m awaiting the publication of the next volume of the “Dark Tower” series. For some reason, his really vivid descriptions have just gone -too- far, too over the top, at least for me.

I had the same feeling about it, Hillbilly queen. Overall, it was a good read but it really felt like a short story painfully stretched out to novel length.
With the exception of “Bag of Bones” I’ve been pretty disappointed with his last few novels. “Everything Eventual” was alright–but then again, I think SK is more a master at the short story anyway.

Grotesque descriptions of what? Are you sure you’re thinking of the right King book?

I’ll agree about Dreamcatcher; it’s King’s worst book since The Tommyknockers, and the “shit-weasel” thing was completely unnecessary.

However, From a Buick 8 was a remarkably subtle novel, especially for King. I would say that, for the most part, it was a book almost completely devoid of the “grotesque descriptions” of his earlier books, such as Christine or Cujo. It’s a very different sort of book for King, but it’s also probably one of the best, most elegant books he’s written in a long time.

I wrote a review of Buick 8 about a week after I had read it, and it’s impressions remain:

Which reminds me… I have to see if the copy I lent to my old boss still exists… it seems to have been sucked into another dimension. :wink:

I really haven’t enjoyed King since . . . well, probably since *The Stand. * What happened to the richness of his writing? There was a distinctive King “flavor” that has been sadly lacking in all of his later novels.

What, like how he does this

  • (stupid crappy annoying) *

thing every other paragraph? I’m glad he stopped doing those

  • (driving me mad) *

crazy things.

At all the bookstores here it’s been cut from ~ 50 dollars to just over 10. I guess I know why now :).

Ugh. Same here.

I actually rather liked “From a Buick 8”. A good plot with a great cast of characters.

I think King is much more precise in his later work. In his earlier work he tended to go off on tangents that were not really needed to further the plot. These tangents, while fun to read, made for some really long books. “It” and “The Stand” come to mind.


I agree with the OP. I chucked it after about 100 pages. It was just dull. The last novel of his I liked was Hearts in Atlantis, though not nearly as much as The Shining or Dolores Claiborne. Does it bother anyone else that he uses and reuses the same Stephen King Stock Characters™ who all speak in the same predictable idiomatic slang?

Having said that, I know how ironic it is that my favorite book of his is On Writing. :slight_smile:

Well, keep in mind that King himself has implied that he doesn’t think some of his writing is up to his own standards. I know he was contractually obligated to crank out x number of books for a grillion or so dollars, but now that he’s fulfilled that obligation and finished writing the “Dark Tower” series, he’s going to really scale back on what he publishes. I’m hoping he’ll pop out an astounding novel every 4 or 5 years.

I liked “Buick 8” but I thought the gimmick at the end, about the character that died in the car crash, was just jerking the reader’s chain.

Shucks, I thought this thread was going to be about THE king’s song, “From a Buick 8.”

Yeah, I’m thinking of the right book. The descriptions of the … items that came from/through the Buick. They totally reminded me of the descriptions in “Dreamcatcher.” Those awful shit-weasels–there were parts of that book I just couldn’t read. :frowning: The strange thing is, the descriptions from the “Dark Tower” series don’t seem to bother me–and there are some really bizarre ones in there!

My take on the Buick was that it was some sort of transporter. Wish King had revealed something about the guy who “left” the Buick, though! Perhaps it was Randall Flagg…? :wink:

I don’t mind King changing his style of writing, I just wish I’d been more prepared for it.

And am I the only one who thinks the smell of cabbage and peppermint doesn’t sound too bad? :slight_smile:

He’s writing sober, dammit! That’s the friggin’ problem! :wink:


I just finished this the other day and didn’t care much for it either. In his “Note” at the end of the book, King says that he was trying for something different, a mystery where we never get any defiinite answers. His point, he says, is that not everything is knowable. So why then have Sandy’s glimpse into the vortex where he sees Lippy’s necklace and Ennis’s hat? It’s like King couldn’t trust us to follow along, so he violates his own intentions.

Avalonian’s review pretty much said it for me. I enjoyed it, and I’ll enjoy re-reading it when its time comes around again. Weird things happen in life; not everything gets wrapped up in a neat little bundle, all satisfactorily explained. I enjoyed the switches in narrative character too - each had their own ‘voice’. One of the King books I prefer, actually.

I really liked it and I’m surprised to see so many people didn’t. It reminded me of “Mrs Todd’s Shortcut” a bit, and I thought he was maybe revisiting that idea.

I really enjoyed the tension and mystery in the beginning of the book. I felt the end fizzled out and probably began to when items started coming out of the car. Not because items came out of the car necessarily, just the descriptions of them. As far as the grotesqueness of the dissection and other visuals, I felt it was more of a cheap ploy at grosssing out the reader, rather than adding much to the story. Didn’t King even say something about authors going for the gross-out?

Overall, I didn’t feel grossed out, but disappointed. I don’t consider the book a waste of time, because I felt the beginning of the book was pretty enthralling and I liked the whole idea behind the story. As Manatee said, parts of the ending, when not trying to be grisly, reminded me of an episode of Scooby Doo. Having things spelled out rather than giving the reader/observer some credit. I’m also tired of the faithful Fido getting killed in his books. Count me in as another reader looking forward to Wolves Of The Calla. I also plan on buying the rewritten version of The Gunslinger when it comes out.

I think the song you are probably referring to is actually From A Buick 6. Perhaps.