BOOKS: Christine: A Tale of Nerd, Love and Steel
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Most everyone can remember their first car whether they rebuilt it, saved hard to buy it, or were fortune enough to be gifted their first set of wheels.
It was at the age of sixteen when my grandfather gifted me his 1989 Cadillac Eldorado after he purchased the new year Seville. That Eldorado was a beautiful piece of machinery, powerful and charged by its large V8 engine. All around me I had one and half tons of sheer, badass metal keeping me safe. I had electronic recline in the seats and the best part was a hint of smoked tobacco that hung around giving the Caddy an older, more regal quality. That car took me where ever I wanted to go. I would drive that car for hours, the electric odometer ticking off the miles like a digital clock.
"Come on, big guy. Let’s go for a ride."
Published back in 1983, Christine is a novel that gives back to car enthusiasts from all wakes of life. From the way King talks about Darnell's Garage, you get a sense of being there, standing on the oil stained concrete floors while a mix of cigarette smoke and exhaust fill the air. Christine is the brilliantly crafted story of Arnie Cunningham, a bullied teen who finds acceptance with his newly purchased vehicle, though others are quick to tear the car down figuratively and literally. But Arnie's car is no normal car and shortly after the previous owners passing, the car a red 1958 Plymouth Fury becomes possessed by the soul of a demon of a man named Roland LeBay.
In the 1980s Stephen King, much like he is now, was a hot commodity and before Christine was even published, a movie was already in the works. Released in the same year, John Carpenter's Christine told much of the same story the novel did but not without a few changes here and there. The movie never became a hit and reviews were meh but the film would become a cult classic much like the novel. It's not the most coveted of King's works by fans but it is regarded as a great read nonetheless.