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One of his best books. Extremely scary and with an obvious, but good message.
We have (well the men anyway) all had girlfriends who make us ignore or old and dear friends, women who make us act dumb, who take over our life.
It happened to Arnie, but in his case it was a car.
After finding a wreck for sale at the side of the street he buys it and starts restoring it.
He does a good job, everyone says so, but the strange thing is that no-one ever sees him working on it, and the restorations are somewhat strange - half the front panel is replaced first, but you can't buy them in halves the only explanation is that something else is restoring this car.
As he spends more and more time with the car it starts to take over his life, right up until some high-school jocks trash it.
Revenge is needed, but is it Arnie or the car that takes the revenge?
A great story, well written in Stephen King's easy to read style as always. Scary.
If you are a King fan, or never read any of his books before , this is a good choice. But you might miss some sleep!
Stephen King is the Number 1 best-selling horror author of Christine, a novel about a seemingly possessed car that captures it's owner's mind and body. He has written many books including: IT, Carrie, Pet Sematary, The Tommy Knockers and Desperation.
All of his novels are written with the highest of detail and contain hour's worth of excitement and tension. Most of his books are very long (IT is a great example being well over 1000 pages long) and have exceptional plots and original ideas. If there was one author that I could recommend, it would be King!
Dennis Guilder is one of those guys that people admire; he plays for the school football team and gets cheerleader girlfriends. He drives his own car and has loving parents.
His best friend, Arnie Cunningham, however is the opposite; spotty, a chess geek, always being picked on etc etc...
Dennis and Arnie have been friends for many years and do almost everything together. But when Arnie spots an old run down car up for sale things begin to change.
Enter Christine. Christine is the name the owner chose for his dream car. Christine is always referred to as "She" never "It". Arnie has his heart set on this car but Dennis isn't so sure. She is beyond repair and the asking price is far too high! But Arnie insists, Arnie has fallen in Love...!
Bizarre things start occurring after Arnie becomes the proud owner of Christine. His spots start to fade and his personality seems to chop and change. He spends all his time restoring the car. He becomes obsessed!
It is when the vehicle related deaths start to happen that Dennis finds himself caught in too deep. What does Christine have to do with it all? How can she be involved? It's just a car right...?
A very noticeable feature of Christine is the vast references to songs and their lyrics. At the beginning of the novel there are a few pages of acknowledgements of all references used. Each chapter has a couple of lines of a song in reference to what's happening in the plot. Also there are times when music is playing or is being thought of throughout the novel. Although a nice little touch, I don't know hardly anything about 1950's-1970's music, and so couldn't quite get the full picture. I am sure there are many of you like myself, but don't worry, it doesn't really affect the story in the slightest!
Christine has a different structure to most Stephen King novels that I have come across. Usually he keeps you on the edge by swapping between perspectives, forcing you to wait to find out what happens next. This book is slightly different. The first third of the book is written in the eyes of Dennis as he is telling the story. The second third is the usual jumping between characters that is an essential property of King's writing. And the final section goes back to the eyes of Dennis. This is a rather unusual structure that I don't believe I have come across before.
So how does King keep you reading and on the edge? The answer is by drifting to another subject just when you find something important out. This system usually comes from swapping perspectives, but in the first person parts it is all in one perspective so therefore a much greater challenge to achieve. I personally prefer the different views of each character sections that King uses so often.
You are kept on the edge and wanting to read more because King is always dropping hints as to what is going to happen at some point in the story. He will craftily mention an important turn in the plot, and then change the story direction so that the reader will have to wait to find out what happens, letting the imagination run wild with ideas. This is one of King's tricks that work so effectively every time!
A problem I had with the structure of Christine was the way Dennis Guilder stops telling the story in the middle section and it changes to the other characters' experiences. I know what you are thinking; it is an excellent way to develop the plot and characters using this method. I couldn't agree more. But the reason it was a problem was that I wanted Dennis back! I know it sounds a bit strange but I really wanted to hear it from Dennis's point of view because I was so used to it! It is possibly that it is a deliberate ploy by Stephen King to make you want to read on as quickly as possible so you can get back to Dennis. If it is the case, it worked very well on me!
I must say that I was very emotional reading the Epilogue of Christine, but I don't know if it was the emotion I would have liked. I won't say too much as I don't wish to ruin the plot. I think I got a bit attached to the lead character, Dennis, and I was desperate during the final few pages to find out what happened.
It is quite probable that it was the intention of Stephen King to create this emotion so that the reader feels something and is still thinking after the book is finished and has been put down.
Christine is an enjoyable read from start to finish. It starts off a bit slow but the pace soon speeds up. The further you progress through the book the harder you will find it to put it down, with the final few chapters having to be read all at once!
The novel spans just fewer than 600 pages in the edition that I read which is a good length.
Stephen King is one of, if not THE, greatest horror writers around. Although Christine may not be his best masterpiece, it is still a highly enjoyable novel that really goes in-depth with character detail.
I would recommend to all King fans and horror fanatics.
You can pick this up from any good book store for £5.99, or alternatively copy what I do and just borrow it from the library for free! Bargain!
I hope I have helped your knowledge about Christine and played a part in the decision to buy or not : )
What can I say about "Christine"? I'm not really sure. And that surprises me. See I like to think of myself as an Ann Widecombe wannabe. You know...a person who has an opinion about everything and voices that opinion. But "Christine" really has me stumped. And I think Stephen King himself wasn't too sure about it and about how we the fans would take it. I think that's why the book and the movie were released on the same day. I remember the day well. (I come from America so I did experience this firsthand.) It was a Friday. The movie premiered at 7:00pm. The book hit the shelves around noon that same day. Now as a big fan of his, I always buy the books as soon as they come out. I also watch the movie as soon as it comes out. And it had always been my experience that the book preceeded the movie by quite some time. So you can see the predicament for us fans. Unless you're a very fast reader, and I do mean fast, you didn't get to do this. Not if you had to see the movie the day it came out. And I did have to see it. So I'm watching this movie about a car. A car that his pure evil. That's a bit more far-fetched than I'm used to. I really had to stretch my imagination for that. But once I found the attitude that ANYTHING is possible I thought I would be okay. But then came Christine's sidekick Arnie the super nerd. Arnie immediatley fell in love with Christine. And I do mean in love. They had the most bizaar love affair imaginable. Remember we are talking about a car. A thing that we are taught all our life is a lifeless, unfeeling object. So you do have to keep stretching your imagination. And you do have to keep telling yourself to have the attitude that anything is possible. I left the movie theater and went straight home and started the book. Now I am a fast reader so I stayed awake until the next afternoon reading "Christine" from cover to cove
r. The book offers little more to convince you that it could really happen. What it does provide that makes it good reading is scene detail and character detail in the way that only Stephen King can do. He puts enough of that kind of detail in the book that you almost begin to think that it is possible. But the rational side of me kept popping up and saying "No way! It's a car!!". Now that I've said all that I will tell you that as a Stephen King fan I do own both the book and the video. And if you are a fan of his, I do recommend that you read the book. If you haven't read him though, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a very stretchable imagination. I can't even put "Christine" into a category. It's not quite horror. But it's not comedy. It's not serious drama or action/adventure. I guess the best I can do is just call it "Unbelievable entertainment" and leave it at that.
Would you have ever thought that a 1958, scarlet and white Plymouth Fury could scare you? Me neither. Being a big fan of Stephen King, I was used to the REALLY scary stuff, and so I'll admit to feeling a little disappointed when I learned my new nightmares would be about a car. But obviously, with Stephen King, this is no ordinary car. "Christine" is set in a small American town and the main character, Arnie Cunningham, is a picked on, beaten up, bullied kid. A bit of a specky four-eyes with loads of spots, he's befriended by Dennis Guilder, who is athletic with a lot more street sense than Arnie, and so he watches out for him. Arnie takes a massive liking to a wrecked Plymouth Fury he's spotted, although Dennis sees all the drawbacks and the hard work. The car is broken down, dented, rusted, it's leather seats are cracked and broken and the windscreen's been blitzed. Arnie sees it in fully restored, shiny glory. Dennis tries to talk Arnie out of buying it from the weird owner, Roland LeBay, but he can't be dissuaded. He has to have the car. He wants it so badly he can hear the fifties music already singing out of the radio. Dennis senses something else. The car is evil. Arnie works long hard hours restoring the car, until it's taken over his life. And it literally takes over his life. Now the plot shall be yours to discover, and it's really worth a read. Stephen King is the undoubted master of horror stories, especially ones that go off at bizarre tangents. As I said previously, I didn't think for one moment that I would ever need to sleep with the lights on (Salem's Lot territory), but I did find the story getting to me. I never have managed to figure out just how he does it. How does he know how to hit the right spots? I would repeat to myself, "It's a car for goodness sake!" but it was buried deep in the psyche, and the mere sound of a car
quietly ticking over on it's own while warming up had me checking over my shoulder as I tried to walk nonchalantly along. The background in SK's story are as entertaining as the plot lines, and the well worked out relationship strategies are excellently written. Everything fits beautifully. The atmosphere, the music, the relationships between the main characters. I liked the book for many reasons. It proved me wrong for a start, I could indeed get scared by a car. He really gave the car a character, a tangible character, so strong you could almost smell the leather seats. And the air of menace that seems to float up from his pages so magnificently, hit exactly the same spot as Carrie, or Salem's Lot, or The Shining or The Stand. He gets right under your skin. And as bizarre as this may all seem to you, haven't you ever once harboured suspicions that your car just might misbehave on purpose?
I first read Christine when I was 11 years old, and have read it many times since. I would rate it as in my top ten favourite books of all time. it has everything, horror, cars, sex and mystery, but it also leaves you with a feeling of compassion for Arnie, as we can all see part of ourselves in there. Who wouldnt fall for the car? to see such a wonderful machine in such an unkempt condition, anyone would want to restore her back to her true glory. But she didnt need any help, once she had Arnie under her spell, she restoerd herself and he became her 'gopher'. She would stop at nothing to get him to herself, even trying to choke his girlfriend and murder his best freind. Anyway, I wont spoil the book for you, go out and pick up a copy and see for yourself, this is one of Kings best works ever
Arnie Cunningham is in love with his car. Christine, the car, is in complete control... King's story is long, satisfying, and surprisingly scary, given that the villain is merely an old car with pretensions. Although the teen-age characters are far too mature and articulate to be believable, the fact that they are 1970s kids dealing with a four-wheeled menace from the 1950s encourages us toaccept the situation: it's as if we're dealing with our callow former selves, and it feels right to see cynical experience triumph over mechanical efficiency. In every other respect this is a textbook example of the successful thriller, fully up to the standards set by King's previous books
If 'Salem's Lot (1975) is certainly King's take on Dracula, Christine (1983) is arguably King's take on Jaws. Christine is a 1958 Plymouth Fury -- a giant, streamlined monster roaming the asphalt creeks and rivers of a town called Libertyville. And she has teeth: Christine the Car is in some ways Christine the Shark -- and Christine the Tiger: Stephen King compares her to a sabre-tooth at one point in the narrative. But these comparisons, implicit or explicit, are almost inevitable: Christine is large, deadly, and malevolent. Sharks and tigers are the same, and all three hurt and kill human beings. And here is a central theme of King's book: that a power we believe firmly within our control is in fact outside it. Arnie Cunningham, the teenager who buys Christine, lives in Libertyville, and at first Christine seems to offer liberty, or liberation, to him: from bullying, from loneliness, from sexual inexperience. She offers, and supplies, this and then subjugates him to something far worse. It's an allegory (probably) of America's relationship with the car.