Jan 18, 2012

Review | Christine by Stephen King

Title: Christine
Author: Stephen King
Series: None
Publication: 09.07.2004 by Signet (first published 1981)
Source: Library
Challenge: None

Summary: It was love at first sight.

Just another lovers' triangle, you say? Not quite. There's a fourth here, the second lady, the dark lady. "Cars are girls," Leigh Cabot says, and the dark force in Stephen King's new novel is a 1958 Plymouth named Christine.

She is no ordinary car, this white-over-red two-toned survivor of a time when high-test gasoline was priced at a quarter a gallon and speedometers were calibrated all the way up to a hundred and twenty miles an hour...a time when rock and roll in all its first crude power ruled America...a time when speed was king.

Arnie Cunningham is determined to have Christine at any price, and little by little, Dennis and Leigh begin to suspect that the price of his growing obsession may be terrifyingly high, its result blackly evil. As Arnie sets feverishly to work on the seemingly hopeless job of resorting Christine, Christine begins to develop a terrible life of her own. Or is that only imagination? Dennis continues to hope so...and then people begin to die on Libertyville's dark suburban streets and roads...and the time comes when Dennis can no longer deny the horrifying truth: Christine is alive.

Thoughts: This was officially my first Stephen King novel. I am proud of myself for getting through this. I listened to it, yes. It took me three check out's at the library to get through the whole thing and it took me months. Was it worth it? Oh, yes. Stephen King is popularly known for being awesome. He has a bunch of books and is really famous and everything. Everyone has heard of him. So obviously, I needed to read at least one of his novels in my life. And I am glad I did.

What I liked:

• Christine
 is a creepy book: Really, I wasn't sure what to expect when reading this type of horror novel, but I am usually not scared easily when it comes to books. But this book, although not really scary, is really creepy. It takes about half of the book before things really start getting spooky and even though we all know what Christine is capable of, I was horrified by how graphic the killing scenes were. It made me freak out a bit and at night I thought about it once or twice while laying in the dark.

• The characters: Dennis was my favorite character pretty much and Arnie's best friend. He narrates the whole book and although he is missing from a chunk of it, he is probably the best character to describe what happens throughout the story. He is there from beginning to end, and sees it all. I instantly liked Dennis because of his relationship with Arnie. They have best friends all their lives and it was obvious that even though Dennis was slightly popular while Arnie was not, they were true friends that remained together.

Arnie, the main character of the book, is obsessed with Christine. He falls in love with her the moment he sees her and although his personality changes a lot throughout the book, I felt sorry for him and really wanted him to be okay. I know that what was happening to him was something he tried to fight, but couldn't.

Leigh, Arnie's parents, Dennis parents, and all the others (because there was a lot!) added a lot to the book and I never had trouble with keeping track of who was who. This is partly because they all had unique names, but each character was described with such detail that their differences were immediately notable.

• The writing: Stephen King's novels are long and so detailed, but I think that pretty much made Christine a great book. Some might think that there is way too much detail, but I don't think so. I enjoyed every word and am glad I got through the whole thing. It was definitely a lengthy read, but worth it.

What I didn't like:
• The ending: Christine has a this-is-the-end-but-not-really kind of ending where you are left wondering if there will ever be a second book or something. I couldn't decide if this was a good or bad thing, because in the end, I was sort of left with a creepy feeling that she's still out there ready to keep killing...

• The different POV: This changes constantly throughout the book, going from third to first, switching characters often. It didn't confuse me or anything, but I wish this would have remained consistent throughout the book instead of changing so much.

Overall: Christine was a great first book to read by a new author to me. Stephen King obviously knows what he is doing and wrote a fantastic book that I was captivated by. I was able to understand and connect with all the characters and couldn't stop listening to learn what would happen next. Very detailed and lengthy, Christine feels very real. I definitely recommend this to those who enjoy horror novels and King's novels.

About the author:
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.
Website | Amazon 

1 comment

  1. I've been reading christine for the past few weeks. As with you, its also my first king novel and I've really enjoyed it. I also thought that all the characters were very believable and I couldn't help but sympathise with the plight of arnie, dennis and leigh. Rolland d lebay was also a fantastic horror baddie - mysterious, nasty and evil. I thought the plot got a little repetitive towards the end (christine bumps off someone, arnie lays low, christine goes for someone else) but dennis and leigh betraying arnie added extra tension and interest later in the book. The way christine herself is described and 'brought to life' (by king and arnie!) is genius - a demon, killer car sounds like a daft idea but with king's magic touch, its a chilling read.