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Publisher's Summary

The state police of Troop D in rural Pennsylvania have kept a secret in Shed B out back of the barracks ever since 1979, when Troopers Ennis Rafferty and Curtis Wilcox answered a call from a gas station just down the road and came back with an abandoned Buick Roadmaster. Curt Wilcox knew old cars, and he knew immediately that this one was...wrong, just wrong. A few hours later, when Rafferty vanished, Wilcox and his fellow troopers knew the car was worse than dangerous.

Curt's avid curiosity took the lead, and they investigated as best they could, as much as they dared. Over the years, the troop absorbed the mystery as part of the background to their work, the Buick 8 sitting out there like a still-life painting that breathes - inhaling a little bit of this world, exhaling a little bit of whatever world it came from.

In the fall of 2001, a few months after Curt Wilcox is killed in a gruesome auto accident, his 18-year-old boy, Ned, starts coming by the barracks. Sandy Dearborn, Sergeant Commanding, knows it's the boy's way of holding onto his father, and Ned is allowed to become part of the Troop D family. One day he looks in the window of Shed B and discovers the family secret. Like his father, Ned wants answers...

From a Buick 8 is an audiobook about our fascination with deadly things, about our insistence on answers when there are none, about terror and courage in the face of the unknowable.

©2002 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved (P)2002 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Nearly flawless and one terrific entertainment." (Publishers Weekly) "A wonderful example of how much King's plotting skills and literary finesse have matured over his long career. And, most of all, it's a darn creepy book." (

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  • Overall
  • J M
  • Marietta, GA, USA
  • 10-18-03

Essence of Stephen King

Like all of King's books, this one is about memory and the psychology of the subconscious. It's about getting inside the heads of the characters and seeing what rattles around. This is about a boy who losses his father and finds a new family in the men who had shared a secret with his dad. The decision to use multiple actors fits the style of the book perfectly, and makes the structure of the book easy to follow, even though it has multiple narrators and spans 25 years. To specifically address the complaint that the book doesn't go anywhere, maybe those folks missed one of the main points of the book; the repudiation of the "childish insistence that the story must have an ending, and that the ending must hold some kind of answer." As for lack of action, I disagree strongly. Most of the "action" in any Stephen King book is actually the tension around some event that he's already told you is coming, and he does a masterful job in this, as usual. He does an amazing job of keeping the tension building for long stretches of time, without any break or chance for release. The only reason that I can come up with for why some people didn't like this book is the fact that there are parts that made me truly uncomfortable. And this wasn't the supernatural "horror" stuff, it was some of the harsh realities of police work and life.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great People Story

If you're looking for a story that's big on non-stop action, or in which someone dies a gruesome death in the first 10 pages - this AIN'T it. If you're looking for something with great character development - people that you can empathize with: a story basically about how life goes on, regardless of how strange things get some times - this is definitely it. Not typical King, but a great read nonetheless.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • JR
  • 01-23-03

A different King story.

This is not the classic Steven King horror action story but it has great characters. I think that the narration style is one of the best I have heard. The story is told by several different characters and therefore narrated by several different actors. This makes the story work better than if you read it.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lanie
  • Natick, MA, USA
  • 04-19-09

Entertaining with great performances

I've been a Stephen King reader since 1979 (I was about 9 years old then) and I've enjoyed his books for years. This audiobook was such a pleasure to listen to. I loved hearing the different characters by such talented actors and the story really came alive for me. The overall tone of this story, since it's a "memory" has a nice quality to it, and I loved how Sandy really came to learn something from the experience and the memory of Ned's father - the father and son relationship being a good thing is not something you read about very often. I was not happy when the story ended but I liked everything about the story - the characters, narrative, the relationships and how everyone had come full circle at the end. Worth every penny!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peggy
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 05-29-03

Wow! Great Book!

I found myself listening to this story over and over. It keeps getting better and better each I hear it. The details bring it to life. I would never believed that a car story would be more than a another "Christine move". Boy, am I glad that liked the author's name enough to buy this one. What I would have missed! This is money well spent! I am in love with audio books because of this story. I can't wait to buy more books by this arthur!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • Santa Rosa, CA, USA
  • 05-29-05

A surprisingly enjoyable King novel

I never write reviews of books, but I had to after seeing that only negative reviews have been posted on Buick 8 so far. I guess I can understand why some people found this boring, but I am appalled to see that no one has disagreed yet.

I found Buick 8 to be a very human, very engrossing and unique tale. Yet again King takes a premise that cannot even be described (without sounding stupid) and makes it utterly believable, and at times terrifying. I respectfully disagree with the other reviewers, if you are a Stephen King fan, give Buick 8 a chance.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stanley
  • Davenport, OK, United States
  • 12-06-05

Great Book

I am an Over the road truck driver, and had the chance to read this book while home on vacation. I loved the book so much I got it in Audio format and listened while driving from Albany NY to Kent, Wa. I was able to pick up more on the audio format from the book than when I read it.

this is another great book from Stephen King. a good book to listen to and keep you wanting to hear how the story ends.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The World According to King

I almost passed over this little gem after reading some of the other reviews. Yes, it is a bit slower than many of his other books, so if you are looking for trademark King terror, you won't find it here. What you will find is a thought-provoking bit of King philosophy that is both surprising and satisfying. If you can stick around for the last few chapters, you won't be disappointed.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

From A Buick 8

"From a Buick 8" is written in my favorite King style... nostalgic, capturing from page one, and with a story line that has not been done before.

As always, the reader will be in the Stephen King vacuum just minutes after the story begins, and quickly sucked up into his character's world.

I often have read great books, and am sorry when they end. This novel made me wish I hadn't started it yet.

I passed this one by somehow a long time ago. So glad I found my way back to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Back to the Stephen King I Knew & Loved

After having a series of "strange" even for King like "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon," and "Rose Madder," which I didn't like too well, I was growing discontent with King's stories and didn't know what to expect from this one. When I was listening to "On Writing," he talked about how he got the idea to write this book, and I was intruiged.

This book didn't disappoint. It was back to the old-style of Stephen King - spooky, creepy...made me want to keep hearing more and more. I enjoyed it so much I passed it along to my 13 year old son, who couldn't stop listening to it either.

I enjoyed getting lost in the characters and the storyline, and was glad Stephen King came back to what he was a master at doing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful