I know, it's shameful that I've been a King fan for 20 years and never read this one, even though I've read most everything else of his twice or more. Finally, at long last I took the time to read it. I had tried to read it once before when I was like 10 maybe, but I just couldn't get into it. My step-brother and I were also huge into the old horror movies back then and had seen a few King-based movies already, so we rented this one, and I'm pretty sure I dozed off somewhere along the line. So I just kind of put it away with the vow to try again when I was older, maybe it would be better. At long last it was BotM over in the Stephen King Fans
group, and it seemed like as good a time as any.
I don't think I was expecting it to be like a ghost story. I think I was expecting the car to be possessed by a demon or something other-wordly, not a ghost. It was cool though. LeBay was a mean-ass mofo, and a pretty good villain. I liked how I learned about him from the stories from his brother, and the other people who knew him. The pieces came together slowly, but I didn't mind. As for Dennis, I'm kind of on the fence. He was likable enough, but I didn't really feel a good connection to him, even with the first-person narrative. I for sure didn't like how he moved in on Leigh, knowing it was wrong all the while. Fate, or unavoidable, or whatever, that took him down some pegs in my eyes. That went for Leigh as well. I liked her a lot at first, how she saw the good stuff in Arnie, and being the first girl who ever did. I liked how she was good for him. But then she didn't put up much fight to the pull between her and Dennis. Arnie... he made me conflicted too. In the beginning, and through Dennis' memories, I liked him, I thought he was a good dude. Of course, Christine and LeBay get ahold of him, and he changes, and a lot of the time I wanted to punch him in the mouth. Even though I knew it was the car and stuff making him behave that way, he still made me mad.
As for the horror stuff, sure it was creepy enough. I liked how the car was so menacing, and especially when she went after the 'shitters' who had done her/Arnie/LeBay wrong. Those parts, while a bit crazy, were fun. The chase with Buddy Repperton ending in the big smash, and Will Darnell's horrid end were highlights. Even though with Darnell, I felt kind of sorry for him. Even though he wasn't really a good guy, I had a odd sort of liking for him, just a little. The last quarter of the book was where it really got hard to put down. I was tearing through the final showdown as fast as I could. It was tense as all get out. I wasn't sure who was going to live, who was going to die. The close-up chapters were alright, but not exactly satisfying. Not really a happy ending in any way. Though I had to kind of grin a bit at the hinting that Christine wasn't done yet, despite being smashed and crushed and cubed. Not that I want King to do a sequel or anything, no thanks. I liked it though.
I'm really glad I finally read it. I probably won't re-read it any time soon, but I might one day. I know definitely I want to try watching the movie again though :)