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Friday, December 29, 2017
FROM a BUICK 8 (audiobook) by Stephen King
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in 2002
Read by James Rebhorn, Bruce Davison, Becky Ann Baker, Peter Gerety, Fred Sanders, Stephen Tobolowsky
Duration: 13 hours, 21 minutes
Troop D is the name for the troopers in a Pennsylvania State Police post in western Pennsylvania. They are a close-knit bunch, as you would expect. But, it's not just because of their shared struggles as police officers - they share a secret and it's hidden in a shed behind their post station.
In that shed is a 1953 Buick Roadmaster - but it's not any kind of Buick that was ever built in Detroit. It was left behind at a gas station when its driver stepped out of the car, told the attendant that the oil level was fine, headed towards the bathroom and then literally disappeared.
The car is weird. In fact, it really isn't a car. It can't actually drive. It's almost like someone who didn't understand the mechanics behind a car tried to build one. But, that's not the problem - the problem is that it pulses - it pulses deep sounds that people hear on a subconscious level and it calls them...
From a Buick 8 is, mostly, a series of stories told to the son of a deceased state trooper about his dad's investigations into the car. In that sense, it is a lot of sitting around on the "smoker's bench" behind the station looking at the shed across the parking lot and talking. The stories are strange and rather repetitive, but King's strength in developing believable characters shines throughout.
The audio version was read by 6 different voice actors, each taking a turn (or several turns) at telling stories about the car. They do a great job, as they should since each of them are actors that you recognize from television and movies, even if you don't actually know their names. I really liked that fact that the voice of the original driver of the car sounded exactly like that of Flagg from the audio version of The Eyes of the Dragon.
However, the book suffered from way too much mood-setting and philosophizing and not enough actual action. It isn't until the listener is more than 10 hours into the book that the story actually gets some real "current day" action. I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: From a Buick 8 by Stephen King.