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For twenty years the officers in Pennsylvania State Police Barracks have kept a secret in Shed B. A vintage Buick which lures the troopers to come and take a look. Now young Ned Wilcox, son of the recently deceased officer Curt, has started hanging around the Barracks. One day he can't resist peeking through the windows. And it's time to share the secret. So the veteran troopers sit Ned down on the smoking bench and tell him every skin-curdling detail - from the Buick's arrival to the terrifying light-shows and what it sucks in and breathes out. For the Buick is a conduit to another world. As King puts it, "when we confront the deep and authentic unknown, we glimpse that place where our familiar universe stops".

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340770696
ISBN-10: 0340770694
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 161mm x 38mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 28-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Stephen King rarely disappoints his readers and this is no exception. Since 1979, when state troopers Curt Wilcox and his partner were called to investigate the disappearance of a driver from a gas station, a curious vintage Buick has been kept hidden in a shed within the Pennsylvania State Police barracks. Rumours about the car and its true nature have long intrigued police and locals alike, but few know the truth. Twenty years after the discovery of the Buick, Curt dies and his teenage son Ned takes to hanging around the police barracks mourning his father. One day Ned sneaks a look through the windows of the shed containing the car, and the veteran troopers decide to share with him the Buick's strange history. As the men reveal what they know, Ned learns that the vehicle that his father brought in was no ordinary car, but something far stranger. King has crafted an enthralling, eerie tale. Like all the best horror writers, he holds the supernatural elements of the story within the framework of the mundane and everyday, making the gradual revelations about the mysterious car all the more effective. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Why does King (Dreamcatcher, 2001, etc.) write such gross stuff ("I have the heart of a small boy . . . and I keep it in a jar on my desk")? His latest is less gross-out than police procedural. A strange "man" in a black coat and hat pulls up to a nearly deserted gas station in rural western Pennsylvania in a weird Buick 8 Roadmaster and, while his tank is being filled, disappears behind the station. Troopers come and move the Buick to Shed B out behind their precinct house. Why? Because the car is only a poor simulation of a car: the battery's not hooked up, the dashboard is stage-dressing, and most of the car seems made of unknown materials. Then the vehicle starts to make local earthquakes and gives off a purple light that outlines the nails in the shed walls. All this began 20 years ago, and the troopers have watched the car go through otherworldly shifts: it gives birth to a big batlike thing; a sofa-sized fish; unfamiliar green beetles; a lilylike plant; and it has sucked one trooper into its trunk, teleporting him God knows where. Then a girl-battering tattooed kid gets sucked in. Lead investigator is Trooper Curtis Wilcox, who dissects the strange bat and finds egglike one-eyed baby bats inside. This year, Curtis Wilcox has been killed on the highway after hailing a tractor-trailer, and now his teenaged son Ned wants the lowdown on the station's cover-up about the Buick 8. The novel gives the history of the car-or would that it did. Instead of following it's fairly gripping premise, King stuffs his tale with endless police procedure and some of the most truly dull characters this side of a 1930s Soviet proletariat play. The writing's not bottom drawer, but this is truly a miscalculation after the emotional wonders of The Green Mile, Hearts in Atlantis and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Seven-tenths filler, three-tenths story. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Stephen King

Stephen King is the bestselling author of more than thirty books of which the most recent are HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, DREAMCATCHER and his non-fiction book ON WRITING. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, in Bangor, Maine.

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