The story begins in western Pennsylvania in 1979, when a mysterious figure parks a vintage Buick Roadmaster at a local gas station, then disappears forever. The police discover that the Buick isn’t a car at all but rather a Buick-shaped enigma: self-healing; impregnable to dents, dirt, and scratches; composed of unidentifiable materials; and containing a completely nonfunctional engine. Confronted with a mystery of unprecedented proportions, the troopers of Barracks D claim the Buick for themselves and spend 20 years attempting to understand its nature, purpose, and provenance.
Over the years, the Buick is the site of a number of inexplicable occurrences, from occasional blinding “lightquakes” to more sinister happenings that suggest this alien object is a doorway to another dimension. King recounts the most dramatic of these with an intensity and attention to detail that evoke a primordial sense of terror, awe, and revulsion. Through it all, and despite the obsessive fascination of those around it, the Buick remains an impregnable mystery. And that, of course, is very much the point. The world, King tells us, rarely stops to explain itself. From a Buick 8 is one of King’s best, mostly tightly focused novels since The Green Mile . With great narrative economy, it encompasses 25 years in the interconnected lives of a diverse group of characters, and its unmistakable, deeply familiar voice is as haunting and engaging as ever. On the evidence at hand, it’s clear that King continues to command the hypnotic power that has made him one of the dominant figures in modern popular culture.