A few days ago we had a book about traveling along country roads on a motorcycle. If motorcycles are not your thing, here’s a killer car for your reading pleasure. Christine, the killer car, is one of my favorite villains from Stephen King’s novels, in part because I had not expected to be drawn in by such a story. I am not a ‘car-person’, and when I picked up this book I expected to be bored, and I expected this to be the sort of book written by a guy, for guys.
As a kid, my name (Jamie) always led to my being mistaken for a boy. When my mom enrolled me in a kids’ book club that sent a book every few weeks, that book club mistakenly registered me as a boy thanks to my having a gender ambiguous name. My mom never fixed the error, so for the year I was getting books from them, that book club sent me books written for boys. I read them, and as a tom-boy I probably liked them a lot more than the ‘girl’ books, but I always felt like an outsider, or maybe a spy, quietly peering into the stuff the ‘other’ side was reading. I expected Christine to be the grown-up version of that childhood reading experience.
Well, this book surprised me by showing a lot more than just the guy’s side of car-obsession. In fact, Stephen King seems to be channeling a bit of the ‘girls’ side, exploring the frustration and concern that Christine’s owner’s friends have about his obsession, and in this case making their concerns more than justified. This book also delves into the reasons why young men become so obsessed with cars, and what they get from this popular obsessive hobby that they aren’t getting otherwise. On the surface Christine is a book about a killer car, but underneath there is a lot more going on.