Someone in the newsroom recently asked me what my favorite Stephen King book was and, with only slight hesitation, I responded, “‘Christine,’ but mostly for nostalgic reasons.”
I’m an avid reader, and as I continue to make my way through King’s extensive backlist I find my top five favorite books by him constantly changing except for one. “Christine” holds the title of my all-time favorite, and I can thank my dad for that. This book brings back so many memories that I formed before I opened the cover and cracked the spine of the behemoth of a book.
This story about a killer car is one of King’s best and I stand by my opinion that it is a solid story with good characters, good writing and a good ending (which doesn’t happen often with King, might I add), but I would be lying if I didn’t say there is something about it that makes me love it a little more than all the others.
I grew up surrounded by classic cars.
I spent my weekends at car shows, our family vacations in Tennessee going to the Shades of the Past and the Rod Run and even some holiday breaks in a garage helping my dad clean on a beautiful blue ’68 Chevrolet Camaro.
I think that is where my love for classic cars started. It was around the same time I discovered my love for books, too.
My dad would always say the same thing: “If you put water on that car, she’ll rust. We might as well call her Christine.”
It felt like there were always some new problems coming up with the car that he would have to work out. The phrase stuck out in my mind, and I couldn’t call her by the name he had given her.
To me, she was Christine.
At the time, I had never seen the 1983 classic adaptation of King’s novel — and I still haven’t — but I have read the book.
And let me just say, it took me on an adventure.
“Christine” was my favorite book of 2018 — it somehow managed to make every other book I read that year insignificant. I didn’t even realize it was happening until I got to the end of the year and realized nothing compared to how I felt for this story.
My favorite King book is about a killer car and the owner who fell in love with it, but it’s more than that. “Christine” reminds me of the time in a garage or sitting beside my dad at car shows. It reminds me of where I first started to fall in love with photography; I would take a pink point-and-shoot camera down lines of cars, snapping photos of all the ones I liked.
It reminds me of my childhood and the best parts of growing up.
My love for this story comes down to two things: It is a great story with characters I love and miss reading about; and it also reminds me of my dad, who has been the hero of my story my entire life.