I have a lot of favorite books. From Boy's Life to Crazy Love to Son of the Endless Night and beyond. I've been reading a long time, and I've loved countless books in my life. I don't think it's possible, however, for anyone to love a book more than I love Stephen King's Christine.

When I think of Christine, my mind doesn't go straight to a killer car. I think of the agony of growing up. I think of being on the cusp of adulthood. I think of childhood friends.

I think about Arnie Cunningham. A bright young man with endless potential. A gawky, painfully shy, nervous kid who isn't a whole lot different than I was. Ridiculed at school, dumped on at home. A good kid who thinks he is ugly and worthless.

I think of Dennis Guilder cruising home late one summer night. Rock songs on the radio, driving toward his future and away from his childhood. A time of wonder and terror. At that age most people can't wait to be an adult, yet feel heartbroken at leaving behind the safety and innocence of youth.

I think of forces beyond control or understanding tearing apart best friends. Permanent changes that hurt more than you believe you can bear.

The latter is happening to me right now. It's a frustrating, helpless feeling.

I wonder if we ever really grow up. I know some people do. They turn bitter and lose the ability to see enchantment beyond the veil of our normal senses.

I was at Authorcon last weekend. Horror people never really seem to grow up. We're all big kids, screaming at the inevitable horrors of the world. Goofy grins and lots of laughter. I see it in the face of Stephen King. It's there in Grady Hendrix and Clay McLeod Chapman and Tom Monteleone. I saw it in the faces of readers excited to buy scary books from my vendor's table. Books that keep the magic alive in our hearts, even as our bodies wither and age.

Christine has all of that. Wonder, sorcery, love, terror, and loyalty. The things that prevent the mundane details and harsh realities of life from spoiling our hearts.

Of course it has that killer car too, because King is a big kid who thinks killer cars are really cool. That's what I love about Stephen King, and why I continue to read and re-read him. It's also why I have stayed a horror fan for over fifty years.

Written by Mark Sieber

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