I usually enjoy James Smythe's posts at theguardian, "rereading Stpehen King." Segment 15 is a review of the novel Christine.
I also read this book recently, and loved it! (My CHRISTINE JOURNAL is HERE) Smythe is not so enthusiastic about Christine, writing, "I suspect it was the first time his fans felt cheated." He rightly latches on to the books overarching problem, the structure. Smythe calls it a "mess." And it is! The book jumps from first person to third person to first person. To me it's an acceptable mess, but Smythe says it is "jarring" and "clumsy."
King said he wrote himself into a corner with Dennis the narrator getting injured. It would seem then that either 1. Dennis should not get injured! or, 2. That King should start over and rewrite the whole thing in third person. I don't understand why he didn't just rewrite the book. He loves to rewrite!
Smythe also points out, "Come the end of the novel, it's still not clear who the third-person narrator is, or how Dennis knows what it reported." He finds both narrations "hollow." I think that's crazy talk! Christine is a pretty passionate novel. When that car is in kill mode, and chasing people down -- wow! I loved that stuff. And there was tension with Arnie and his parents -- first love -- rock and roll. It was certainly not hollow.
Smythe doesn't like the characters in Christine, finding them flat and underdeveloped. I noted this in my final journal entry:
The characters in Christine work; but they aren't King's best. Lea's scenes are almost painful. She's very wooden; cardboard. Some of the best scenes are with Arnie and his parents. Fights spiral out of control as the family comes unglued. King gives us a picture of a healthy family environment through the eyes of Dennis, who's parents both love and trust him.
Of course, my favorite character is Christine. She has a life of her own, and some pretty awesome abilities. We're talking super-hero stuff. In particular, her ability to regenerate makes her a formidable foe.the full article is at www.guardian.co.uk
I have the final death count at. . . HERE