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Christine

From Academic Kids

Christine is the title of a horror novel by Stephen King. It tells the story of an antique automobile apparently possessed by supernatural forces.

In 1983, a movie version of Christine which stars Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, and Harry Dean Stanton was released to theaters, directed by John Carpenter.

The story revolves around teenage nerd Arnie Cunningham and his 1958 Plymouth Fury, Christine. The story is set in Libertyville (supposedly a suburb of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania between the summer of 1978 and the spring of 1979. The story is mostly written in first person, with Dennis Guilder, Arnie's best and only friend, narrating. Other parts of the story are written in omniscent third person style.

Arnie Cunningham buys the broken-down car from a weird geriatric. named Roland LeBay. Almost everyone takes an instant dislike to the car, including Dennis. Bullies from Arnie's high school tease him even more about the ugly old car and even vandalize it.

Arnie is drawn to Christine, and he fights for her. His life has changed since he bought the car. As he restores the automobile, he becomes withdrawn, yet more confident and self-assured. He becomes humorless and cynical. Dennis is scared of these changes, and of Christine's changes. The car is repaired haphazardly, and not all of the repairs seem to be done by Arnie. Also, Arnie's appearance (his normally poor complexion) improves in tandem with Christine's. Dennis decides to do some investigating and strikes up a friendship with the weird geriatric, Roland LeBay's brother, George. Dennis learns of Roland's past destructive and violent behavior, and realizes that much of Arnie's new personality is really Roland's.

When Arnie is almost finished restoring Christine, Leigh Cabot transfers to his high school. Leigh is instantly popular and regarded as the most beautiful girl in school. It is a surprise to everyone when she decides to go out with Arnie. While on a date with Arnie, Leigh almost chokes to death on a hamburger. Leigh is certain that Christine was behind it after the car's doors locked to prevent Arnie or anybody else from saving her. Leigh feels as though she is competing with Christine for Arnie's affection.

Next, mysterious murders occur in Libertyville. A high-school thug is run down on the outskirts of town. More bullies die. Others who were hostile to Arnie or Christine turn up dead. The police investigate the murders and become suspicious of Arnie. However, Arnie has an alibi for each of the murders.

Dennis and Leigh become suspicious not of Arnie, but of Christine. They try to find out as much as they can about the car and its previous owner. As their suspicions grow, they try to destroy the supernatural forces that appear to be in control of Christine and Arnie.

In the book, King never makes it quite clear as to whether Christine is evil or if it's Roland LeBay possessing her. On one hand it is clear that Roland's ghost is driving her during her climatic battle with Dennis and Leigh. But while Dennis is talking with Roland's brother, there are hints to Christine's past that indicate that she may have been bad all along and been a bad influence on Roland (both Roland's wife and daughter died in the car). In the movie, all mystery is taken away when Christine tries to murder someone while on the assembly line. The movie also removes the possession plotline, making it so Christine is not possessed but simply an evil car.

In the early 1990's, Richard Earle campaigned a late 50's Plymouth Pro Modified in the IHRA named Christine, with Paul Strommen behind the wheel. The car had a large engine with nitrous oxide injection, helping the car to run in the mid to low seven second range at 185 miles per hour.

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ISBN numbers

fr:Christine

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