One might be tempted at first to compare Christine to Trucks, a short story by Stephen King in which vehicles also drive themselves. And to a point it is, but that is very much only a surface view of the story. Teenage love triangles (or should we say squares) set against the menacing backdrop of possession and murder, what’s not to enjoy about that?
I got some flack for my post about Sons of Anarchy in which I made the point that it was really a love story, and I will probably take more for making the same point here, but it is not a far stretch. In the very first paragraph of the Prologue, the point is made that this is a love story. It is a dark and tragic one, but a love story nonetheless. Without the car there would have likely been no relationship with Leigh, and without Leigh there would have been no betrayal and no final showdown. Or, I suppose, this would have been a vastly different story. It is the dark version of all the terrible teenage shows that play on the CW.
Now it might be the girl (no, not woman, girl) in me talking, but I found that the supernatural aspects of the story were the weakest part. Sure, a car that seems to drive itself and goes about murdering those who’ve done it wrong, is terrifying in thought. That it wasn’t the car itself, but it’s previous owner doing the driving and the killing almost seems like a cop out (something I hate to say of Mr. King, but it is true anyway). It would have been far more interesting had it been a ghost in the machine sort of thing – at least where we never get to see Roland LeBay.
One thing kept occurring to me as I read Christine. Am I alone in thinking that there was a certain theme in this story about the downside of consumerism? LeBay was obviously a hateful and homicidal person from his youngest years, only loving his car. A car? A hunk of metal and rubber and upholstery. What is that to the value of friendship and family? But that’s where the darkness comes in. We can all get to a point where we seem to care more for our possessions than for the things that should really matter. It is a dark, dismal, and in the case of this story, deadly fact.