A stranger drives into a filling station and leaves the attendant to pump the gas while he goes to the bathroom. But he doesn't come back, and so the police have to come and end up taking the car back to their station. There's quite a lot that seems strange about the car: the steering wheel doesn't seem to work, and the exhaust is made out of what looks like glass. But it soon becomes obvious that there's more wrong with it than that; in fact it seems that the car may be the gateway to another world, through which some pretty nightmarish things can appear.
The story is told in the space of an afternoon, to Ned, who's father was a member of the police troop until he'd been killed in a road accident. Ned is looking for answers, and so between them, the others tell him of the secret of the car that they've kept hidden in a shed for the last twenty or so years.
The recurring themes in the book is that there are no "answers" to Ned's questions, and that life goes on despite the weird happenings in the shed. I think this worked well: there are other King books I can think of where he ruins it at the end by explaining the source of something evil, and it's a bit of a let-down (Tommyknockers, It, Insomnia). Although we start to glimpse what the car might be, it's never fully explained, and that's how it should be.
A fairly long book, and very slow paced, but always readable. Not quite as tense and gripping as other King, but well worth the read.
Completed : 03-Feb-2005 (audiobook)