"She had the smell of a brand new car, and that's just about the finest smell in the world, except maybe for pussy."
— Roland D. LeBay to Arnie Cunningham regarding the worst auto purchase in history. For both of them.
Christine is a 1983 novel by Stephen King that was also adapted into a feature film in the same year by John Carpenter. The basic premise is that Arnie Cunningham, most unpopular guy in a Pittsburgh area high school buys his first car, much like any other teenager the world over. The problem is that his car is extremely and psychotically in love with him. The novel details his transition from normal, if nerdy and unhappy, teenager into a somewhat popular greaser loner, and eventually into a lonely psychotic as the car and the ghost of the previous owner begin to exert an ever increasing amount of control over him.
Adapted Out: In the climax of the novel: Dennis and Leigh fight Christine with a pink tanker truck named Petunia which is personified similar to Christine. In the movie: she's replaced with a bulldozer.
Healing Factor: Christine has it. Up to the point of returning from a burned-out wreck to mint condition within minutes. It seems to work while Christine is in motion with her milometer going in reverse as it happens. After Repperton and his gang trash her, Arnie only has to push her until she's repaired herself enough to start, then just drive around until Christine repairs completely.
I Die Free: Arnie died keeping Roland from possessing him.
Infernal Retaliation: In the movie, Christine chases Buddy Reperton and one of his cronies to a gas station where they wanted to meet a third. She crashes into Buddy's Camaro, shoves it into the gas station, and causes it to explodein a spectacular fireball. Buddy manages to rescue himself and believes that Christine is destroyed in the flames. But she backs Out of the Inferno, burning all over, chases him down the road, and eventually runs over him, leaving his burning corpse lying on the asphalt.
The Ladys Favor: Before the final fight with Christine, Leigh gives a scarf to Dennis to wear around his arm.
Love at First Sight: Arnie and, yes, Christine. When Arnie first sees the car, Dennis describes him like this: "he had been like a man who meets a showgirl, indulges in a whirlwind courtship, and ends up with a hangover and a new wife on Monday morning. It had been... well... like love at first sight."
Mythology Gag: After Darnell's death, Dennis talks to Jimmy Sykes, the sweep-up guy at Darnell's. Jimmy laments being out of a job, and mentions that maybe he can get a new one as a janitor at nearby Horlicks University because "this other janitor, he disappeared....ran off or somethin'." This is referring to Mike, the unlucky fellow who was eaten by the monster in Creepshow's "The Crate."
Science Marches On: A crucial plot point is Leigh almost dying when she chokes on a hamburger in Christine because Arnie forgot about the Heimlich maneuver's existence and only gave her ineffective back blows, echoing an incident described earlier that involved Rita LeBay choking on a hamburger in Christine and dying when Roland LeBay gave her back blows because the Heimlich maneuver had not been invented yet. She is saved by the hitchhiker they picked up earlier, who gives her the Heimlich maneuver. Modern-day readers who are CPR certified will know that the care prescribed for a conscious choking victim involves a combination of back blows and abdominal thrusts.
Switching P.O.V.: The first part is narrated by Dennis, the second part is told by an omniscient third-person narrator and mostly focuses on Arnie, and the third part is narrated by Dennis again.
The One That Got Away: At one point, Will Darnell reminisces about his teenage sweetheart, Wanda Haskins. Darnell is a corrupt and cynical man, but he did love Wanda, and he thinks they would have married if her family didn't move away.