Arnie Cunningham is a nerd with bad skin who’s a mechanical whiz, but his middle class parents are embarrassed by his passion for working on cars, envisioning him instead on a Chess-Club-to-valedictorian-to-Ivy-League-College track. His friend Dennis, who (mostly) narrates the book, is their school’s star football hero and Arnie’s best friend. One day Arnie spots Christine, a rusted-out 1958 Plymouth Fury, for sale and he impulsively buys it, much to Dennis’s and his parent’s horror. He lovingly restores it, becoming more and more obsessed with the car while simultaneously pulling away from his parents, Dennis, and even his girlfriend, Leigh. Bullies and people who get in his way are run over by the driverless Christine when Arnie is out of town, and the whole thing ends with Dennis renting a truck and smashing Christine into little bits. Oh, there’s also a subplot about cigarette smuggling that takes up about 100 pages, and Dennis spends the entire middle of the book in a body cast in the hospital.