Duffy Pratt's Reviews > Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
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's review
Sep 12, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: horror
Read from April 03 to May 04, 2015

When I first read this book, I had not read any Lovecraft or the short story, The Monkey's Paw. As a result, I was unaware of how derivative it is. But the odd thing is that being derivative doesn't make this book worse, or at least not much worse. The story is a very long fleshing out of The Monkey's Paw. It makes very explicit the stuff that that tale only implies. It is also, in an odd way, a variation on King's own The Shining - except here Danny gets hit by a truck and the Hotel (Cemetery/Lovecraftian Horror thingy) wins. So, its also much darker than The Shining.

I was also surprised, on re-reading, how slow the book moves. I remember reading it really fast, and being enthralled. So I was surprised to see that its pace is quite leisurely, almost glacial. There's a building up of foreboding and inevitability, but very little actually happens. That said, what does happen is genuinely creepy.

And as always with a King story in Maine, the sense of place and character are very well done. I will also note that when I read first read this, I thought King had turned the corner from being a writer of potboilers to a genuinely good writer. I no longer harbor that prejudice as strongly as I used to, but I also have to say that I've since been disappointed with King. He's written entirely too many books with a writer as the main character, where (except for the Shining) writers did not figure very strongly in his early books. And it is kind of odd that the book where I thought he was really hitting his literary stride also happens to be one of the last books of his that I read.

Finally, at the time, I might have said that this was King's best book. In fact, I'm sure I did tell that to some people. But after a re-read, and looking back, I'm not so sure. It's on the same level as The Shining, and, now, in my opinion is not as good as The Dead Zone, The Stand, or Needful Things. Still, its engaging, creepy, has some legitimately scary stuff, and is pretty darn good.

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Reading Progress

04/03/2015 marked as: currently-reading
05/04/2015 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by David Sven (new)

David Sven Great review Duffy!

Duffy Pratt Where you been? I haven't seen anything from you in about two forevers.

message 3: by David Sven (new)

David Sven Self imposed Sabbatical - and busy with work and other stuff :)

message 4: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic Are you now a rich man?

Duffy Pratt No, not rich, why do you ask?

message 6: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic Well, you said you were busy with work and stuff, so I thought maybe you have returned a wealthy man.

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