Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
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's review
Mar 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, horror, popular-fiction, fiction, novels
Recommended for: Horror Fans

In the introduction of the edition I read, King calls this "the most frightening book" he had ever written. He acknowledges though, that "the fearbone, like the funnybone, is located on different places on different people." That must be the case with me, because I think Carrie, The Shining, Cujo and Salem's Lot is scarier. Maybe it's this one is more dependent on shock and surprise--I'd read this before and remembered it just well enough to know what would happen (and the introduction gives more than a hint so you may want to skip it until afterward).

The horror of this story might have resonated more if I had children. The horror of Carrie and The Shining and Salem's Lot is dependent on different sides of life experience I think than that of the young Creed family, that has just settled in Ludlow, Maine, very near a pet cemetery. If Carrie is centered on the horror and cruelty of adolescence, and The Shining not just on alcoholism but madness, well Pet Sematary is about the universal and inescapable horror of death, and especially refusing to accept death.

I did like this though and would still name it a standout among the dozen or so King novels I've read. This is written in the early 80s and isn't subject to bloat like his expanded vision of The Stand or It. It hangs together better than say Christine. Reading it I was reminded of just how skillful a writer King can be--he's a terrific storyteller, giving just enough telling detail to put me right there in the story, heightening the horror by evoking ordinary everyday life, and giving us endearing characters like Jud Crandall, the old neighbor of the Creeds who welcomes them to their new home. The married couple, Louis and Rachel Creed are relatable and easy to care about. I enjoyed btw, references to other King novels within this novel--there's a reference to Ludlow being near Derry, the setting of It, and a reference to a tragedy of a rabid dog that must be a nod to Cujo and at one point Rachel Creed passes a sign pointing to Jerusalem's Lot of Salem's Lot.

This definitely kept me turning the pages. If you're a fan of horror in general or Stephen King in particular you shouldn't be disappointed.

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