Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pet Sematary, by Stephen King

This book describes what happens when Louis Creed moves his family to a small town in Maine, opening himself up to the power wielded by an ancient Indian burial ground. When the family suffers not one but two losses, Louis makes the decision to try to right these wrongs the best way he knows how. But sometimes, Louis, dead is better.

I believe I have mentioned before that I am a big Stephen King fan. His books are my guilty pleasure reading. I never seem to tire of them, even when I have read them before, and they never really seem to bother me. In short, his books typically provide me with an escape, where I can shut off my mind.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I struggled through this book. Not because it was poorly written, nay, on the contrary, it was one of the more stirring and creepy of the King novels. This book actually disturbed me, and took me several days to get through, because of the focus on deaths of animals and children. It is hard to escape into a book about the an evil cursed animal burial ground with a black kitty and a dappled dachshund sleeping on either side of you as you read.

Funny, death of adults in King books never bothers me. And other stories of his, whether novels or short stories, involving children did not seem to evoke such a strong reaction either, so I must be led to conclude it is the animals that got to me so bad, which is odd, because they play such a little part in the actual plot of the book.

Another problem I suffered was that I had seen the movie adaptation of this book long before reading it. For a book written in the 1980's, it is amazing that I am just now getting around to reading it. Some fan I am, right? Sorry, I was too busy re-reading the books of King's that I already owned, and I just snagged this one for fifty cents at a library sale less than two weeks ago. Besides, I do not want to get stuck into ruts!

As a horror book, this is a good read. Not too terribly violent or vulgar, but the themes of children and animals could be problematic for some. If so, I would recommend you steer away from this, as well as some of King's other books like Cujo and The Shining. However, if you like King, want a good thrill, and are not easily bothered, give it a shot. If you liked Cujo or The Shining, you should like this, and vice versa.