In Short: What to tell you? Of course I didn’t know what the book was about and sometimes imagination can be worse than anything you read on a page! So, let’s just say this is a tale about a sweet young family, a dangerous country road, a frisky pet cat, and the cemetery. What does that do for your imagination?
Why I Read Pet Sematary: Oh, you know, Jill (from Somewhere in a Book). The usual suspects. I can’t resist a Kingalong (apparently we’re doing Misery in June…right Care?). The Catuck above is my #Gangstercat(s)
Thoughts in General: I was scared to start Pet Sematary, especially since it’s difficult to find on audio and I knew I would have to read during the dark hours of the day. My imagination can go to dark places and I’m prone to “seeing” things in the dark (there are still some images from The Shining or It that haunt me). It became clear after reading the first couple of chapters of this one, though, that the heavy foreshadowing would help get me through the darker moments in the book.
Pet Sematary contains all of the elements I’ve come to love and expect from King novels. First, the characters who are so fleshed out that you become voyeurs into their world. I cheered on Louis Creed, I yelled at him, I was angry at him, sad for him. In many respects he reminded me of Jack Torrance from The Shining but I always always rooting for Louis rather than against him. While not quite as developed, Louis is joined by a strong cast with his wife and his neighbor Jud. Not to mention the little ones who creep into the story. I love reading the dialogue between King characters–even when they’re being utterly irrational. Ayuh.
And then the world building–with Pet Sematary this is less-so about a town and it’s people but more about the history of the pet sematary and the lands beyond the deadfall. In Pet Sematary, King gets to the root of desperation in the midst of grief and the history/area becomes a character that helps propel the events forward. Plus his descriptions are just so damn vivid–which makes for a memorable read but one that kind of seeps into nighttime dreams!
One thing that I really loved about Pet Sematary is that it grabbed my attention immediately and held onto it all the way until the very last sentence of the book. While I could guess at some of the events (seriously heavy foreshadowing), I was still caught off guard and kept on my toes. Watching the mental evolution (or deterioration) of King’s characters is always a fascinating one. Whereas sometimes I think King has a tough time wrapping up his stories, Pet Sematary stayed strong through the entire length. But damn did that last little bit have me yearning for more!
“The graves in the Pet Sematary mimed the most ancient religious symbol of all: diminishing circles indicating a spiral leading down, not to a point, but to infinity; order from chaos or chaos from order, depending on which way your mind worked” (387).
Bottom Line: In terms of the few horror books I’ve read by King, this is one of my favorites. Does it beat my experience with IT? Probably not, but it’s up there! Pet Sematary wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it would be, and it has made me eager to read more of King’s “scarier” works–I think Carrie and Misery will be my next.
What’s the most frightening [King] book you’ve read?