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Cujo

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Outside a peaceful town in central Maine, a monster is waiting. Cujo is a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole—a cave inhabited by sick bats. What happens to Cujo, how he becomes a horrifying vortex inexorably drawing in all the people around him makes for one of the most heart-stopping no Outside a peaceful town in central Maine, a monster is waiting. Cujo is a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole—a cave inhabited by sick bats. What happens to Cujo, how he becomes a horrifying vortex inexorably drawing in all the people around him makes for one of the most heart-stopping novels Stephen King has written.


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Outside a peaceful town in central Maine, a monster is waiting. Cujo is a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole—a cave inhabited by sick bats. What happens to Cujo, how he becomes a horrifying vortex inexorably drawing in all the people around him makes for one of the most heart-stopping no Outside a peaceful town in central Maine, a monster is waiting. Cujo is a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole—a cave inhabited by sick bats. What happens to Cujo, how he becomes a horrifying vortex inexorably drawing in all the people around him makes for one of the most heart-stopping novels Stephen King has written.

30 review for Cujo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Original rating: 4 stars Re-read rating: 5+ stars It is great when a book is better than I remember! In fact, this may be my favorite Stephen King re-read so far. I noticed that in general this book tends to get 3 to 3.5 star ratings. While I haven't dug too deep into why this is, if I had to guess I am thinking it is likely because most of this book is not about Cujo. There is a lot of really great extra storytelling and exposition beyond the rabid dog. And, again, th Original rating: 4 stars Re-read rating: 5+ stars It is great when a book is better than I remember! In fact, this may be my favorite Stephen King re-read so far. I noticed that in general this book tends to get 3 to 3.5 star ratings. While I haven't dug too deep into why this is, if I had to guess I am thinking it is likely because most of this book is not about Cujo. There is a lot of really great extra storytelling and exposition beyond the rabid dog. And, again, this is just guessing, but I figure a lot of people go in wanting the horror of the monster dog, but that doesn't really get going in earnest until two or three hundred pages in. The buildup is fantastic. This is some of King's best storytelling and character building. I loved learning about everyone in this world and how their lives all came together in the end under the shadow of a drooling, snarling, and insane St. Bernard; a monster of fate, not through any fault of his own - a truly tragic villain. And the ending? Absolutely gut-wrenching and chilling! I was riveted until the very last page! I will be adding this to the list of recommendations for first time King readers. If you don't like this one, I am not sure you will end up liking King in general. Side note:. I didn't remember until the re-read that this book is basically a sequel to The Dead Zone. So, if you are considering reading that one as well as Cujo, read The Dead Zone first.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Cujo is a hard book to read. It's a short book, but there are certain scenes that just gut me. And all those sections occur in the last 25 pages of the book. The first half of this book goes by rather quickly. Then Donna and Tad get stuck out at Camber's place and I simply do not want to continue reading. The first time I read this book was after having watched the movie. Cool enough flick. Slasher film with a dog instead of a masked killer. Survivor is the woman and her son. Rock on. I don't li Cujo is a hard book to read. It's a short book, but there are certain scenes that just gut me. And all those sections occur in the last 25 pages of the book. The first half of this book goes by rather quickly. Then Donna and Tad get stuck out at Camber's place and I simply do not want to continue reading. The first time I read this book was after having watched the movie. Cool enough flick. Slasher film with a dog instead of a masked killer. Survivor is the woman and her son. Rock on. I don't like that the dog was used as a monster, but I dealt with it because poor Cuje was sick. And then I read the book. There is a big fucking tie-in between Cujo and the rest of King's books that no one ever mentions. My theory is, as far as I know, not impossible. Firstly, Cujo's behavior in the book is constantly referred to as odd. This is aside from the fact that he has rabies. Many times, characters in the book refer to Cujo as more than just a sick dog. Secondly, the closet. Something's living in Tad's closet. This is made cement at the end of the book when Tad's father Vic watches the door knob turn and the door open all by its lonesome. Finally, Frank Dodd is called the monster of Castle Rock at the beginning of the book, and then King goes on to say that that monster returns in 1980. A monster. A monster that can take different forms. A monster that is active in Castle Rock during the time Pennywise is supposedly asleep in Derry. A monster that changes shapes. See where I'm going with this? Think of the gigantic bird that ravages the dance (at least I think it was a dance) in It. Now, stay with me, think about the fact that King wrote The Dead Zone, Cujo, and Pet Sematary all while writing It. Also there are mentions of this "monster" in both Insomnia and the Dark Tower series. Conspiracy theory established. Debunk in the comment section below. Notable names: George Bannerman, Johnny Smith, and Frank Dodd (The Dead Zone) Castle Rock (mentioned throughout the King-verse) In summation: If you read Cujo and are not in some way affected by the goings-down in the this book, I don't want to know you because you're an emotional cripple. This book is only bad in the sense that it drags out the worst of humanity and showcases it in the unrelenting sunlight and creates a monster out of a good dog. But this shit happens. It's life. Endings are not always happy things. Oh, and this is the last time I'm reading this book. I'm not doing this shit to myself again. Time for some My Little Pony. Later.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    When a two hundred pound St. Bernard goes rabid, no one is safe! Who will fall to Cujo before the disease he carries finishes him off? I'm just going to come out and say it. Most of this book feels like filler to me. I think King took what was potentially an award winning tale of terror and jammed as much padding into it as he could until it was one of his shorter novels. Basically, it's a fantastic short story wrapped in a soap opera I couldn't give two shits about. That b When a two hundred pound St. Bernard goes rabid, no one is safe! Who will fall to Cujo before the disease he carries finishes him off? I'm just going to come out and say it. Most of this book feels like filler to me. I think King took what was potentially an award winning tale of terror and jammed as much padding into it as he could until it was one of his shorter novels. Basically, it's a fantastic short story wrapped in a soap opera I couldn't give two shits about. That being said, Cujo is a really powerful book in places. While I didn't care about a lot of things on the periphery, the core of it is pretty terrifying and heart-wrenching. No one wants their beloved family pet to turn on them and a rabid dog trapping a woman and her child in a car for DAYS is damn horrifying. As opposed to most of his menaces, Cujo is all too plausible. The writing is good and the ending packs a huge punch. I sure didn't see that coming. It was like being kicked in the balls after you're already lying on the ground after being shot in the heart. While I found that there was a lot of fat on this bone, it was pretty good at the core. Or marrow, in this case. Three hard-earned stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Writing a review about Cujo is a little like reminiscing about being a teenager and listening to Black Sabbath. Trying to describe it, and to put the experience in words, reveals the cartoonish elements in stark relief. But while being read, the novel is rich with storytelling and more complex than would seem on it's surface. And like the best of Sabbath: It rocks. Yes, it's about a town that gets eaten by a big, rabid dog, but King is able, and with some credibility, to tell a tale of modern paranoia and Writing a review about Cujo is a little like reminiscing about being a teenager and listening to Black Sabbath. Trying to describe it, and to put the experience in words, reveals the cartoonish elements in stark relief. But while being read, the novel is rich with storytelling and more complex than would seem on it's surface. And like the best of Sabbath: It rocks. Yes, it's about a town that gets eaten by a big, rabid dog, but King is able, and with some credibility, to tell a tale of modern paranoia and suspense, with elements of horror that are all too believable to a modern audience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Wow! That ending was a real gut punch. Stephen King usually doesn't do that but...... Holy Shit! Cujo was written while Stephen King was in the depths of his alcoholism. Uncle Stevie doesn't even remember writing it and if you think about it he didn't write it his alcoholism did. Like Cujo, alcoholism is rabid dog that will stop at nothing in its mission to kill you. Like Cujo alcoholism is unrelenting and scary. Cujo is written almost stream of conscious there are no chapters. I did Wow! That ending was a real gut punch. Stephen King usually doesn't do that but...... Holy Shit! Cujo was written while Stephen King was in the depths of his alcoholism. Uncle Stevie doesn't even remember writing it and if you think about it he didn't write it his alcoholism did. Like Cujo, alcoholism is rabid dog that will stop at nothing in its mission to kill you. Like Cujo alcoholism is unrelenting and scary. Cujo is written almost stream of conscious there are no chapters. I didn't expect to feel bad for Cujo but I did. He wasn't evil he was just sick. Through no fault of his own he got bit and contracted rabies. He was suffering and in pain. That proves Stephen King is an amazing writer because I don't even like dogs. Cujo is a classic! A must read! Stephen King Fans Book club January read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I'm guessing that many of you own or have owned a dog at some point in your life. And, i'm also guessing that you'd consider said dog to be loyal to you and part of your family. So, I ask you, can you possibly imagine what you'd do if your dog went rabid? Pooch would lose his appetite. Start to become easily confused. Tired. His brain would melt and with that he'd forget about you. Forget the loyalty and love he held for you. He'd feel intense pain. In his eyes Y I'm guessing that many of you own or have owned a dog at some point in your life. And, i'm also guessing that you'd consider said dog to be loyal to you and part of your family. So, I ask you, can you possibly imagine what you'd do if your dog went rabid? Pooch would lose his appetite. Start to become easily confused. Tired. His brain would melt and with that he'd forget about you. Forget the loyalty and love he held for you. He'd feel intense pain. In his eyes YOU would become the reason that he feels this pain. Mix this with a claustrophobic seige over a few days, some marital issues, a child that suffers from sleepless nights and you have Cujo. King really doesn't hold back any punches with this. Be warned. It's bleak, but an amazing read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    I think this is one of those books that's so well known and so frequently referenced that it's hard not to have some idea of the general story-- a rabid dog traps a woman and her kid in a car. It's a great idea. But there's so much more to it than that. For one thing, there's more going on with Cujo than having rabies. This book is set in Castle Rock, so it's never 'just' rabies. I had a quick scroll through some reviews just now and it's seems quite a few people feel like there is a lot of fill I think this is one of those books that's so well known and so frequently referenced that it's hard not to have some idea of the general story-- a rabid dog traps a woman and her kid in a car. It's a great idea. But there's so much more to it than that. For one thing, there's more going on with Cujo than having rabies. This book is set in Castle Rock, so it's never 'just' rabies. I had a quick scroll through some reviews just now and it's seems quite a few people feel like there is a lot of filler in this book. Obviously thats their opinion and they are welcome to it, but I just wanted to mention that for me, the dynamics of the small town, of the various marriages and what not were some of the most compelling parts for me. I thought the parts detailing people just struggling to deal with this general suffocation of life and circumstances to be one of the most important elements of the book. I can see why it's not everyone's taste, but I found them to be just as tense and uncomfortable as the ongoing standoff with Cujo. Oh, and poor Cujo -- it wasn't his fault he got rabies. Or that he happened to live in a Stephen King novel! Of all the dog breeds to go rabid, a St Bernard is pretty much the most terrifying option. As I said at the beginning, it really is a great (terrifying) idea.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    The monster never dies. 4.5 Cujo was a book I thought I was going to like, but not be scared of it (I mean, how scary can a rabid dog be, really?), but boy was I wrong with the second statement! This book did scare me. It still does when I think about it. It even reminded me of Pet Sematary which is my favorite King's book, and that says quite a lot. Cujo is a story about a Saint Bernard dog who one day chased a rabbit into a bolt-hole. The problem was that the hole was filled with rabid bats,/> The monster never dies. 4.5 Cujo was a book I thought I was going to like, but not be scared of it (I mean, how scary can a rabid dog be, really?), but boy was I wrong with the second statement! This book did scare me. It still does when I think about it. It even reminded me of Pet Sematary which is my favorite King's book, and that says quite a lot. Cujo is a story about a Saint Bernard dog who one day chased a rabbit into a bolt-hole. The problem was that the hole was filled with rabid bats, and one of them scratched Cujo. But the horror of this book does not begin there. It begins on page one, with Frank Dodd, but because I don't want to spoil anyone I will not say anything more about that, except that I wished that King focused on that aspect of the story a bit more since those parts scared me the most. When it comes to characters, as usual, King did not disappoint. Most of the characters were well flushed out, and it's not hard to care for their problems. But my main problem with this book is that around 50 pages could've been left out, and the story would not change a bit (especially Sharp Cereal Professor discussions; I honestly don't know what was the point of them). Apart from that, I really liked it, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a scary story that will crawl under your skin, and stay there even after you close the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helene Jeppesen

    If you're looking for a creepy read, this is it. "Cujo" was written during a time in which Stephen King was doing drugs, and it was exactly for that reason that I wanted to read it. Cujo is a cute, however big, St. Bernhards dog, who one day gets bitten by a rabid bat. This incidence turns Cujo into monster who longs for food and no one can feel safe around this formerly beloved dog. The scenes with Cujo were nerve-wracking, but what I loved the most about this novel were the characters whi If you're looking for a creepy read, this is it. "Cujo" was written during a time in which Stephen King was doing drugs, and it was exactly for that reason that I wanted to read it. Cujo is a cute, however big, St. Bernhards dog, who one day gets bitten by a rabid bat. This incidence turns Cujo into monster who longs for food and no one can feel safe around this formerly beloved dog. The scenes with Cujo were nerve-wracking, but what I loved the most about this novel were the characters which we get to know very well. "Cujo" features children and adults who all find themselves in everyday situations when Cujo appears and makes their lives a living hell. I think that if you have a fear of rabid animals, this book will certainly hit you. To me personally, it wasn't the scariest book I've ever read, but it definitely contains some chapters and (car) scenes which will stick to my mind.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    4.5* New movie version currently in production! This book was so well written, the characters completely fleshed out, that it's very hard to believe King wrote this book so drunk that he doesn't even remember writing it! Wow! And to then win the British Fantasy Award...and (two!) movies. All I ever seemed to do when I was drunk was trash the house....and worse--hurt those who loved me closest (which is why, like King, I gave the stuff up over a year ago). What a complete page turner--ver 4.5* New movie version currently in production! This book was so well written, the characters completely fleshed out, that it's very hard to believe King wrote this book so drunk that he doesn't even remember writing it! Wow! And to then win the British Fantasy Award...and (two!) movies. All I ever seemed to do when I was drunk was trash the house....and worse--hurt those who loved me closest (which is why, like King, I gave the stuff up over a year ago). What a complete page turner--very hard to put down, especially when the action starts...impossible not to get your stomach in a terrible knot during the last part of the book, ugh--physically painful to read! Earlier on...very sad for dog lovers--before he loses all that was lovable. King is great at many things, and one he's done on several occasions is to write from a dog's point of view--which he does very well once again in Cujo--what happened to him was so unfair. and the tiniest bit of money for a yearly shot would have saved both Cujo from this agonizingly slow, painful, and miserable way to die, as well as the people! Of all of King's early novels, this is the only one that relies on horror that can actually happen to normal people.... This book tells the stories of two very different families. Both with very real problems. Vic and Donna Trenton are facing a crisis in their marriage--infidelity on her part, which is broken off before Vic becomes aware. Unfortunately he finds out at the worst possible time; a time he really needs to focus on his Ad agency.....saving it from losing it's biggest client and plummeting the family out of their successful lifestyle. Their son Tad has his own demons...right in his bedroom closet (which does act strangely.....the door opening when it's latched--and more. It's the only part of the novel which is outside the realm of real-life horror**note on this below). Steve the tennis pro does not take to the break-up very well and adds much more drama that could cost Tad and Donna their lives (or looking at it with an ironic twist possibly save them, because his actions bring Vic running home from his important meeting in New York...) The second family include blue collar Joe and Charity Chambers, and their son Brett--and oh boy, do they face a household of demons as well; including alcoholism, spousal abuse and child abuse....and (most important to this story) neglect of the family dog, especially when it comes to the vet. The first half of this book is spent excellently developing the characters (including an superb job with Cujo). When Vic has to leave for his meeting in New York, he leaves Donna with car problems....which leads to Donna and tiny Tad just barely making it to the Cambers' home garage (Joe is an excellent, inexpensive mechanic), when the car finally dies (in near 100 degree weather). Every person in the house is gone for a long time, and they are met by Cujo, whose illness has finally driven him mad. Here begins the gut-wrenching stakeout (for days trapped in the cars growing oven)......It's utterly horrifying, and I do not remember ever forgetting to breath as I read a book, but here I did forget---over and over....I couldn't take it (felt like ripping my own hair out at times!). This book took everything I physically had in me to not die of desperation myself...... ***I need to add here: Edward Lorn's review adds some pretty cool tie-ins, that make that seemingly unimportant closet door much more interesting!!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    It might just be me but the novel Cujo is way more disturbing and intense than the film, Cujo. I was completely enthralled reading thus book. I kept letting the film characters (that I remember visually) play out in my mind to the novel. So glad I finally got around to reading this. I use to watch the film with my mom so it was nostalgic...in an odd maybe dark way. Lol.

  12. 4 out of 5

    RedemptionDenied

    Goddammit!! This is currently on offer: £1.99p in the UK, $1.99 in the US (I think - it's showing as $2.68 - probably because of the exchange rate). It's the same price for: Lisey's Story, Insomnia, 11.22.63 and Hearts in Atlantis, too!

  13. 4 out of 5

    ✨The Reading

    Disturbing... Cujo is a good dog. He would do anything for his man, his woman and his boy. He would even die for them if it came to that. But when Cujo goes messing around and contracts the terrible disease rabies, he turns into a completely different dog. A dog that Donna and her son are about to meet face-to-face. This is a very sad cautionary tale. Above all things that I say in this review, I pray that you take this one thing with you... PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR ANIMALS!! With that ou Disturbing... Cujo is a good dog. He would do anything for his man, his woman and his boy. He would even die for them if it came to that. But when Cujo goes messing around and contracts the terrible disease rabies, he turns into a completely different dog. A dog that Donna and her son are about to meet face-to-face. This is a very sad cautionary tale. Above all things that I say in this review, I pray that you take this one thing with you... PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR ANIMALS!! With that out of the way, let's proceed to the review of the book. Like any Stephen King novel this book has a LOT of fluff. There is a lot of character build up and the beginning is filled with not much more than that. The action of this book does not start until more than halfway through it. I found Donna to be a very dislikable character. Not just in general but also because I don't appreciate people who cheat on their spouses. It shows a lack of fine character and moral values. I liked her husband Vic but more felt sorry for him than anything else. And poor little Tadd. I have mixed feelings about the way this book ended. I don't quite remember it ending like this in the film which I watched years and years ago and am having difficulty remembering. However again like most Stephen King novels this is absolutely masterfully written and the story, though slow to start, is very engaging for the reader. This is definitely one that will terrify you! I think the realism in this book is what makes it so scary. This could really happen! Very good storytelling. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a a novel that will truly scare you!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jojo

    Well, I can probably now clarify, that I'm a member of the Stephen King fan club. I literally devoured this book in a couple of days. If it wasn't for real life, I could have read it in one sitting. This book is a terrifying mind-fuck. Terrifying in the sense that the events that pan out in this story, in reality, they could all actually happen. There was nothing supernatural about this, it was all very real. Apparently Stephen King wrote this novel at the very height of his alcoholism, and it c Well, I can probably now clarify, that I'm a member of the Stephen King fan club. I literally devoured this book in a couple of days. If it wasn't for real life, I could have read it in one sitting. This book is a terrifying mind-fuck. Terrifying in the sense that the events that pan out in this story, in reality, they could all actually happen. There was nothing supernatural about this, it was all very real. Apparently Stephen King wrote this novel at the very height of his alcoholism, and it certainly shows. There are no chapters, no breaks, there is not even much time to breathe as you get sucked into the next paragraph. The story itself is set over three days, but the pace is constant. I read the majority of this while I had quiet time, and I was that edgy, I could feel my heartbeat quickening in my chest, eager to turn the next page. Cujo, in short, is about a saint bernard, that due to an unfortunate event, turns rabid. Around the centre of this event there are other side plots going on, too. All of these events tie up incredibly well, and we end up with one huge event, but hell, it's definitely worth the wait. I expected gore, but actually, there was nothing especially significant that caused me to wince. It is the physiological affect that King is ultimately the grand master at. He literally gets under your skin, and messes with your mind, and, just when you think you're getting a handle on reality again, he hits you with another twist. He's good like that, Mr King. Although I loved this book, I didn't love it as much as Pet Sematary,as that one completely blew my mind, but, that said, this was still an amazingly suspenseful, and petrifying read. Thank you, once again, Mr King.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Having read this book years ago in the 7th grade (and told by my science teacher not to bring it to school anymore because the front cover artwork "gave her the willies"), I'm no stranger to Cujo. I'd also seen the film when I was ten years old. I guess back then I never really appreciated it. I thought it was silly... I still think it's a little silly... and definitely not one of King's better works. The book itself is quite random and vulgar with no real rhyme or reason to it, and I've heard that King w Having read this book years ago in the 7th grade (and told by my science teacher not to bring it to school anymore because the front cover artwork "gave her the willies"), I'm no stranger to Cujo. I'd also seen the film when I was ten years old. I guess back then I never really appreciated it. I thought it was silly... I still think it's a little silly... and definitely not one of King's better works. The book itself is quite random and vulgar with no real rhyme or reason to it, and I've heard that King was going through his own problems and addictions while writing it so maybe that's to be expected. One thing I think I realize now that I'm older is that Cujo isn't really about a scary rabid dog. That's the plot basis, but what the substance of Cujo really is would be arguably much more unsettling. It's about a typical American family, none of whom truly seem to love each other. Donna frequently snaps at her son and seems to treat him almost as a burden despite taking good care of him. Meanwhile she's having an affair with her husband's friend. The husband himself, New Yorker and advertisement creator Vic Trenton, lives in Maine with his family but is much more focused on his failing cereal promotion and a recent scandal than his own wife and son. Neither parent really acknowledges young Tad Trenton's fear of the "monster in the closet" even though Vic has written a loose prayer of sorts for Tad to recite when he gets freaked out - Tad himself is often shoved to the side in the drama of his parents. Donna wants to call off her affair before Vic finds out. Her secret "partner" doesn't, leading to some particularly creepy stalking and petty vandalism. Donna's car is threatening to break down. The Trentons have no time for each other, and Cujo, a dying but violent and bloodthirsty Saint Bernard, threatens to tear apart everything this typical American family never properly appreciated. I'm not sure that this was King's intention, or if his intention was simply to write about a scary dog that disembowels cops and tries to break car windows open. I found the dog itself not really conventionally scary, and its acts of killing and violence to be more needlessly gory than anything else. What in the book I did find fairly decent was the subtle horror of a broken family and the underlying drama we don't often see in the suburban United States. Equally interesting is the parallel King makes between two very different families - the well-off, affluent Trentons, and the rural hillbilly Cambers Family, who also face the struggles of family dysfunction - alcoholism, spousal abuse, poverty and dishonesty. Like Tad Trenton, Joe Cambers is a forgotten child who seems to be the only glue holding his family together. Joe's mother obviously hates her marriage and fears her own husband, which raises the question of whether or not she'd flee if she didn't have a son to look after. Cujo the dog himself in this book serves mostly as a catalyst to keep the story "spooky", a prop that really doesn't have much to do with the characters themselves. Cujo to me is an engaging book not because of the dog, but because I see it almost as a satire of families who pretend to love each other but really don't until it's too late. King had something good here, a simple but deep story, but I think that the dragging nature of the latter half of the book, which is literally just page after page describing what Cujo is doing to try and kill Donna and Tad Trenton and Donna's own observations, makes for a rather boring story which takes away from the earlier unsettling family drama that King had stirred up. This is just my personal view. Some readers of horror love the violence and gore of Cujo and don't care for the rest, so it's all subjective, anyway. I think that Stephen King did much more to bring about this same family tension and uncomfortable suspicion in his book The Shining, and that Cujo may have been a lesser attempt at this which featured a scary dog simply for a plausible fear factor.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Even though I don't think it will spoil your reading experience, I have to warn you that there are mild spoilers ahead. I wrote in my review of The Shining that it was the scariest book that I ever read. Well, that may be, but there the horror ended when I closed the book. With Cujo, it started then... -------------------------------------------------------- Every child is afraid of the monster that creeps upon him when the lights are out in the bedroom and mom and da Even though I don't think it will spoil your reading experience, I have to warn you that there are mild spoilers ahead. I wrote in my review of The Shining that it was the scariest book that I ever read. Well, that may be, but there the horror ended when I closed the book. With Cujo, it started then... -------------------------------------------------------- Every child is afraid of the monster that creeps upon him when the lights are out in the bedroom and mom and dad are safely ensconced in their room. They hide under the bed or in the closet. The moment the kid lets his guard down, it will creep out and slowly devour him, relishing every luscious bit of flesh. No amount of rationalising can take away the certainty of this fact, at least in the minds of the children. Cujo talks about this monster. And since it is the frightened child in each one of us that the ghost story talks to, we listen. -------------------------------------------------------- Tad Trenton has a problem. There is a monster in his closet, biding its time to devour him; only the "Monster Words" his dad has written is preventing it from fulfilling his intent. Vic and Donna Trenton, Tad's parents, have their own monsters to fight - Vic's failing ad agency and Donna's recently concluded extra-marital affair. They move down to the town of Castle Rock, Maine to start a new life - unfortunately, the monsters also follow them. A monster of a different kind attacks Cujo, Brett Camber's huge good-natured St. Bernard, as he chases a rabbit down a hole and gets bitten by some very sick bats. The virus of rabies enters his bloodstream: his happy thoughts become tinged with red: and by the time Brett and his mother Charity leave home to visit her sister Holly, Cujo has fully transformed into a monster. He kills Brett's abusive father Joe and their neighbour Gary, and is awaiting an agonising death as Donna and Tad drive into Joe's garage to fix the car's starting problem. What happens next is what the novel is about - the stalled car, the woman and child trapped inside, the rabid dog outside - and the steadily mounting suspense culminating in a shattering climax. -------------------------------------------------------- Cujo is much more disturbing than The Shining because of two things - one, the horror follows you after you leave the book and two, because the horror is very much in the real world. Here also, there is the dysfunctional family; however, Tad does not have the powers of Danny Torrance to see the horror out. He is very much a helpless child. Also, here the horror is random, incidental. As Steve says, Cujo was a "good" dog - the reason that he got bit by rabid bats while not having taken his anti-rabies shots was just coincidence. One feels, as one reads this novel, that monster in Tad's closet was not imaginary at all. It was the one which crawled out in the form of Cujo. Vic and Donna, being grownups, could not see it - Tad could. Read it only if you are such a fan of horror that you like to be seriously disturbed for a long period of time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Gag. I thought about just leaving that one word as my review. Or maybe adding "'nuff said" as they used to say in Marvel Comics when I was "younger". I thought maybe though you'd like more. I hate it. This is one of those books I can't say enough about...enough bad that is. You like being depressed? You like looking for the worst? Your real life doesn't have enough CRAP happening in it so you want to add more??? Well, then you've found it. If you are the kind of person who Gag. I thought about just leaving that one word as my review. Or maybe adding "'nuff said" as they used to say in Marvel Comics when I was "younger". I thought maybe though you'd like more. I hate it. This is one of those books I can't say enough about...enough bad that is. You like being depressed? You like looking for the worst? Your real life doesn't have enough CRAP happening in it so you want to add more??? Well, then you've found it. If you are the kind of person who says that novels should reflect all the pain of real life and more...then this may be the book for you. Some great books concern pain, some wonderful novels require pain to be what they are...this one revels in pain and suffering and like de Sade seems to enjoy pain for pain's sake. There are 2 of Mr. King's books that left me not frightened or terrorized or even "grossed out" but depressed. This is one of them... Did I make it clear, I hate this book??? 7/26/18: I reviewed this some time back. Thought I'd stop back by and add a quote accredited to Dorthy Parker That sums up my feelings on it: "This Is Not a Novel To Be Tossed Aside Lightly. It Should Be Thrown with Great Force"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    First Read: 2014, Rating: 5 stars Second Read: October 2019, Rating: 5 stars The antagonist turns victim and the protagonists turns victim and that's where the real of the horror of this book lays. Good boy, Cujo. Good boy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    Oh Cujo. I hated every moment of this book--wrestling with picking it up and putting it down over and over again. It took me a whole month to read despite it's slim size. At just over 300 pages, this is one of King's most trimmed down and edited books in terms of the storyline. I was a freshman in high school when I first picked it up. My mom said to me, "Oh, Cujo? I don't think you'll like that one." Meh. I probably shrugged and carried it off to my messy room anyways. That cover!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Cujo, Stephen King "Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine." Cujo used to be a big friendly dog, lovable and loyal to his trinity (The Man, The Woman, and The Boy) and everyone around him, and always did his best to not be a BAD DOG. But that all ends on the day this nearly two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard makes the mistake of chasing a rabbit into a hidden underground cave, setting off a tragic chain of events. Now Cujo is no longer himself Cujo, Stephen King "Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine." Cujo used to be a big friendly dog, lovable and loyal to his trinity (The Man, The Woman, and The Boy) and everyone around him, and always did his best to not be a BAD DOG. But that all ends on the day this nearly two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard makes the mistake of chasing a rabbit into a hidden underground cave, setting off a tragic chain of events. Now Cujo is no longer himself as he is slowly overcome by a growing sickness, one that consumes his mind even as his once affable thoughts turn uncontrollably and inexorably to hatred and murder. Cujo is about to become the center of a horrifying vortex that will inescapably draw in everyone around him—a relentless reign of terror, fury, and madness from which no one in Castle Rock will truly be safe... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه سپتامبر سال 2014 میلادی عنوان: کوجو؛ نویسنده: استیفن کینگ ؛ مترجم: مریم ملکوتی؛ تهران: نشر قطره‏‫، (1390) ‏‫1391؛ در 460 ص؛ چاپ دوم در سال 1392؛ ‬‬ شابک: 9786001194091؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده امریکا - سده 20 م کتاب «کوجو» در ژانر وحشت روان‌شناختی اثر «استیفن کینگ» است که نخستین بار در سال 1981 میلادی منتشر شده است. نقل از متن کتاب کوچو: (روزی روزگاری در زمان های نه چندان دور ـ در سال 1970 میلادی ـ هیولایی به شهر کوچک «کسل راک» در «مین» آمد و خدمتکار زنی به نام «آلمافرشت» و زن دیگری به نام «پولین توتیکر» را به قتل رساند. در سال 1971 میلادی دانش آموز سال اول دبیرستانی به نام «شریل مودی» و باز در سال 1974 میلادی دختر زیبایی به نام «کارول دانبرگر» و در سال 1975 میلادی، معلمی به نام «اتارینگ گولد» در زمستان همان سال دانش آموز دبستانی به نام «ماری کیت هندراسن» را به قتل رسانید. او گرگ آدم نما، دراکولا، غول یا موجودی بی نام و نشان از ناکجاآباد نبود، پاسبانی بود به نام «فرانک داد» که با مشکلات روحی و جسمی دست و پنجه نرم میکرد. مردی به نام «جان اسمیت» سرانجام توانست قاتل را شناسایی کند، اما پیش از آن که دستگیرش کنند، «فرانک داد» خودش را کشت. این موضوع همه را شوکه کرد، اما در آن شهر کوچک همه خوشحال بودند، هیولایی که آنجور خواب را از چشمها ربوده بود، سرانجام از بین رفته و اکنون کابوس شهر با خود او در گورش مدفون شده بود. با اینحال در آن دوران فارغ از خرافات که بسیاری از والدین نگران آسیبهای روانشناختی به فرزندانشان بودند، مادری یا شاید مادر بزرگی، جایی در «کسل راک» زندگی میکرد که برای ساکت کردن بچه ها تهدیدشان میکرد، اگر رفتارشان مودبانه نباشد، «فرانک داد» آنها را با خود خواهد برد. وقتی بچه ها به پنجره های تاریک مینگریستند و «فرانک داد» را در پالتو بارانی سیاه وینیل براقش مجسم میکردند، که آدمها را یکی پس از دیگری خفه میکند، سکوتی وهم انگیز اتاق را در بر میگرفت. «خودشه!»، صدای مادر بزرگ را میشنوم که در لابلای سر و صدای سوتوار باد داخل لوله بخاری، و صدای فین فین در قابلمه کهنه، بر روی شعله آتش، میگوید: اون اومده، اگه بچه های خوبی نباشین، ممکنه بعد از اینکه همه خوابیدن، صورتشو پشت پنجره اتاقتون ببینین، یا ببینید، که نیمه شب با چهره ای خندان، از داخل کمدتان، به شما زل زده، یا تابلوی ایست اونو ببینین، که از جلو بچه ها رد میشه، و بالای سرش نگاه میداره، یا تیغی که باهاش خودشو کشت... پس ساکت باشین و صداتون در نیاد. برای خیلیها پایان او به راستی پایان تلقی شد؛ اما هنوز کابوسهایی وجود داشت، هنوز کودکانی از وحشت خوابشان نمیبرد و کسی به خانه ی خالی، که اکنون به عنوان خانه ی ارواح، شناخته میشد، پا نمیگذاشت. به هر حال اینها همه پدیده هایی گذرا، جنبه های جانبی و احتناب ناپذیر زنجیره ی قتلهای بی معنا و احمقانه بودند. پنج سال گذشت. هیولا رفته بود. هیولا مرده بود. «فرانک داد» در تابوت خود پوسیده، و خاک شده بود. اما هیولاها، گرگهای آدم نما، خون آشامها، غولها و موجودات سرزمینهای بینام ونشان هرگز نمیمیرند. در تابستان سال 1980 میلادی هیولا به «کسل راک» بازگشت. در ماه مه همانسال، «تد ترنتون» چهار ساله، کمی پس از نیمه شب از خواب بیدار شد تا به دستشویی برود. از تخت بیرون آمد و خواب آلود به سمت نور مهتابی لنگه ی باز در رفت. شلوارش را پایین کشید و وقتی کارش در دستشویی تمام شد، سیفون را کشید، و به رختخوابش برگشت، و پتو را رویش کشید. در همین موقع بود، که هیولایی را در کمدش دید. هیولا نشسته بود و سرش در میان شانه های پهنش، یکوری قرار گرفته بود، و چشمهایش مانند کهربا میدرخشید. او موجودی بود، که نیمه گرگ ونیمه آدم به نظر میآمد. وقتی بلند شد، چشمهایش به سمت بالا چرخید، تا او را دنبال کند. موهایش سیخ در هوا، و صدای نفسش مانند سوز زمستانی در گلو به گوشش رسید. چشمهای دیوانه ای که میخندید و پیام آور مرگی وحشتناک و فریادهایی ناشنیدنی بود. صدای غرش خرخر مانندش را میشنید و بوی مرگ را از او استشمام میکرد. «تد ترنتون» کوچک دستهایش را روی چشمهایش گذاشت، نفسش را حبس کرد و فریاد کشید. از اتاقی دیگر صدای متعجب پدر و بعد صدای وحشت انگیز مادر را شنید که فریاد زد: «چی بود؟»، صدای دویدنشان را شنید، اما همچنان در حالیکه به درون اتاق میآمدند، از لای انگشتانش دید که هیولا هنوز در کمد است و خرخر میکند، و به او این پیام وحشت آور را میدهد، که والدینش میآیند و بعد دوباره به اتاق خود باز میگردند و وقتی رفتند....؛ چراغ اتاق روشن شد. «ویک» و «دونا ترنتون» به سمت تختش دویدند و از بالای صورت رنگ پریده، و چشمهای خیره اش نگاه نگرانی را با هم رد و بدل کردند. مادرش با صدای بلند و پرخاش گونه گفت: «ویک بهت گفتم که سه تا هات داگ زیادیش میکنه.» پدر روی تخت نشست و دستش را دور کمرش حلقه کرد و از او علت فریادش را پرسید. «تد» جرئت کرد تا بار دیگر نگاهی به داخل کمدش بیندازد. هیولا رفته بود. به جای آن جانوری گرسنه روی دو کپه ی نابرابر پتو و روتختیهای زمستانی ایستاده بود، که «دونا» هنوز وقت پیدا نکرده بود، آنها را به طبقه ی سوم ببرد، و روی صندلی تلمبار شده بودند، و «تد» عادت داشت وقتی میخواست چیزی را از طبقه ی بالای کمد بردارد، روی آنها بایستد. به جای سر مثلثی شکل یکوری جانوری شکارچی با آن حالت پرسشگرانه، خرس عروسکی خودش را دید، که بر روی پتوها قرار گرفته بود. به جای چشمهای کهربایی تهدیدآمیز چشمهای شیشه ای قهوه ای رنگ مهربان خرس عروسکی اش را دید. پدرش دوباره پرسید: «تدر! چی شده؟» تد فریاد زد: «توی کمدم یک هیولا بود» و بعد شروع به گریه کرد. مادرش کنارش نشست. او را در میان خود گرفتند و به هر نحویکه میتوانستند، آرامش کردند. آنها در حقیقت وظیفه ی خود را به عنوان والدین انجام میدادند. برایش توضیح دادند که هیولایی وجود ندارد واین موضوع کابوسی بیش نبوده است. مادرش توضیح داد گاهی سایه ها به نظر مانند چیزهای ترسناک میآیند. چیزهای ترسناکی که در تلویزیون یا در کتابها نشان داده میشوند و پدر دلداریش داد که هیچ مشکلی وجود ندارد و هیچ چیز در خانه ی کوچکشان نمیتواند به او آسیبی برساند. تد سری به علامت تایید تکان داد، ولی میدانست که اینگونه نیست. پدرش توضیح داد که چگونه در تاریکی دو کپه ی پتو مانند شانه های خمیده و خرس عروسکی مانند سری یکوری به نظر میرسند و لامپ دستشویی در چشم های شیشه ای خرس عروسکی بازتاب مییابد و مانند جانوری زنده به چشم میآید. سپس گفت: «حالا نگاه کن، خوب به من نگاه کن تدر.» تد به او نگاه کرد. پدر دو کپه ی پتو را برداشت و آنها را در داخل کمد فرو برد. تد صدای به هم خوردن ملایم چوب رختیها را میشنید. به نظرش میرسید که دارند درباره ی پدرش به زبان خودشان با هم حرف میزنند. به نظرش جالب میآمد و لبخند کمرنگی بر لبانش نشست. مادر لبخندش را دید و لبخندی زد و آرام شد. پدر از کمد بیرون آمد و خرس عروسکی را برداشت و آن را در میان دستان تد قرار داد. بعد با تعظیمی که تد و مادر را به خنده انداخت، گفت: «و حالا بهترین و آخرین قسمت کار... صندلی!» در کمد را محکم بست و صندلی را جلوی در کمد گذاشت. وقتی به سمت تخت تد برمیگشت، لبخند بر لبانش بود، اما چشمهایش نگاهی جدی داشت. ـ خوب شد تد؟ تد گفت: «بله» ولی بعد با ناراحتی گفت: «اما پدر! هیولا اونجا بود من واقعا دیدمش.» پدر گفت: «تو اونو تو ذهنت دیدی تد.» و با دست گرم و بزرگش موهای تد را نوازش کرد و ادامه داد: «اون هیولا نبود، هیولای واقعی وجود نداره و فقط در داستانها و ذهن تو میتونه وجود داشته باشه.» او نگاهش را از پدر به سمت مادر برگرداند و باز به پدر نگاه کرد، به چهره های بزرگ و دوست داشتنیشان. ـ راستی؟ مادرش گفت: «بله، حالا ازت میخوام بری دستشویی! بدو مرد بزرگ!)؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kandice

    This book is terrifying. More so because the important events in the story could all actually happen. They are real possibilities. This story would not work in today’s age of cell phones and constant communication, but for anyone with a memory of the way things used to be, it reads as all too possible. On a personal note, I have always kept a small box of water bottles and snacks in my car since learning to drive because of THIS book. Any true King fan knows how he loves to tie his no This book is terrifying. More so because the important events in the story could all actually happen. They are real possibilities. This story would not work in today’s age of cell phones and constant communication, but for anyone with a memory of the way things used to be, it reads as all too possible. On a personal note, I have always kept a small box of water bottles and snacks in my car since learning to drive because of THIS book. Any true King fan knows how he loves to tie his novels together with the tenuous threads of shared locales and characters. Cujo makes much use of the Frank Dodd “bad guy” from The Dead Zone, completely skipping Firestarter references. Dodd has become something of a bogeyman used to scare children into behaving and a fear the adults in town would like to forget. I love all of King’s work (not equally!) but have always felt his novels that do not contain a supernatural element make the best movies. Cujo was an excellent movie! What’s funny is that there is a very real undercurrent of the supernatural in the book that does not appear in the movie at all. Dodd is that element. The novel hints that the evil in Dodd is still hanging around Castle Rock. I’m spoiling nothing here by saying Cujo has rabies, but there are very definite pointers to that case of rabies also being a manifestation of the evil of Dodd. King’s hints in this direction are not crucial to the story, but they certainly add a scary element as you read. King has said, on several occasions, that he wrote this novel at the height of his alcoholism and addiction and it shows. There are no chapters or formal narrative breaks. You are almost forced to read at breakneck speed. Probably the way he wrote it! The narrative takes place over three days with a few flashbacks thrown in to lengthen the plot, but the pace never slows. There are quite a few coincidences necessary for the series of unfortunate events to occur, but I never found these coincidences unbelievable or even far-fetched. Often in life, the worst tragedies occur because of a string of coincidences. In my life alone there have been times when I’ve said “if this was a movie, I’d stop watching.” because really, how many coincidences can occur? Apparently, a lot! Although the idea of this situation is a bit horrific and indicates gore, King doesn’t use a lot of gore in these pages. There’s some, but not a lot. I think almost anyone could get a thrill of some sort from this novel. The movie is also terrific. I think Dee Wallace gives the performance of a lifetime and it was King that gave her the material to do so. Read it. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Cujo gets bitten by a rabid bat and the big friendly lovable Saint Bernard turns into a murderous beast. I really enjoyed this one a lot. I loved that Cujo's point of view was included. I couldn't help but feel for Cujo with all that happened to him due to circumstances beyond his control. I liked the small town setting of Castle Rock, Maine. The story was very atmospheric with an underlying tone of dread and apprehension throughout. Exciting, engrossing, bleak, sad, and very enjoyable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    All hail the King. Since giving Empire Falls five huge stars back in March, I have had seven, count 'em, SEVEN DNFs out of the past 10 books I've started since then. This was really starting to worry me. Was it possible that Empire Falls had such a hold on me that it would be impossible for anything else to hold my interest just because it wasn't that novel? In exasperation, it was back to the Stephen King well, dipping back into those early ones I had never gotten to. I gra All hail the King. Since giving Empire Falls five huge stars back in March, I have had seven, count 'em, SEVEN DNFs out of the past 10 books I've started since then. This was really starting to worry me. Was it possible that Empire Falls had such a hold on me that it would be impossible for anything else to hold my interest just because it wasn't that novel? In exasperation, it was back to the Stephen King well, dipping back into those early ones I had never gotten to. I grabbed Cujo with mild reservations because it's not one that is usually associated among his best, and averaging a 3.64 rating here at Goodreads. Now, Cujo is no Empire Falls, we're talking apples and oranges here, but from a sheer entertainment standpoint it was just what the doctor ordered. And this is about more than just a rabid dog. There are lives around this story that are all affected, and as is always the case with King, these characters are terrifically realized. Somehow I had forgotten how scary this guy could get. There are some scenes here that were so suspenseful I was on the edge of my seat, and they'll be tough to shake from my mind for a while. Wow. Cujo easily gets five out of five stars for pulling me out of one mire of a reading slump, and for being a hell of a good, suspensful and scary story. Thank you, young Steve. Oh, I almost forgot. William, I believe your name is. If you see this review and you are still waiting for me to accept your friend request, the reason why I have not accepted is that your review for Cujo spoiled the ending of the book for me. Thanks a lot, arse. Use spoiler tags, kids.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a scary book. A lovely furry cuddly St. Bernard. Everybody loves the St. Bernard. It is a life saver of a breed. So was Cujo. Until he developed Rabies. The rest is a frightening tale. A good film too starring Dee Wallace.🐯👍

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sh3lly

    I guess I'll stick with my original 3-star rating. This almost feels like it should have been a novella. There isn't quite enough meat here for a full-length novel. By the end, I just wanted it over and stopped caring about the switches back and forth between town members who weren't even in town during Cujo's rabid attacks (but are partially indirectly responsible). However, Stephen King is really good about keeping you interested in various types of gray characters. Some of them are just cut and dry evil, but most I guess I'll stick with my original 3-star rating. This almost feels like it should have been a novella. There isn't quite enough meat here for a full-length novel. By the end, I just wanted it over and stopped caring about the switches back and forth between town members who weren't even in town during Cujo's rabid attacks (but are partially indirectly responsible). However, Stephen King is really good about keeping you interested in various types of gray characters. Some of them are just cut and dry evil, but most are fairly normal people who have done a few bad things in life. They always end up paying for those mistakes in King's world. This is classic King: creepy, sick, raunchy, with sex and expletives sprinkled throughout. Everyone knows the plot of this, but I was actually surprised by things I had forgotten about, mainly the ending. I did not remember the ending being quite that dark. I don't think I'm really cool with that. (view spoiler)[WTF?! Killing the kid after everything they went through?! I'm angry. I didn't remember that happening. (hide spoiler)] There isn't a whole lot of variety or subplots in this one. I feel the plot was stretched pretty thin. But still a classic, and a quick, easy read. Bad Cujo!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    Damn this is not what everyone said it would be! I appreciate good suspense, but trust me, after 50 pages in that frickin' car, you get pretty bored. It started out awesomely, with Cujo getting bit and going slowly rabid. He kills a few, and then I said, "Yes! Here comes the good part!" but that was the end of the good part. It became such a boring book, it was hard to get through. The sideplots were lacking, especially the cereal crap. I was sick of business. Where's the suspense? I c Damn this is not what everyone said it would be! I appreciate good suspense, but trust me, after 50 pages in that frickin' car, you get pretty bored. It started out awesomely, with Cujo getting bit and going slowly rabid. He kills a few, and then I said, "Yes! Here comes the good part!" but that was the end of the good part. It became such a boring book, it was hard to get through. The sideplots were lacking, especially the cereal crap. I was sick of business. Where's the suspense? I could've picked up the Wall Street Journal to read about business! Aargh! The movie better really get me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bri | bribooks

    Of Stephen King's novels, this is probably the most difficult one for me to read. It's well-written, don't get me wrong -- the prose here is absolutely gorgeous, among King's most direct and poetic -- but it is so bleak. There is nary a light in the tunnel. Instead, this novel is King's way of shrugging his shoulders and saying "stuff happens." Like Roadwork before it, Cujo's gritty realism can yield fascinating results, but the journey is absolutely gut-wrenching. What makes Cujo so fasci Of Stephen King's novels, this is probably the most difficult one for me to read. It's well-written, don't get me wrong -- the prose here is absolutely gorgeous, among King's most direct and poetic -- but it is so bleak. There is nary a light in the tunnel. Instead, this novel is King's way of shrugging his shoulders and saying "stuff happens." Like Roadwork before it, Cujo's gritty realism can yield fascinating results, but the journey is absolutely gut-wrenching. What makes Cujo so fascinating in the context of King's entire oeuvre is this is his first novel that relies totally (or . . . mostly, anyway) on humanistic elements to supply the horror. The supernatural is hinted at, but this is a novel firmly rooted in real life. The events of this story could really happen, and that's what makes it work so well. The horror is totally believable. Before Cujo (Bachman books aside), there was always a supernatural element at the forefront of every King novel -- ghosts, vampires, psychic ability. Those weren't the only elements in their respective novels, but they were responsible for driving the narratives forward. Without those things, those novels would not be what they are. With Cujo, King decided to take a risk, and it worked. It was a deviation from what his fans had come to expect from him, but it worked. With this novel and the book of novellas that would come in 1982, Different Seasons, Stephen King proved he was unafraid to experiment and publish books that didn't fit what was expected of him. With books like Joyland, 11/22/63, and the Bill Hodges trilogy, King is still showing he still is not afraid to play by the rules and would, rather, continue throwing his readers curve-balls. Good on him, I say. One criticism I often hear about Cujo is the coincidences and their seemingly . . ahem, unrealistic characteristics. This is a novel that moves totally on coincidences. I'll try not to get too spoiler-y for those who haven't read this novel yet, so I'll say this: this is a book that acts as a commentary on the rather cruel indifference of fate. Horror comes from the mundane; because all of the main characters happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the events of the novel are allowed to happen. Some readers get frustrated at that, saying you can almost see the author moving the characters around like chess pieces, and that is totally valid. I can see where they're coming from. It all works for me, though. I think King is totally in on the fact that it all seems so . . . mechanical, the way he moves the characters around. I think that's the whole point. He wants the reader to feel frustrated, exasperated -- just like the characters in the novel. Charity Camber is frustrated about her life choices and her son idolizing his crappy father; Vic Trenton is frustrated that his ad company is experiencing problems and his wife has recently had an affair; Steve Kemp is frustrated that Donna has recently ended the affair with him; Donna Trenton is frustrated at growing older and being so bored -- she feels her life is going nowhere. The characters are frustrated by simple fate, and I think King wanted the reader to feel their pain . . . at least a little bit. Heck, the seemingly "conspiring" coincidences are mentioned more than once by a couple of the characters at different times throughout the narrative. So, yeah. I think King was totally in on the seemingly mechanical (or forced, if you prefer) way the plot is pushed forward. Another criticism I often hear about this novel is the detail given to the subplots -- especially the one involving Charity and Brett's trip to Connecticut. I've never minded the subplots -- the deviation from the main attraction (mother and son trapped in a Pinto by a rabid Cujo) make the pages spent in the Cambers' dooryard all the more horrific. The characters in this novel are fascinating and I could have read 100 more pages about all of them, truth be told. I don't see the subplots as King trying to beef up the page count but instead fully examining these people he's brought to life. If they weren't interesting I would probably complain and possibly dock a star, but I always enjoy the excursions away from the hot Pinto, if only because they offer a little relief. In case you haven't picked up on it, Cujo is a grim little novel. I really think King was trying to go for the throat with this one, and he succeeded. It's one of the few novels by the Maine author that twists my stomach into knots; it's one of the few I'm never sure if I'll be able to finish. It's a horrific novel, but the scares are entirely realistic -- they could happen to you or me. Cujo is the official start of what I consider to be King's darkest period -- a period including works such as "Apt Pupil", Christine, Pet Sematary, IT, The Tommyknockers, The Dark Half, and Needful Things. This period will see King explore themes he had never explored before; it will see him going back to themes he had touched on before, getting his final word in on them. In it he will reach the apex of his cocaine and alcohol addictions and then quit the stuff altogether, making for some of his most fascinating -- and most depressing -- works. However, I don't think any of them reach the bleakness of Cujo. . . but, I suppose, we will see. King connections: This novel takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, site of previous novel The Dead Zone. Several characters from that book pop up here -- either physically or by being mentioned -- such as Sheriff Bannerman, Johnny Smith, and Frank Dodd. Favorite quote: “It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do all the things his MAN and his WOMAN, and most of all his BOY, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, if that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.” Up next: We're running for our lives (I'm just going by the book's tag-line here; I have no clue what this one's about.) -- it's The Running Man!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patricio

    «But in high school the business of irrevocable choices began. Doors slipped shut with a faint locking click that was only heared clearly in the dreams of later years.» People who haven't read Cujo probably only know about the mad murdering dog premise, but Cujo is actually more than that. This is a peculiar King's novel because the horror doesn't come plainly from demons or any other supernatural element nor from the Saint Bernard (only partially), but from the human mind. The narrative switches«But «But in high school the business of irrevocable choices began. Doors slipped shut with a faint locking click that was only heared clearly in the dreams of later years.» People who haven't read Cujo probably only know about the mad murdering dog premise, but Cujo is actually more than that. This is a peculiar King's novel because the horror doesn't come plainly from demons or any other supernatural element nor from the Saint Bernard (only partially), but from the human mind. The narrative switches between the story of two families, the Trentons and the Cambers. Each of the Trentons is going through different issues - Tad has been tormented by a monster that lives inside his closet, Vic's advertisement company is going through some problems, and Donna, his wife, has recently cheated on him. The Cambers' story, on the other hand, is focused on Charity, who's afraid her son will become like his father, so when she wins the lottery, she decides to withdraw with Brett for a week. They also own Cujo. The beginning was slow because this story was very character driven, but while the families' dramas were explored, each character was also developed. Vic's company story bored me to death, to be honest, and that didn't engage me in the story at first, but when King switched between Donna's POV, glimpses of Cujo following a rabbit, Charity's inner struggles and Cujo getting rabies, I was deeply immersed in the story. What I loved the most in Cujo, besides the great moments of horror created with Cujo eating humans and the power of the human mind to develop (realistic) horror, was the chain of coincidences that not only connected all the storylines, but also lead to a tragic event because it was believable. Something like this could totally happen, and adding what our mind can imagine in edgy, terrible situations to that, this novel was phenomenal. It was really entertaining and shocking. I hadn't realized I was so emotionally attached to the characters until the last pages, where the book got very emotional and dark. I loved that. Although Cujo had one of my favorite endings of all King's novels I've read so far, its slow pace and brutal switches between some deep horror scenes to lighter ones - which sometimes disturbed the intensity of the narrative - made me knock off a star. (I don't think I can actually rate this book fairly, because it probably deserved 4,5 stars, but the most important is that I loved it. Enjoying books is more important that rating them.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    AudioBookLover

    I really liked this story but I didn't think it was as good as Pet Semetery. Most Stephen King books have great audiobook readers but the woman who read this one wasn't very appropriate for the book. She is an old woman that sounded like a witch. If this book was about old people or witches she may have fit in but it wasn't about either so it did work. Story **** Audiobook** Overall ***

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tobin Elliott

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I haven't actually gone back and read this since the Saturday after it was first published. That's when I went down to the local bookstore, bought it, dragged it home and devoured it in a single sitting. It appears I may have gulped a bit too fast on this one the last time. Or maybe it's because I'm a parent now, and a dog owner. Maybe that long-promised, often-scoffed-at maturity has somehow settled into these bones. All I can say is, this ti Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I haven't actually gone back and read this since the Saturday after it was first published. That's when I went down to the local bookstore, bought it, dragged it home and devoured it in a single sitting. It appears I may have gulped a bit too fast on this one the last time. Or maybe it's because I'm a parent now, and a dog owner. Maybe that long-promised, often-scoffed-at maturity has somehow settled into these bones. All I can say is, this time, this book knocked the shit out of me. In fact, I have only one complaint. I actually think I might have preferred a straight thriller, with no supernatural elements at all. I found they actually tended to muddy the waters a bit. But I loved the characters, all of them. They were spot on, from children torn between their mom and dad, wives that thought their husbands were all bad, but learned they had forgotten some of the good, mothers that realized that time was slipping by too fast, too fast. And Cujo. Oh god, how I felt for that damn dog. This story can be taken as all surface, just a fast-paced thriller about a mom, a boy, and a dog. Or it can go so much deeper. Stephen King as Cujo, basically a good dog who got caught up in a disease (rabies for substance abuse) that just left him more befuddled and confused and not knowing who to trust, lashing out and killing the ones he loved. Donna and Vic Trenton's marriage is King's talent. When the trust is broken, will it be able to survive? And so on and so on. This, like The Long Walk, is one of those books that I read and enjoyed, but really wasn't either smart enough or receptive enough to accept all their hidden gifts the first time around. This one just shot up the list of favourite King books.

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