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Pet Sematary

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The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed's rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies anot The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed's rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed. source: stephenking.com


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The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed's rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies anot The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed's rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed. source: stephenking.com

30 review for Pet Sematary

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Wow. Just wow. I've put off reading this one for years because, well.... I'm a wimp. There, I said it. When one of the most well-known names in the contemporary era of the horror genre says something is his scariest book, I take note. It seems bizarre that I finally chose to tackle this one while having children the same age as Louis Creed's, it was precisely the perfect time to pick this up. I listened to almost the entire book over a 24-hour period while road-tripping, and the experience was unparalleled Wow. Just wow. I've put off reading this one for years because, well.... I'm a wimp. There, I said it. When one of the most well-known names in the contemporary era of the horror genre says something is his scariest book, I take note. It seems bizarre that I finally chose to tackle this one while having children the same age as Louis Creed's, it was precisely the perfect time to pick this up. I listened to almost the entire book over a 24-hour period while road-tripping, and the experience was unparalleled to any I've had in the scope of reading thus far. Side note, Michael C. Hall was the most excellent narrator for this. What likely was a 4 star read initially became a 5 star with no second thought. If you haven't experienced this version I cannot recommend it highly enough. Rather than a gory, blood and guts type of horror, this is a slow burning, queasy unease that explodes in the final chapters. The suspense nearly did kill me; by the final 25% I found myself wringing my hands and grinding my teeth, preparing myself for the inevitable that I knew was coming, deep down, ever since the beginning. I don't think I could have fully appreciated what King intended to accomplish with this novel if I'd read it before having children of my own. That's not to say that people without kids won't appreciate this as highly, just as statement in my own personal journey. Only King can accomplish so much horror with so little bloodshed. I finished this days ago but have held off on reviewing until now because I feel like I'm still processing and I can't stop thinking about everything that occurred to this family. I had spent so much time prior to reading this book in preparing myself for the big "things" that I was completely taken aback by how connected I became to the Creed family. This is why the detailed, slow burn; if I didn't care about this family, their neighbors, and the town in general, why would what happens at the end stick with me for the long haul? Oh sure, I would have gasped and guffawed at the disturbing nature of the plot, but I wouldn't have been emotionally invested. If you've been hiding under my big rock for the past few decades and are just catching up on your Stephen King backlog, like me, I highly recommend picking this up. It's not just about the scares with this one, but the contemplation on how grief can turn any of us into a monster. By far the best audible book I've chosen yet.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    While reading this book, all I that runs through my head is the song the Ramones made for the movie. So, I'm going to link the video so all of you can have it running through your head as well! Kickin' it old school =) Pet Sematary - The Ramones Okay, let me just go ahead and say there will be **SPOILERS** for those that haven't read the book or seen the movie. I have seen the movie about 6 million 5 hundred and 8 times. And I love it! T While reading this book, all I that runs through my head is the song the Ramones made for the movie. So, I'm going to link the video so all of you can have it running through your head as well! Kickin' it old school =) Pet Sematary - The Ramones Okay, let me just go ahead and say there will be **SPOILERS** for those that haven't read the book or seen the movie. I have seen the movie about 6 million 5 hundred and 8 times. And I love it! THIS is the first time I have read the book, and as there are a few differences in the book and movie, they both rock monkey butt! The book didn't scare me at all for some reason. I think because of the said 6 million 5 hundred and 8 times that I have seen it that maybe it acclimated me to the book. Although, the movie is still creepy as hell. I totally freaked at the introduction to the book. Mr. King tells about moving to said place, teaching at the school, they had a cat named Smucky, their son was running to the road chasing the kite string like in the movie, but uh, didn't get killed! And some other things. It was like a whole new little world right there for me that he actually wrote this based on some home stuff! Remember in the book where Jud (the wonderful neighbor) takes them out to the Pet Sematary? SMUCKY THE CAT, one crate-board marker proclaimed. The hand was childish but careful. HE WAS OBEDIANT. Okay, so there was a real (I wonder if it's still there?) Pet Sematary and their cat Smucky is buried there and that is what Mr. King's daughter wrote! I mean, I can't even. I want to go visit there now and see if the place is still there! So wonderful Jud from across the road has a great friendship with Louis and the kids, a little iffy with Rachel. Anyway, Jud is the one that has Louis bury Church (the cat) when he gets hit on that damn road all of those crazy trucks would fly down. But little did Louis know that Church was going to come back, even when the poor boy from the school (Pascow) who got hit by a car and killed, came back as a ghost to warn Louis. Why don't people just listen? So now Church is back home and he isn't the same any more. But the family didn't find out anything happened to him while they were out of town. They just think he's weird and stinks when they get home. Uh, yeah! So then, it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Gage is killed on the road. . . . . . and in the movie you get to see who presides over the funeral. Yup, the King =) and then. . . don't do it . . . don't to it. He does it, Louis takes Gage to the Pet Sematary and yeah. . . Gage isn't the same when he comes back! He kills Jud! Damn it all! and Ellie had been having bad dreams about her daddy so Rachel comes home and goes to Jud's house and she gets killed because Gage isn't Gage any more. And Louis finally takes out Church and Gage, but does he learn from his lesson? Nooooooooooooooo, he takes and buries Rachel in the Sematary. Well, you can use your imagination for the rest of that one. . . This was an awesome book to read for Halloween time or any time really but it's extra special at Halloween! ♥ MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  3. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "Cause what you buy, is what you own. And what you own... always comes home to you." Louis Creed and his family have recently moved to the town of Ludlow, Maine. Behind their house there is a path that leads to a 'Pet Sematary', where the children of surrounding areas have buried their beloved pets in years gone by. Deeper in the woods there lies an ancient Indian burial ground, that Louis discovers has some sinister properties when their family cat dies... It's no secret t "Cause what you buy, is what you own. And what you own... always comes home to you." Louis Creed and his family have recently moved to the town of Ludlow, Maine. Behind their house there is a path that leads to a 'Pet Sematary', where the children of surrounding areas have buried their beloved pets in years gone by. Deeper in the woods there lies an ancient Indian burial ground, that Louis discovers has some sinister properties when their family cat dies... It's no secret that Pet Sematary is my favourite King book, but this is the case for a number of different reasons. When I first started reading horror I couldn't imagine words on a page actually scaring me, I always felt like I needed something visual to keep me up at night. Then I found Pet Sematary... I'd never had an experience before where I actually felt scared to turn the page - this was of course in the climax at the end of the novel. My heart was racing, my palms felt sweaty, I just kept thinking, "There's no way this book is going to go THAT dark" (clearly I didn't really know King yet!!). And then it did. And a King junkie and Constant Reader was born. IT was my first King, but Pet Sematary was where I became hooked. **NB Plenty of spoilers ahead** Now it's time to get personal... grief and loss has been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, my dad was diagnosed with MS, a debilitating disease that quite literally drained the life from him in front of our eyes. I guess this is similar in some ways to the Zelda and Rachel storyline, apart from the fact that my dad was never angry or resentful over his illness - or if he was, he never showed it in front of me. He progressively got more and more ill, over time losing his ability to speak, walk, eat. Death was ultimately a relief. But what about those who are left behind? It's strange because even though I was only 10 when he died, which is around 18 years ago, there are still days or times when the unrelenting grief can come out of nowhere and floor me. The loss of a parent is something you never get over, it is simply something you learn to live with. The only thing that can possibly be worse is the loss of a child. King's depiction of the grief and loss that both Louis and Rachel go through is so accurate it hurts. This book really resonated with me on a deep level, as I had never before read such a harrowing and realistic outlook on death and loss. There are so many passages that I've made a note of and will revisit over and over again. The way King crafted a book that is terrifying and heartbreaking in equal measures will never fail to astound me. Because this book IS terrifying - to lose someone is terrifying, to have to try to move on is terrifying, for them to come back "different" is also terrifying. Sometimes on instagram I will see people criticising Louis' decisions or making out that he's a bad parent and it makes me want to scream. Grief and loss does not allow for rational thinking. It does not allow for good judgement. It can be all encompassing to the point where you feel like you can't breathe. I defy anyone to tell me that if in a similar position you wouldn't even consider it (not forgetting the fact that there are other forces at work here). I know I would. Couple that with the overwhelming devastation and loss and your decision is pretty made. So to label Louis as a bad parent is absolutely ridiculous to me. Don't get me wrong, there was Ellie to consider, he still had that to live for, but in those heady initial days following such a heartbreaking loss, rational thinking ain't happening. It's a bit of a slow-build this book, but the pay-off is worth it. I enjoyed getting to know the Creeds, watching them form friendships with the Crandalls across the road. All the good stuff, you know, before shit hits the fan. And when shit hits the fan, it is almost too much to take. Gage's little Star Wars shoe in the middle of the road... the cap full of blood. Images that send chills down my spine. Then the unbearable dread as Louis digs up that coffin, not knowing what exactly he is going to be presented with. The way Louis initially thinks that Gage has no head as there is a dark moss covering his face... THIS IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. The little figure appearing in Louis' room as he sleeps, the child's laughter that Jud can hear... Ellie having these vivid dreams and knowing that her family is in danger. This is really a masterclass in how to craft well-written, piss-your-pants horror. I bow to you, Sai King. Some of King's best writing in here and one of his best endings too. There's also some unforgettable characters in Louis Creed, Jud Crandall, Victor Pascow and Zelda. PUH-LEASE can I find a Jud Crandall that can act as a father figure to me?? The adaptation for this book is also pretty decent: Louis is a hot dad, Fred Gwynne was born to play the role of Jud, Zelda will trigger a cold sweat to run down your back... I could quite honestly write an entire thesis on Pet Sematary, so I'll end it here. All I'll say is this: if you didn't feel something when reading this book...... you need to check yourself *insert sassy emoji* Always my number 1 King book. 5 stars from me - obviously. Update: listened to audiobook in April/May 2018. Incredible narration by Michael C Hall. Still 5 stars. Obviously. Update 2: reread in March 2019 in anticipation of the new movie. Somehow loved it even more!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    I absolutely LOVED this reread with my whole heart and soul!!!! Classic King is my comfort place. It's where I choose to live. This beloved story was even more enjoyable the second time through! When Dr. Louis Creed decides to move his growing family from Chicago to rural Maine, he could never guess how much that one decision could impact their lives. Like another good 'doctor' before him, Victor Frankenstein, Louis is about to discover the hard way that... Classic I absolutely LOVED this reread with my whole heart and soul!!!! Classic King is my comfort place. It's where I choose to live. This beloved story was even more enjoyable the second time through! When Dr. Louis Creed decides to move his growing family from Chicago to rural Maine, he could never guess how much that one decision could impact their lives. Like another good 'doctor' before him, Victor Frankenstein, Louis is about to discover the hard way that... This is really such an incredible story. King's writing draws you in and holds on until the bitter end. As with many of his tales, there is an overriding feeling of dread and an ominous atmosphere that seeps through every chapter. It gets in your mind and stays there. The first time I read this, I was in high school. It was the early-90s and this was one of the scariest books I had ever read. I am in 40 now and this is still one of the scariest books I have ever read. In 1983, when this was originally published, I can imagine that it was heralded as a ground-breaking piece of horror fiction. In addition to still loving all of the characters, I picked up on a lot of details this time around that I don't recall noticing the first time. As an alumna of the University of Maine at Orono, where Dr. Creed takes a position as head of the student health center, I really enjoyed reading the small sections of the story that took place on campus. Side Note: The incident he describes with the fraternity boys who were brought in after crashing their toboggan gave me a good chuckle. You see, my husband's fraternity was at the top of the hill facing the old steam plant. The one with the cannon replicas on it. We used to do all sorts of things on that hill including sledding, snowboarding and even 'slip-n-sliding' in the summer. Yes, injuries ensued. Another detail I picked up on this time around that I either didn't understand on the first go, or had simply forgotten, was all of the references to the legend of the 'wendigo'. When I was in high school I may have assumed this was something King made up instead of a reference to an actual mythical man-eating creature straight out of Algonquin folklore. You see, we didn't have Google at that time... And although I cringed during all scenes related to Church, he was treated so unfairly, I am so happy with this reread. I can definitely picture myself picking this up again and again for years to come. An definitive classic!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Two things about this book: 1. It is one of two Stephen King books I finished in one sitting (the other being The Dead Zone) 2. When I was a kid, I had to make sure the cover of this book was not facing out or I could not sleep. I didn't even like to look at it when I was awake!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    It’s probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls—as little as one may like to admit it, human experience tends, in a good many ways, to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. It’s probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls—as little as one may like to admit it, human experience tends, in a good many ways, to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. In my teens, Stephen King has crafted my nightmares. I am masochistically glad to say that in my adulthood, that has not changed. He had been responsible for my bedtime routine. Close all doors, bathroom, closet. Check under bed, a terrifying prospect as it stands. Make sure blanket is firmly tucked in at the feet - who knows what creatures might reach up to grab or nibble on them. Make sure blanket is firmly tucked in on all sides, so that only the head is exposed. And still, all that preparation for the battle that is bedtime is nigh useless as the nightlights cast shadows that turn into shadowy creatures in the depths of night. Glints of light cast upon objects are spun by a restless mind into monsters. It has been years since I've read a Stephen King book. That's because my attention span is much shorter now. It craves the quick denouément, a fast-paced plot. Action action action. I confess that this book did plod along in some parts for me, but despite all that, there is no doubt in my mind that King is a master at building atmosphere. He is tremendously skilled at crafting characters, at making them human, at making them relatable in their poignancy, with moments like a father explaining the inevitability of death to his young child. I think we can all relate to that moment. He held her and rocked her, believing, rightly or wrongly, that Ellie wept for the very intractability of death, its imperviousness to argument or to a little girl’s tears; that she wept over its cruel unpredictability; and that she wept because of the human being’s wonderful, deadly ability to translate symbols into conclusions that were either fine and noble or blackly terrifying. If all those animals had died and been buried, then Church could die (any time!) and be-buried; and if that could happen to Church, it could happen to her mother, her father, her baby brother. To herself. Death was a vague idea; the Pet Sematary was real. In the texture of those rude markers were truths which even a child’s hands could feel. I would say half the book isn't a horror in a traditional sense, but an exploration of human grief and behavior, and human nature itself can be quite terrifying. That isn't to say that this book isn't filled with moments that makes a chill run down your spine. The wind pushed and pulled its fingers through his hair, and for a moment the old, childlike fear of the dark rushed through him, making him feel weak and small and terrorized. Was he really going into the woods with this corpse in his arms, passing under the trees where the wind walked, from darkness into darkness? And alone this time? I've long since outgrown my nightly monster-prepping ritual, but I know tonight I won't be sleeping easily. “I brought you something, Mommy!” he screamed. “I brought you something, Mommy! I brought you something, I brought you something!”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    That ending though... This ended up being very different than what I expected. The less you know about it, the better!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Teodora

    4.5/5 ⭐ Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺 Pet Sematary. Sematary. Isn’t it cute?? Okay, maybe not that cute if you consider the fact that some kids bury their dead pets in a sinister place and fulfil all kind of procedures meant for burying people, applying them on their pets. But you have to admit, the misspelling is adorable. So innocent. I’ve read this book almost three years ago and I literally have no idea how I read this because I felt like I forgot a lot of important things about it. But thank the Almighty Divinity up there f⭐Full 4.5/5 ⭐ Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺 Pet Sematary. Sematary. Isn’t it cute?? Okay, maybe not that cute if you consider the fact that some kids bury their dead pets in a sinister place and fulfil all kind of procedures meant for burying people, applying them on their pets. But you have to admit, the misspelling is adorable. So innocent. I’ve read this book almost three years ago and I literally have no idea how I read this because I felt like I forgot a lot of important things about it. But thank the Almighty Divinity up there for the film. I actually enjoyed the film more than I expected, but it was good because it was different from the book and it helped me remember better (because my brain has its own way of functioning and processing, don't ask). I am not going to talk about plots and plot twists and also I am not going to talk that much about the characters either. But I do want to talk a bit about one of the characters though. First off, I want to say that after seeing the film, the image of Louis Creed, the main character, has somehow grown on me. When I was reading the book, I must confess that I didn't feel a real connection towards any of the characters, maybe at some point even despise them a little. And Louis Creed is not an exception. I actually felt like he was warmer in the film than it was in the book. And I had this impression about all of the characters to be completely honest. Maybe I was more insensitive three years ago when I read the book. Or maybe not. Who knows? (I'm still pretty insensitive though). Because I remember feelings sometimes better than words, I must say that this book had some very intense passages that managed to raise the hair on the back of my neck. To make you understand what I’m saying, I have prepared a nice story for you, one that is actually real as it comes: I have a small house at the countryside, typical Romanian you know, with Persian rugs and a terracotta stove and a dim lightbulb that annoys you more than actually helps you see. It was the Easter evening, my folks were outside preparing the grill for the barbecue and I was all alone in my bed reading this book, clearly running away from responsibility. As I said, the light was kind of stupidly annoying, the stove was cracking from time to time and sometimes someone was making weird noises from outside like crashing things or something clumsy like that. Apart from that, everything was semi-shadowy and quiet. The passage I was reading right at that moment was the one when Rachel, Louis' wife, was describing the last time she saw her sick sister alive before she died. I remember that scene as ‘the closet scene'. King created a masterpiece out of that scene. It felt so real and so immediate that I started looking at my own closet in the room and praying not to see some inhumanly claws creeping from between the doors. In that particular moment, I felt a chill going down my spine and my heart started somehow racing. I actually yelled for my mother too and she actually came to check on me like I was some kind of baby (she rolled her eyes and left after I told her why I summoned her but at least she came). Giving the fact that the book has some mysticism spice, I think it is worth a shot just for the glimpse of a myth. And maybe who knows? The individual research could go on and maybe even discover something new, interesting and exciting because as I always say, we always have something to learn from a book, even if we have only a tiny detail that grabbed our attention. Everything is worth knowing. Even if it comes from a horror novel! Just make it enjoyable. Everything comes from within.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    "Sometimes dead is better".................KING calls Pet Sematary his scariest book, and I can understand why. It is super creepy and super "shocking" where he takes the reader, and his interesting prologue explaining how he came to write this unsettling tale brings a bit of truth to the story.While truly a horror of a read, it is excellent in respect to its genre, but just awful too if that makes any sense. PS is not particularly gory, but definitely sad, sick, dark, and disgusting with more than one horribly "shocking" event that will blow youstory.Whilebetter"................. "Sometimes dead is better".................KING calls Pet Sematary his scariest book, and I can understand why. It is super creepy and super "shocking" where he takes the reader, and his interesting prologue explaining how he came to write this unsettling tale brings a bit of truth to the story.While truly a horror of a read, it is excellent in respect to its genre, but just awful too if that makes any sense. PS is not particularly gory, but definitely sad, sick, dark, and disgusting with more than one horribly "shocking" event that will blow your mind.Take heed if you're new to reading horror as this one will make your skin crawl and keep you from taking a walk in the woods anytime soon......especially if your cat is nearby."IT" is still my favorite scary KING thriller (especially the "old" movie) but Pet Sematary (did I say it was "shocking") is a close second, and......."sometimes dead is better." UPDATE: October 16, 2015 WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE TOTALLY CREEPED OUT! THE VISUAL OF THE "SISTER" FLASHBACK SCENE ALONE IS MORE HORRIFYING THAN THE ENTIRE BOOK!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. 2nd reading, and it still remains my favorite book that I've read so far. _______________ Once upon a time when I was a child, I remember talking with my family about horror movies. Somebody asked what was the scariest movie you've watched, and my mom without thinking said 'Pet Sematary'. I remember laughing and saying 'How on earth could a movie nam And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. 2nd reading, and it still remains my favorite book that I've read so far. _______________ Once upon a time when I was a child, I remember talking with my family about horror movies. Somebody asked what was the scariest movie you've watched, and my mom without thinking said 'Pet Sematary'. I remember laughing and saying 'How on earth could a movie named Pet Sematary be scary?' Fast forward to now, I changed my mind. This book is the scariest and creepiest book I've ever read, and I'm sure it'll stay number 1 for a long time. It made me think about stuff I don't want, or refuse, to think about. One being death. Most of us don't want to think about death, 'cause we think we're invincible... But we're not. Like this book said, Oz the Great and Terrible (or should I say Gweat and Tewwible?) is always close... waiting. At a few parts, I even thought about putting the book down, because it was all too much, but I just couldn't. I wasn't even able to stop reading, 'cause I was dying (no pun intended) to know what was going to happen next. I guess horror books do that do you. In conclusion, amazing book, and I'm definitely gonna re-read it in (very, very distant) future.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”It’s probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls—as little as one may like to admit it, human experience tends, in a good many ways, to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. ”It’s probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls—as little as one may like to admit it, human experience tends, in a good many ways, to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.” In the introduction to this edition, Stephen King manages to start the tingles and shivers running up and down my back before I ever read a word of the novel. When a writer like Stephen King says this is the book he wrote that scared him the most, I wonder if I am going to be opening a door in my own mind that I would rather keep triple padlock with the key lost in a different dimension. We’ve all speculated about all the horrors that are fighting for space in King’s mind. How does he sleep at night? I’m just a dabbler, but I will tell you that my thought is he sleeps very well as long as he is able to write each day. Whenever I am being harassed by a story or even maybe just a compelling character, I will find no peace until that concept or character is committed to paper, well pixels. The reason that King finished this book and his initial reaction to the story was to slam it into a drawer and forget it about it is because the plotting of the novel intersected with his life in real time. His daughter, her cat, and the place they were living when he wrote the novel are all captured in the squiggles of his prose. When he finished, he realized he had written a novel he wasn’t sure he should have brought into being. Can a novel become reality? The nightmares in this novel are too personal. It makes perfect sense to me to feel compelled to stab a sharp stake through the heart of a manuscript. When Dr. Louis Creed moves his family from Boston to rural Maine, he certainly has preconceived notions about what it will be like to live in the country. Of course, I grew up in the country, and I could have told Louis that there are many hazards for children, pets, and even adults in the country. Leaving Boston behind might have felt like escaping the perils of the city, but all he did was jump from one frying pan into another. The semi-trucks barrelling down the highway outside their house are not only loud but also pushing the pedal to the metal. They are rolling tanks; only a tank’s top speed is 45 miles per hour while a semi on a flat road can go about as fast it wants to go. The other problem Dr. Louis Creed has is that he doesn’t realize he is a character in a Stephen King novel. Never good. Never good at all. There is a Pet Cemetery, spelled Sematary, not far from their house. It is a spooky place, but beyond the edges of the cemetery is where things get really interesting. The neighbor, 80 year old Jud Crandall, fills Louis in on the local lore. “‘The Micmacs believed this hill was a magic place,’ he said. ‘Believed this whole forest, from the swamp on north and east was magic. They made this place, and they buried their dead here, away from everything else. Other tribes steered clear of it—the Penobscots said these woods were full of ghosts.’” There is talk that, if something is buried there, it will…. "Sometimes, dead is better" and states that "the place has a power... its own evil purpose." But what if something is telling you to go there? What if you wake up in the morning with your head full of restless dreams and caked mud on the bottoms of your feet? This can’t really be happening to Louis. There must be a sensible explanation.There is no one more rational about death than Doctor Louis Creed, but death is easy to be rational about until someone you love dies and you start to believe there is another option. The basic structure of the plot will be sussed out by readers fairly early in the book. They will know where things are heading. “It’s the road. It uses up a lot of animals, that road does. Dogs and cats, mostly, but that ain’t all.” The devil is in the details. The real horror is in the growing terror surrounding each new decision. The slow degradation of the Creed family, of rationality, and even joy kept sending chills down my back. Irresistible temptation always seems to be wrapped in evil. ”Let them be anything but the creatures which leap and crawl and slither and shamble in the world between. Let there be God, let there be Sunday morning, let there be smiling Episcopalian ministers in shining white surplices . . . but let there not be these dark and draggling horrors on the nightside of the universe.” Wishes coming true can be the real horror. What Stephen King does very well is create situations, even implausible situations, and convinces us that WE can be in the middle of something this insidious. We don’t feel like these things are happening to other people. We feel like we are smack dab in the middle of all the horror. ”Death is a mystery, and burial is a secret”. Highly recommended! If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jojo

    Well, I doubt that I'll ever have any other way of saying this, but after reading this book, my mind, is well and truly fucked. This book, and the story it tells, pushes the boundaries even for the sanest of individuals. It psychologically grips you, and Stephen King manages to get inside your head, rummage around a bit, and stay there, long after you've finished the book. But, that is what he wants, and that, is another reason why he is one of the greatest authors, that I have read to date. Pet Well, I doubt that I'll ever have any other way of saying this, but after reading this book, my mind, is well and truly fucked. This book, and the story it tells, pushes the boundaries even for the sanest of individuals. It psychologically grips you, and Stephen King manages to get inside your head, rummage around a bit, and stay there, long after you've finished the book. But, that is what he wants, and that, is another reason why he is one of the greatest authors, that I have read to date. Pet Sematary is my fourth King novel, and having just read The Shining, I wanted more of King's works in my grasp. The Shining, without a doubt, was amazing. I was hooked from beginning to end. When I finished that book, I was inevitably disappointed, as I had an appetite for more, and in a crazy kind of way, I liked feeling unsettled, so I bought Pet Sematary, as I'd heard positive things about it. I went into this book, with the grave assumption that it was about a cat that returned from the dead, hence the front cover, which actually has an evil looking cat on it. It was SO much more than that. Let me put this in my terms. It takes a lot to physiologically disturb me, and in turn, get under my skin. This book was dancing very confidently on that line. At one point, around halfway through, I was reading it at work, and towards the end of a chapter I thought " Wow, he's not honestly written what I think he has, has he?" I had to read the next chapter at home. Apparently, King States that this novel is one that he hasn't been able to reread himself as it is THAT scary. Now I've read it myself, I totally understand that statement. I feel I must thank Mr King, for once again, causing my flesh to crawl, my stomach to lurch, and inevitably, adding to my current issue of insomnia.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    Stephen King's legacy will be vast, I have no doubt. We'll still read him hundreds of years from now, just as we have with Poe and Dickens and many others. Of all his master works, however, I take the somewhat unpopular stance that Pet Sematary is his magnum opus. Re-reading it now only confirms this opinion. When I first read Pet Sematary (I couldn't have been older than 13) I knew right away that it was more than a typical scary story. For one, it made me feel decades older. Wiser. Stephen King's legacy will be vast, I have no doubt. We'll still read him hundreds of years from now, just as we have with Poe and Dickens and many others. Of all his master works, however, I take the somewhat unpopular stance that Pet Sematary is his magnum opus. Re-reading it now only confirms this opinion. When I first read Pet Sematary (I couldn't have been older than 13) I knew right away that it was more than a typical scary story. For one, it made me feel decades older. Wiser. More entuned to human nature. King never shies away from character, but he really digs deep with Louis Creed. There are numerous novels that portray death well (James Agee's A Death in the Family is superb) but fittingly enough, it's this gothic horror novel that illustrates it best. Death isn't pretty and surviving it can be just as grotesque. Pet Sematary gives all of this to us, and more. Much more than we want to see. But maybe we need to see it to understand. We often scream at characters in horror movies for doing stupid things (WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE YOU IDIOT!?) and arguably Louis Creed does some stupid things in this book. King adds supernatural influence as justification, but let's be honest - no justification is needed. Creed and his decisions are as relatable as they are tragic, which is something never quite accomplished--not on the same level at least--with Jack Torrance or Annie Wilkes or Carrie White. Not dissing those other books, I'm a fan boy for them too, but it's why I think Pet Sematary is King's greatest achievement. For those interested in reading this one, for the first time or 20th, I highly recommend the new audio version narrated by Michael C. Hall. His outstanding performance enriches the novel in ways I hadn't noticed before.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    I loved this book! I’m so glad I finally read Pet Sematary! What a creepy book. The unease and anxiety just keeps building in this book and it's brutal! I’ll have to be honest here. (view spoiler)[I almost couldn’t get through this book because of the grief Stephen King puts the readers through. It overwhelmed me since it felt similar to what I I loved this book! I’m so glad I finally read Pet Sematary! What a creepy book. The unease and anxiety just keeps building in this book and it's brutal! I’ll have to be honest here. (view spoiler)[I almost couldn’t get through this book because of the grief Stephen King puts the readers through. It overwhelmed me since it felt similar to what I went through in regards to the deaths of my father and brother. (hide spoiler)] That’s some damn fine writing since it affected me so bad! But I pressed on and I’m glad I did. I loved the part with Louis and Jud when they took THE trip into the woods. It was so atmospheric, and I was on the edge of my seat. You just know at that point in the book that things are going to drastically change when (view spoiler)[they bury Church. (hide spoiler)] I felt sorry for Louis and the decisions he kept having to endure. It was gut wrenching and I'm not sure what I would have done in his shoes. This book is character driven and about the decisions we make in life. Good and bad! King did such a good job with this! Other thoughts, I did not like the character of Rachel Creed. She was a weak character, and I hated how she took her parents side and did not stick with Louis, her husband. And one last thing. (view spoiler)[Killer kids freak me out the most in horror books and movies!! (hide spoiler)] Total epic! Gah!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    I LOVED THIS. I read 300 pages of this book in ONE day which I never do anymore. This is my fifth book from Stephen King and it’s easily my favorite, so far it’s the only book of his I’ve given 5 stars. I am so impressed by how deep this story is, and how sad it is and the way it talks about grief. I actually made an entire reading vlog dedicated to this book and reacting to it so you can see all the rest of my thoughts here: https://youtu.be/2QKIYdXarLM

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Kaprat

    This may be King's darkest book. If you're goth, read this and you'll be 5% goth'er.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    I read The Shining, my first Stephen King book back in summer of 2016 and was absolutely blown away by it. Since then I've been reading King's books religiously to find the next masterpiece that could push the limits of a sane mind. Well, It took me two years and eleven more King's books to find it, and on the way, I met many great contenders like Pennywise, Barlow and George Stark. But it was Pet Sematary and the horrors that paid a visit to the small family in Ludlow that finally won me over. ❝ The soil o I read The Shining, my first Stephen King book back in summer of 2016 and was absolutely blown away by it. Since then I've been reading King's books religiously to find the next masterpiece that could push the limits of a sane mind. Well, It took me two years and eleven more King's books to find it, and on the way, I met many great contenders like Pennywise, Barlow and George Stark. But it was Pet Sematary and the horrors that paid a visit to the small family in Ludlow that finally won me over. ❝ The soil of a man's heart is stonier, Louis. A man grows what he can, and he tends it. 'Cause what you buy, is what you own. And what you own... always comes home to you.❞ Louis Creed and his family have just moved from Chicago to the small town of Ludlow. They moved because Louis got appointed as Director of University of Maine's health services. They settle in their house quite nicely. The house big and cozy, and Louis quickly becomes friends with Jud and his wife, their elderly neighbors. His wife Rachel, and two young children, Ellie and Gage is happy. Even Ellie's cat Church is happy! The only tiny problem is the highway road dividing Louis's house and Jud's house, where speeding trucks travels relentlessly... Oh, There is also the matter of Pet Sematary: an old ground where pet owners bury their faithful dead pets. Also, the old Indian legends... The mysterious land with a peculiar hold on people.... A secret and forbidden climb... Don't look back... *Shakes head* Did I space out? I spaced out, didn't I?! First of all, Mr. King? That man got some serious guts. He based the premise and characters for this novel from his own life while he was teaching at the University of Maine. There are too many parallels between what actually happened in King's life and what he wrote in his novel. I think that's the reason he calls this book as his scariest book. It's too damn personal. Pet Sematary scared me not the way other horror novels or movies scare people. Pet semetery is not about jump scares or other worldly creatures instilling terror upon our sad species (view spoiler)[ (I mean, reanimation is not on the top of food chain when it comes to being scary. I practically snoozed through Frankenstein, and Lovecraft's Herbert West: The re-animator was fun, not scary) (hide spoiler)] For me, Pet semetery worked because King makes the characters feel like your own family, fill you with care and love for them, and then asks you the question: What will you do If you were standing where Louis is standing? Will you climb or stand your ground? As usual, King characters are well crafted and full of life. The bromance between Jud and Louis is endearing, and Louis's young daughter Elle and toddler Gage are delightful. (view spoiler)[ Why, King, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? (hide spoiler)] The story also boasts a lot of strong secondary characters, and King scores big with a perfect cast. My favorite part of entire novel is in the first half itself when Louis and Jud take the nocturnal excursion to the woods. That sequence had the right amount of creepiness, mystery and a haunting beauty. I kept on imagining unusually bright stars standing still and looking down at Louis and Jud as a chilly wind blew across the woods; A daunting dreamy quality to the whole affair. Weirdly, I kept on thinking that Guillermo del Toro will be able to do great things with this sequence! Later on, I found out that del Toro was actually in talks to make a remake of Pet Sematary, but the project fell through. I'll be honest here. (view spoiler)[The grief King created in the second half was almost unbearable, and (hide spoiler)] I was stuck between not wanting to read the novel because it was too painful and at the same time, I was unable to put it down because the writing was too damn mesmerizing. King once again excels in horror department because of the way he crafts the unfathomable pull of the Pet Sematary. It's the intangibility of the horror that I found beautiful. (view spoiler)[ The scare factor is not just limited to a couple of reanimated corpses or the Wendigo, but the mystery of the Pet Sematary and inexplicable feelings and intrusions the characters felt, and how they lost battles with themselves (hide spoiler)] Another reason for my perfect rating is the ending. It was flawless. (view spoiler)[Also, I loved the Jerusalem lot's reference. It felt like two cursed lands were fighting among themselves to consume their prey. Perfection! (hide spoiler)] Overall, Pet Sematary has everything I wanted, and my hunt for next perfect story in Stephen King's shelves continues with renewed energy!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Every Halloween, I like to do a little season’s readings. For most of the year, I generally avoid scary books and movies. Life is scary enough without looking for extra frights. But there’s something about the Fall. Once the wind gets sharp, the days get short, and the leaves start to drop, I inevitably find myself within a small window of time in which horror is appealing. This window closes abruptly at midnight on November 1. Before that time, though, I’m relatively open to the idea of being t Every Halloween, I like to do a little season’s readings. For most of the year, I generally avoid scary books and movies. Life is scary enough without looking for extra frights. But there’s something about the Fall. Once the wind gets sharp, the days get short, and the leaves start to drop, I inevitably find myself within a small window of time in which horror is appealing. This window closes abruptly at midnight on November 1. Before that time, though, I’m relatively open to the idea of being terrified by something other than my student loan debt. In the past, my choices have bounced between classics (Dracula; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; The Haunting of Hill House) and Stephen King (last year I finally finished It). This year, I relied on the water cooler to help me make my pick. As in, I literally asked people at my office’s water cooler for ideas. After awhile, people started avoiding the water cooler, but by that time I had enough anecdotal evidence to choose King’s Pet Semetary. Before I actually opened the cover, I knew very little about Pet Sematary. What I did know kind of bored me. Pets coming back to life? That’s not scary. My taxes? Now there’s the terror! Yet Pet Sematary is King’s choice for his scariest novel. In his Introduction, he claims that when he finished the book, even he thought he had gone too far. He thought it would never be published. I chuckled a bit when I read this. King is the consummate entertainer, so of course he’d tell that story. His Introduction reminded me of a carnival barker. By the end, though, I sort of agreed with him. This pushes up against the boundaries of what most readers are willing to tolerate in their amusements. At 395 pages (in my paperback edition), this is a relatively thin Stephen King book. I don’t think he’d even finished introducing all the characters in The Stand in 395 pages. (Of course, King reads incredibly fast, so 400 pages feels like half that). Accordingly, this is one of King’s tighter, more efficient stories. There are only a handful of characters, and just a few big set pieces. King only throws a couple punches, but they all land squarely in the groin. Things kick off with the Creed family (Louis and Rachel, and their two young kids, Eileen and Gage) arriving at their new home in Maine, after relocating from Chicago. Louis is a doctor who has taken a job with the University of Maine. Their new house is a big and beautiful New England colonial. Its only detriment is its location, right next to a busy road well-traveled by recklessly speeding semi trucks. The Creed’s new neighbor is the benignly intrusive Jud Crandall, an old man who steps in to fill the paternal role that Louis missed due to his own father’s premature death. It doesn’t take long for Jud to show Louis some of their new home’s features. Prominent among them is a pet cemetery (the sign reads Pet Sematary). We later learn – again through Jud, who is always there, watching, like Wilson from Home Improvement – that beyond the pet cemetery is a Micmac burial ground. Jud tells Louis that his childhood dog was killed in the road. Jud buried the dog in the Micmac burial ground and it came back to life like a canine Lazarus. It was good as new, except it was mean as hell and smelled like death. Did I mention that the Creeds also have a pet? Pet Sematary is long on setup. It takes its time building to the inevitable consequences of living next to a place that cheats Death. For the first 200 or so pages, not a lot happens, though King generously foreshadows much of what is to follow. At the halfway point, he delivers a shot to the solar plexus with a major twist – followed by two cheap writer’s tricks – all in succession. Starting with this breathless succession, things race straight downhill to the chilling finale. The twist itself – which hides in plain sight – is King’s crowning achievement. It is not a scene of supernatural horror or apocalyptic fireworks. Instead, it is an immensely powerful evocation of realistic grief that is closer to Agee’s A Death in the Family than anything from the master of pop horror. (For the record, I spent a day in a closet nursing a bottle of Fireball after I finished A Death in the Family). More than most authors, Stephen King has always worked at both the textual and subtextual level. He places a premium on his stories, to be sure, but always gives over space to meditate on his themes. At his worst (the simplistic, condescending parable of The Green Mile), King wields his motifs with all the subtlety of Jack Nicholson putting an axe into Scatman Crothers. At his best (the portrait of an abusive, alcoholic father in The Shining), however, King’s subtext enriches and deepens what might otherwise be a forgettable spook-story. Pet Sematary is, in some respects, vintage horror. But it worked for me – unpleasantly – on its second level. This is King’s meditation on the enormity of loss and the devastation of grief. All his books are filled with death, but this is the rare book – not just in the King canon, but in general – that deals squarely with dying. It realizes the uncomfortable truth that our own deaths, while frightening, do not come close to the unspeakable prospect of losing the people we love. This reality – and it is very real – is so powerful that it has to be diluted lest the message become unpalatable. That is King’s genius. He is able to riff on ideas of life, death, and the afterlife in the guise of a horror story. His story is almost good enough to keep you from crawling into a corner and curling into the fetal position. Almost. It seems like a lot of people first read Stephen King in their late-teens. Maybe a King novel was the first big “adult” book they ever read. I talked this book over with my Two-Person Russian Book Club partner Jamie, who read it in high school. Her memories of Pet Sematary were images from her mind’s eye: the spookiness of the Micmac burial ground; the grim story that Rachel tells about her sister Zelda; the bloody and macabre endgame. Her experience of the book was therefore totally different than mine. With an exception or two, all the King novels I’ve read I read in my 30s. Thus, the BOO! moments don’t make a terribly profound impression on me. It’s the other stuff that gets under my skin. Pet Sematary’s evocation of death (view spoiler)[ Especially as a parent (hide spoiler)] is heavy. Horror is generally seen as cathartic, a way to healthily channel our fears. For me, there was no catharsis. It gave me nightmares – not of monsters or ghosts, but of busy roads and the hidden clock that starts ticking away the moment we’re born. This is all a way of saying that I was psychologically damaged by this book for entirely unexpected reasons. Pet Sematary might be King’s best novel. As I noted above, it is devastatingly effective on a couple levels. But it is also really well written. King is a natural storyteller. Everything he writes seems to have its own propulsion system. This is sometimes marred by his propensity towards cultural spew. King is a pop cultural maven, and he tends to strew the ephemera of that culture throughout his stories. His novels are oft populated by characters who think and speak in various sound bites: snatches of musical lyrics; jingles from commercials; one-liners from films. For whatever reason (probably a forceful editor), that distracting aspect of King’s writing is kept to a minimum here. This is a story that is honed like a blade, and shorn of gristle. I’m not going to pretend I don’t like the gratuitous digressions of King’s big opuses. But the pared down storytelling in Pet Sematary adds to its overall impact. Confronting fear can be incredibly cleansing. That didn't happen for me here. Yet the miserable mood Pet Sematary foisted upon me is testament to its qualities. It is a transcendent masterpiece of the horror genre.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ALet

    ★★★★★ /5 This is one of the best books I read this year. Of course, the story is very well written and certainly creepy. At first, I personally thought that this book will be a little bit different, but actual content didn’t disappoint.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    Stephen King's legacy will be vast, I have no doubt. We'll still read him hundreds of years from now, just as we have with Poe and Dickens and many others. Of all his master works, however, I take the somewhat unpopular stance that Pet Sematary is his magnum opus. Re-reading it now only confirms this opinion. When I first read Pet Sematary (I couldn't have been older than 13) I knew right away that it was more than a typical scary story. For one, it made me feel decades older. Wiser. Stephen King's legacy will be vast, I have no doubt. We'll still read him hundreds of years from now, just as we have with Poe and Dickens and many others. Of all his master works, however, I take the somewhat unpopular stance that Pet Sematary is his magnum opus. Re-reading it now only confirms this opinion. When I first read Pet Sematary (I couldn't have been older than 13) I knew right away that it was more than a typical scary story. For one, it made me feel decades older. Wiser. More entuned to human nature. King never shies away from character, but he really digs deep with Louis Creed. There are numerous novels that portray death well (James Agee's A Death in the Family is superb) but fittingly enough, it's this gothic horror novel that illustrates it best. Death isn't pretty and surviving it can be just as grotesque. Pet Sematary gives all of this to us, and more. Much more than we want to see. But maybe we need to see it to understand. We often scream at characters in horror movies for doing stupid things (WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE YOU IDIOT!?) and arguably Louis Creed does some stupid things in this book. King adds supernatural influence as justification, but let's be honest - no justification is needed. Creed and his decisions are as relatable as they are tragic, which is something never quite accomplished--not on the same level at least--with Jack Torrance or Annie Wilkes or Carrie White. Not dissing those other books, I'm a fan boy for them too, but it's why I think Pet Sematary is King's greatest achievement. For those interested in reading this one, for the first time or 20th, I highly recommend the new audio version narrated by Michael C. Hall. His outstanding performance enriches the novel in ways I hadn't noticed before.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    An incredible story with interesting characters and plot - but with a very intentional focus on exploring the painful and raw emotion of grief. King dissects grief and a way that exposes the reader and really helped me to process my own. Phenomenal story

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Since I recently watched the remake of the 80s film I had to re-read Pet Sematary again. A decision I didn't regreat. It is a phenomenally good book that grew in my opinion over the years (I actually read it for the first time in the 80s). On the one hand you have numerous excellent horror elements (the cemetery, the Wendigo, Zelda and those coming back from that place, like Church or Gadge). On the other hand it describes in a relentless way what happens if man plays God and tries to resurrect Since I recently watched the remake of the 80s film I had to re-read Pet Sematary again. A decision I didn't regreat. It is a phenomenally good book that grew in my opinion over the years (I actually read it for the first time in the 80s). On the one hand you have numerous excellent horror elements (the cemetery, the Wendigo, Zelda and those coming back from that place, like Church or Gadge). On the other hand it describes in a relentless way what happens if man plays God and tries to resurrect the dead (sometimes it's better to stay dead). Those people returning from the Micmac place are changed in a very unpleasant way. Lazarus is a very strong motif throughout the book. The whole story is masterly plotted and told. Jud Crandall is a very sinister character that leads Louis into temptation. The old Micmac burial place is brilliant and one of the eeriest places in horror literature. Vic Pascow's warnings come to late. The book is about death and what comes after death. It's not only what you'd expect about 80s horror but very philosophical. This book makes you really think about life and death. Absolutely awsome novel and must read. I'm very glad that I read that book in advanced years again!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    A truly spooky story!!! NEVER PLAY WITH THE BEYOND I was familiarized with the story since I have watched several times the 1998's film adaptation, but I hadn't properly read the original novel and since it's already announced a new film adaptation for April next year (2019), I thought that it was about time to read the book. Certainly it's one of the scariest books by Stephen King, in my humble opinion, not only due the main topic but mainly due the characters involved and their interactions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    Daaaang that was a good one. Highly recommend the audiobook read by Michael C. Hall 👌🏼

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

    Oh wow! What a book! This is Stephen King at his very best. A true horror masterpiece. Pet Sematary by was totally not what I expected. Maybe that’s because I’d never seen the film adaptations, and so of the little King fiction I’ve read so far, I was going into this one completely blind. I legit thought it was going to be about a bunch of dead animals being resurrected and not being thrilled about it. As with all of King’s novels, Pet Sematary is about so much more than just a typical tale of horror. It explor Oh wow! What a book! This is Stephen King at his very best. A true horror masterpiece. Pet Sematary by was totally not what I expected. Maybe that’s because I’d never seen the film adaptations, and so of the little King fiction I’ve read so far, I was going into this one completely blind. I legit thought it was going to be about a bunch of dead animals being resurrected and not being thrilled about it. As with all of King’s novels, Pet Sematary is about so much more than just a typical tale of horror. It explores themes of death – what is natural and unnatural. It holds relationships at the heart of the story – particularly those between father and son, as well as friends who build similarly close bonds. It is about the people as much as the terrible events that occur. The book reads quickly, with short chapters driving the story forward in the typical style of King. And then you reach a point of no return. A point that you know where the story is going. You don’t want to, but you do. In most cases, this is what writers try to avoid … however, this is the genius of Pet Sematary. King wants the reader to know where this horrific tale is going. He wants you to dread it with every fiber of your being. And I did. The level of detail, the slow building suspense, the humanity and lack thereof made me cringe and these things are exactly what makes this whole book work. King’s writing is genius, despite the fact that it is utterly disturbing. King never allows the reader to snuggle in to the same sense of safety though. Throughout the story, he drops subtle yet clearly ominous hints that any happiness the Creeds have isn’t going to last long. The first three quarters of the book are filled with sudden but short drops into darkness all gearing up to one long final plunge. For me, there’s some un-nameable quality about King’s writing, or at least something I feel I can never accurately express. In all of the whopping three books I’ve read of his, he has an uncanny way of making you care about his characters without being too obvious about the reasons why you should and how he’s going to show you. King’s characters feel real. Overall, a great read which was actually spooky at times. Be ready to face real terror in the most unreal ways with this one. Hey-ho! Let's go!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    These characters should have taken a lesson from the old story “The Monkey’s Paw,” seriously. This is the book that really convinced me that hardcore horror novels are not for me. At all. I can't remember if I was already the mother of a toddler when I read this. Those final scenes from the book have seeped into my psyche. Like the last hundred or so pages of Outlander, these are images that are permanently part of my brain, that I really wish I'd never put there. The two stars are in recognition of These characters should have taken a lesson from the old story “The Monkey’s Paw,” seriously. This is the book that really convinced me that hardcore horror novels are not for me. At all. I can't remember if I was already the mother of a toddler when I read this. Those final scenes from the book have seeped into my psyche. Like the last hundred or so pages of Outlander, these are images that are permanently part of my brain, that I really wish I'd never put there. The two stars are in recognition of King's talents as an author, not because I'd recommend this book to anyone except true horror fans.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    A long and winding road runs by the home of Louis Creed and his family.  That road is not friendly, it could even be classified as hungry.  Pure silliness, of course.  Or is it?  The pet sematary is situated in the woods close by.  The deadfall that looms behind it is treacherous, ominous, and better left alone.  What lies on the other side?  The painful loss of a beloved pet or a child cannot be measured.  What if there is a way for a do-over?  This is a tale of a man's descent into madness. 

  28. 5 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Pet Sematary Review (Kinda) I know this review is long, but I have a personal story to tell. Read it if you want to, but the simple fact of the matter is that this book is awesome. If you haven't read it, stop fucking about.   When I was ten years old, my mother and her best friend Andrita took a trip to the local drive-in to catch a showing of Pet Sematary. My father was out with his own buddies, so guess who got to tag along? Yup, me. My mother told me to go to sleep in the back seat Pet Sematary Review (Kinda) I know this review is long, but I have a personal story to tell. Read it if you want to, but the simple fact of the matter is that this book is awesome. If you haven't read it, stop fucking about.   When I was ten years old, my mother and her best friend Andrita took a trip to the local drive-in to catch a showing of Pet Sematary. My father was out with his own buddies, so guess who got to tag along? Yup, me. My mother told me to go to sleep in the back seat, and then proceeded to forget all about me. Little E. was very excited by the prospect of watching a real grown-up's film, so Little E. did not follow his mother's orders. Little E. soon regretted his excitement.    Let me reiterate, I was ten. The scariest things I had seen up to that point were the old Universal horror films. But Drac, Wolfie, and that stumbling behemoth Franky didn't hold a candle to Zelda, Rachael Creed's invalid sister (who, interestingly enough, was played by a man in the film). I did fine up until the camera drifted down the hallway of the Goldman house to enter a room wherein Zelda lay on the bed, choking. When that actor rolled over and faced the celluloid, I pissed myself. I'm not ashamed of that fact. Once again, I was only ten. I had been laying curled up in the middle of the back seat of my mother's car, but once I laid eyes on Zelda, I crawled my pee-soaked ass down to the foot well behind the driver's seat. And there I stayed. Every time I tried to close my eyes, I saw that face. I missed the rest of the movie, but Zelda stayed with me. It would be another seven years before I found out Pet Sematary was written by Stephen King.   My mother has been a die-hard King fan since she first read The Stand the week it was released. But she kept his scariest novels in her room. It, Pet Sematary, 'Salem's Lot, and The Shining did not enter what she called The Great Book Closet (which was a walk-in number filled completely with stacks of hardcover horror novels, which I would inherit upon turning 21; she didn't die, she just kinda handed them over) until 1997. I'd read Dolores Claiborne and Misery, but had no idea that such terrifying treasures awaited me. When the hidden novels were introduced back into her massive collection of Dean R. Koontz, Peter Straub, John Saul (which is why I have such an affection for that old hack and continue to collect his books to this day), James Herbert, L. Ron Hubbard, and, of course, King, I snatched up the shortest of the four. I was seventeen by this time, but I still wasn't prepared for the story. After I finished the novel, I had mom rent the movie because I didn't think anything could be worse than the book, and I wanted to prove to myself that Zelda really wasn't that scary. Well, I was right. Zelda wasn't nearly as scary as she had been to Little E., but Grossly-Larger E found Gage nightmare inducing. You see, Gage isn't as menacing in the book. He's rather over the top, and cusses like Regan does in The Exorcist after being possessed by Honey Boo Boo... I mean  Pazuzu. Yeah, after being returned from the dead, he's a murderous little fucker, but, all in all, he's kinda silly. The movie version is much worse, because it supposes that Gage is still Gage somewhere deep inside. His utterances of "I have something to show you, Mommy" and "No fair," are both sad and terrifying. Oh, and in both the book and the novel - fuck Church. Fuck Church right in its nutless, glowing-eyed corpse. I love cats, but that one can die in a fire.    Another odd difference between the film and the novel is that Jud's wife Norma and the Creed's nanny Missy are kinda smashed together in the movie. The young women and the old one are morphed into a middle-aged housekeeper with arthritis who winds up hanging herself. Never did like that bit. I suppose this is because I really liked Norma, and cry every time I read about her death in the book. The housekeeper in the movie was just there. I had no reason to care about her, so I didn't give a shit whether she lived or died.    I've told you about my experiences with this book when I was ten and seventeen. I read it once again in my twenties, before my daughter was born, and didn't care much for the plodding beginning and thought the rest of it was simply okay. (I know, I was a dumb bastard back then). Now I'm in my thirties and I have two kids. Two kids that closely resemble Ellie and Gage in this book. Needless to say, this reread was a powerful one, and I almost couldn't finish it because of the feelings I experienced. I soldiered on, though, and made it out the other end. If you are a parent, this novel will affect you in some way. It may not be pretty, but it's striking work of fiction that should not be missed.    Finally (yes, this kinda/sorta review is almost over) this is the first King novel in which King didn't drone on and on after the final horrific scene (if you read them chronologically, all of his other novels up until this one are tied up in one way or another). There's no wrap up. No "This is where they are now" mumbo jumbo. It just ends. As it should. It kicks you squarely in the genitals and fucks off. I dig that. I dig that very much.   Notable names:   Haven (The Tommyknockers and The Colorado Kid) Jerusalem's Lot (Obvious) Derry (any King fan knows this little town intimately)   In summation: This is the second best Stephen King novel in my opinion. You may disagree, but it's my party and I'll do what I want. The only book in his catalog better than this one is coming up next on my massive reread. But first, it's time for some silliness. BRING ON HARRY POTTER!    

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The painful, hard thing about Stephen King's writing is that so often, he takes something real, something that people can experience in the real world, and builds the supernatural stuff onto that. In The Shining, there's Jack's alcoholism; in The Talisman, there's Jack/Jason's mother's cancer; The Stand plays on our fears of something, somewhere, in one of those labs, getting out of control; in Pet Sematary, it's the death of a child. So much of the book is completely real and believable: the ar The painful, hard thing about Stephen King's writing is that so often, he takes something real, something that people can experience in the real world, and builds the supernatural stuff onto that. In The Shining, there's Jack's alcoholism; in The Talisman, there's Jack/Jason's mother's cancer; The Stand plays on our fears of something, somewhere, in one of those labs, getting out of control; in Pet Sematary, it's the death of a child. So much of the book is completely real and believable: the arguments between Louis and his wife's parents, Gage running out onto the road and getting himself killed, Louis being willing to do anything to resurrect his son, anything. It's gruesome, because anyone with an ounce of imagination can put themself in that situation, imagine the horrible choice: do I try this and possibly get my son back or possibly create a monster, or do I pass this chance by and never find out whether it could have worked? Stephen King is definitely not "just" a horror writer. His horror becomes much more "real" because he is also writing about real things. This book hurt the most of the ones of his that he's read, and so it took me longer to get through it. I don't regret it, even if it grossed me out a bit. I think it's pretty brilliant, the ideas and the plot at least. Stephen King is not the most fancy writer in the world, but his prose works and goes down easy, and that makes it good, as far as I'm concerned.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This novel was absolutely terrifying, especially because it somehow seemed so real. While reading, I was constantly guessing how the whole thing was supposed to end, because I really couldn't come up with a possible and fitting solution. But of course, Stephen King knew what to do! He left so much room for an individual interpretation, which is why this is one of my favorite endings to a book ever. I talk about how much I love King's writing style in every single of my reviews of one of his books, so I won't This novel was absolutely terrifying, especially because it somehow seemed so real. While reading, I was constantly guessing how the whole thing was supposed to end, because I really couldn't come up with a possible and fitting solution. But of course, Stephen King knew what to do! He left so much room for an individual interpretation, which is why this is one of my favorite endings to a book ever. I talk about how much I love King's writing style in every single of my reviews of one of his books, so I won't go into it again. You just need to know that this book contains the exact type of writing I adore so much and makes me such a huge fan of his works. There aren't as many characters involved in the story as there are in many of his other books, but they all were well developed and independent, and they all left an imprint on me. I didn't know all too much about the plot beforehand, but I think this was perfect for the story to have the effect on me that it had in the end. I found it so hard-hitting and depressing. I already know that I will definitely reread this book at some point, but I will have to thoroughly mentally prepare myself before I do so.

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