Pet Sematary
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

Pet Sematary Details

TitlePet Sematary
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 13th, 2014
PublisherScribner
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Thriller

Pet Sematary Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    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 u 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.
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    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 RamonesOkay, 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 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 RamonesOkay, 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
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  • Johann (jobis89)
    January 1, 1970
    "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 f "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!!
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  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Two things about this book:1. It is one of two Stephen King books I finished on 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!
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  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    January 1, 1970
    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!”
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    "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 t "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!!!
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    That ending though...This ended up being very different than what I expected. The less you know about it, the better!
  • Mario
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 a 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 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 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.
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  • Justin Tate
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    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 an 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!
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED this reread!!!!Somehow, even more impactful 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 sucks you in and holds on until the bitter end. As with many of his tales, there is an overriding feelin LOVED this reread!!!!Somehow, even more impactful 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 sucks 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 absolute classic!
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    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 physiologically 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 physiologically 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.
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  • Vincent Kaprat
    January 1, 1970
    This may be King's darkest book. If you're goth, read this and you'll be 5% goth'er.
  • Sr3yas
    January 1, 1970
    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 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!
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Alejandro
    January 1, 1970
    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.F 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.Family is always a complicated issue since there isn't the perfect family, always there are troubles, some small, some big, but troubles at the end, and when the family messes with paranormal forces beyond their comprenhension......dearest blood will run......and hearts will be broken forever......since accepting to let go those you love is one of the hardest things that you have to face in life, never truly left behind, but when you're terribly tempted to disrupt the natural way of how existence works......you can bet that things will go bad.......WAAAAAAAY BAAAAAAAAD......and even worse when you get totally lost, losing your ties to reason and common sense, and only your heart leads your unholy actions......since the path to hell is paved of good intentions......and a huge mistake not always helps you to avoid of doing it again and again.Messing with death......only leads to more death......and insanity.
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  • Jeffrey Keeten
    January 1, 1970
    ”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.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
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  • Raeleen Lemay
    January 1, 1970
    Daaaang that was a good one. Highly recommend the audiobook read by Michael C. Hall 👌🏼
  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • AMEERA
    January 1, 1970
    Stephen King : king of horror stories 💀👑'
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    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 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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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Edward Lorn
    January 1, 1970
    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 p 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!  
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  • Eliasdgian
    January 1, 1970
    Πέρα από το νεκροταφείο ζώων, βαθιά στο δάσος, πίσω από έναν σωρό νεκρών δέντρων που μοιάζουν να οριοθετούν το απόκοσμο, βρίσκεται το παλιό νεκροταφείο των ινδιάνων Μίκμακ. Ένας τόπος κακός, δαιμονικός, όπου ο Louis Creed έθαψε τον νεκρό γάτο της κόρης του. Κι ο νεκρός γάτος επέστρεψε. Αλλιώτικος μεν, ζωντανός δε. Όπως είχε κάποτε επιστρέψει κι ο νεκρός σκύλος του γείτονά του, Jud Crandall. Κι επειδή η φρίκη γεννάει φρίκη, ο κατάλογος των πλασμάτων που νεκραναστήθηκαν στην ινδιάνικη γη θα συνεχι Πέρα από το νεκροταφείο ζώων, βαθιά στο δάσος, πίσω από έναν σωρό νεκρών δέντρων που μοιάζουν να οριοθετούν το απόκοσμο, βρίσκεται το παλιό νεκροταφείο των ινδιάνων Μίκμακ. Ένας τόπος κακός, δαιμονικός, όπου ο Louis Creed έθαψε τον νεκρό γάτο της κόρης του. Κι ο νεκρός γάτος επέστρεψε. Αλλιώτικος μεν, ζωντανός δε. Όπως είχε κάποτε επιστρέψει κι ο νεκρός σκύλος του γείτονά του, Jud Crandall. Κι επειδή η φρίκη γεννάει φρίκη, ο κατάλογος των πλασμάτων που νεκραναστήθηκαν στην ινδιάνικη γη θα συνεχιστεί. Χωρίς να περιορίζεται αποκλειστικά στην πανίδα της ευρύτερης περιοχής της πόλης του Ludlow. Not the end, not the end, just remember that death is not the end. Ο Θάνατος δεν είναι το τέλος. Κάποιοι, κάποτε επιστρέφουν. Αλλά, ακόμη και τότε, τίποτε δεν είναι σαν πρώτα. Και κανείς τους όπως παλιά. Γιατί, στ’ αλήθεια, δεν μπορείς να νικήσεις τον Θάνατο. Ακόμη κι αν μπόρεσες κάποτε να διαβείς τη γέφυρα που ενώνει την Άβυσσο με τον Κόσμο. Ακόμη κι αν ο δρόμος που ακολούθησες ήταν μέσα από τους φθίνοντες κύκλους που σχημάτιζαν οι τάφοι του Νεκρωταφίου Ζώων. Ακόμη κι αν επιχείρησες να αλλάξεις τους κανόνες του παιχνιδιού, ακόμη κι αν, σαν άλλος Αντώνιος Μπλοκ, επέλεξες να αναποδογυρίσεις το σκάκι. Αναπόδραστα, παραφράζοντας τον σπουδαίο Dylan Tomas, ο Θάνατος θα εξακολουθήσει να έχει εξουσία. Για ένα βιβλίο, όπως αυτό, που έχει διαβαστεί από τόσους και τόσους, κι επαινεθεί από τη συντριπτική πλειονότητα των αναγνωστών του, είναι, θαρρώ, περισσότερο από αρκετό να επαναληφθεί το παντελώς κοινότοπο, αλλά και συνάμα απολύτως δικαιολογημένο, σχόλιο ότι το Pet Sematary είναι μια από τις πιο φρικιαστικές ιστορίες που ειπώθηκαν ποτέ. Α! κι αν είναι σκόπιμο να τραγουδήσουμε για να ξορκίσουμε το κακό που ελλοχεύει στις σελίδες του Νεκρωταφίου Ζώων, καθαγιάζοντας ει δυνατόν τα χώματα της παλαιάς ινδιάνικης γης, ας δανειστούμε τα λόγια της επωδού του ομώνυμου τραγουδιού των Ramones: I don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,I don’t want to live my life again.I don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,I don’t want to live my life again.
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  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
    January 1, 1970
    So this is the third time I read this Stephen King classic. The first time, I was a teenager and I just didn't *get* it like I got it the second time, which was Christmas of 2015. That time really blew me away. Especially how emotional this read was. I didn't remember crying so much the first time, but then as a mother--everything was just on a whole new level of fear--not a fear of the supernatural or paranormal, ghosts, monsters, not that kind of fear but the fears you only experience as a par So this is the third time I read this Stephen King classic. The first time, I was a teenager and I just didn't *get* it like I got it the second time, which was Christmas of 2015. That time really blew me away. Especially how emotional this read was. I didn't remember crying so much the first time, but then as a mother--everything was just on a whole new level of fear--not a fear of the supernatural or paranormal, ghosts, monsters, not that kind of fear but the fears you only experience as a parent watching your children walk around like pieces of your heart that have left your body and could be broken or taken from you at any moment.THAT kind of fear.This book is a masterpiece. The character development of Louis Creed is other level writing. He feels so real to me. Jud and Norma too. Even Rachel, who I've come to dislike.If you're new to Stephen King and don't really know where to start, this would be an awesome stepping stone. It's the perfect example of the storytelling King is capable of and it has all the horror you could possibly want. It's the full package.
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  • Heena Rathore P.
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I read this book in RMFAO's November Buddy-Read with some of my awesome friends Magdalena, Titas, Andrew, Kim, Stefani Saloma, Marigold, Konstantina Pap. SPOILERS AHEAD!! Pet Sematary is undoubtedly one of Stephen King’s finest works. I tend to be speechless when it comes to writing a review for his books, so forgive me if I write less than necessary, because, nothing that can be said will ever be really enough to praise this book. The story takes you very slowly through the life happening Note: I read this book in RMFAO's November Buddy-Read with some of my awesome friends Magdalena, Titas, Andrew, Kim, Stefani Saloma, Marigold, Konstantina Pap. SPOILERS AHEAD!! Pet Sematary is undoubtedly one of Stephen King’s finest works. I tend to be speechless when it comes to writing a review for his books, so forgive me if I write less than necessary, because, nothing that can be said will ever be really enough to praise this book. The story takes you very slowly through the life happenings of Louis Creed and his family. The story progresses subtly and ever so slowly. You start to feel a very strong connection developing between you and all the main characters. You start liking each and everyone and everything seems good, but slowly you start to get a feeling that something is going to happen… something very wrong. And after a little teasing, it happens! You start to feel sad… very, very sad and right then something else happens that makes you feel something more than normal sadness, a feeling of darkness that comes with death.Then comes a point where you just can’t take anymore and you stop reading it. But within a day or two, you feel a strange pull and you start reading again... That’s when you find out that there’s something sinister is going to happen, and happen, yes, it does. You can’t stop yourself from reading... you push yourself to read and get done with this book ASAP and then, again, something happens in the end that leaves you sleepless for nights.No, it’s not a scary story, but it’s a really, really dark story that plays tricks with your mind and makes your skin crawl in the most literal sense - It is a Stephen King’s story.The characterization is Stephen-King-perfect. All the characters are so full of life that one can never really get them off one’s mind. The character-connect was built very slowly and steadily, yet very, very strongly. Each and every character has the potential to make you smile as well as cry.The writing is abso-fuc***g-lutely brilliant. You’ll lose yourself in the writing so much that you’ll lose all sense of time and space while reading this book. As usual, the writing is simple and easily understandable. It is full of eloquent sarcasm and abundant with sharp ironies which will leave you obsessively pondering for days.The beginning is slow-paced and subtle. As a King’s reader (and die-hard fan), the easy and happy flow of the book in the opening pages kept the anticipating part of my mind on high alert as I knew that by the time I'll be done with this book I'll be fearful to even think about reading it again.The ending couldn't have been any better. It left me sleepless for days.I loved the cover art of the edition I read (see above), but otherwise, some editions look very old, creepy and even immature :/The blurb definitely managed to be transparent enough to pique the reader’s curiosity without giving much away.You can also read this review on www.thereadingbud.com
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I knew next to nothing plot-wise going into this which I think made the pivotal moment in the middle such a gut-punch. I thought King's descriptions of grief both traumatizing and brilliant. Can't wait to see the movie!Video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPzUd...
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    Spectacularly intensely horrifically done. The forward by Stephen King was wonderful. I waited a long time to read this one and it was well worth the wait. That last 10-15% of the book was WOW! Excellently woven story. I love King's older novels so much! So great to read before the new re-make comes out!
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    It is always an exciting adventure to read some of Stephen King’s horror-themed works, as they tap into some of his darker side and fill the narrative with wonderfully tangential material. Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job in a Maine town, uprooting his family from their Chicago home. As the Creeds arrive in town, they soon realise that there is more to the house than meets the eye. After meeting the neighbour, Judson ‘Jud’ Crandall, the family agrees to allow him to give them a lay of the land. J It is always an exciting adventure to read some of Stephen King’s horror-themed works, as they tap into some of his darker side and fill the narrative with wonderfully tangential material. Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job in a Maine town, uprooting his family from their Chicago home. As the Creeds arrive in town, they soon realise that there is more to the house than meets the eye. After meeting the neighbour, Judson ‘Jud’ Crandall, the family agrees to allow him to give them a lay of the land. Jud has lived in his house all his life, upwards of eighty years, so he is well-versed about all the local lore. While warning the family of the dangers of the local highway at the end of their property, he speaks of the local cemetery that many of the children have been using for their pets, hidden up amongst the forested area. Dubbed the ‘Pet Sematary’, this burial ground has many a non-human member of families as far back as can be imagined, with grave markers etched by innocent hands. However, there is something about the area that cannot be properly explained. When Louis heads off to work at the university infirmary, he encounters a young man who has devastating injuries and blames the ‘sematary’, though Louis is sure there is more to the story he is not being told. When the Creeds, sans Louis, head back to Illinois for Thanksgiving, the patriarch holds down the fort with the family cat. Over the holiday, devastating news comes of the cat’s demise, having been hit by a truck. This forces Louis and Jud to make their way to the sematary to lay the feline to rest. When the cat reappears, inexplicably, a few days later, Louis is sure it has something to do with the sematary. Jud admits that there is something to the mystery, as pets seem to resurrect themselves and return to their masters with no logical explanation. Refusing to share anything about the cat’s death, particularly since it has returned, Louis and the family continue living their peaceful life. When an accident sees the young boy die on the aforementioned road, the Creeds are paralysed by grief. Louis cannot wrap his head around it and turns to his wife, who is completely out of commission. Knowing the powers of the pet sematary, Louis must decide if he can risk moving his son’s body from its final resting place to the sematary, knowing that this could rejuvenate the clouds of depression that have started rolling in. Still, there is the x-factor of the unknown, which could trump any goodness that might return. Louis stands at a crossroads, wondering what to do, while keeping the secret of the pet sematary. Bone-chilling in its plot development, Stephen King shows that he is the master of his genre and can pull readers in with his well-paced narrative. Recommended to those who love a good story of thrills and dark plots.With the recent movie re-release of this classic Stephen King novel, I thought it would be best to try this book before deciding about the big screen. While I was never one who read King in my youth, I have discovered just how addictive his novels can be, given the time to enjoy them. King has a way with developing complex storylines and intricate characters in parallel, enriching the reading experience for those with the patience to wade through his longer novels. Louis Creed is a wonderful protagonist, who has seen a great deal in his life. When he meets Jud Crandall, Louis finally understands what it means to have a great father figure as well as a loyal friend. While Louis is unease about the move to Maine from the early days, he discovers the nuances of the community and the dark secrets about this pet sematary. Offering the reader some insight into the struggles of his family politics, Louis serves as a wonderful guide on this monumental journey. Jud Crandall is one of many great supporting characters, serving as the community’s backbone and lore teller, which serves Louis well, while also leaving him worries about what he might have done by accepting work in Maine. King’s use of a large number of characters serves to enrich the story and offers complex development at every turn. Characters develop throughout and their lives mix effectively, serving to entertain the reader, as King is prone to do. As with many of King’s novels, the story twists and turns, meandering from one topic to the next. While this may be a criticism when lobbed at some authors, King is able to entertain the reader along the way, keeping them transfixed along the journey. I find that the plot develops on its own, inching forward at a pace the reader might not notice at first glance. It is, however, this journey that makes the reading experience all the better for the attentive reader. With regular mention of small things from past (and future) novels, King masterfully weaves his tale while offering nuggets of a deeper social commentary, this time about death and the loss of a loved one. Those who have the patience for such a novel will surely find much in these pages. As with most novel/movie-tv series adaptations, I would recommend reading the book before turning to either version of the cinematic experience.Kudos, Mr. King, for reminding me just how much I like reading your work. Enthralling until the very end.Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Luffy
    January 1, 1970
    While a third into this Stephen King book, it dawned on me why King had such a strong fan base around the world in the 80s, and was the hottest name in popular fiction. It came to me that reading such a well-written horror book was legitimately one of the most primal, adult things I could do. That's because this type of book can have its own brand of hangover. Luckily, I've not yet dreamed of Zelda, the most terrifying monster in this book. King had a handle on the human mind. He could then - While a third into this Stephen King book, it dawned on me why King had such a strong fan base around the world in the 80s, and was the hottest name in popular fiction. It came to me that reading such a well-written horror book was legitimately one of the most primal, adult things I could do. That's because this type of book can have its own brand of hangover. Luckily, I've not yet dreamed of Zelda, the most terrifying monster in this book. King had a handle on the human mind. He could then - and here did - draw horror-laden imagery from ordinary people. The characters in these pages had life in their lungs. The Pet Sematary is a character. Route 15 is another one. The Creeds lived on the edge of horror, and I feared for them. From the first chapter you knew in time you would pinpoint the danger before the hapless Creeds would. The trials of the Creeds, ignited by the Jud character, and set in motion by Louis, were cruel, but not larger than life. The crudeness I felt, didn't stem from the situation but in the ancient fear of the wild. The fact that there were two kids in the Creed family was not a surefire bet we would be emotionally invested in them. The reason for it was that a great writer at the top of his game was behind them. After all, simply putting a child in the spotlight was not a guarantee we would empathize with their fate. Outside of anime, I've never seen a depiction of such fierce love between two characters as when Louis bonded with his growing son Gage. It was a mesmeric scene. Totally believable. The other child, Ellie, was very thoroughly written into the book. You know, I'm amazed at how much of the scenes in the book have not yet been exploited by other writers and by Hollywood. The writing in the book was so taut. The last chapters duly didn't dally and the end was fitting. There was no drama in the pejorative sense, let alone melodrama. What happened after the book ended is left open to interpretation...
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