Pet Sematary is a 1983 horror novel by Stephen King. I haven't read much horror, but I've been wanting to read some of the better known modern horror novels and had been looking for this one in particular for months. I was happy to find it on the shelf at our main library's used book store.
I'm irritated by the misuse of words, and this book has a couple of doozies:
- "She'll stay to supper, I guess, although I don't think she'll eat nothing. She's gotten peckish." So she won't eat because she's a bit hungry??? Although I suppose "I don't think she'll eat nothing" means "I do think she'll eat something," but that meaning isn't supported by the context. It does look like the word "peckish" is just misused. .....
- King refers to the need to have the main character's cat "spayed" two or three times. That should prove to be difficult since it's a male cat.
Other than those problems (which are real problems for me, make no mistake)... It was a quick and easy read, but after the pet sematary was introduced and explained the course of the book seemed fairly predictable. There was one plot element that came as a surprise, but it was a minor element not crucial to the plot. There is at least 1 film adaptation, which I have not seen.
from the dust jacket:
Can Stephen King scare even himself?Paste Magazine says, "This is King’s best book and one of the best horror novels ever written. Go back as far as you want: Lovecraft, Stoker, Shelley, it doesn’t matter. This is the top-of-the-line deluxe monster model." Kirkus Reviews closes with this:
Has the author of Carrie, The Shining, Cujo, and Christine ever conceived a story so horrifying that he was for a time unwilling to finish it? Yes. This is it.
Set in a small town in Maine to which a young doctor, Louis Creed, and his family have moved from Chicago, PET SEMATARY begins with a visit to the graveyard in the woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. But behind the "pet sematary," there is another burial ground, one that lures people to it with seductive promises... and ungodly temptations.
As the story unfolds, so does a nightmare of the supernatural, one so relentless you won't want ... at moments ... to continue reading ... but will be unable to stop.
You do it because it gets hold of you, says the nice old man with the secret. You make up reasons ... but mostly you do it because once you've been up there, it's your place, and you belong to it ... up in the PET SEMATARY - and beyond.
Filled out with overdone family melodrama (the feud between Louis and his father-in-law) and repetitious inner monologues: a broody horror tale that's strong on dark, depressing chills, weak on suspense or surprise--and not likely to please the fans of King's zestier, livelier terror-thons.