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Pet Sematary by Stephen King
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Pet Sematary (original 1983; edition 2001)

by Stephen King

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8,094113396 (3.72)159
Member:chickenwingy85
Title:Pet Sematary
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket Books (2001), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King (1983)

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English (101)  French (5)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  All languages (113)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
this just isn't up to his standard. the characters aren't well enough developed (at all at all at all) and the story's background isn't fleshed out enough either. there is way too much foreshadowing (and over and over again) so that when things happen the suspense really isn't there at all, until the very end. his writing is alright throughout, even though i don't like what he's saying a lot of the time - a weird focus on emasculation when he neuters his cat, a strange - for king - unequal dynamic between the married couple, etc. he usually writes his women strong, or if they aren't it's believable because they're full people, but here he misses the mark with her, with the children (who he also is normally a master at writing), with the in-laws, and even with the main characters. i was a bit wary of rereading this because it involves the death of a little boy, and since becoming a parent it's much harder for me to read about that. but i read it without hesitation, flinching, or anything. because i didn't care at all about any of them. they were all just hollow, half-drawn characters. especially in comparison to how real his characters usually are. the same thing is missing from the story to make it even a little believable. by the end, i was more engaged with what was happening, but it was really only at the very end and it was in spite of his mistakes throughout.

at the very end i like what he was getting at, which is something that he seems to return to again and again - it was more the pull of evil or of a place of evil and what that can do to someone. but it was too little too late for me. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jul 19, 2015 |
I always love King...
I've seen the movie and knew what to expect but this was intense. ( )
  gopfolk | Apr 28, 2015 |
Stephen King writes amazing stories. He specializes in delving into the human psyche and challenging readers to accept the unimaginable. More importantly, under his pen, that unimaginable quality becomes perfectly plausible, which only compounds one’s terror. After all, there are several generations of readers who steer clear of clowns and sewer drains because of what Mr. King did with them in his novel, It. Pet Sematary by Stephen King is no different in that it is a blood-curdling novel in which the very thing at which one should scoff at its ridiculousness becomes the thing of a reader’s nightmares. That it diverts down a path one might not expect based on its title and cover is a surprise but does nothing to minimize a reader’s terror or one’s appreciation for an entertaining story.

As always, Mr. King knows how to create well-executed, complex, realistic, and empathetic characters around which his horror stories revolve. In Louis Creed, he creates a young father who cares deeply for his family. His approach to life is rational, and he tends to overanalyze situations before acting. He is not afraid to show readers his parenting frustrations in addition to those parenting perks which negate them. He is relatable and honest, which only makes the horror he later experiences that much more tragic.

Another aspect of Mr. King’s books that he does so well is to create situations which sit in the shadowy grey area between right and wrong. A reader instinctively envisions being in Louis’ shoes, faced with the same tragic decisions and terrible consequences, for which readers are utterly incapable of making different choices. This grounds the story more firmly to the realistic and deliberately counters the fantastic elements of his stories.

Unlike some of Mr. King’s other novels, one finishes reading Pet Sematary with many questions. First off, he never explains the mysterious power in the forest. There are many hints and even mentions of certain supernatural figures, but they are nothing more than mentions with no clear definitions or explanations. Similarly, the rules of the Pet Sematary remain frustratingly vague. One is not even certain of the rules long after Louis stumbles down that particular path. Also, there is an emphasis on spirals which seem important enough to garner multiple mentions but again without any satisfactory answers.

Because there are so many open-ended scenarios, one cannot help but wonder if Mr. King intended to write a sequel. There are certainly enough unanswered questions to warrant one. Then again, the fact that the rest of Louis’ story is entirely up to the reader to determine only creates a more horrifying story. The very thing which can and does frustrate a reader can and does help Pet Sematary live up to its title as one of Mr. King’s scariest novels of all time.
  jmchshannon | Mar 25, 2015 |
The Short of It:

Probably one of King’s best.

The Rest of It:

In my late teens, early twenties, I somehow managed to read Pet Sematary twice. I think I read it a second time, right before the movie came out. I remember it being appropriately scary but not overly so. To compare, IT, to this day, is still his scariest book ever but anytime death is involved and you try to change things, you are really grabbing the bull by the horns and things just can’t go well when you try to do that with death. Trust me.

After Louis Creed accepts a position as a university doctor, he and his wife Rachel buy a house in the country and look forward to raising their two small children, Ellie and Gage, in the beauty of God’s kingdom. Except, there is a pesky road that is the main through-way for trucks getting from point A to point B. Across the way, are their elderly neighbors, the Crandalls and oh, let’s not forget the Pet Sematary, which is really the smaller part of an Indian burial ground and which just so happens to be on their property.

Indian burial ground. Yep.

As you can probably guess, that busy road becomes a very important part of the story, as does the Pet Sematary, which is spelled that way because that is how a child chose to spell it years and years ago. The story reads quickly, because once you get to a certain point, you really can’t stop reading as you must know how it all turns out.

As you may recall above, I didn’t think the book was overly scary when I read it in my twenties but that was before kids. Reading it recently, I couldn’t help but flashback to those times when my kids hurt themselves or how afraid I was of hurting them accidentally. Really, just recognizing how fragile they were. Well, the experience of parenthood adds some additional terror to the mix. For sure.

I read this for the #gangstercats read-along so I definitely had the support of others, which always makes reading a book like this a lot more fun. Plus, we got party favors too! There’s nothing like a good King discussion to bring people together. There was some interest in maybe watching the movie while live tweeting, so if that happens, you’ll hear about it soon.

King’s new book Finders Keepers comes out in June 2015 but what shall we read next?

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Mar 18, 2015 |
I read this book for the first time in the mid 80s, something like 1987. It scared the heck out of me back then. This time, being much older I found it to be chilling and exciting, but I don't anticipate nightmares this time around.

Lewis is a distraught father who know of a possible answer to end his pain caused by the death of his toddler son. What parent wouldn't take the risk. Unfortunately Gage came back more monster than happy baby. What I forgot and took me by surprise was Lewis taking his wife Rachel to the sematary as well. I forgot Lewis went a bit mad at the end of the book. ( )
  jlsimon7 | Mar 1, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Talvio-Jaatinen, PirkkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Jesus said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go, that I may awake him out of his sleep."

Then the disciples looked at each other, and some smiled because they did not know Jesus had spoken in a figure. "Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well."

So then Jesus spoke to them more plainly, "Lazarus is dead, yes...nevertheless let us go to him."

—JOHN'S GOSPEL (paraphrase)
When Jesus came to Bethany, he found that Lazarus had lain in the grave four days already. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she hurried to meet him.

"Lord," she said, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But now you are here, and I know that whatever you ask of God, God will grant."

Jesus answered her: "Your brother shall rise again."

—JOHN'S GOSPEL (paraphrase)
"Hey-ho, let's go."
—THE RAMONES
Jesus therefore, groaning inside of himself and full of trouble, came to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone had been raised against the mouth. "Roll away the stone," Jesus said.

Martha said, "Lord, by this time he will have begun to rot. He has been dead four days."...

And when he had prayed awhile, Jesus raised his voice and cried, "Lazarus, come forth!" And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin.

Jesus said to them, "Loose him and let him go."

—JOHN'S GOSPEL (paraphrase)
   "I only just thought of it," she said hysterically. "Why didn't I think of it before? Why didn't you think of it?"
   "Think of what?" he questioned.
   "The other two wishes," she replied rapidly. "We've only had one."
   "Was that not enough?" he demanded fiercely.
   "No," she cried triumphantly: "we'll have one more. Go down and get it quickly, and wish our boy alive again."

—W.W. JACOBS ("The Monkey's Paw")
Dedication
For Kirby McCauley
First words
Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened...although he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743412273, Mass Market Paperback)

Renowned for its superior productions, BBC radio may have outdone itself by adapting Stephen King's Pet Sematary to audio. A clamorous cacophony of talking, whining, whistling, and howling, Pet Sematary is a quick, entertaining earful for those who don't have other auditory distractions to contend with, such as a car full of talking whining, whistling, howling children. However, the melodramatic prose marries well with the acting; such is the case when one reader--whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Kramer's from Seinfeld--tells another about the effects of the Pet Sematary: "Heroin makes junkies feel good when they put it in their arms, but all the time it's poisoning their mind and body--this place can be like that and don't you ever forget it!" (Running time: three hours, two cassettes)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:00 -0400)

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When a little boy's pet dies, and he persuades his parents to bury it in an old Indian cemetary, reputed by legend to house restless spirits, a nightmare of death and destruction begins.

(summary from another edition)

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