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Cujo : e. unheiml. Thriller. by Stephen King
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Cujo : e. unheiml. Thriller. (original 1981; edition 1986)

by Stephen King

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5,86272716 (3.43)123
Member:glglgl
Title:Cujo : e. unheiml. Thriller.
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Bergisch Gladbach : Bastei-Verlag Lübbe, (1986), Taschenbuch
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Work details

Cujo by Stephen King (1981)

  1. 10
    Needful Things by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Also set in Castle Rock.
  2. 10
    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: King refers to the writing of Cujo in his memoir.
  3. 10
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Also set in Castle Rock.
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» See also 123 mentions

English (64)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
‘It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do all the things his MAN and his WOMAN, and most of all his BOY, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, if that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.’

Cujo is a seemingly simple story minus all the supernatural thrills that are usually present in King’s stories. It’s about a gentle dog named Cujo that one day chases a rabbit into a hole, encounters an infected bat, and that gentle dog slowly transforms into a horrid nightmare that the town of Castle Rock will never forget.

The story was a surprisingly heartbreaking one as we’re given brief glimpses of the transformation of Cujo and his inevitable loss of self control. Before he was infected, Cujo was a good dog who played with children and despite his size never gave anyone any reason to fear him. Unfortunately, his owners just never took the time to get Cujo his necessary shots. As the story progresses Cujo becomes more and more helpless to stop the virus from taking control, but this sense of helplessness isn’t limited to Cujo. There are three separate storylines that all have that same sense of helplessness.

While the focus of this story is obviously Cujo, you quickly find yourself wrapped up in the lives of these people just as much. The main storyline is of course the unfortunate circumstances that caused Donna Trenton and her four-year-old son Tad to become stuck in a driveway in the middle of nowhere during a terrible heatwave with a rabid Saint Bernard keeping them from going anywhere. Donna attempts to make the drive to their local mechanic, Joe Camber, in order to get her needle valve fixed on the carburetor. She makes it the whole way only to have her car die in the driveway yet her sigh of relief is short-lived as Cujo makes his presence known. The second storyline deals with Vic, Donna’s husband and Tad’s father, who is at risk to losing his ad agency after his biggest client seeks to drop them. Finding out the night before he leaves for New York that Donna has been having an affair only adds to his worries yet he still leaves as their livelihoods all hinge on him keeping his company. The third storyline is regarding Joe Camber’s wife, Charity, and her fear that their boy Brett is going to turn out exactly like his father. In a final attempt to help prevent this she plans a vacation for the two of them to see her estranged sister and her family after Charity wins $5,000 in the lottery. Shortly after arriving, a few things occur that leave her convinced that she’s already too late.

While these storylines all seem to be of little consequence there is one scene in particular that sets in motion everything that is to occur. As Brett and his mother Charity are preparing to leave, Brett notices Cujo acting strangely. He tells his mother but she demands he stay silent. She knows if he were to tell his father he would demand the boy stay home to care for his dog. They leave not telling anyone, being completely unaware of the devastation they could have possibly prevented that day. This only goes to show that seemingly small decisions can truly have vast consequences.

One of my favorite things about stories is learning about the inspiration behind them. King had read a news article about a boy in Maine that had been killed by a Saint Bernard. King’s motorcycle had stalled out and he just barely got it to the mechanic before it died. That same mechanic had a Saint Bernard that looked as if he would attack King until his owner got him under control. King and his wife drove a Pinto that also had a sticky needle valve on the carburetor. All of these real life issues came together in a terrifying way to become ‘Cujo’.

This story is an incredibly realistic horror that is easily imagined. While not supernatural, there is a comparison made to Cujo being of the same evil to Frank Dodd, a local serial killer. That comparison generates the theory of evil being a deep-rooted thing that is always there and is all the same. Whether Cujo is truly evil or not, his story still succeeds in leaving you with an exceptionally uneasy feeling when you consider just how easy this all occurred. And it makes you consider with a sudden horror whether your lovable pet is up to date on their shots. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Feb 20, 2015 |
I expected this to be scarier. Not that it was *bad* in any way, but it was not at all what I had been expecting when I picked it up. Instead of giving me nightmares, it just made me sad.
Easily the most realistic Stephen King book I've ever read, though I'm disinclined to believe that is an entirely positive statement. ( )
  Hyzie | Oct 26, 2014 |
Très bonne histoire ( )
  broche69 | Sep 21, 2014 |
Cujo was the star of this horror story to me. I WANTED him to get ahold of that whiny little kid and... well, anyway, I was AMAZED how Mr. King really got INTO the mind of Cujo!! This was this first time I ever experienced the Point-Of-View of a DOG. Simply Brilliant.

The Movie version was one of the BIGGEST letdowns I have ever known. The BOOKS have ALWAYS been a superior experience for me, but the movie production of CUJO was particularly disappointing.

I YEARN to add a Hardcover to my small personal Library Shelves... and hope to have the pleasure of RE-reading this tale in the near future. ( )
  skippybuck | Jul 10, 2014 |
My first Stephen King book. It left me with a healthy fear of my closet. ( )
  LisaFoxRomance | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kalvas, ReijoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along...

—W.H. AUDEN, "Musée des Beaux Arts"
Old Blue died and he died so hard
He shook the ground in my back yard.
I dug his grave with a silver spade
And I lowered him down with a golden chain.
Every link you know I did call his name,
I called, "Here, Blue, you good dog, you."

—FOLK SONG
"Nope, nothing wrong here."
—THE SHARP CEREAL PROFESSOR
Dedication
This book is for my brother, David, who held my hand crossing West Broad Street, and who taught me how to make skyhooks out of old coathangers. The trick was so damned good I just never stopped.

I love you, David.
First words
Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Cujo, a huge St Bernard, is bitten by a rabid bat and changes from a lovable pet into a ferocious man-eating monster. He slaughters his garage-owning master and, as madness eats at his brain, focuses his deranged attention on Donna Trenton and her five-year-old son, who are trapped in their car.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451161351, Mass Market Paperback)

Cujo is so well-paced and scary that people tend to read it quickly, so they mostly remember the scene of the mother and son trapped in the hot Pinto and threatened by the rabid Cujo, forgetting the multifaceted story in which that scene is embedded. This is definitely a novel that rewards re-reading. When you read it again, you can pay more attention to the theme of country folk vs. city folk; the parallel marriage conflicts of the Cambers vs. the Trentons; the poignancy of the amiable St. Bernard (yes, the breed choice is just right) infected by a brain-destroying virus that makes it into a monster; and the way the "daylight burial" of the failed ad campaign is reflected in the sunlit Pinto that becomes a coffin. And how significant it is that this horror tale is not supernatural: it's as real as junk food, a failing marriage, a broken-down car, or a fatal virus.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:24 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Cujo, a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, becomes infected with rabies and kills four people in Maine.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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