Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 352
This is one of King’s earlier novels, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any loss of quality. The only thing that really means is that it’s a little shorter than some of his later works, but that’s a good thing if you don’t want to commit yourself to IT or The Stand.
In this book, we follow what happens when a rabid dog – a 200 pound St. Bernard – finds itself loose in a small Maine town. It’s almost less of a horror and more of a suspense novel, although it has elements that you might recognise from both genres. It defies categorisation, which is par for the course for a Stephen King novel and much to be expected.
I liked this book a lot, although I did think that it suffered from the same flaw as many other Stephen King novels in that it came to an end too quickly. That said, it actually worked, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried a longer ending and found that the shorter one read better. That’s partly because there’s a twist there, and it creeps up on you and hits you in the gut when you’re least expecting it.
Overall then, this is far from my favourite Stephen King novel, but it is still undeniably a classic that stands up well to the test of time and which has a place on every afficianado’s bookcase. You don’t need to be a Stephen King fan to enjoy it, either – it helps, of course, but Cujo would be a badass book no matter who wrote it.
I find it interesting to imagine what it must have been like back in the day when King was first making it as a writer. I wonder if they were as quick to recognise his star quality or whether he had a fight on his hands. Regardless, he proved his point with early releases like this one that cemented his reputation. Most authors would kill to have written this – myself included. Read it.