Title: Pet Sematary
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 368
In many ways, Pet Sematary is typical of Stephen King – it’s chilling, haunting and, in some ways, it feels almost like it’s been written following a formula. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and at the very least it guarantees a certain level of quality – this was written back in 1983, when King was at the height of his publishing powers, and it shows. Like the Pet Sematary itself, it has a certain power to keep you going back for more, even when you’re scared out of your wits.
The characterisation in the novel is pretty good, although I did feel more empathy for some of the supporting characters than the main family themselves – that said, everyone in this novel seems to have some sort of secret, and so they’re all interesting in their own different ways. I also enjoyed the Ramones references that were scattered throughout the novel, which makes me wonder whether the song was written about the novel or whether the novel was written about the song. Turns out that the Ramones song was written for the film adaptation.
Unfortunately, I felt that the novel was let down a little by the predictable ending, which seemed almost cliché – perhaps that’s because King is such a master of the craft that he creates clichés, rather than using them. The novel was written and released before I was born, and so it could easily have been imitated enough times since then that I’m more familiar with the homages to the novel than with the novel itself.
Overall though, I felt that it was a cracking read, the sort of book that you can power through in a couple of days even though it’s hundreds of pages long – you get hooked in and you can’t get out, and once you reach the point of no return when Church, the family cat, is killed, there’s no turning back. For most reviews, that might seem like a spoiler, but there’s so much going on in Pet Sematary that the death of a cat is nothing. So yeah, look forward to that.