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review 2018-02-20 13:10
Pet Sematary
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Wow. So this is marked as a favorite, I have only read this one twice. It's a lot to sit through. At times you hope there is going to be a break or some sort of happy ending. Instead we get a book about consequences and things perhaps set in motion by something dark that wanted to ruin a happy family. I have to say that I do love most of King's earlier works. They tend to be more raw and real to me. Pet Sematary made me cry when I read it as a teen and it made me cry again this weekend.

 

When the Creed family (Louis, Rachel, Ellie, and Gage) move from Chicago to Maine, Louis is hoping that his new position and home will be the beginning of a new start for his family. Moving next to Jud and Nora Crandall, Louis feels like for the first time ever he has a father in his life. The two men become great friends and pass the time having beers together and talking about life and death. When Jud takes the family to a nearby pet cemetery, the first dark tidings start to come out and King gives warnings throughout about what is coming next for the Creed.

 

All of the characters in this one really work. You end up having sympathy and sadness for everyone that you read about. Most of the story really focuses on Louis since he is the one that is starting to be warned about what is coming next for his family. But the book shifts at times to Rachel and Jud.

 

The writing is so good in this one as is the flow. Some of the stories that Jud tells Louis feel a bit long, but all are important to get to the larger part of the story.

 

The setting of this one is Maine. I swear based on all the goings on in King's books, I have maybe unconsciously stayed away from that state. King has a way of describing the inhabitants and locations with such description you often at times feel as if you are walking with Louis across the deadfall to the "true" burial ground.

 

I think the saddest thing about this whole book is that if the family had been able to actually talk about death and what it means without Rachel reacting so badly to it, perhaps Louis wouldn't have done what he did throughout the book. He wanted to make things good for his little girl and then wanted to make things right for his family. At one point he just goes past the point of no return and you are just forced to read until the very end. I always wondered why King didn't refer to the Creed family again in any of his other Castle Rock books since they seemed to very close to Jerusalem's Lot and the location of Cujo based on remarks made in this book.

 

This book is in my top five favorite of King's works. In order of my favorite it is:

1. Bag of Bones (last book I read with my dad and holds a place in my heart because of that)
2. Desperation
3. The Drawing of the Three
4. Lisey's Story
5. Pet Sematary

 

Image result for pet sematary gif

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-20 08:24
3/5: The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen King

When nine year old Tricia McFarland steps off a hiking trail – mostly to ease her bladder, but more to escape the arguing of her brother and mother - she makes a mistake. When she doesn’t retrace her steps, she makes a bigger one. What follows is nine days of deprivation and rising terror…

King says he works best when he’s writing epics, full of a hundred characters, but I’ve always found his best work to be the simplest: a few characters, a simple setting – Misery comes to mind, as do his short stories.

Concentrating on Tricia gives him a chance to dig in and scoop her out, to see what she’s made of, and we feel every ache and cut as she does. King certainly puts her through the grinder in her walk in the woods: Thirst, hunger, swarms of insects that love the taste of her sweat. There are simple joys too, like a meteor shower on a crystal clear night.

But there’s something more in the woods: Something odd following her, waiting for her strength to fail. It’s girl versus nature tale, simple and effective in its delivery and its imagery.

I checked the map from where Trish started her walk after I’d finished the novel, and it seemed to me the woods were conspiring against her – I don’t think it’s possible to walk as she did without crossing what looks like a major road. But then again, the things she sees – or imagines she sees – probably wouldn’t have been there either.

I devoured the first half of this book in roughly two hours. It’s not a long tale at around three hundred pages, and it didn’t take me long to finish the rest.

The only parts that slowed it down for me were the baseball references. Trish has a personal stereo with a radio that can pick up baseball games, and the sound of human voices is what keeps her moving, especially when her hero appears, a man named Tom Gordon.

The only problem with a book with sports references (of any kind) is the inference that your reader knows what you’re talking about. I don’t know anything about baseball except its basic terminology, so I was lost when Gordon is called “A closer” or “it’s the bottom of the eighth with three outs.”

It’s either a case of explaining it and slowing the book down, or moving on and hoping for the best. I mentally skimmed the parts where Trish is listening and commenting on the baseball matches she’s listening to. They weren’t more than a page or so anyway, so the effect was minimal. But it felt like I missed something important, since Trisha’s survival is linked to the game so closely. Even the chapters are titled after segments of a baseball game. (I feel the same way when I watch “A Field of Dreams”. Still love the movie though.)

I would have rated this four stars but for King’s notorious weak spot: His endings. I bought this book from a charity shop, and the ending changed my mind from I-want-to-keep-it to I’m-donating-it-back.

In the last few chapters, King simply seems to give up. He jumps out of Trish’s world and rushes headlong to the climax, as though suddenly bored with the tale and wanting to get it done. He skips four days of her walking in two pages to reach that climax. It’s a jarring jump out of a very involving and personal story.

And, much, much worse, when Trish finally faces the creature following her (Something which seemed to me was a twisted relative of IT), it’s not her that banishes it, but a random passing hunter. Not what I wanted to see in any way. I wanted to see her do it! It’s her I’ve been rooting for over the past three hundred pages, Mr King! Don’t drop in a random stranger with a rifle just to wrap it up.

A few years ago, I was in Washington State, driving through its endless evergreen forests. You could have lost anything in there – aircraft carriers, towns, whole civilisations. Walk into those woods more than a few hundred yards and you would die as you looked for a way out. A single child, alone, un-provisioned, unprepared? No one would ever find her.

Forests are a primeval environment anyway, a scary-as-hell place to get lost. A scary as hell sensation to feel like you’re being followed on top of that (as I can personally attest to).

Trish is made of tough stuff, I’ll tell you that, and to not have her beat the creature following her is simply a cheat.

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text 2018-02-18 22:31
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Probably one of the saddest endings in King's work IMHO. Revival still is the scariest. Pet Semetary doesn't pull any punches. You get the sense something drove this family to it's end, but also you feel frustrated because Louis wouldn't listen. Nice tie ins to Cujo, Salem's Lot, and the other Bangor books. I'm in the mood to reread Needful Things and The Dark Half now. The Dark Half is a book that sticks with you since that character is referred to in two other King works and you find out about his bad end. 

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text 2018-02-18 17:19
Reading progress update: I've read 55%.
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

I forgot how dark this book was. There really is no happy ending here. Just things spiraling from.wlrse to worse things. I do wonder if King will ever have a sequel to this one or refer to the characters in his other books?

 

We have Louis and Just doing what they can to prevent Ellie from realizing her cat Church has died. Jud tells the story of the other burial ground past the Pet Semetary where burying anything that is not a dead pet seems to bring nothing but terrible things. We also have references to a Wendigo here and it reminds me a bit of "Bag of Bones."

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text 2018-02-18 12:42
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Wow took way too long to post a update. Be on GR for the day posting updates.

 

I'm supposed to go to the movies, but feeling under the weather so think I'm going to cancel and stay home in bed til I feel better. I don't think I'll enjoy sitting for a movie if I have to keep running to the bathroom after 20 minutes.

 

Laying in bed with black out curtains and blinds closed helps set the mood. I only read Pet Semetary once and it scared the crap out of me as a kid. Here we go. 

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