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review 2018-09-17 15:03
He Was A Good Dog
Cujo - Stephen King

I read Cujo when I was in my teens, but not a lot stayed with me I think because I ended up skimming a lot. I think I was freaked out by some of the things in this book (a man talking easily about raping a woman, another man beating his wife, etc.) and it just caused me to not look too closely at this book. However, this book is old school and somehow still King in his later works. He takes a look at a town, it's citizens, and shows you how things unravel. He is still quite good with kids (oh Tadder). And he plays with a lot of different things in this books, growing up, resentment of parents for children and vice versa, affairs and the aftermath. Through it all though we have a dark energy in the town that wants to be released. I am still amazed that anyone would continue to live in the fictional town of Castle Rock and all of the messed up things that keep happening there. 

 

"Cujo" follows a good dog who unfortunately gets bit by a bat that passes along rabies. The majority of the book follows the countdown to Cujo turning from a good dog to a dog from hell and we get to read (witness) the killings he does. King doesn't just focus on Cujo though. We get insight into Cujo's owners, the Cambers family (Joe and Charity, and their son Brett) and their messed up dynamic. I maybe cheered when a member of this family get killed. Not going to lie.


We also follow the Trenton family (Vic and Donna) who are newcomers to the area, who are raising their four year old son Tad. We get hints that something is up with Donna fairly early on, but then we dive into it more fully and find out that Donna has been having an affair with Steve Kemp. Steve is a failed tennis player and now plays at refurnishing furniture. When Donna sees him for who he is one day, they have an almost violent encounter which leaves Kemp out wanting revenge on Donna. 


We also get peeks into residents of the town of Castle Rock. We follow Sheriff George Bannerman, an elderly resident, the mailman, etc. We also get some looks into infamous Frank Dodd who was in "The Dead Zone." The parts with Dodd reminded me slightly of magical realism elements. 

 

I think King did a good job of balancing what was going on with Cujo and others in this story. This story seems to be a tale of wives in my mind though. We had Charity dealing with the fact that she chose the wrong husband. Joe is crude and brutal with her. And often with their son Brett. She is scared that unless her son breaks free from Joe, he may end up being the same kind of man. When she gets the opportunity to visit her more well to do sister, she jumps at it hoping she can show Brett a different way of life. Things come to a head with these two while away with Charity realizing that her sister has changed, and though she's well to do, still acts as if she is poor. 


Donna realizes that she was too dependent on Vic making her happy and that her falling into an affair with Kemp was a bad idea. When Vic is told about the affair (via a letter sent by Kemp) they have an honest conversation with Donna realizing that she can't really explain what happened or why. She wants to try again and realizes like many do after an affair has passed it was a terrible idea, and it doesn't mean she doesn't love her husband. Watching Donna becoming a super woman in my mind when she finally goes toe to toe with Cujo was astounding. I was holding my breath the whole time. 

 

Kemp was a psycho or at least want to be rapist. I kept hoping that somehow Cujo would teleport himself to where he was and bite him. No dice though.


Vic was okay. I didn't get much of a sense from him in this story. Just a good man trying to do right by his family. King gives you the sense that these two went on and healed, but you don't know since they don't get mention in his other works. 

 

The writing was really good. The flow was too though at times you feel as if the book just stops at an important part and you want it to continue on so you can get back to Donna and Tad in the car, or the police and others figuring out where they are so they can get help. 

 

The ending was sad in a way. We end on what happens to Cujo and his desire to just do right for his man, his woman, and his boy. And that it wasn't really his fault what happened. 

 

 

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text 2018-09-16 14:02
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Cujo - Stephen King

King does a great job setting up this story. All of the characters are very well developed and you feel pity due to decisions that are made that can affect the other characters in this story. Poor Cujo. 

 

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review 2018-09-13 18:13
Ghost Ships, Gales & Forgotten Tales - True Adventures on the Great Lakes
Ghost Ships, Gales and Forgotten Tales: True Adventures on the Great Lakes - Wes Oleszewski

Picked this one up from our library. Living in Michigan and going on a few shipwreck tours in the Great Lakes, I thought this one would be a fun read!

 

I am going to use this one for Fear the Drowning Deep!

 

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review 2017-01-26 00:00
Fear the Drowning Deep
Fear the Drowning Deep - Sarah Glenn Marsh ~*Full review notes on The Bent Bookworm!*~

“Nothing from the ocean is meant to survive on land forever.”

Feels:

Satisfaction. I adored the resolution of this book. It’s not a perfect happily-ever-after (HEA) and that makes ME so very, very happy. I’m a disgruntled, hard-hearted porcupine when it comes to love, and while I like endings with hope, only rarely do I completely get behind a tidy little HEA. FtDD has a very hopeful ending, but one that could go several different ways. I loved that.

Characters:

It took me awhile to warm up to Bridey, I’ll be honest. She is so defined by her fear of the sea that at first that is the only quality I saw in her. As the story goes on though, I came to genuinely like her. Lugh and Cat, her best friends, I wish we had seen a little more of. I felt sorry for them as she kind of abandoned them to go work with Morag and then in her absorption with Fynn.

Fynn is something of a mystery for most of the book. A lot of reviews I saw complained about the insta-love between him and Bridey, but to me it was believable BECAUSE from the very beginning, it’s obvious Fynn is not just a normal human boy. Because of that, I feel like the insta-love is understandable and realistic – even though I usually DESPISE it.

Morag was my favorite character. An odd choice, I guess – but I loved her. I love that she was old and crotchety and hurt – both physically and emotionally, yet she was such a wise woman and genuinely cared about people. She was like a gingerbread cookie…crunchy on the outside but soft and delicious on the inside (that IS how you make your gingerbread cookies, right?).

Plot:

FtDD starts off kind of slow, not going to lie. It’s beautiful and haunting, but slow. The pace picks up about a third of the way through, and I was completely drawn into the Isle of Man world Sarah Marsh has created. I already wanted to visit but now I want to go even more!
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At first I thought I had misjudged the cover blurb and this was a historical fiction YA with some mythology thrown in…but no. It soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems on the idyllic Isle, regardless of what the villagers want to believe. And of course no one wants to listen to the tales of old women or the vision of the young. No one wants to believe that maybe the faery stories are more than stories.
Worldbuilding/Description:

Beautiful. Idyllic. Almost mystical and definitely slightly creepy. I loved it. It felt so real…next time I’m at the ocean I’m going to be on the lookout for creepy ghosts playing violins. I still want to visit the Isle of Man though.

Rating:

4/5 stars. There were some things I felt were too easily explained away, like some things about Fynn. Some things I felt happened too easily…like once Bridey got over her fear, suddenly she was a grand rescuer…but they were small things, and adrenaline and love do give people almost superhuman strength sometimes.

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review 2017-01-04 11:40
Review: Fear the Drowning Deep
Fear the Drowning Deep - Sarah Glenn Marsh

I received a copy from Edelweiss

 

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this one, it was a bit of coverlust more than anything about it that caught my attention and I snagged it as soon as I saw it on Edelweiss as a read it now. I’d forgotten what it was about by the time I finally got around to read it. Pleasantly surprised to find how unique this novel was and how much I enjoyed and how unexpected the plot was. It’s a turn of the century historical set in the Isle of Man.

 

The main character lives in small island village steeped mythology regarding the sea and the creatures within and the strange fairy folk (think more traditional type fairies, Little Folk, mysterious and hardly ever seen but a somewhat worrying presence).

 

Bridey, the main character, just wants to escape from the island and go experience London and the mainland. She has a close tightknit family of a number of siblings, a couple of best friends, though her male friend Lugh’s attention seem to be changing slightly towards her. The town even has a creepy old lady who lives, Morag, alone with a mysterious past known as the local witch.

 

Bridey is haunted by the mysterious death of her grandfather. She was there when it happened, the official cause is drowning, but she knows there’s more to it. Problem is no one believes her. Not helped when Bridey is looking for work and her mother sends her to go apprentice to Morag. Then girls start disappearing and turning up dead.

 

Along with the arrival of a strange boy washed up on the beach. The boy has horrible wounds and no memory of who he is. Bridey takes him home to help nurse him back to health, as he has no name, she names him Fynn.

 

Beautifully written, almost lyrical, and completely captivating, the mythology of the sea beasts and magic of the isle is woven in and it’s absolutely fascinating. The cast of characters is pretty incredible, from the stubborn townsfolk who can be at once giving and incredibly small minded, and of course there’s much more to local witch Morag than anyone thought to look at.

 

And the slow build of trust and friendship between Bridey and Fynn is very well done and believable. It’s not insta-love, it takes time and work. Coupled with the mystery of the disappearing girls it all mixes together and works incredibly well. It’s not just focused on Bridey and Fynn, I really liked the inclusion of Bridey’s family and her friends and how they all cope differently with the events in the novel as they unfold.

 

The plot has a few surprising twists and turns and it’s impossible to guess, and the end really threw me and was completely unexpected. Some of the ending was a little hard to follow, I had to go back and read some of the scenes twice to make sure I was following the plot correctly, but the initial twist at the end was still a big surprise.

 

All in all a fantastic read and definitely an author I look forward to reading more of.

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