Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary
Stephen King
4 Stars
Paperback, 411 Pages

A story about a cemetary that brings things back to life. A very long build up about a family of 4 who move to Maine, befriend an old yankee who tells the father about the cemetary. The family cat dies, so the father buries it and it comes back, but it is “off”. Then the young son [pre elementary school] dies and the father buries him secretly. The son comes back possessed by whatever evil powers the cemetary and kills the wife and old neighbor. The father kills the son, burns down the neighbor’s house to cover his tracks and buries his wife immediately, because he believes that the time gap is what accounted for things not working for his son. Ends with his wife coming back into the house, and the rest is left to our imagination.

Now, the last 50 pages deal with the horror. The first couple of hundred are the build up and yet, that build up was just as enjoyable, if not more, than the ending. Hints about the evil of the burial ground were given, vague stories by the old yankee neighbor, myths about the Indians who created it. A sense of dread was quietly building up the entire time and you knew the son was going to die and be brought back and that nothing good would come of it. Fantastic, keep me glued to the pages, kind of writing. Makes me wonder what King could have written if he’d gone into another genre.

As others have stated, this is a slow build up to a “not ultra-gory and scare your pants off” ending.

And that is the beauty of this book. Little hints of dread, stories that foreshadow something bad, myths of vague horror. Horror of the mind is best when only the outline is given and the reader fills in the blanks with their own fears.

350 pages of routine life and getting to know the characters and yet I almost enjoyed that part more than the final 50 pages where everything comes crashing down. Jud the yankee, Louis the rational doctor, Ellie the daughter who has premonitions of what is to come.

2 thoughts on “Pet Sematary

  1. James Laubacker says:

    I quit reading Steven King when this came out and I read it way back when. 1985? Good horror book, but that’s when I realized I no longer enjoyed horror books. Cremate everything, it is safer!

    Liked by 1 person

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