Pet Sematary by Stephen King

A gripping novel that takes a long hard look at death right in its stinkin’ eye, ayuh

So I’ve got a confession to make. For someone who runs an amateur spooky blog about films and books, I am SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT when it comes to reading Mr King. I can ashamedly say that up until a couple of weeks ago, I had read Carrie, some short stories and the incredible On Writing, but that’s it. How? Why? Who knows? The point is, I don’t think I could have happened across a better book to start a King Binge on than Pet Sematary.

Thank you once again to Adelaide’s Best Bookshop, The PopUp Bookshop, for the book. Yes, I am biased. I work there.  What of it? Show me a funner, more affordable bookshop with staff who are obsessed with books and finding that ~human connection~ with fellow readers. #humblebrag

Ok, so like many people with attest, some books find you at the right time of life. My long-suffering horror hating partner Sheree and I have recently moved into a new house (like the protagonist of this book, Louis Creed). Sheree works in a medical setting (like Louis Creed). While the road outside our house is not packed with trucks, it is busy enough that our mum prompted us to make sure we (spoiler alert) watch any toddlers we may have in the future around it. Someone is waiting to be a grandma.

So this book was a great read, not only because it had many parallels to my life but because it talks about death in a refreshing way. I love the characters of Jud and Norma (who wouldn’t) – their straight-talking view on the Grim Reaper and small-town hospitality and charm make them the star characters of the book. I also empathise with pretty much every character in this, from a doctor pretending he can stave off tragedy from his own family despite seeing it everyday, to his wife Rachel who witnessed the long, slow death of her sister Zelda as a child, to their daughter Ellie who is first coming across the idea of death through the Pet Sematary and the whispered conversations of her parents.

I don’t want to ruin the plot of the story, besides saying that a doctor moves his family to a small town so he can work in the university medical clinic, and shit starts to happen. Read it to find out more!

Spookiest part: So obviously, there’s probably a more climatic part of this book that people find scary. But I couldn’t move past the creepy reincarnation of the family cat, Church. I already think cats are somehow linked to the afterlife and know way more than they are letting on, and that they are pretty much waiting to eat us when we die in our homes. But yeah, Jesus, that cat is creepy.

Church in my mind
This is how I pretty much envisioned Church

Can’t wait to hunt down the movie adaption!

 

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