Thursday, 25 April 2019

Review - Pet Sematary by Stephen King

It's been quite a long time since I've reread a book! And I'm not referring to a "need-to-review" book because I have had to reread quite a few of those; mostly due to the fact that it took me so long to write my reviews, so rereading was a way to refresh my mind. Instead, I'm referring to my favorite reads that I've always wanted to reread but have never had the time to do so.

A few weeks ago, the remake of 1989's Pet Sematary arrived in theatres. I haven't seen the movie yet, as I'll probably just wait until it's released on DVD or Blu-ray. The movie's release got me in the mood to reread the original 1983 novel by Stephen King; which in my opinion is the author's scariest work.

The novel centers on Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, their five-year-old (or is it six?) daughter Ellie, and their two-year-old son Gage moving from Chicago to Ludlow, Maine. Louis has a taken a director position at the small University of Maine's campus medical center. They'd purchased an older house a little bit outside of town, and their only closest neighbor is an elderly couple, Jud Crandall and his ailing wife, Norma.

Upon arriving, Jud warns Louis that his children should stay clear of the highway, which is located right in front of their house, as many animals (and pets) have died trying to walk across it. Many of the animals are buried behind the Creed's home in what has been dubbed the Pet Sematary, a place where devastated children have buried their deceased pets.

Sadly, Ellie's cat, Church, meets his doom on the highway. This is when Jud tells Louis there's a way to bring Church back from the dead. The old man takes Louis beyond the Pet Sematary to an ancient Miꞌkmaq Tribe burial ground, where anything buried there will be brought back to life. Louis buries Church and the very next day the cat returns to life. While the cat might have a bad odor and acts a little odd, Church is still Church!

The family was just starting to adjust to their new home then the unthinkable occurs  - Gage is killed by a speeding truck!!!

After the funeral, Louis sends Rachel and Ellie to stay with his in-laws in Chicago. He tells them he will join them once the campus gets a replacement for him at the medical center. However, Louis has another agenda - he's going to bury Gage's corpse in the burial ground!!!

This is a Stephen King story, so you can probably guess the story gets really scary and bloody!!!

Final Thoughts

What would you do to bring back your child?

That's the basic plot of the novel! I don't currently have any children of my own, but the though of losing a child is truly terrifying.

I don't recall my exact age of when I first read Pet Sematary, but it was during my teenage years right after I had saw the 1989 film adaptation on cable. The movie was truly terrifying (and it still is), so naturally I wanted to read the book, which I'd found a worn paperback at a used book store. Years later, I bought a hardcover edition at a thrift store.

Pet Sematary starts out as a friendly story with a family moving to Maine, but it quickly turns into one of the scariest novels every written, starting with the violent death of a college student, Victor Pascow. Of course, it gets even worse from there with the deaths of Church and Gage.

I'm a cat lover, so Church's death really gets to me. If there was a way of bringing back one of my pets from the dead, yeah, I would probably do exactly what Louis did with Church. As for Gage, like I already mentioned, I don't have any children, but if I did, I would do anything in power to keep them alive. However, after reading Pet Sematary multiple times, I wouldn't think twice about burying anyone in an ancient burial ground, as no good will ever come from it. Instead of bringing back life, it will only bring more death!

I would definitely recommend reading Pet Sematary, if you can withstand pure horror. It's a great read, but it's not meant for everyone. I can almost guarantee you'll have many sleepless nights if you ever decide to read it.

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