The road in front of Dr Louis Creed’s rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighbourhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.
Page count: 464 (Romanian Version), 595 (Original English Version)
Pet Sematary. Sematary. Isn’t it cute??
Okay, maybe not that cute if you consider the fact that some kids bury their dead pets in a sinister place and fulfil all kind of procedures meant for burying people, applying them on their pets. But you have to admit, the misspelling is adorable. So innocent.
Yeah, this might be the only cute thing about this bookie. If you can think that a misspelling of a word such as ‘cemetery’ could be categorised as cute. The rest of the book is quite bloody and also sick, in the manner master King usually operates of course.
I’ve read this book almost three years ago and I literally have no idea how I read this because I felt like I forgot a lot of important things about it. But thank the Almighty Divinity up there for the film. The film was spectacular, I have to say, it made me remember all sort of things during it that made me think (in my head and sometimes out loud) – “Hey, this was not in the book!” and “They changed it there!” and also “But it wasn’t like that in the book!!”. See? As I said, spectacular film, it made me remember. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the film more than I expected, but it was good because it was different from the book and it helped me remember better (because my brain has its own way of functioning and processing, don’t ask).
I think now after the book became a film in our modern century, everyone who might be interested in Stephen King’s books or in horrors in general knows what is it about. The idea is the same in both places, only slightly different when it comes to certain details. So I am not going to talk about plots and plot twists and also I am not going to talk that much about the characters either. But I do want to talk a bit about one of the characters though.
First off, I want to say that after seeing the film, the image of Louis Creed, the main character, has somehow grown on me. When I was reading the book, I must confess that I didn’t feel a real connection towards any of the characters, maybe at some point even despise them a little. And Louis Creed is not an exception. I actually felt like he was warmer in the film than it was in the book. And I had this impression about all of the characters to be completely honest. Maybe I was more insensitive three years ago when I read the book. Or maybe not. Who knows? (I’m still pretty insensitive though).
This book was my third Stephen King book and if I think of it now, this is the one who made me more interested in King’s works. The first two ones I think were still on probation for me. So what I truly want to talk about in this review is how it actually made me feel back then.
Because I remember feelings sometimes better than words, I must say that this book had some very intense passages that managed to raise the hair on the back of my neck. To make you understand what I’m saying, I have prepared a nice story for you, one that is actually real as it comes:
I have a small house at the countryside, typical Romanian you know, with Persian rugs and a terracotta stove and a dim lightbulb that annoys you more than actually helps you see. It was the Easter evening, my folks were outside preparing the grill for the barbecue and I was all alone in my bed reading this book, clearly running away from responsibility. As I said, the light was kind of stupidly annoying, the stove was cracking from time to time and sometimes someone was making weird noises from outside like crashing things or something clumsy like that. Apart from that, everything was semi-shadowy and quiet. The passage I was reading right at that moment was the one when Rachel, Louis’ wife, was describing the last time she saw her sick sister alive before she died. I remember that scene as ‘the closet scene’. King created a masterpiece out of that scene. It felt so real and so immediate that I started looking at my own closet in the room and praying not to see some inhumanly claws creeping from between the doors. In that particular moment, I felt a chill going down my spine and my heart started somehow racing. I actually yelled for my mother too and she actually came to check on me like I was some kind of baby (she rolled her eyes and left after I told her why I summoned her but at least she came).
I love books that manage to make me feel. It is one of the best parts of reading. It makes the process complete. And books that make me remember how I felt while reading them are very special to me. They are the books I might consider re-reading someday. And Pet Sematary might be no exception.
Giving the fact that the book has some mysticism spice, I think it is worth a shot just for the glimpse of a myth. And maybe who knows? The individual research could go on and maybe even discover something new, interesting and exciting because as I always say, we always have something to learn from a book, even if we have only a tiny detail that grabbed our attention. Everything is worth knowing. Even if it comes from a horror novel! Just make it enjoyable. Everything comes from within.