Off the Shelf - "Pet Sematary"

by Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Pet SemataryWell here's a King classic for 'ya. Unfortunately, whether it be from being older and wiser, or whether it be because I've read it before and thereafter saw the movie (one of the better King adaptations I think), I didn't find as much enjoyment within this book when I read it again. It could very well be one of those "read it once" books and that's that.

Pet Sematary seemed to be somewhat drawn out. Longer than it should have or could have been. It took a long time to warm up to interesting bits, and then when it did there was a bit of a long time before the next interesting bit. By far my favorite character was the old man, Jud, from across the street. His character was very well done and kept you interested when he told his old timer stories. The other characters, however, seemed kind of transparent. Even Ellie, the young daughter, whose nightmares move along the events in the final chapters.

I will admit there were some scary parts within the book. Most notably the way the MicMac burial ground, around which the story is plotted, was able to control people. Subtly, not overtly. The first appearance (or should I say second?) of Victor Paskow, the college student who was killed and returned to warn Louis Creed about the place in the woods, was unnecessary. It was a rather unexplainable event, and his taking Louis to the Pet Sematary one night seemed one of those things that didn't "fit" in the great scheme of things. Unusual for Stephen King considering that in most cases all of his story pieces end up falling together in the end with aplomb. Not this part - but his appearance in dreams of Ellie was a well done part. It was the physical manifestation that didn't make sense.

I don't have much more to write about this book. I guess it didn't draw me in as much as most of King's work can do, so I'm left feeling less inspired and with less to say. I suppose it was a good story as far as stories go, but it could have used a much more powerful "editing hand" to cut out a lot of the dragging-ness that permeated it throughout. It was because of the slow moving nature of the book that I found myself losing interest.

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"Pet Sematary" by Stephen King
A Signet Book
Copyright © 1983 by Stephen King
ISBN: 0743412273

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