So part of the expanding of my blog is going to be reviews as well. Since I am an avid reader (and huge gamer) I figured that I should start including some of my inputs on these things. I mean I used to do book reviews all the time on my other blog so it’s not like I am foreign to review type posts.
*Warning, the review describes cujo in mild detail about a viscous rabid dog/murder*
So recently I read Cujo, which I know it’s kind of an old book but surprisingly it’s NOT one of Stephen Kings most well known, or even well liked, books. There’s even a movie, which didn’t get terrible reviews it just wasn’t that popular either. I mean it’s not like Carrie, IT or The Shining. I won’t lie the ONLY reason that I even heard of Cujo was from a friends episode, the one where Rachel is watching the movie. I was intrigued by a killer dog plot that I looked it up and was mildly surprised to see that it was a King Novel. So yeah, enough back story. I got ahold of the book and read it pretty quickly.
So first, what is Cujo about?
In a small town in Maine Vic and Donna Trenton are trying to struggle through their marriage. Their son Tad, struggles through his own worries of nightmares and monsters. On the outskirts of town, the Cambers have their own set of issues and don’t realize that their beloved family pet, Cujo, has taken a turn for the worst after a nasty encounter with a rabid bat. As everyone is focused on their own lives, and issues, Cujo begins to terrorize the town.
Honestly, the plot to this is so hokey. When I read the back of the book (which actually had an even hokier description) I was like “I’m not sure about this, it sounds really dumb.” but I had already looked up a better description of the plot and I knew that this type of horror was something that I would be interested in. So I read it.
And I was hooked from the first page. King is an amazing writer. Although he stated that he has no memory of this book as he was so drunk while writing it. Kudos drunk Stephen King, for he is also a fantastic writer. So the story of how this novel came to be isn’t really all that pretty, and to be quite frank the novel itself isn’t “pretty” but it’s an extremely good book.
The back story to each character is riveting. I love back story, I love to know the most out of each character and King defiantly delivers that, right down to the character who spans less than 5 pages. Everyone has a story, everyone has detail and each detail ties into the story and adds to it perfectly.
King also has descriptions down to a point, including the viscousness of the dog attacks. This is true horror in it’s finest. I think the genius of Cujo was simply how plain it was, there wasn’t some huge monster. There weren’t any boogies, no magical anything. Nothing. There was a dog, there were a kids nightmares, there was reference to a dead serial killer. It was real, and that is what made this book so truly terrifying. Horror movies hardly phase me, I know that a demon isn’t going to suddenly pop out of my closest and steal my soul. I know that the witches aren’t going to get me or that a ghost isn’t suddenly going to camp out in my place. There isn’t a shadow girl haunting me and hurting my family. But Cujo gives you chills, makes you think. Because it could happen. You can have nightmares, serial killers are real, and rabies is no myth of the mystical world. Let me tell you I was side eying my cat (who had been found in a truck as a 6 week old kitten) wondering how long rabies can stay dormant for. Word of advice, don’t look it up because you do NOT want to know. Also vaccinate your pets.
So while the rational side of me knew that this particular story wasn’t going to come to life for me, the irrational side was like “but rabies, they’re real and suddenly your cat could turn.” and for that I applaud King because I have never been terrified of a book before in my life. So besides the characters being solid, the story well written, the horror also really hit the nail on the head. I was lost in a world, wondering what was going to happen to these characters that I either loved or hated.
And the end, the plot twist. It ripped my heart out. If you have read this book then you know what I am talking about. I would recommend this book for the plot twist alone because King really knows how to tie up a novel, make things all okay and yet somehow make them not okay all at the same time.
I rated this book a 5/5 on Goodreads, it was too good for anything less. I was hooked, terrified and all in all in love with this horrible dog slasher story. I recommend this book to horror lovers, or King fans. But just remember it’s kind of an awful lots of death and horror story. So if you don’t like that then i don’t recommend. But if you like that, like I do, this is definitely the book for you. It may not be Kings most loved work, but I certainly enjoyed it.