Pet Sematary by Stephen King | Book Review

Pet Sematary book cover

Dr Louis Creed has moved his family to a new house in the sprawling Maine countryside. It appears to be an idyllic setting to raise two young kids, except for the speeding trucks which occasionally rumble by on the road outside. But when a lifelong local introduces Louis to the pet burial ground behind the property, something sinister winds its way into the Creed family’s future.

Stephen King claims that Pet Sematary is the most frightening book he’s ever written, so I went into it with very high hopes of being completely and utterly creeped the fuck out. Y’know what? I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was certainly creepy in parts, but I didn’t get the heart-thumping kind of dread that I got with The Shining or IT. However, I think I actually enjoyed Pet Sematary even more than the other King novels I’ve read.

The thing is, King has a bit of habit of dumping great swathes of character backstory into his stories, something which I found a little frustrating in both The Shining and IT. With Pet Sematary, the Creed family’s backstory is more tightly woven into the plot, so it doesn’t feel like we have to depart from the main storyline to learn more about the characters. As a result, the book has a nice pace about it and I found it held my attention thoroughly the whole way through.

The final third of the book really blew me away. In my head there was just an ongoing running commentary of, “No, dude, don’t do that, no, don’t do that, you can stop now, don’t do that, no, nah, NAH YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT,” and I just couldn’t put the stupid book down. It had that car crash kind of atmosphere about it – you can’t look away even though you know you should because nothing good will come of Louis’ ridiculous actions. And yet there’s an inevitability about it; I can’t imagine him doing anything else, and if I were him, I’d have almost certainly done the same.

Basically, like any Stephen King book, Pet Sematary was gross and creepy and dreadful, and while I may not deem it his most frightening story, I still absolutely loved it.

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4 thoughts on “Pet Sematary by Stephen King | Book Review

  1. Just finished that book the other day. It was an excellent example of suspense and thrill without the need for constant action and fast pacing. A slow burn of madness. Fun time 🙂

  2. It’s many years since I read the book. I was terrified. It didn’t help that we were staying in a remote farmhouse in France, with a locked and sinister wardrobe in our bedroom, and strange clicking noises coming from the fields at night. Maybe I’d be a bit less of a scaredy cat if I read it now. During the day. 😉

    1. That sounds like both the best and worst place imaginable to read any Stephen King book! I have to admit I always avoid starting scary books when it’s dark because I’m a wimp, but inevitably I get to the really scary bits in the middle of the night and have to hide under the duvet to cope.

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