Book Review Wednesday: Cujo by Stephen King

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Book Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

I think my main motivation for reading this book was to feel more in the know whenever I come across a Cujo reference. Plus I am a big fan of Stephen King. I read four of his books last year (including the mammoth ‘It’) and countless short stories, but I think Cujo is my favorite work of his I’ve read. I feel really bad saying that, because he mentions in his book ‘On Writing’ that he was really heavy into drugs while writing it. But no, there’s no getting around it, this is a great book.

For those not in the know, here’s the blurb:

A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave–and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind.

There’s something smooth about the writing that made it more enjoyable than his other books (though they’re enjoyable too). I’ve come across some people who hate it. The primary complaints seem to be the sad moment at the end of the book (no spoilers shall be given – go read it if you want to know), and the slow pacing.

To be honest I didn’t mind the slow pacing. There aren’t as many deaths in this book as I’m used to in a Stephen King novel, but the tension before each one is ramped up. This is a book of tension rather than gore and blood splatter (though being Stephen King there is a fair bit of that too). I think I actually preferred the tense approach. It made the book more realistic than some of his others, and thus more terrifying.

And for the sad ending, I have nothing against that. Sometimes books don’t end happy, even when we want them to. It added to the realism as well. That moment will stay with me, and that’s what good books should do.

The most horrifying thing about the book is that there’s no black and white bad guys. In ‘It’ we have ‘It the monster’, in ‘The regulators’ another monster ‘Tak’ and in ‘Cycle of the Werewolf’ we have funnily enough a werewolf. In Cujo there’s no big bad behind all the destruction. There’s just normal people, some nice, some nasty, and a sick dog.

You end up feeling sorry for Cujo, just like you do the other characters. I found it an interesting book. Stephen King reminds us that we don’t need monsters to terrorize us. There are things in the world we live in that are just as scary.

My opinion: If you like Stephen King and don’t mind sad endings then try this out. Just bear in mind that the pace is slower than a usual Stephen King novel. Here’s the link to more reviews on this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11598.Cujo

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