Book Review #57


Stephen King, bestselling author of all time (just ask the Guiness Book of World Records), has brought forth another creepy novel. If I could sum up what King is trying to tell his audience, I could do it in few words.
Don’t intervene with fate.

Louis Creed’s interventions with fate basically screw him over in a major way (more on that later). He’s a doctor, so you’re thinking, “Great salary.” He’s got a gorgeous wife and two children, a young girl and a baby boy. And he’s decided that Bangor, Maine, definitely beats the city of Chicago, so he and his family move on out into a more rural and placid type environment. The Bangor local is also no problem when it comes to work – he shall take a job working at the medical university (FYI: King now resides in Bangor with his wife, Tabitha, and his children).

When the Creeds first move to Maine, all seems well. Louis meets Jud Crandall, an elderly 80-something gentleman with a heart of gold. Their relationship quickly evolves and the two men become very close. Jud helps Louis grieve when his baby son is hit and killed by a truck on the road by their house.

Enter the “pet sematary” from which the novel’s title is derived. A group of children were not educated in the fundamentals of spelling, hence the errors. They buried roadkill and various dead pets over what was once supposedly an Indian burial ground.
Grieving to the brink of insanity, Louis is willing to try and bring his baby boy back to life using the pet “sematary.” After all, it worked for the family cat, who ended up roadkill prior to the death of Louis’ son. Despite the fact that one of his dead patients keeps appearing to him, telling him not to go through it, Louis is overcome with grief and refuses to listen to him.

A chain of deaths basically occurs. We watch as a doctor, due to loss, gets pushed over the edge and actually does end up losing every bit of sanity he once had. He keeps saying that his dead loved ones won’t come back evil – that they cannot come back evil. Bad experiences just don’t teach him. He’s prone to making the same mistakes again and again all because his sanity is slipping away like sand through his fingers.
See where fate intervention comes in? One death seemed to have lead to the next. If Louis had let his son rest in peace rather than trying to bring him back to life, he would stayed out of a helluva lot of trouble.

King has skillfully woven a horrific masterpiece in which he pulls you from your own normal world and takes you into the world of Lou Creed. No matter how meager a character role, all people are brought to life through excellent characterizational skills as well as dialogue authentically filled with voice and insight. This book is spooky, simply put. By the time you hit the back cover, you will feel like you know Lou Creed.

Highly recommended for psychologists and those who particularly enjoy the world of horror literature