Cujo and The Inclusion Of The Supernatural

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CriticAndProud

What's wrong with Idris?
Aug 26, 2013
5,954
24,548
19
Australia
#1
I re-read Cujo over the last couple of days, and I was kinda surprised with how heavily it leant on drawing comparisons between Cujo and Frank Dodd/the entity and the cupboard. I remembered it as having only some mild allusions to the supernatural, but it really seemed to go out of its way to suggest that there is more to the situation than just a rabid dog. While I enjoyed the book overall, I honestly think that tying the story to the supernatural makes it lose some of its impact, by taking a feasible story into the realm of the fantastic unnecessarily. I think it would have worked even better if it were more like Misery, entirely devoid of the supernatural. A minor complaint, but I am curious to see if anyone feels the same way.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
80,943
307,275
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#4
I re-read Cujo over the last couple of days, and I was kinda surprised with how heavily it leant on drawing comparisons between Cujo and Frank Dodd/the entity and the cupboard. I remembered it as having only some mild allusions to the supernatural, but it really seemed to go out of its way to suggest that there is more to the situation than just a rabid dog. While I enjoyed the book overall, I honestly think that tying the story to the supernatural makes it lose some of its impact, by taking a feasible story into the realm of the fantastic unnecessarily. I think it would have worked even better if it were more like Misery, entirely devoid of the supernatural. A minor complaint, but I am curious to see if anyone feels the same way.
...I waffle back and forth between thinking it was superfluous and if it added depth...
 

mal

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2007
3,394
18,350
56
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#6
I agree that the inclusion of the supernatural was not needed, the story would have had the same strong impact. I don't think it detracted from it. I read it so long ago that I only vaguely remember something about the bats being 'mystical' (for lack of a better word) or them having a history? I could be barking up a tree about the bats, it's been a long time. I think a re-read is in order!
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,658
4,022
#7
I felt the supernatural elements detracted from Rose Madder but not so much Cujo. At the time King was strictly considered a "horror" novelist and it was sort of his leitmotiv. It gave the Cujo an even more sinister vibe that I think complemented the real life nastiness of the book.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,333
115,418
Spokane, WA
#8
I agree it wasn't really necessary. I had a similar issue with Rose Madder, I thought it would have been more effective without the supernatural element.
King could have written a very powerful spousal abuse novel here if he had only left out the supernatural elements. One that could have given him a much needed cross-over element- meaning that it would have sold a gazillion copies to the mainstream literary types and probably would have been featured on Oprah in her book club. I could be wrong but I think the publisher forced him to include some type of supernatural element as that's what he was known for at that point in his career.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,333
115,418
Spokane, WA
#10
That I would doubt, no one tells SK what to do. I'm guessing in fact it was his idea. It's what he's most comfortable with.
I had a conversation with Marsha before and she did in fact tell me that a publisher did indeed 'suggest' that a supernatural element be included in a novel, but I'm not positive that it was Rose Madder. Maybe she could clear it up when the board opens on Tuesday? Moderator Or maybe I'm just hallucinating or having a senior moment.....:icon_eek:;-D
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
56,657
206,871
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#11
I had a conversation with Marsha before and she did in fact tell me that a publisher did indeed 'suggest' that a supernatural element be included in a novel, but I'm not positive that it was Rose Madder. Maybe she could clear it up when the board opens on Tuesday? Moderator Or maybe I'm just hallucinating or having a senior moment.....:icon_eek:;-D
You silly old fart! :yes_pig:

But seriously - I kind of liked the fantasy element in that one (but I have always liked the supernatural/fantasy etc. like The Chrysalids for example).
 

Dynamo

Well-Known Member
May 12, 2017
90
287
38
Denton, TX
#12
Yeah, I mentioned the same thing in the "Ending Of Cujo" thread and it's my main gripe with the book. Not just because it feels unnecessary to me but because I find it distracting and it doesn't really fit with the rest of the story. It's a great premise for a horror story because it's plausible and plays on a natural fear that we all have. Even those of us who aren't wary about dogs want nothing to do with a rabid one. Add the supernatural element and it stops being "scary because it could happen" and just starts being a supernatural yarn that's fun to read but no longer all that scary.
 
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