Why Pet Sematary Is One Of King's Best (review + SPOILERS)

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M_Parabola

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2016
56
266
25
Outside NYC
#1
I think the truly horrifying part to the story of Louis Creed, and Pet Sematary overall, is the how poorly equipped we are to handle grief.

Throughout the novel we're reminded again and again about human's incapacity to handle death, represented strongly in the Pet Sematary. A place where children to go to bury dead animals, and in many respects that is how many first learn of death in the first place. In fact some of the hardest moments in my life have been after the death of a pet. The novel presents quite a conundrum to the bereaved, what if you could bring that animal... or person... back to life? But they wouldn't be the same person, they'd be a monster and I agree with Judd Crandall that "Sometimes dead is better".

But would the bereaved feel that way? Louis who feels personal responsibility for the loss of his youngest child? That is why the novel is so horrifying, because the choices made my Louis are not crazy or out there. Nor is the concept itself of wishing you could bring someone back once they pass. In this novel it just happens to be via cursed MicMac Indian Burial Grounds.

It's actually one of King's sadder novels if I really give it time to settle in my head, you even have Louis's wife talk about the passing of her sister and how conflicted she felt in those moments. Again, another interesting perspective on death. When death can be beneficial to those in pain, but also those around them who have to watch them suffer through these horrible conditions.

The ending of course is climactic and true to King horror. After everything is ripped away from Louis he makes the same mistake, because he has nothing left in his life to lose, and thus is his undoing. Thus is the tragedy of the bereaved, when we're powerless to overcome our own sorrows and drag ourselves down the wrong path.

"You don't wanna go down tha' road."
 
Oct 6, 2015
6
46
31
#4
I read Pet Sematary about 6 months ago. I still think about it. When I was reading it, I frequently put it down when it got too much, and I often found myself crying. I agree we are poorly equipped to handle grief - I could not imagine being stuck in Louis' situation. What a horrible place to be...

Pet Sematary cut me right to the core. It was horrifying but yet such a brilliant read. Still one of my favourite King novels.
 

Mocos

Active Member
Mar 6, 2016
39
167
43
Tacoma, WA
#6
I love Stephen King's books, but unlike most people, I don't consider the majority of them horror. Pet Sematary was the exception. It scared me. It made me feel unclean as if I took a bath in someone else's dirty water. Great book, but scary as hell.
I agree. I've read nearly all of his books and have only been scared by three of them. This is the first one I read that scared me (It and The Shining being the other two). I just love his writing. The characters' voices and speech patterns, SK's sense of humor that he includes, etc. Some authors, I can tell that they're writing. I know they don't speak how they write. But King seems like he's inside my head, telling me the story as I read. And he seems to focus on using a different convention in each book. Foreshadowing, or tone, or character development, or narration, or ...whatever he seems to want to either work on, or teach a lesson on at that particular time.
 

PatInTheHat

GOOBER MEMBER
Dec 19, 2007
13,365
12,068
58
Lair of the Great Kentucky Nightcrawler
#7
Rumor is he crossed some kinda line, that be the scuttlebutts anyways:devilish:
Robert Gray per usual nails it, yeah made me feel kinda unclean, it is 'The' true King horror story.
And to make folkens feel stuff, I have to imagine, might be about the best part of writing words down for other folks to read, shouldn't matter a lick what those feelings are, ya just feel 'em is all, and that has to be a good thing, or at the very least ya got your ducats worth:encouragement:...I even liked the flick.
 
Oct 25, 2016
16
46
28
#8
(Hi guys. I just wrote all this in the movie section by mistake. I copied it over here. It said spoilers, and spoilers I have. Hopefully the right place. *Love* Without more ado: Dear All, Hello. Thanks for listening. I'm blue and alone. You're fun. I just wanted to say that when Name's wife finally gets home and is ready to godforbid DRIP on him or whatever else is likely to fall off in her earnestness, it reminds me so much of health class at tenth grade. The teacher was like, "women are always slimey downstairs" and bless his heart, my hilarious bold friend, a very popular type who dated about 10 of the class women but not me because I was convinced I couldn't steal him from his little sister, well he turned to me and said comically, "EW!" And I thought-- there it is, La Difference is Veeving, you know, the French say Vive La Difference. But they forget to tell you we gross each other out too and have to have a laugh or turn bitter and vomit. And the way Stephen just left me gasping for air wondering what on earth type of marital bliss was coming was just completely deconstrustructing, I imagined total rupturing of her absolute everything, in her complete eagerness to just be there. Duh on her, in her mindless psychotic yessiness. And after all, which is worse, sex once a month or someone who throws all their parts your way? Do they suffocate you and dismember you at the same time? Then who burries who? And which left hand digs a hole for which right leg? The sheer nerve of the master story teller. I knew right then that I couldn't make it through life without reading all of this works but I've been dragging my feet. Someone who can do that to you... Jeeheesheesheesh eh heeesh
 

Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
184,421
Thornfield
#9
(Hi guys. I just wrote all this in the movie section by mistake. I copied it over here. It said spoilers, and spoilers I have. Hopefully the right place. *Love* Without more ado: Dear All, Hello. Thanks for listening. I'm blue and alone. You're fun. I just wanted to say that when Name's wife finally gets home and is ready to godforbid DRIP on him or whatever else is likely to fall off in her earnestness, it reminds me so much of health class at tenth grade. The teacher was like, "women are always slimey downstairs" and bless his heart, my hilarious bold friend, a very popular type who dated about 10 of the class women but not me because I was convinced I couldn't steal him from his little sister, well he turned to me and said comically, "EW!" And I thought-- there it is, La Difference is Veeving, you know, the French say Vive La Difference. But they forget to tell you we gross each other out too and have to have a laugh or turn bitter and vomit. And the way Stephen just left me gasping for air wondering what on earth type of marital bliss was coming was just completely deconstrustructing, I imagined total rupturing of her absolute everything, in her complete eagerness to just be there. Duh on her, in her mindless psychotic yessiness. And after all, which is worse, sex once a month or someone who throws all their parts your way? Do they suffocate you and dismember you at the same time? Then who burries who? And which left hand digs a hole for which right leg? The sheer nerve of the master story teller. I knew right then that I couldn't make it through life without reading all of this works but I've been dragging my feet. Someone who can do that to you... Jeeheesheesheesh eh heeesh
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