Written by Stephen King
Published by Penguin Books, November 1, 1984
My star rating: 5 stars
The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed’s rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed. Find it on Goodreads
It’s safe to say that this was, hands down, my favourite Stephen King novel to date! Granted, I haven’t read too deeply into his catalogue but, I’ve still read enough to feel comfortable in making that statement.
Here’s the thing. Stephen King is a horror/thriller writer. I know that there are all different kinds of horror/thriller out there but, the types that I prefer have some sort of supernatural element. And though most of his books hint at a supernatural element, it’s not always the “creepy crawlies” and “things that go bump in the night” that are actually the culprit in his books! I’ve found that a lot of the times, it’s the horrors of humanity that are the actual problem. Not ghosts, demons, etc, but just really shitty and messed up people doing really shitty and messed up things as he spices the narrative up with some suggested supernatural things. I know – i’m totally generalizing right now because he HAS written books about supernatural things (a.k.a IT) but then there’s books like The Shining where it was mainly the (spoiler alert) instability of an alcoholic. I’m rambling now. Let’s just get into my thoughts.
One thing I found interesting about this book was the characters. One thing that I do love about his books is that he’s got a good mix of people. Some are really sweet, nice and innocent! And then there are some who are just really angry, awful humans that make you want to lash out irrationally. But I love the differences in those types of people. It makes his characters even more dynamic. But this book – i loved them all! All of them! I’ve never been able to say that about a Stephen King book!
I think that my favourite has to be next door neighbours, Jud Crandall and his wife. If I’m remembering correctly they were in their 80’s and were absolute cinnamon rolls! So freaking sweet, considerate and kind. They were always looking out for everyone before looking out for themselves and lived life to the fullest. Such wonderful people!
The atmosphere in this book though? Outstanding! I can honestly say that this is the first time that I’ve read one of his novels and had goosebumps multiple times. It made me so uneasy a few times that I had so stop reading and continue during the day….. and it takes A LOT to scare me! Yes, the reality was scary but it had everything to do with the way he wrote it. SO GOOD!
There were also so many themes and elements that brought this book together. We have a family who is new to the area, trying to put down some roots and get settled into their new lives/jobs/schools, etc. There was exploration of relationships in so many different ways. a marriage, friendships, parental roles and relationships. There was also grief – so much grief. This wasn’t an easy read sometimes because there was just so much emotional pain. And then of course we have the creepy elements (let’s not forget those!) which were ghosts, sleepwalking, the living dead, and folklore of the native grounds that they lived next to. It was all so well put together and made me fly through this quickly to see how it was all going to play out!
I think what I’m trying to say here is – I loved this book lol! I loved every element and I love how it all came together. I don’t know if this makes sense but it felt scary without really trying to be scary. The atmosphere did all the talking. I also think that I prefer his older novels so, maybe when I get the chance to read more of Mr King, I’ll start with the earlier ones!
Until next time, happy reading!