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4.0 out of 5 stars "Tad could hear the coathangers jingling softly, talking about Daddy in their coathanger language..."
CUJO is the famous story of the huge great St.Bernard dog, who having contracted rabies from some poorly bats who bit his nose, lays siege to Donna and Tad Trenton in their broken down car. The story is simple, but King develops his characters well, and the supporting cast get full histories, outlooks and characterisations. Donna and Vic Trenton are married but in trouble...
Published 22 months ago by Quetzalcoatl78

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3.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on a re-read 30 years later
I am (re)reading Stephen King's works in chronological order and this re-read was up next for me. I originally read the book when it was first published in 1981 making me 13yo. It made a big impression on me at the time and I was quite shocked it ended the way it did. The change in the movie ending infuriated me. Re-reading it all these years later, I don't find it...
Published 6 months ago by Nicola Manning-Mansfield


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5.0 out of 5 stars KING at his best, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
I read this when it was first published as a kid and it terrified me reading it again tells me why King is the best horror writer of them all. Couldn't put the book down, great characters and story. Absolutely brilliant !!!!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on a re-read 30 years later, 10 Jan 2014
This review is from: Cujo (Paperback)
I am (re)reading Stephen King's works in chronological order and this re-read was up next for me. I originally read the book when it was first published in 1981 making me 13yo. It made a big impression on me at the time and I was quite shocked it ended the way it did. The change in the movie ending infuriated me. Re-reading it all these years later, I don't find it anywhere near as good as what King had written to this point, though better than Firestarter. Cujo is a short book compared to the other's but longer than Carrie. I had thought this was going to be pure realistic horror but had forgotten about the boogieman element. King goes about playing this realistic, frighteningly possible story of a rabid dog wandering in a rural backwoods area while adding in just a touch of the paranormal which we could believe is imagination on the part of the participants but King won't let us off that easily. Cujo has a small cast of characters and King does something different here for the first time (disregarding the Bachman books) by spending a lot of time on character development of the main handful of major players. There is not even any threat until well over 100 pages in which is 1/3 of the book. King also chooses to write from the dog's point of view occasionally; this is a tricky thing to do and pull off well. But The King does it! Cujo's thoughts come much less frequently than any others, and his passages are always short lending great credibility and success to Cujo never becoming personified. He is always an animal, even though the reader is party to his brief canine thoughts. A good quick read. Classic King, but I'd call this a turning point from his work to date so far, more of a psychological thriller than horror; but still horror in a more real sense than in actually being scary or creepy.

Now as I'm reading through the books, I'm also looking for the connections to the previous books in the big Stephen King Universe and this one is easy. Taking place in Castle Rock, right after the events of The Dead Zone, our new family moves into the house owned by the killer in DZ. This killer (I won't say who it is) and the case which forms the first half of DZ are referred to frequently in Cujo. Finally, Sheriff Bannerman from DZ is a character in both books. I didn't pick up on anything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it alot, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this book, I recommended it to my friend who read it and also enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Stephen king novels
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top story from King, 23 Nov 2013
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Great story, one of his best. Not as long as many of King's books but gripping nonetheless. Not a bad movie too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't put the book down. I read Cujo when I was at school many years ago and it was just a good second time round.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cujo - not s'bad!, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
So I decided to download Cujo due to the repeats of the movie being shown on the telebox. I enjoyed the book although it is not King at its finest. It is definitely worth a read.

The Good -
- Yes it is frightening. Cujo begins as a remarkably good natured German shepherd and descends into a psychotic beast. The displacement feels genuine and does make you wonder what you would do in the position of its unfortunate victims.
- I really liked the fact that you get the POV of Cujo himself and how King explores how a rabid dog may think. I think these parts are some of the best sections of the book.
- Good characters that you genuinely sympathize with and can connect with.

The Bad -
- for a while I did feel like this book was a soap opera with a killer dog put in there. I felt you had to wade through a lot of the not so scary stuff in order to really get to the goods. And I do think that there is a lot of filler material that was unnecessary for a horror book.
- you do groan at some stupid decisions made by stupid characters. The kind that you see in a horror movie that think 'Well I could phone my friends about/call for backup in this/get the hell out ofo f this strange and potentially very dangerous situation but instead I'll walk into this deserted place when something blatantly not right is happening'. This annoys me and I think King could have done better.

However all in all I would definitely recommend it, it's a classic after all. Even if you don't like it it'll make you appreciate King's better offerings such as It, The Shining, Misery, etc
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cujo, 16 Oct 2013
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Mr. James S. Edmondson (u.k.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely brilliant. People and their problems and their lives become real. Real and familiar. But then events and eventualities change and become twisted and scary, a really great read by one of the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars cujo, 19 Jun 2013
This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
Watched the film as a kid, really enjoyed it. The book had me gripped from the first page and just as i remembered it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it before, 16 April 2013
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This review is from: Cujo (Kindle Edition)
but couldn't resist reading again. King always a good read. Intense in parts and a definite page turner (even on the Kindle!) reccomend for new to King and for a re-read for fans!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent intro to King's work, 26 Aug 2012
This review is from: Cujo (Paperback)
This story has a lot of Stephen King staples: being set in Maine (in King's fictional town `Castle Rock'), use of weird and wonderful local accents, a `big bad' evil lurking behind the scenes, characters trapped in a deadly situation, and a very tightly-timed sequence of events that sync up in the run towards the finish.

It also has his enviable skill with characterisation shown in full. Throughout the course of the novel he creates an alcoholic, a scared child, a beaten wife, an adulterer, an animal and more, and each role s played perfectly. one of his tricks for this is to slip into first-person narrative during times of strong emotion.

Despite its polished and professional charms, "Cujo" is not without its flaws. Horror stories involve some suspension of disbelief, and when you have a sequence of tightly-timed 'coincidences' leading up to your finale, this suspension becomes even more important.

You're wife's cheating on you, your business is going down the tubes, and your car has broken down. That's tough luck, but it happens. Your wifes choice in flings in a psychotic author that trashes your house into a conveniently crime-scene like mess? These things happen, I guess. The garage where you repair your car is not only void of all humanity, but inhabited by a rabid dog and your wife and kid are stuck out there? They're out of gas? It's the hottest day of the summer? You've called them a dozen times but think you might leave it a few more hours just in case she's out and besides, if you did call the police they'd be kind of incompetent anyway and take their sweet time about figuring out what's going in?

Plot-writing involves a good amount of convenient coincidences - that's an old cliche and a true one. However, writing is also all about sneaking in hints and little events that subtly manipulate the characters and story in the right direction, without giving away to the reader how it's all going to end.

"Cujo" doesn't quite have this pegged, and it leaves a lot of the book full of frustratingly unrealistic mistakes by characters, as well as choking up their pacing. The characters are stuck in a inescapable situation, and after the first attempts to save the day fail it just gets boring sitting back and tracking how many times people will mess up until King feels it's time to wrap the story up.

If you're looking for a quick-moving read, there are worse books to pick up. Other King novels tackle the flaws in"Cujo" more skillfully, but plenty of other writers come up with much worse. Most importantly, new readers will probably be too distracted by King's skilled prose to notice its flaws.

"Cujo" is recommended as a decent introduction to Stephen King's work, as well as a fun look into good characterisation and narration for budding writers. If you've been reading King's stories for a while, however, it's unlikely to be one of your favorites. 3/5.
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Cujo
Cujo by Stephen King (Paperback - 10 Jan 2008)
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