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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2017
I've read Cujo 3 times now and each time I've thought of it as better than before. 1st reading I thought it average. 2nd reading I picked up on the castle rock continuation theme. Now having read it on kindle I appreciate it even more. The first half centres on 2 familes, a struggling middle class family, and a working class family out in the sticks, and their dog Cujo slowly going mad through rabies. The 2nd half is the tense standoff for survival between the The woman and her son and the rabid dog Cujo. Where as Salems Lot involved a whole town, character development would be limited, but provide much more "fodder" characters, Cujo focusing on only a few characters develops the personalities much more so you emphasis with them. Even the villain Steve Kemp you feel a degree of pity for him, constantly running away and not facing up to his responsibilities. A flawed pitiful ageing Romeo. It's not just a rabid dog novel, it's a timely reminder to us all that the pressures of everyday life are minimal to anyone facing a life or death situation.
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on 19 June 2017
Enjoyed this book. I got very emotional at the way it ended.
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on 24 April 2017
A terrific book, well written, well present and well packed. It was certainly a page turner, I didn't want to put it down.
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on 22 August 2017
As Described
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on 8 August 2017
Shorter than other King stories, but a really tense page turner. I will never look at a St Bernard the same way again!
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on 20 May 2010
I'm not a fan of horror fiction, because I'm easily spooked and I don't fancy restless nights. However, I thought I'd give Cujo a try because it's a story which isn't dependent on any intrusion of the supernatural.

It really is a superb piece of work. Although it's actually a slow-paced story, Stephen King manages the tension so skilfully that I was gripped from first page to last. He really takes you inside the characters so you see events unfolding through their eyes, rather than as a spectator.

The various sub-plots interweave very neatly and keep the action going. They all explore the theme of the potential disasters which lie in wait by the side of our otherwise stable, peaceful lives, and which only need some quirk of bad luck to be activated. There's some intelligent exploration of each character's inner conflicts, alongside the twists and turns of a menacing plot-line. There's much more here than the tale of a mad dog.

Highly recommended for anyone but the very squeamish.
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on 14 April 2017
Is is a review of the content of the book itself. The audio book quality was perfect. This story just feels like a lesser King story, when it's advertised as being a story about a killer dog and that's maybe 20-30% of the book you feel a little ripped off. The majority of the story is made up of inane family drama of two families, one working class and one middle class. If you like to know the details behind how breakfast cereal is advertised then you're in luck. But if you're looking for the genius from the author of 'The Stand' and 'IT' might be worth looking elsewhere.
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Back in the earlier days of Stephen King’s books this was published, and was written at a time when Mr King was drinking heavily. So although this is a good solid story it does have a couple of problems, ones that you would have expected an editor to have wrinkled out back then.

As is common with this author’s books we are taken to a small New England town and we meet some of the residents of the place. We also meet Cujo, a rather docile St Bernard. Those in the know will recognise Cujo as the alias of William Lawton Wolfe of the SLA. As we see this dog becomes rabid after being bitten by an infected bat, and having had no vaccination himself he contracts the disease.

As you would expect there is more to this tale than just a rabid dog, and we see different family dynamics take place as different people are facing problems, both inside and outside of marriage. As such the story does come together well, but it is the actions of the dog, and as we see those who come into his presence that are the best parts of this book.

We have some other weirdness going on here, what with Tad a four year old boy, and the bogeyman in his closet, and the mentioning of a former policeman who was a psychopath. These two instances are never really developed beyond their initial stages, and if they had been removed then the plotting of this would have been that little bit tighter.

With the trapping and waiting for assistance by two characters we see here also the germ of an idea which was to be later fully formed in Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game. And we also see a little play with names here as well, because we have the name Cujo, and later in the book we have another dog that is called Willie, both of which could refer to the same person.
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on 26 August 2017
This is one of King’s earlier novels, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any loss of quality. The only thing that really means is that it’s a little shorter than some of his later works, but that’s a good thing if you don’t want to commit yourself to IT or The Stand.

In this book, we follow what happens when a rabid dog – a 200 pound St. Bernard – finds itself loose in a small Maine town. It’s almost less of a horror and more of a suspense novel, although it has elements that you might recognise from both genres. It defies categorisation, which is par for the course for a Stephen King novel and much to be expected.

I liked this book a lot, although I did think that it suffered from the same flaw as many other Stephen King novels in that it came to an end too quickly. That said, it actually worked, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried a longer ending and found that the shorter one read better. That’s partly because there’s a twist there, and it creeps up on you and hits you in the gut when you’re least expecting it.

Overall then, this is far from my favourite Stephen King novel, but it is still undeniably a classic that stands up well to the test of time and which has a place on every afficianado’s bookcase. You don’t need to be a Stephen King fan to enjoy it, either – it helps, of course, but Cujo would be a badass book no matter who wrote it.

I find it interesting to imagine what it must have been like back in the day when King was first making it as a writer. I wonder if they were as quick to recognise his star quality or whether he had a fight on his hands. Regardless, he proved his point with early releases like this one that cemented his reputation. Most authors would kill to have written this – myself included. Read it.
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on 10 January 2014
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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