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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 February 2001
This is probably not the most sophisticated or deeply plotted Stephen King book - it is one of his early works and that shows. Pet Sematary is, however, the most absorbing and haunting novel I have ever read and is full of a black humour that remains with you long afterwards.
The concept is simplicity itself - happy all-American family move to their dream house in rural Maine and make friends with the kindly old couple across the street. This, of course, is the world of Stephen King - so everyone has a secret and nothing is quite as it seems. The one thing you can be sure of is that nobody is likely to live happily ever after...
The book is certainly bleak and not to be recommended if you're feeling depressed ! But, however intense the emotions that it evokes, the joy of meeting some of King's most believable and sympathetic characters and the experience of discovering just what is out there in the woods behind the Creed house are certainly worth it.
I have read this book countless times, but have never forgotton the pleasure of discovering it initially, when every plot development was new. If you are about to read Pet Sematary for the first time I envy you - enjoy !
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on 27 July 2011
Well i very rarely write reviews of books, as i feel everybody has their own taste, but i'm making an exception for this perticular novel as i have just finished reading it and have been utterly blown away.
I won't describe the plot in too much detail, mainly as its quite hard to go into too much detail without giving it away, but what i will say is this; Louis Creed and his family move into a new house next to a busy main road, and are introduced by a neighbour to a pet 'Semetary' in the woods near the house. But it's no ordinary 'semetary'. I won't say any more than that, but if your a fan of Stephen King then you know what to expect. If your not a fan, then make an exception for this one book. Lots of books describe themselves as horror, but lets face it, very rarely does a BOOK actually scare a reader. But this Book. Wow. If you want a book that will scare you, and leave you utterly disturbed, this is it. Forget 'The Shining', 'It', and all his famous others. This is his most disturbing horror novel.
Numerous times during reading it i had to take a time-out just to get reacquainted with the real world, as it truely sucks you in, all the way from the first page to the shocking climax. And many times i thought i had guessed where it was leading, only to be fooled by twists and turns on every corner.
Its the perfect length, just under 500 pages, so is a comfortable read, isnt too complicated or in-depth. Just a gripping, powerful, and disturbing read. If you want a book that will truely send shivers down your spine, and leave you debating 'what would i do in that situation?', then this is the book for you! Read it. Trust me. You won't be the same again!
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on 6 July 1999
My advice to you is not to read this book whilst sitting alone in the house at night with only the cat for company because i can guarantee you that you will not be able to sleep.
This is the story of Dr Lous Creed, his wife Rachael and their two children, Ellie and Gage who move from Chicago to Ludlow, Maine. Here they become friends with an elderly couple across the street, Jud and Norma Crandall. One night Jud takes Louis up to the Pet Sematary and beyond to a magicial place, an indian buiral ground. From here on in this is truly Stephen King at his best.
I realised that this was not the best book to take to read on holiday whilst lying on a sundrenched beach, with nothing much to occupy my mind with during the day i found at night my imagination running wild and have to admit to having to sleep with the lights on.
After having read this book ask yourself one question - If you were in the same position as Louis Creed whould you do the same thing?
My answer: Under the circumstances and bearing the state of my mind, then probably yes. Quite a frighting thought.
If you are Stephen King's Number One Fan than this book is a MUST HAVE!
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2013
Re-reading "Pet Sematary", it still packs considerable punch even though I knew much of what was coming. But, for a book to grip and shock a second time round takes some doing, and you have to applaud Stephen King for his craft in being able to produce these reactions in his readers.

"Pet Sematary" tackles the taboo subject of death in a way that is both shocking and honest. It expands on the brilliant short story "The Monkey's Paw" by WW Jacobs - and even references that in places - by tempting the reader to think about what they would do if faced with the same awful dilemma as that faced by Louis Creed as the story unfolds. King is brilliant in disecting the hypocracy of public grief and loss, and the rituals associated with this, and the more gnawing, gut-wrenching pain of private loss. It's quite a brilliant achievement for a writer who was still under forty when he wrote it.

As a horror story, it works well enough, and some of the set-piece writing in the latter stages still shocks and brings the hairs up on the back of the neck. Only right at the very end does it feel as if King has slightly over-done things, and almost painted himself into a corner from which any conclusion is going to feel slightly messy and unfinished.

But, "Pet Sematary" remains more than just one more horror book - and remains one of King's most brilliant and memorable achievements.
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on 16 July 2012
This is IMO the creepiest of King's books. As usual the premise is fantastical, but that's not the issue... it's the subject matter i.e. the loss of a pet / member of your family. King nails it completely with his usual knack of speaking for everyman at the worst point in that person's life.... I can forgive a lot of plot/story wildness if the characterisation is perfect and the emotions are spot-on. Don't read late at night. Don't read if you have a newborn child. But do read it.
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After hearing about the ‘Zombie Cat’ in Florida last week, and now a battle over who will keep him, I thought it must be a good time to dig out my copy of Pet Sematary. This book is slightly unusual in that over the years I have known loads of people who would not read a Stephen King book actually read and enjoy this.

To a certain degree this book feels real in terms of location due to the fact that King did base this on a place that his family once stayed at, and there was a pet cemetery misspelled as Pet Sematary by children there. For Mr King this book is what he considers his scariest, although when he last said that was some years back. Feeling that he had perhaps gone too far with this, I would disagree and say that he had hit the nail more or less straight on the head. Death is the end for all of us eventually, but if there is anything on the other side or if there is a chance of coming back no one knows, despite what certain religions and their leaders and followers would like you to believe. They haven’t been dead and then some time later came back to tell us what it was like, and before anyone thinks of some smart answer, remember Jesus may supposedly have been resurrected, but he didn’t stand around giving talks on what he experienced.

As usual King sticks to the tried and tested manner for horror success, and that is to make something that is firmly fixed and believable to us then have a supernatural element added. In this case what may be in the woods beyond the actual pet cemetery itself. So for Dr Louis Creed, when the pet cat dies and his neighbour across the road takes him on a journey into the woods where the cat then comes back to life, it is a relief not to have his daughter crying her eyes out at the cat’s sad demise. Of course the cat isn’t quite the same, but it makes an appearance of being nearly normal, so what could be the harm?

But how far would you go if you knew about this secret? Suppose your child or spouse died, would you try to bring them back? It is this question that ultimately is raised by this book, which makes it still quite current and a topic that is still much discussed today. It is only human nature that at some point someone, if they know this secret will try it on something slightly larger than a pet. As we all know Stephen King isn’t really the greatest when it comes to endings, but here he does quite well as he leaves us with something to ponder long after we have closed this book. In all this is something that unlike some of his earlier novels has stood the test of time and is still well worth reading.
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on 2 May 2016
This novel is one of the most psychologically disturbing books I have ever read. Not so much horror as an examination of the morality of the oh so human desire overcome death. Of the unbearable agony of loss. Of guilt. Of refusing to to accept death as the inevitable outcome of living things. And you can scarcely tell where reality ends and monsters begin. The result is creeping terror. Stephen King is at his brilliant story telling best but be warned, although you can't put it down, it can give you nightmares.
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on 25 April 2016
From the start, where we're told how this story came into being, we know we're in for things our sanest minds could not begin to imagine.
When Dr Creed and his family move to their new home, all seems well. It's not, and it gets a whole lot worse.
King plays with our expectations throughout. We think we've been told the worst that could happen, but King's description makes it all the more horrific.
The supernatural plays a major part in events here, and the rational part of my brain tells me this is nonsense. Then there's odd passages that tap into a feeling that can't be explained easily.
I'm just glad I read this during the day!
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on 10 May 2014
As with most Stephen King titles, I have read them before and this was the case with 'Pet Sematary'.
'Pet Sematary' is a brilliant story about what people will do to have their loved ones back and how, sometimes, dead is better.

I always found 'Pet Sematary' more emotional than other Stephen King books, due to the experience of loss in the book and the unfairness of one loss in particular, as horrible as it is, you understand Louis's plight to get back what he has lost.

As with other titles by Stephen (another thing I like about him) is how characters from his other titles are mentioned, this time around, Jud tells Louis the story of the Saint Bernard dog that went rapid, also known as 'Cujo'.

A book that stays with you.
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on 23 May 2014
Having recently got back into reading Stephen King (not read anything by him since Misery in the 90's) I decided I absolutely love his early stuff. I started with Carrie, followed by Salem's Lot and then my other half suggested It (which was a fabulous in depth story but slightly let down by the ending, only in my opinion though) because he absolutely loved and read it when he was 18 and he's now 40 and he could still recall all the names of the characters because it made such an impression.

Pet Cemetery is like that for me. I don't know if it's because I'm a mother and story revolves around a young family and how one single event can change everything you hold dear in life. Quite simply I just love the way King writes and perhaps because his earlier books aren't as polished as his latter these hold more impact for me. Suffice to say. Read it. You won't be disappointed.

P.s. I also love how these editions have a note from the author at the start making the story even more poignant.
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