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Sunday, April 19, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Cujo by Stephen King @jessmapreviews #BraveTheBackList #ChronologicallyKing

by Stephen King

Publisher: Signet
Publish Date: August 1, 1982 (first Published 1981)
Kindle Edition
324 Pages
Genre: Horror

It happens innocently enough, but doesn’t it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave—and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself.

A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness.

The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind.

My Review:

I did it! I FINALLY read Cujo! While this is vastly known as the St. Bernard that went rabid, in true King fashion, there's so much more to the book than just that. I'm sure there are tons of undertones and symbolism thrown in but here's my take on this sad and "could be true" story.

I can understand why this would be hard for some people to read. I'm an animal lover through and through but like with most horror fiction, I can take and handle all the terrible things that can happen, human or animal alike. However, I didn't expect to get Cujo's POV and oh my heart.... I don't care what happened or what he did, Cujo is still a GOOD BOY. He just chased the wrong rabbit... and hell, even Alice did that!

What I don't understand is the inclusion of the monster in Tad's closet.... was this a necessary thing to include? I don't think it was for *this* particular story. However, I think in bringing the universe of King together, we start seeing the first hints of how these books all intertwine, and for that, I can appreciate it. However, for the sake of this story alone, it just seemed thrown in and unnecessary. Or did I miss something here? *shrug*

I walk away glad that I read this book... finally. Now to watch the movie. Getting my popcorn at the ready.


Jessica's Review:

After having read this years ago and seen the movie a few times, I think this definitely deserved a reread. Whenever people think of CUJO they think of a giant Saint Bernard attacking people but there is so much more to the book than that. A bite from a rabid bat starts the slow decline for poor Cujo. A once incredibly loyal companion and best friend to the Cambers, turns into a mad dog on a murderous spree.

I forgot how much of the novel was more character driven. In true King form, we get a well-rounded picture of the characters involved and, despite the shorter length, they all were very well-developed. It's sad how much of this gets forgotten when you see the movie or think of the story in general. Like I mentioned before, this one is so much more than just a mad dog. 

I think this falls under the category of the realistic kind of horror. There aren't monsters or supernatural qualities - a rabid animal is a terrifying occurrence that we can't avoid. I definitely recommend this classic, and as always, there are differences between this and the adaptation and I'm curious what people like better between them. 

4 stars

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