By Jordan Gerdes
Stephen King’s Pet Sematary is nothing new. Written in 1983, it turns 36 this year. But in those 36 years, it has not aged a day. Stephen King is in his trademark form here, writing impassioned and possessed. He crafts viscerally charged sentences, embedded with terror, humor, and stark reality all at once. Following Louis Creed and his wife Rachel, they move their two children to the small town of Ludlow, MA for a new position at a University Hospital. Louis seeks a quieter life, one that he quickly finds in his older neighbor, Jud Crandall. But quiet areas of the country are often quiet for a reason. Louis’ new land butts up against old Native American land, as well as a forbidden burial ground, and a Pet Cemetery created by local children over the last century. The soil has a power, and what is buried there often doesn’t lie there long.
King takes the Creed clan to the edge of tragedy, following a terrible accident, and showcases the human nature of grief and guilt, and what those can do to a person. It begs the question of how far you, the reader, would be willing to go for your loved ones, and what cost is too high to pay to bring back those we have lost.
I read this again in anticipation for the new film coming next week, and I can say, while finishing the last 100 pages in the dark, in bed, lit only by a book light, this book still chills you to the bone. The ending is phenomenal as far as King goes, and the writing is top tier. The book is paced perfectly, and never quite drags before hitting you again. Get used to that shiver up your spine, because it doesn’t go away when the cover is closed.
For a book that is 36 years old, it feels as fresh as the dirt it treads in.
Revisit this one.