STORYLINE, taken from Goodreads: When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son-and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth-more terrifying than death itself-and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.
2. SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: Stephen King is one of those writers that are known as bestsellers and one of those writers that truly lamented themselves – numerous of his novels got developed into motion pictures and numerous of those motion pictures had the same global success. It is impossible to not give him credit for the work he has done. Even so, I never had the wish to read him. When I first heard of the name Stephen King, I knew he was writing in the kind of genre that I simply was not interested in. Years went by and I found another excuse not to read him, as I was certain that his writing style would not fit me, due to him being an older writer. Way too often I simply did not enjoy books of older writers, as odd as it seems to admit that. I think this has to do a bit with the fact that I am not a native speaker of English – even though I have great knowledge of the language itself, it’s really difficult for me to be reading writers that do not have a modern way of expressing themselves in this said language. Let’s call it how it is – I expected Stephen King’s writing style to be complicated and dull and that’s why I avoided him. Once my friend recommended Pet Sematary though, (thank you, Tina!) I was willing to give him a chance. And boy did he prove me wrong.
Stephen King being dull? That is absolutely impossible. As if water could be dry. First 10 pages into the book, I was instantly drawn in. No, he isn’t dull. In fact, he has a very modern way of expressing himself and a very vivid way of explaining the surroundings and events in the novel. It is very easy to follow him, and enjoy him.
His strong suit would be the painting of characters’ emotions. If a character is scared, we will be scared with them. If they’re happy, if they’re sad, if they mourn … We feel all of these emotions WITH THEM. He seems to understand emotions, and human behavior itself, very well. All of the descriptions are completely spot on, but what he really impressed me with was the description of human grief. Especially because grief isn’t something we tend to discuss very often. And when we are in mourning, let’s be honest, it feels like us against the world. It feels as if the other people, who are not grieving, simply do not understand us. To have King depict the background of mourning as honestly as he does, is simply a beautiful experience for us as a reader.
Similarly, the way he talks about death is insanely impressive. Death is a very important topic, and element, in this novel. Firstly, because it adds to a lot of the horror in the novel, giving it its necessary darkness. Secondly, because it is an attempt to normalize the conversation about death and the fact that it is completely inevitable. None of us, in the real world, can outrun death, yet it is an element in our lives that we are very inclined to ignore. Sometimes, it scares us. And we find it unpleasant to discuss it. Other times, it feels like a waste of time to discuss it. But King normalizes the conversation about death. Look, it happens. And we have to deal with it. And, as unpleasant as it is, “sometimes dead is better.” That surely applies both to his novel and everyday life.
The way this novel develops is brilliant. Like a horror movie, it starts off lightly. It gives us the opportunity to get to know the characters, becoming comfortable with them. Through and through, though, King is developing anticipation and warning us to expect horror. He even teases us all the time, which is an insanely interesting, and even nerve-wracking experience. He dares to tell us: “This was the character’s last happy day.” Or: “This character will be dead in two weeks.” Truthfully, he is the perfect read for all us spoiler junkies who enjoy skimming through pages and reading the ending before we are there. He will give us all the spoilers we need, in perfect time, and it will be far more dramatic than if we searched for them ourselves.
Simply put, this has to be one of the creepiest and well-written books a reader can find. King builds the events in the novel perfectly. Even when it comes to the point where we can anticipate what happens next, as one does in a horror movie, we do not have any comfort in knowing what we know, at all. Stephen King wins. We’ll understand, and know, what he wants us to understand and know. He is in control, but we’re willing to let him have this control, since he is such an insanely talented writer.
3. WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? I would and I have. I sent numerous messages to reader friends that this is a book they have to read. King is modern, fascinating, and I’m quite sure he has awoken love for horror in me, which I never had in the past.
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