Review: Pet Sematary

Pet SemetaryPet Sematary
By Stephen King
(Pocket Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780743412278, 2001, 576pp.)

The Short of It:

Probably one of King’s best.

The Rest of It:

In my late teens, early twenties, I somehow managed to read Pet Sematary twice. I think I read it a second time, right before the movie came out. I remember it being appropriately scary but not overly so. To compare, IT, to this day, is still his scariest book ever but anytime death is involved and you try to change things, you are really grabbing the bull by the horns and things just can’t go well when you try to do that with death. Trust me.

After Louis Creed accepts a position as a university doctor, he and his wife Rachel buy a house in the country and look forward to raising their two small children, Ellie and Gage, in the beauty of God’s kingdom. Except, there is a pesky road that is the main through-way for trucks getting from point A to point B. Across the way, are their elderly neighbors, the Crandalls and oh, let’s not forget the Pet Sematary, which is really the smaller part of an Indian burial ground and which just so happens to be on their property.

Indian burial ground. Yep.

As you can probably guess, that busy road becomes a very important part of the story, as does the Pet Sematary, which is spelled that way because that is how a child chose to spell it years and years ago. The story reads quickly, because once you get to a certain point, you really can’t stop reading as you must know how it all turns out.

As you may recall above, I didn’t think the book was overly scary when I read it in my twenties but that was before kids. Reading it recently, I couldn’t  help but flashback to those times when my kids hurt themselves or how afraid I was of hurting them accidentally. Really, just recognizing how fragile they were. Well, the experience of parenthood adds some additional terror to the mix. For sure.

I read this for the #gangstercats read-along so I definitely had the support of others, which always makes reading a book like this a lot more fun. Plus, we got party favors too! There’s nothing like a good King discussion to bring people together. There was some interest in maybe watching the movie while live tweeting, so if that happens, you’ll hear about it soon.

Pet Sematary Read Along

King’s new book Finders Keepers comes out in June but what shall we read next?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Fluffy, Furry, Stinky – Pet Sematary (Final Stretch)

Tony - Catuck
After a lumbering start, I am in the final stretch of the Pet Sematary read-along, affectionately referred to as #gangstercats on Twitter. Check out Tony (above). He’s really a duck but he thinks he’s a cat. Sent to me by the host of this read-along with instructions to gussy him up. So he’s all decked out in his gangster-like finery. He’s meant to protect. But will he?

BTW, the whole #gangstercats thing is actually from a line in the book. You know, in case you were wondering and thinking we all lost our minds.

Some observations of the book so far (without spoilers):

  • This is my 3rd time reading it, but my first time reading as a mom and let me tell you, the kid stuff is a little hard to digest. It’s rough going from here on out.
  • The “cat-uck” (half cat/half duck) you see above can’t hold a candle to the cat in the book. The cat in the book is scary, smelly and not the fun-loving furry minx you’d expect from a family pet.
  • King has said many times this is his scariest book to date and yes, I can see that being an accurate statement. But at the same time, I don’t have nightmares about this stuff. The evening news scares me more.
  • Reading the book has made me want to see the movie again and let’s face it, the movie was horrible.

That’s it for now. I plan to finish it up soon but what does one read after a book like this?

The Pet Sematary Read Along: #gangstercats

Pet Sematary Read Along
Because I am absolutely, without a doubt, THAT person who rushes around in the mornings, I managed to damage my cornea with a hair brush. Yes! I tore that sucker right off my eyeball and cannot read, so it’s a good thing that I started Pet Sematary early because I probably can’t read for the rest of this week.

Jill @ Somewhere In a Book is hosting this read along. You can click on over for the details and sign-up officially, or you can check out the details here and decide on your own. I must say, I am surprised at how many of you expressed an interest but are a little afraid to drink the water. Do not worry. It is a scary book but you are reading it with friends, after all. This is THE BEST way to read King.

Here’s the important stuff straight from Jill:

  • Instagram and Twitter hashtag: #gangstercats (hey, I was trying to keep it short and silly). Most of you know that I am usually on Instagram (@jilllora), and I will do my best to keep up on twitter (@JilleeBeene), but you’ll have to cut me a little twitter slack since I haven’t been on in 2 years.
  • read at your own pace, post/tweet/instagram/scream whenever you feel like it
  • I’ll put up a check in post at the end of March and again on April 15th. And if you’ve posted thoughts on your blog, I’ll link to everyone’s posts later in April (just in case you’re a slacker poster like me, I’m giving you some time to get that post written).
  • If anyone wants to watch the movie instead of read the book, more power to you. You’re still welcome to join us…I’d love to know how cheesy the movie is! Bonus points (but no kitty treats) if you read AND watch.
  • Go here for more info.

Not so important but my Twitter handle is @TiBookChatter in case you want to chat but if you use the hashtag #gangstercats in all of your Tweets, we can search on that key term and see everything that’s been posted.

So for the die-hard readers who signed up early and who know how freakin’ excited I was about the read along, it may be a few days because you see a Tweet from me. The pain has subsided a little but the sight in that eye has not returned.

Hope you can join us.

Sign Me Up: The Bag of Bones Read Along (BOBalong)

Bag o Bones Read Along

Because Revival was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be, I am going to revisit one of King’s older books. Why? Mostly because Trish announced it and made it sound like fun. I mean, no one wants to be left out when there is a read along to be joined. Plus, I’ve already made my reading goal for the year so this is just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like to join us, check out her post for all of the details but basically you have all of December to read it and it’s readily available from the library since it’s an older title. I seriously just downloaded the library e-book and there were many copies for the taking.

Come on. Join us. You know you want to.

Review: Revival

RevivalRevival
By Stephen King
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476770383, November 2014, 405pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

A young, impressionable boy is taken with the local minister and his ability to make things magical, but when their faith is tested, both battle their own demons to survive.

The Rest of It:

Jamie Morton is only six-years old when Charles Jacobs comes to town. Jacobs, married with a young son of his own, quickly takes a liking to Jamie and his family. In fact, many of the folks in town begin to attend church again just to hear what the new minister has to say and when Jamie’s brother loses his voice in a freak accident, Charles Jacobs comes to his aid and heals him. Not with spiritual healing, but with electricity.

After a tragic accident, Jacobs faith in God disappears entirely and what he chooses to hold dear, are the electrical experiments he’s developed over the years. Traveling from town to town, he reinvents himself, peddling what is essentially lightning and a whole lot of fanfare. It’s at this point in his life, that he runs into Jamie again. This time Jamie is an adult, battling a wicked heroin addiction. Can Jamie be saved?

King has said in many interviews that Revival is his return to true horror. I believe his definition of horror and mine vary greatly these days. Perhaps writing about a heroin addiction IS horrific, given King’s personal battle with drug and alcohol addiction but the story itself is not scary in that “clowns in the sewer” way. Nope. It reminded me a lot of Frankenstein and the one Mary Shelley reference did not escape me. I hardly think it was a coincidence that he included it because just as I was thinking ‘Frankenstein’, the name dropped.

Without being specific, lots of terrible things happen and they are all devastating. Devastating enough to absolutely wreck a person and let me tell you, it tore me up. These characters are damaged and flawed and King does damaged and flawed so well.

But…

The story lagged for me and since I was expecting a real horror story, I was slightly disappointed with the direction that it took. It seemed too safe and yet, I still enjoyed it. What King nailed is childhood itself. Those moments where Jamie is young and all of the wonders that go along with childhood… King was spot-on with them. That sense of innocence lost? Heartbreaking.

ReviveMe 2014

A group of us read this together and I must say, it was pretty quiet on Twitter. Nearly everyone was curious as to where the story was going but there wasn’t a whole lot to discuss. Compared to his other novels, the ones he is known for (IT, The Shining, The Stand, Carrie), this one seems a little thin but if you dig deep, there is substance there and some well-developed characters to spend some time with.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: Countdown to Thanksgiving (I think)

Sunday Matters

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it so. I’ve been thinking about the meal and our day-long pajama party. What could be better? The fact that Christmas has been pushed upon us so soon, really gets to me! Just a few years ago, you’d wake up the day after Thanksgiving and everything would be transformed and you’d be anxious for Christmas. Not now. Sigh.

Of course, time seems to be flying by too. Tuesday, The Teen takes his first in-car driving lesson. He’s also looking at colleges. I think The Girl has skipped over the Tween stage and gone right into Teen. She’s been a real treasure lately. Smirk.

Last night we hit the ice rink. Everyone was bundled up in coats and scarves which was funny given it was close to ninety degrees yesterday. Us West Coasters try really hard to create seasons for ourselves but it’s not working out that great.

The first shot is The Teen and his girlfriend. The second is The Girl and her friend, The Girl is on the right.

Ice Rink

Right Now:

Sitting here with a cup of coffee as the rest of the house sleeps. It’s a beautiful day and yes…sunny!

This Week:

Driving lessons, Annie rehearsals and some doctor stuff.

Reading:

  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Sutton (REALLY enjoying this one)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (at a suburban BBQ a man slaps a child who is not his own. Drama!)

Watching:

The same two shows that I always watch, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. Both happen to be really good this season. I saw that Snowpiercer is on Netflix instant view. I’d love to sneak that one in today,

Making:

Even though it’s warm out, I am craving chicken noodle soup. Yes. NOODLES. I’ll use gluten-free ones which won’t quite be the same but so be it. When you’ve got a craving, you gotta satisfy it. I think biscuits are called for as well. Mmmmm.

MS soup

Grateful for:

I am grateful that I am able to take a good chunk of time off for the holidays. I’ve got Tuesday off for Veteran’s Day but I will be taking Thanksgiving week off and a couple of weeks around Christmas. I LOVE and need this time off.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Stephen King’s new book comes out on Tuesday. Revival is said to be his return to TRUE horror and of course I am hosting a read along for it. If you want to read it with us, you can check out the details here:

ReviveMe 2014

 

What are you grateful for today?

Announcing the “Revival” Read Along!

ReviveMe2014

When King releases a new book, you pay attention. I  know when he released Mr. Mercedes a few months ago, folks who didn’t even read King picked it up and were pleasantly surprised at the story telling contain within. He is quite the story teller and that is the one thing I say over and over again to readers who are afraid to read his stuff. Granted, some of his stuff can be terrifying (IT, comes to mind) but many of his books are good stories and memorable characters. Good versus evil. I love it.

This year, fans get to gush over another book release! Revival hits the shelves on November 11th and I am SO there. Just in time for my holiday reading. I love to read something really good over Thanksgiving break and the anticipation of a big release is almost too much for me! Do I buy the Kindle version? The hard copy? Both? Ah, decisions.

The only thing better is getting to read it with others. Wanna join me?

Details:

-The read along begins on November 11, 2014 (release day!) and ends on November 30, 2014. Take longer if you need to but it’s Uncle Stevie! Chances are we will finish early.

-This read along will take place mostly on Twitter using the hashtag #ReviveMe2014. Use the hashtag to share your thoughts while reading. Search for that hashtag on Twitter to see what readers are saying.

-Since most of us have to buy the book on release day, this will be a “fly by the seat of your pants” read along without any structure! Just read, comment if you feel the need and enjoy it! A lot of us did this informally with Mr. Mercedes and it was fun to catch people on Twitter talking about the book.

Are you in? A good resource for you is this site! It’s his return to true horror. Be ready for it.

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To sign-up, click on the green Mr. Linky below. It asks for blog URL but if you don’t have a blog, just use my URL. Anyone can sign-up.

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