Pet Sematary

I have finally become upset over a Stephen King novel. And it’s probably not for any reasons that people normally get upset over them.

I discovered myself increasingly uncomfortable about a third of the way in, when the cat dies and the father decides to bring the cat back. The thing that bothered me? The way he and everybody else treated the cat. The way they ignored it, called it names, stopped referring to it as a he and started calling it it.

It’s not like the cat made the decision to come back to life. It’s not as if it dragged itself up to the super secret special burial ground, dug it’s own hole and plopped in. It’s unfair to treat the cat as some kind of horrible abomination because something was done to it that it had no choice in.

I can see now why in the movie they change the entire emotional makeup of the animal. Making it into some demonic bastard instead of just dumber and ungraceful. Because if they had portrayed the cat the same way as it was in the book, I think a lot of people would have been monumentally unhappy with the treatment it received. It’s one thing to kick a cat and throw things at it when it’s hissing at you and trying to claw you every time you pass by. Quite another when it’s just sitting there being mildly creepy in your general direction.

Now, it’s not like I’m a PETA member, over here. I do love animals, I think they’re awesome. I have my own and they’re spoiled rotten. The Queen’s family isn’t pampered as much as my animals are. But I’ll also eat them, and I’ll also wear them. So don’t get your defenses up and come babbling at me that I only care because it’s a cat.

No, I believe in fair treatment for all our undead brethren. Unless, of course, they decide to mob together and shamble toward me demanding to eat me while I live. Then I’m going to have to take them out. But if they’re just going about their unlives, not hurting anybody, just trying to get along, we shouldn’t treat them poorly. Especially when they’re that way BECAUSE WE DID IT TO THEM.

Bastards.

What did he think, really, what did he think was going to happen when he brought the cat back to life? That it was going to be a normal, living, breathing animal? That it was going to retain all the signs of what it is that makes alive things alive? I say the prick got what he deserved.

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King’s Books

Carrie*
‘Salem’s Lot*
The Shining*
Rage
Night Shift
The Stand
The Long Walk
The Dead Zone
Firestarter
Roadwork
Cujo
The Running Man
Creepshow
Different Seasons
Christine
Pet Sematary
Cycle of the Werewolf
The Talisman
Thinner
Skeleton Crew
It
Eyes of the Dragon
Misery
The Tommyknockers
The Dark Half
The Stand
Four Past Midnight
Needful Things
Gerald’s Game
Delores Claiborne
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Insomnia
Rose Madder
The Green Mile
Desperation
The Regulators
Six Stories
Bag of Bones
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (Popup)
Hearts In Atlantis
Dreamcatcher
Black House
Everything’s Eventual*
From A Buick 8
Cell
Lisey’s Story
Blaze
The Mist
Duma Key
Just After Sunset
Ur
Under The Dome
Blockade Billy
Full Dark, No Stars

– I guess I have a lot more to read than I thought I did. This list doesn’t even include the Dark Tower series (cause I tend to think of that on it’s own for some reason).

* I own it, I just have to read it.

Cell – King (and kind of Lisey’s Story)

I just don’t know what to say. I don’t. I’m not quite as angry about this book as I was when I read Lisey’s Story. But I’m still pissed off. This was… it was so bad. It was like King just wanted to, or had to, write something to put out and didn’t have any real solid ideas.

I mean, granted, this book has a lot more going for it than Lisey’s Story did, but really that’s not saying much. Since that book was a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I won’t lie. I did like them. I did like the general idea of the book, as well. The end of the world brought about by cell phones. It’s a pretty solid idea. The problem is, the idea behind the idea wasn’t fleshed out. At all. It almost seemed as if King was avoiding anything to do with the background because he didn’t know himself what was going on. There was so much missing. And so much other stuff thrown in randomly that wasn’t followed up on.

But again, Lisey’s Story was lacking even that much. Lisey’s Story is apparently what happens when King has to take a giant shit and uses a notebook to do it on. It’s not the first book I’ve ever been angry at, but it was the first of his, and I had hoped it would be the last. It wasn’t.

Though, maybe I can use the fact that Cell and Lisey’s Story were written back to back as some sort of an excuse for King. Because I really dislike hating anything he’s written, especially now when I’ve made my way through so many other books and I adore them. It’s not easy to hate something a writer you love has written. It’s quite difficult, actually. You want to love everything. You want everything to be good. It’s just heartbreaking when everything’s not good and you end up loathing a piece. Or two, in my case.

Despite loving the characters in Cell, the main character, Clay, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. The things he does at the very end don’t fit his personality at all. They don’t fit what he’s evolved into during the course of the book. He just goes off on this wild tangent. Several things are wrong with the ending, several, but mostly it’s what Clay does and what he doesn’t do. And who he decides to leave behind. I’m sorry, but Clay is not that big of a fucking idiot, and I don’t honestly believe in my heart that he would have done what he did. I don’t give a shit if it’s written that way, it’s not him.

The book is pretty bad from the get go, however. Which is something I noticed because despite how hard I tried to keep myself involved, parts of the book itself were pushing me back into reality. Not in any thoughtful way, either. In a very abrupt and unfriendly way. It was really hard to keep reading this book, but I have to always finish. I’ve never started a book that I didn’t finish. I just can’t do it. I have to know the end, even if I hate the rest of what’s gone on, the characters, the story – whatever.

Which is PRECISELY why I sat through reading all of goddamned Lisey’s Story when I hated her, and her stupid thought process and her stupid weak and pathetic unwillingness to live her motherfucking life. Despite the fact that I detested where the story went and how long it took to get there, I read the whole thing. Even though I felt that it was some of the worst writing I’d encountered from such a lauded author, I finished the stupid book.

After I was done reading it, I sold Lisey’s Story to a used book store for significantly under a quarter. I believe that Cell will follow the same path. I, the queen of keeping books for future re-reading, want this book the hell out of my house. I never want to see it’s idiot cover again.

It – Movie VS Book

Alright. So when I finally read It, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought that I would immediately pick up the movie and sit down and have a watch, but that didn’t happen until today. As I have previously written, I have never seen It the movie. I don’t know how. I went all these years and never even thought to pick it up on the cheap. Netflix finally sent it to me, and I finally sat down and had my viewing experience.

First things first: There wasn’t enough blood.
It is a very very bloody book. A kid gets his arm fucking ripped off. A little girl is absolutely mutilated. At one point Bev’s bathroom sink explodes with so much gore that it’s supposed to look like a murder scene.

I know it’s a made for TV thing, and they couldn’t include all the really gory stuff, but they certainly could have made things more to the actual story in that area.

Secondly: There were a lot of things I felt were pretty integral to the book that were completely missing from the movie. Like Mike’s story of seeing It for the first time. Where the fuck was that? What about the explanation of how they all got out of the sewers the first time around? HOW ABOUT the fact that the promise they made was a promise made in blood? That’s kind of important.

A lot of other things too. I mean, I know you’ve got a certain amount of time you can have for things like this, but if you’re going to make something three hours long, why cut so much out? Go for that fourth hour and get all the really important stuff in there.

Third and last: The ending was crap. Not the part of what It is, because that’s the same in the book. There’s a lot more involved there, and I think they should have put it in, but whatever. What I’m upset about is the fact that Derry didn’t sink into the ground. Um. Hi. The entire underground is falling apart, how is the city staying up?

All in all, I did enjoy it. I certainly enjoyed Tim Curry in it. He’s so freaking wonderful. I could watch it again, and I would probably get it on DVD, honestly. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sorely disappointed in how things went.

I propose that this is remade. We bring back Tim Curry as Pennywise and we do everything right. I’m sure that we can make that spider thing look a lot more realistic and terrifying. Just imagine what the screen artists of today could pull off if given the reins.

Cujo

This is my first go around with this book. In my book reading reality, I feel like I should have read this many years ago, but that’s not what happened. Actually, I’ve never even seen the movie. But it’s hard to wander along today’s world without encountering the synopsis of something Stephen King wrote. Popular media, culture, trivia, there’s always something that will carry the breeze of knowledge to you.

Thus, I already knew Cujo was about a dog that killed people.

Of course, it being Stephen King, I was under the impression that it had something to do with a supernatural cause. NO idea at all that it was just rabies. Just rabies, as if it’s such a normal every day thing.

I guess I was a little disappointed to find that out. And a portion of me was looking forward to a massively intense bloodbath caused by the dog.

But in the end, it’s a pretty good book. Four people dying isn’t anything to shake a stick at, either.

I wonder what it would have turned out like if King had written this novel in his later years instead of his earliest ones. Would the dog have been possessed? Would the slaughter have been more rampant than it is? It’s an impossible thing to have a conclusive answer for, but it’s still sort of fun to think about.

The greatest difference that I see in this book compared to others, is King trying to end the dog’s story on a positive note. Saying that it ultimately wasn’t the dogs fault that he wrought destruction and death. I don’t think he bothers with such things in his newer books, because it takes away from the horror of it all. It interrupts the reader. The happy ending for us was that the dog was killed. We didn’t really need to be told that had he survived and somehow miraculously gotten better, Cujo would have felt guilt for what he’d done. The fact that he’s a good dog is established very early on.

But I can see what he was trying to do there.

Again, it’s not a bad book. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Cat’s Eye – Request

Not one portion of this movie’s description rang a bell for me, so you can imagine how dumbfounded I was when I started remembering every single part of it within the first five minutes. I don’t know if I saw it on television, or if it was a rental. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen it in the last 15 years, but I couldn’t have been too small, because it came out in 1985. So I have no idea when I actually saw it the first time.

It’s not the best thing in the world, but it’s certainly better than Sleepwalkers.

I’m so confused.

The Mangler – Request

A lot of Stephen King stories that get translated into movies end up being extraordinarily bad. I’m not exactly sure why, considering the stories themselves are quite good. I think it might have to do with the fact that he doesn’t really have anything to do with the movies. If I were him, I’d have some kind of clause in all sales of rights that lets me have final say in what happens, how things look, and the story as a whole.

This one turns out to be slightly better, but not by much. It definitely isn’t a quality flick. Bad acting, bad attempt at extending the story to movie length. Addition of a freezer haunted by a tornado is completely unfathomable. Also – lame.

As the move progressed, it did nothing but get steadily sillier. It’s very unfortunate, the story in it’s original form is good and creepy, very suspenseful. The idea of a machine gaining sentience and deciding it really likes blood has the potential to be a very intense idea. There isn’t one part of the movie that has the feel of the book. Trying to “make sense” of things by talking about ghosts and demons just came off as pathetic. And really, now that I think about it, there’s not a whole lot of the original story in the movie at all.