Crikey! Now we're getting in to it! Forget everything I've been saying
about wondering whether any of his books are going to get under my skin and whether I might be truly frightened by them. Pet Sematary got right in there and did a number on me. Brilliant!
I don't know whether it goes without saying or I should have been saying this in every end post for the books, but there are spoilers ahead.
It was one of those books that you just want to recoil from and put down because you know how bad things are going to get and by not reading it, perhaps it won't happen. A natural and childish instinct I'm sure; and somewhat nonsensical in the context of reading a book, but it was there.
But, at the same time, there's no way you can put it down because you're deep in there and can't rest until you get to the end. It was like when you're watching a film and you're willing the characters not to go somewhere/do something, knowing full well how inevitable (and essential) it is that they will/must do it.
So, what was it about Pet Sematary that disturbed me so much? For the
greatest part, it was the horror of your child being run over by a lorry and the thought of losing someone so young. The complete negation of a future of possibilities, hopes and experience is crushing. I look at my own children and never imagine the worst. Where's the stock in those kinds of ruminations? It's fucking bleak, I tell you. One things for sure, the hugs I give them have gone up a notch on the tightness scale.
If that wasn't enough, King goes there and has Louis doing what we beg him, out loud (maybe just in my case), not to. I sat there thinking there's no way you'd walk that road, but who knows until you've faced that (and of course, if there was such a thing as the supernatural)?
As I said earlier, as the book careered towards the conclusion, I didn't want to go on, to avoid coming face to face with the inevitable. No chance. You don't come this far and miss out on this unhappy ending.
I love that King is unafraid of the unhappy or ambiguous ending. Cliffhangers are so delicious. Some people hate them. That makes me love them all the more. The man has done enough work to be able to sit back and leave it with the reader. Only an unimaginative slob could be dissatisfied with the ending.
Anyway, I've been waiting for this kind of a reaction to the books and am now on fire for the whole endeavour. I finished this late at night and thought twice about crossing the landing to go to the bathroom before going to bed. It also didn't help that my daughter woke up and began crying, only for visions of Gage to flood in and I'm trembling like a girl at the thought of going in to comfort her. And there was no way I was going downstairs to check the doors were locked. Fuck that. What a fanny?!!
Ruth Ruth - Everything
Starkweather - This Sheltering Night