#Review Pet Sematary by Stephen King #ClassicHorror

Title: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

First Published: 1983

Genre: Horror

Description:

SOMETIMES…DEAD IS BETTER’

The house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed.

Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago.

Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat.

But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial.

A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding.

Review:

I have finally finished Pet Sematary, woohoo! It’s taken me three attempts over two years and I want to say a huge thank you to Janel @ Keeper of Pages and all the lovely people who took part in the read-along over on Instagram.

The story follows Dr Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children, five year old Ellie and two year old Gage, as they move to a new house in Ludlow. They settle nicely into their new lives, even making friends with their neighbour Jud and Norma Crandall, but that’s until the discover the Pet Sematary behind their house.

It’s innocent enough at first but when Church, Ellie’s beloved cat dies in a freak accident on the road outside their house, Jud shows Louis what the sematary is really capable of.

Stephen King fans are probably not going to love this review, so just a warning to you, you may not want to carry on reading this!

So initially I stopped reading this book because I had nightmares about evil cats but thankfully the third time around I was a little more immune to the creepiness of Church the cat.

I have to be honest, while Stephen King is an amazing writer, with a great imagination, he has this tendency to waffle on a bit. The first half of the book is so slow, not a whole heap happens, I feel that it could have been at least half the length.

Then we have the ending which was the complete opposite, full of suspense and action. It just really annoyed me as I was hoping for that the whole way through. I also would like to have a word with whoever divided up the chapters, some were five pages or so, others twenty or more, I feel this dragged the pace down too.

The best thing about the book was the realistic characters. I loved Ellie the tenacious five year old and Jud with all of his stories. I have to be honest though, I didn’t much like Louis. I found him a little condescending at times, talking about death being a natural part of life but completely freaking out about it when it came down to it. Also this is just the mother in me, but he encourages his kids to swear which I found irritating.

Pet Sematary, while yes it was creepy, was slightly disappointing for me in the end. I know a remake of the movie is coming out this year, which I want to watch, just to see if they improve on the book.

About the Author: (taken from Amazon)

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His first crime thriller featuring Bill Hodges, MR MERCEDES, won the Edgar Award for best novel and was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Both MR MERCEDES and END OF WATCH received the Goodreads Choice Award for the Best Mystery and Thriller of 2014 and 2016 respectively.

King co-wrote the bestselling novel Sleeping Beauties with his son Owen King, and many of King’s books have been turned into celebrated films and television series including The Shawshank Redemption, Gerald’s Game and It.

King was the recipient of America’s prestigious 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American Letters. In 2007 he also won the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife Tabitha King in Maine.

Bedtime Book Review: Electric Dreams by Philip K. Dick #BookReview #Classic #SciFi

I have problems getting to sleep (like most of us) and I spotted a post on Instagram a week or so ago about putting all my electronic devices away (including my kindle) and picking up a good old book at bedtime to help you sleep.  I have to be honest I don’t think it’s helped me sleep any better but it gave me an idea for a blog post.  So here’s the first of my Bedtime Book Reviews: 

Title: Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick.

Publisher: Gollancz

Date Published: 14th September 2017

Genre: Sci-fi, Short story anthology

Description:

FROM VISIONARY WRITER WHO INSPIRED BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL, THE MAN IN HIGH CASTLE, MINORITY REPORT AND A SCANNER DARKLY COMES A COLLECTION OF TEN STORIES TO REPROGRAM YOUR MIND.

From tales of a wife who suspects her husband may no longer be the same man after a trip to deep space, to a government agent seeking the source behind a recent wave of illegal, telepathy-inhibiting ‘hoods’, these stories investigate what it means to be human in a changing world.

These ten stories inspired the ten episodes of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, the hit TV series from Channel 4 and Sony Pictures Television. Each story also has an exclusive introduction by the writers who adapted it for the series, including Ronald D. Moore, Matthew Graham, Jessica Mecklenburg, Tony Grisoni and Jack Thorne.

Review:

So before the TV series Electric Dreams was broadcast I’d never really heard of Philip K Dick (seriously every time I type that name I giggle, yes I’m like a five year old) but having enjoyed a couple of episodes of the show I thought I’d read the original stories. That was about six months ago and I have finally got round to reading them.

The stories in this collection are, Exhibit Piece, The Commuter, The Impossible Planet, The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch, The Father Ting, The Hood Maker, Foster, You’re Dead, Human Is and Autofac.

There is so much crammed into these short stories, aliens, telepaths, dystopian futures, space travel, body snatchers I could go on!

Like with most collections there were a few standouts. My favourites were The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch and Human Is.

The Hanging Stranger is about a man called Ed Loyce who after spending the morning in his basement, goes to work to find a strange man hanging in the town square. Nobody notices but him. He feels like he’s going mad, is it real or is there something more sinister at work? This for me had the best ending in the entire book and out of the stories which had the theme of is this real or am I losing my mind, it just captured my imagination.

Sales Pitch is about a world gone mad from advertising (sometimes it feels like that now, doesn’t it?), you can’t go anywhere without adverts or sales bots haunting your every move. When Ed Morris (another Ed, I know) comes home he wants to escape until a robot turns up and refuses to leave, so he takes it with him to the planet Proxima in a bid to escape it all.

Then there’s Human Is, about Jill who’s husband suddenly changes, from a cold hearted bully to the husband she’s always wanted after a trip to deep space. Again even though this is science fiction, this one is a real character based story that would appeal to anyone. I mean how often have we thought you wouldn’t mind changing your other half?

These stories were written back in the 1950’s, in the shadow of the Cold War, so there were a few outdated stereotypes and language but the stories so original and unique that will appeal to most modern readers. I can also so see why so many of his stories get adapted into films, the majority of them have ambiguous or open ending just begging someone to finish or expand the stories.

Also I could have done without the introductions on each story but that’s personal preference rather than anything else.

Overall a must for Science fiction fans and lovers of dystopian fiction.

Rating: 4/5

About The Author:

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer, whosePhilipDick published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, sociological and political themes in novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. In his later works, Dick’s thematic focus tended to reflect his personal interest in metaphysics and theology.

He often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. Later in life, he wrote non-fiction on philosophy, theology, the nature of reality, and science. This material was published posthumously as The Exegesis.

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens one day to find that he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. “”I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,”” Dick wrote of these stories. “”In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.””

In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, eleven popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Up next on Bedtime Book Reviews (whenever I finish it that is) : Evil Games by Angela Marsons.