Pet Sematary has Profoundly Damaged Me

by Rachel Baker on June 27, 2014

So, look, I’ve read probably all but maybe 8 books and stories by Stephen King. In the whole time since I first read Pet Sematary in middle school, I have never ever been disappointed. But its finally happened – I have been disappointed and I am not sure I will recover. I know this sounds dramatic (especially since I’ve read the book before and didn’t have the same reaction), but, there it is.

Let’s see if I can explain. I loved the story he lays out in Pet Sematary, in fact its probably one of the most horror-inducing stories I’ve ever read. Like, really, reincarnate your dead baby boy and then your wife because your dead baby boy didn’t work out so well, all after of course, the cat came back pretty wonky. I don’t know…seems truly sick. Right? I didn’t have any moments of fear though, it was just a truly psychologically sick drama that caused my stomach to want to retch when I actually think about it. And, even though, I’ve read it before, as well as seen the movie, this read through was completely different.

I have kids in my world now, and this read through made me wonder how far I would slip into insanity if something happened to one of them; because I think there is a bit of a slip when you lose a child…right? Its a great thought-provoking story – and it was everything I have come to love about Stephen King’s writing.

So, what’s the problem, you ask? Stephen King has a ton of books that all interweave into the major magnum opus of the Dark Tower, and there are major revisits of characters through out all the works he does. And the little girl, the big sister from Pet Sematary, Ellie Creed is left hanging in the wind, stuck in at her grandparent’s home in Chicago far away from where her dead, but reincarnated, mother and insane father, who are in Ludlow, Maine.

And that’s it…nothing more about Ellie…ever. Its been a whole week and I can’t forget her. Is that the point, to not forget the one kid that is still alive? Because really, i think it is – there was a couple of big scenes where Louis’ friends tell him that after Gabe died – that they still had a daughter who was alive; and she needed him. And then…then she’s forgotten – by both the dad and the author of the book.

I am so sad for Ellie, her baby brother died and her dad couldn’t move on enough to not try to resurrect the son (seems sort of biblical doesn’t it? ) and then she lost her mom because of dad’s insanity. I am truly disappointed that her story was ended so abruptly.

Honestly, I think the point is grief is powerful, but you can’t forget the living – and I think having both the father and the author do so is profound – and genius since the author has book after book that relate to the Dark Tower in some way.

Kudos, Mr. King, Kudos!

And dear readers, if you haven’t read this one, its worth it. This is early Stephen King and probably not exactly his best work. Having it end as it did seems a bit experimental actual for Stephen King. For the most part, he ties the loose ends up in his books, even if the journey is the most important part of the story. Pet Sematary is different in that way. For the most part, its less scary and creepy than a lot of his work, but if you allow yourself to contemplate what you are reading and allow yourself total immersion, its likely the tragic story will result in feelings of horror.

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