Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Might contain spoilers.
Quite disappointing. It’s perhaps not the wisest idea to have a preface talking about how people say this is your scariest book. I’ve read a lot of Stephen King at this point; ’Salem’s Lot terrified me. This did not. I found myself skimming entire paragraphs out of boredom. I’m indifferent to the cast of unremarkable and unappealing characters. I also feel too old to be charmed by his love for Maine now. Really, I feel too old to be charmed by American solipsism any more.
It’s very much a product of its time in terms of its attitude towards women and people of colour, although, to be fair, Surendra the doctor isn’t badly written, just unimportant. He could have been much worse. It’s also a very grimy story for no reason.
The entire book builds to an ending that was obvious a third of the way in. When it does come, it’s quite anti-climactic for the supposed wendigo to turn out to be some giant creature who just stares. Gage is the worst, though: a little child who returns from the dead possessed by a demon should be horrifying, yet he has no impact here. Granted, the book was written forty years ago, but it completely lacks the visceral terror of something like the aforementioned ’Salem’s Lot.