Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pet Sematary

One of the children has (once again) stuck loose change into the Playstation3 that we normally watch disks on; Tales From The Crypt will commence again once Matt either removes the money or just buys a simple DVD player---both of these things are extremely unlikely, to be honest, so who knows when I'll be able to do more of those . . .

In the meantime, let's talk King:
Pet Sematary, 1983, (by Stephen King)

On the back of the copy I have it says, "the most frightening book Stephen King has ever written," and granted, this was before 1408, (the short which I find the most terrifying) but I'll say that it's definitely the darkest. I didn't even consider how much more difficult this was going to be as a mother. Of sons, one of them two years old. Both blonde. Since I saw this film back when it was released, I obviously kept the image of Gage from it, and damned if it doesn't hold a very strong similarity to my littlest boy. Watching the film (and remembering it) is one thing, but Jesus, these words---reading about the thoughts and feelings that go along with everything that happens---very nearly did me in. Many of the paragraphs about Gage were read with shaking hands and tears, and I'm not celebrating it as it's clearly HORRIBLE, but inside I am (and will constantly be) marveling at just how skillfully, how honestly King writes about parenthood, denial, and fear:

"Kite flyne!" Gage cried out to his father, and Louis put his arm around Gage's shoulders and kissed the boy's cheek, in which the wind had bloomed a wild rose.
"I love you, Gage," he said---it was between the two of them, and that was all right.
And Gage, who now had less than two months to live, laughed shrilly and joyously. "Kite flyne! Kite flyne, Daddy!"

 "Louis saw with something like alarm that Steve was starting to cry.
'Sure,' he said, and in his mind he saw Gage running across the lawn to the road. They were yelling at Gage to come back, but he wouldn't . . . 'That's right,' Louis agreed, and in his mind, it started to happen again, only this time he leaped two feet farther right at the end, and snagged the back of Gage's jacket, and none of this was happening."

"This time he moved away from the gate, walking along the wrought-iron fence until it turned away from Mason Street at a neat right angle. There was a drainage ditch here, and Louis looked into it. What he saw made him shudder. There were masses of rotting flowers here, layer upon layer of them, washed down by seasons of rain and snow.
No, not Christ. These leavings were made in propitiation of a much older God than the Christian one. People have called Him different things at different times, but Rachel's sister gave Him a perfectly good name, I think: Oz the Gweat and Tewwible, God of dead things left in the ground, God of rotting flowers in drainage ditches, God of the Mystery." 

When considering this book together with the film, I think it was a well-done adaptation (which King wrote the screenplay for) and that the book is darker but the film is more terrifying. Zelda and Pascow, in particular give me the chatters. . . . !

Boy. It was a great novel but I really have to admit that I'm glad I'm done with it; it seriously took a lot out of me. Something a bit more light-hearted for next time, maybe?


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Funny how both you and Donald wound up doing a Pet Sematary post probably within a week of each other.

I started reading the book maybe a year ago, but I never finished. Not because I didn't like it--I did, it was creepy as hell. But because I'm apparently too lazy to read anymore.