Each week, this meme takes us a journey back through some of the books we’ve read that had a big impact on us.
This week’s selection was inspired by my thoughts for yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday.
I’ve been a fan of Stephen King ever since I picked up the second book I read by him. The first was Firestarter, which is a good book but quite honestly didn’t do much for me when at the tender age of twelve or possibly thirteen. Undaunted, I picked up Cujo next (checked it out of my school library, actually) and began to read.
And was immediately hooked on not only the book, but also King’s novels.
Picking it up, I figured the book was about a rabid dog that terrorized everyone. And on some level, I suppose that is what Cujo is all about. But it’s far scarier and more compelling than that. King spends the first two-thirds of the novel creating the characters and the situation that will lead to a mother and her son being trapped in a hot car as the rabid Cujo tries to get in and kill them. In fact, Cujo doesn’t become infected with rabies until about page 100, giving us time to get to know him and his owners and to see just what a tragic twist of fate this is for the dog and those around him.
I can’t begin to describe how certain passages of this one blazed themselves into my memory. King is a master of putting ordinary people in extraordinary situations and watching the results. Cujo is a beast — a pure terror. But beyond just battling this rabid dog, there are other elements at play and characters that King invests you in. Some will live, some will die and you’ll find yourself caring about the fates of most of them.
This book scared me so much that I’ve never watched the movie version of it. Honestly, I don’t think it could live up to the images created by my imagination — and I’ve got to be honest I’m not sure I want to find out if it could or does.
I re-read Cujo a few years ago as an audio book and I’ve got to say it REALLY holds up. It’s as dark, scary and compelling as it was all those years ago.
Read it for yourself….if you dare!