Pet Sematary

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First published in 1983, Pet Sematary has since been regarded as one of Stephen King's most frightening and controversial novels. Daring to cross the boundaries of conventional fiction, King has woven a tale so fundamentally startling that he himself was hesitant for it to see the light of day upon its completion. A multilayered examination into the nature of untimely death, shattering loss, and utter desperation, Pet Sematary tears asunder the very fabric connecting our seemingly normal world and the ...
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Pet Sematary

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Overview

First published in 1983, Pet Sematary has since been regarded as one of Stephen King's most frightening and controversial novels. Daring to cross the boundaries of conventional fiction, King has woven a tale so fundamentally startling that he himself was hesitant for it to see the light of day upon its completion. A multilayered examination into the nature of untimely death, shattering loss, and utter desperation, Pet Sematary tears asunder the very fabric connecting our seemingly normal world and the afterlife...leaving readers with an awful truth too haunting to forget.
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Editorial Reviews

Annie Gottlieb
Like most of Mr. King novels, Pet Sematary loses credibility toward the end, as it gains in gore. . . Nor is Pet Sematary his best book as a piece of writing. . . . Reader, beware. This is a book for those who like to take their scare straight -- with a chaser of despair.
New York Times
Library Journal
In this BBC dramatization of King's (Wizard and Glass, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/98) 1983 best seller, Dr. Louis Creed moves his ideal family from congested, urban Chicago to the rural simplicity of Ludlow, ME. His property sits near a long-established pet burial ground and a mysterious Indian burial ground from which the dead can be raised. The program effectively draws us into the characters' world: marriage and family, then shock, grief and madness as we explore the nature and mystery of death. Presenting a multivoiced dramatization rather than a reading of the novel, the actors work together, with added music and sound effects, to create King's macabre world. Recommended.--Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Pittsburgh Press
Unrelenting, convincing...awesome power...his best yet!
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly The most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written.

Washington Post Book World Wild, powerful, disturbing.

Detroit News A stunner....King gets you to believe the unbelievable.

Pittsburgh Press Unrelenting, convincing...awesome power...his best yet!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671582272
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 4.48 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened...although he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life. He met this man on the evening he and his wife and his two children moved into the big white frame house in Ludlow. Winston Churchill moved in with them. Church was his daughter Eileen's cat.

The search committee at the university had moved slowly, the hunt for a house within commuting distance of the university had been hair-raising, and by the time they neared the place where he believed the house to be — all the landmarks are right...like the astrological signs the night before Caesar was assassinated, Louis thought morbidly — they were all tired and tense and on edge. Gage was cutting teeth and fussed almost ceaselessly. He would not sleep, no matter how much Rachel sang to him. She offered him the breast even though it was off his schedule. Gage knew his dining schedule as well as she — better, maybe — and he promptly bit her with his new teeth. Rachel, still not entirely sure about this move to Maine from Chicago, where she had lived her whole life, burst into tears. Eileen promptly joined her. In the back of the station wagon, Church continued to pace restlessly as he had done for the last three days it had taken them to drive here from Chicago. His yowling from the cat kennel had been bad, but his restless pacing after they finally gave up and set him free in the car had been almost as unnerving.

Louis himself felt a little like crying. A wild but not unattractive idea suddenly came to him: He would suggest that they go back to Bangor for something to eat while they waited for the moving van, and when his three hostages to fortune got out, he would floor the accelerator and drive away without so much as a look back, foot to the mat, the wagon's huge four-barrel carburetor gobbling expensive gasoline. He would drive south, all the way to Orlando, Florida, where he would get a job at Disney World as a medic, under a new name. But before he hit the turnpike — big old 95 southbound — he would stop by the side of the road and put the fucking cat out too.

Then they rounded a final curve, and there was the house that only he had seen up until now. He had flown out and looked at each of the seven possibles they had picked from photos once the position at the University of Maine was solidly his, and this was the one he had chosen: a big old New England colonial (but newly sided and insulated; the heating costs, while horrible enough, were not out of line in terms of consumption), three big rooms downstairs, four more up, a long shed that might be converted to more rooms later on — all of it surrounded by a luxuriant sprawl of lawn, lushly green even in this August heat.

Beyond the house was a large field for the children to play in, and beyond the field were woods that went on damn near forever. The property abutted state lands, the realtor had explained, and there would be no development in the foreseeable future. The remains of the Micmac Indian tribe had laid claim to nearly eight thousand acres in Ludlow and in the towns east of Ludlow, and the complicated litigation, involving the federal government as well as that of the state, might stretch into the next century.

Rachel stopped crying abruptly. She sat up. "Is that — "

"That's it," Louis said. He felt apprehensive — no, he felt scared. In fact he felt terrified. He had mortgaged twelve years of their lives for this; it wouldn't be paid off until Eileen was seventeen.

He swallowed.

"What do you think?"

"I think it's beautiful," Rachel said, and that was a huge weight off his chest — and off his mind. She wasn't kidding, he saw; it was in the way she was looking at it as they turned in the asphalted driveway that curved around to the shed in back, her eyes sweeping the blank windows, her mind already ticking away at such matters as curtains and oilcloth for the cupboards, and God knew what else.

"Daddy?" Ellie said from the back seat. She had stopped crying as well. Even Gage had stopped fussing. Louis savored the silence.

"What, love?"

Her eyes, brown under the darkish blond hair in the rearview mirror, also surveyed the house, the lawn, the roof of another house off to the left in the distance, and the big field stretching up to the woods.

"Is this home?"

"It's going to be, honey," he said.

"Hooray!" she shouted, almost taking his ear off. And Louis, who could sometimes become very irritated with Ellie, decided he didn't care if he ever clapped an eye on Disney World in Orlando.

He parked in front of the shed and turned off the wagon's motor.

The engine ticked. In the silence, which seemed very big after Chicago and the bustle of State Street and the Loop, a bird sang sweetly in the late afternoon.

"Home," Rachel said softly, still looking at the house.

"Home," Gage said complacently on her lap.

Louis and Rachel stared at each other. In the rearview mirror, Eileen's eyes widened.

"Did you — "

"Did he — "

"Was that — "

They all spoke together, then all laughed together. Gage took no notice; he only continued to suck his thumb. He had been saying "Ma" for almost a month now and had taken a stab or two at something that might have been "Daaa" or only wishful thinking on Louis's part.

But this, either by accident or imitation, had been a real word. Home.

Louis plucked Gage from his wife's lap and hugged him.

That was how they came to Ludlow.

Copyright © 1983 by Stephen King

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Part One
The Pet Sematary

Part Two
The Micmac Burying Ground

Part Three
Oz the Gweat and Tewwible

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened...although he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life. He met this man on the evening he and his wife and his two children moved into the big white frame house in Ludlow. Winston Churchill moved in with them. Church was his daughter Eileen's cat.

The search committee at the university had moved slowly, the hunt for a house within commuting distance of the university had been hair-raising, and by the time they neared the place where he believed the house to be — all the landmarks are right...like the astrological signs the night before Caesar was assassinated, Louis thought morbidly — they were all tired and tense and on edge. Gage was cutting teeth and fussed almost ceaselessly. He would not sleep, no matter how much Rachel sang to him. She offered him the breast even though it was off his schedule. Gage knew his dining schedule as well as she — better, maybe — and he promptly bit her with his new teeth. Rachel, still not entirely sure about this move to Maine from Chicago, where she had lived her whole life, burst into tears. Eileen promptly joined her. In the back of the station wagon, Church continued to pace restlessly as he had done for the last three days it had taken them to drive here from Chicago. His yowling from the cat kennel had been bad, but his restless pacing after they finally gave up and set him free in the car had been almost as unnerving.

Louis himself felt a little like crying. A wild but not unattractive idea suddenly came to him: He would suggest that they go back to Bangor for something to eat while they waited for the moving van, and when his three hostages to fortune got out, he would floor the accelerator and drive away without so much as a look back, foot to the mat, the wagon's huge four-barrel carburetor gobbling expensive gasoline. He would drive south, all the way to Orlando, Florida, where he would get a job at Disney World as a medic, under a new name. But before he hit the turnpike — big old 95 southbound — he would stop by the side of the road and put the fucking cat out too.

Then they rounded a final curve, and there was the house that only he had seen up until now. He had flown out and looked at each of the seven possibles they had picked from photos once the position at the University of Maine was solidly his, and this was the one he had chosen: a big old New England colonial (but newly sided and insulated; the heating costs, while horrible enough, were not out of line in terms of consumption), three big rooms downstairs, four more up, a long shed that might be converted to more rooms later on — all of it surrounded by a luxuriant sprawl of lawn, lushly green even in this August heat.

Beyond the house was a large field for the children to play in, and beyond the field were woods that went on damn near forever. The property abutted state lands, the realtor had explained, and there would be no development in the foreseeable future. The remains of the Micmac Indian tribe had laid claim to nearly eight thousand acres in Ludlow and in the towns east of Ludlow, and the complicated litigation, involving the federal government as well as that of the state, might stretch into the next century.

Rachel stopped crying abruptly. She sat up. "Is that — "

"That's it," Louis said. He felt apprehensive — no, he felt scared. In fact he felt terrified. He had mortgaged twelve years of their lives for this; it wouldn't be paid off until Eileen was seventeen.

He swallowed.

"What do you think?"

"I think it's beautiful," Rachel said, and that was a huge weight off his chest — and off his mind. She wasn't kidding, he saw; it was in the way she was looking at it as they turned in the asphalted driveway that curved around to the shed in back, her eyes sweeping the blank windows, her mind already ticking away at such matters as curtains and oilcloth for the cupboards, and God knew what else.

"Daddy?" Ellie said from the back seat. She had stopped crying as well. Even Gage had stopped fussing. Louis savored the silence.

"What, love?"

Her eyes, brown under the darkish blond hair in the rearview mirror, also surveyed the house, the lawn, the roof of another house off to the left in the distance, and the big field stretching up to the woods.

"Is this home?"

"It's going to be, honey," he said.

"Hooray!" she shouted, almost taking his ear off. And Louis, who could sometimes become very irritated with Ellie, decided he didn't care if he ever clapped an eye on Disney World in Orlando.

He parked in front of the shed and turned off the wagon's motor.

The engine ticked. In the silence, which seemed very big after Chicago and the bustle of State Street and the Loop, a bird sang sweetly in the late afternoon.

"Home," Rachel said softly, still looking at the house.

"Home," Gage said complacently on her lap.

Louis and Rachel stared at each other. In the rearview mirror, Eileen's eyes widened.

"Did you — "

"Did he — "

"Was that — "

They all spoke together, then all laughed together. Gage took no notice; he only continued to suck his thumb. He had been saying "Ma" for almost a month now and had taken a stab or two at something that might have been "Daaa" or only wishful thinking on Louis's part.

But this, either by accident or imitation, had been a real word. Home.

Louis plucked Gage from his wife's lap and hugged him.

That was how they came to Ludlow.

Copyright © 1983 by Stephen King

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 243 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(129)

4 Star

(76)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2012

    This is the novel that made me love the horror genre, despite no

    This is the novel that made me love the horror genre, despite not loving most of the horror books I have read. It remains in my top ten, and possibly top five. It has made life difficult, as every horror-type book I have read in the twenty-some years since reading Pet Sematary has left me still thirsting. The depth of story is amazing. Characters build into flesh and play off each other's idiosyncrasies, and the pacing of action and suspense - particularly the long, strange walks to the place where the ground is sour - are painted with such realism that you cannot read this without feeling the stickiness of mud beneath your shoes, or feeling the movement of shadows behind you. What can I say? Do not worry about the movie. I've seen it - I love Herman Munster and the guy who played Louis, but it had to be a disappointment in trying to follow the raw energy of that book. It had no choice. But no matter... the book will tear you away from familiarity or comfort, and you'll forget any other perspective. INTENSE.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    Dude....

    This is by far the scariest King book i've read. the entire book is totally worth reading just to get to the last 50 or 60 pages. it starts out slow, but so does every Stephen King book, when you get 200 pages it starts to get scarier and scarier until it gets to the startling (and very disturbing) end.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A very thrilling and suspenseful book!

    Pet Semetary is a very thrilling and suspenseful book. The author, Stephen King tells very good descriptions in all of his books. As soon as you are relaxed, he starts again. The evil is not even what you think it will be, or is it? Louis Creed just moved to maine and now has a perfect job at the University's hostpital, a perfect house, a perfect daughter and son, a perfect wife, and a perfect cat. The road seperating his house and new friend Jud Crandell's house is unmerciful. You can here the huge semi-trucks speeding and raging all day and all night. It has taken so many children's pets' lives. Will Louis Creed listen to what he needs to, or what he wants to??????

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best books I've ever read!

    This book contains twists and turns that the reader wouldn't ever expect. It is scary, brilliant, and a good horror story for anyone who loves being scared!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    A Horror story success! In this novel every moment was filled wi

    A Horror story success!
    In this novel every moment was filled with suspense and chilling detail of the horrifying events created chills throughout my body. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This is Stephen King's BEST book. Louis Creed had just moved with his family to the perfect house. Not far away from their lawn is a freeway for semi-trucks that zoom by. many pets have not had such a good fate. when louis is confronted by fear will he follow what he knows is right or what he thinks is right?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    Great Read....Needs to be available as a Nookbook...

    I really love Stephen King's work, but I don't understand why a lot of his earlier books like "Carrie" and " The Shining" are available as Nookbooks and "Pet Sematary" amd "Christine" aren't. I think all of these books are really good, but I was disappointed to find out that those two books weren't available as Nookbooks, which is one of the reasons I bought my Nook. Please put them in e-book format soon. I really would like to add them to my growing e-book library.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

    BEST BOOK!

    This book is by far the most scariest, yet best, book I have ever read. It's full of twists and turns, and you can't put it down. Stephen King has amazed me with this book, and he is my favorite author. I HIGHLY recommend this book to horror fans.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    Pet Sematary #1!!!!

    This book is just amazing. It is King's best writing yet. This was my third King book I read, and it is my favorite book ever (except The Shining). It is creepy from around page 100 to the end. Yeah, it is a little slow at the beginning, but it is interesting and a quick read. I highly, highly recommend this book!:)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Pet Sematary a Must Read!!

    Pet Sematary by Stephen King is a novel about a doctor, Louis Creed, who moves to a small town in Maine with his family. On his first day at the college hospital a student named Pascow is brought in after being hit by a car. He dies but his spirit haunts Creed throughout the book. After a couple of months of living in the house his wife and son leave to go visit their grandparents and while they are gone the cat is run over on the highway. Creed's neighbor tell him about a mysterious pet sematary that brings anything there back to life. The cat returns the next day after Creed buries it.All is fine until a couple of weeks later his son is killed by an 18-wheeler on the highway in front of their house. Creed makes the gruesome decision to bury his son in the sematary and this leads to a gory filled ending to the novel. When I picked this novel up for the first time I never wanted to put it down. I finished it in about a week of just reading it during my free time. It has an interesting story line and plot that keeps you wanting to read more. I chose this book because Stephen King is my favorite author and I love the far out horror that he writes. The only thing i have against this book would be the strong language throughout the book. It would be a book for a mature reader but I would highly recommend it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2013

    One of King's best works.  Scary from start to finish, with a mo

    One of King's best works.  Scary from start to finish, with a monster climax.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    Worth your time

    very interesting and different. but very good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This book is great. It keeps you interested and at parts I felt like I was actually there in the scene with the characters. Some parts of it are sad, but that only adds to the novel's greatness. Personally, I'm not a fan of fantasies like this, but this read kept me going.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    My first Stephen King Novel

    ...it holds a special place in my heart. very creepy and the ending has stuck with me for many years now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    By Far His most over rated Book.

    Maybe I was Heavily medicated while I was reading this book, and didn't realize it.

    For those who find this book scary, what can I say?

    You guys don't know what true Horror really is.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Awesome!

    This is the scariest Stephen King book I have ever read. At first it is kind of hard to figure out the characters but it clears up quickly. This is a very violent book and is sad at parts, but overall is a very awesome. The only thing is there was loose ends mentioned through out the book that are never tied up. If you are looking for a book that will leave you in suspense every time you put it down you will love this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    There Back-k-k

    Your going to read this thinking about your pets you have or did and want would you do, this is one you will keep you into the book thinking what if?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    My Review

    After a bit of a lull in his writing with Christine and Cycle of the Werewolf, King is back to top form with Pet Sematary. Much shorter in length than Christine, King seems to have used a more discerning editorial eye on this novel and it really paid off. Pet Sematary really packs a punch especially in its conclusion. Once again, King takes his time building things up and developing his characters and setting, but there are a few tense moments along the way that keep the plot moving up to the big bang at the end.

    I really, really enjoyed this one. The suspense is great, there's lots of good ole' gore and it's the usual toss-up as to who might come out of this mess alive, although you pretty much know that nobody will come out unscathed. A couple of nice twists and turns at the end complete the wild ride of the climax and put a perfect end cap on this; one of King's best works

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Stephen King RULES!!!!!!!

    I love Pet Sematary!! It is such an amazing book just as it is a movie. If you do not like how the movie skips out on some of the main parts of the book, do not watch the movie. If you love books that deal with romance, drama, comedy, and horror, this is the book to buy!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    grim....but good

    Pet Sematary is a very grim book and not one of King's more action packed stories either. I really enjoyed it though. That's the thing about King; even when his story is on the slow side, his writing and his characters keep me interested.

    When Louis and his family move into an old house right off a trucking highway, terrible things are in their future. Between that highway in front of their house and the old Indian burying ground behind their house, they are caught in the midst of some unearthly mayhem. Whether it's a family pet getting run down in the highway, grave digging, or tales of the dead brought back to 'life', Pet Sematary has it's share of morbid moments. Like I said before, it's a grim tale.

    Pet Sematary gets you thinking about death and what you would do with the power to bring back the dead. Louis makes that decision several times in this book with results that are less than perfect. This is a spooky story definitely worth a read....as long as you don't mind a touch of the macabre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Could not stop reading

    This is one of my favorite novels by perhaps teh best horror writer out there

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