Monday, 22 November 2010
CUJO - STEPHEN KING
I just can't figure out what one had to do with the other - in his memoir, On Writing, King claims not to remember having written Cujo and that it was during the height of his drink and drug problems, but if that is so then surely an editor should have picked up on this. You know maybe King is just saying that there are many kinds of monsters but it just does seem odd, particularly as Dodd isn't mentioned at all in the later parts of the novel. The again maybe King is just saying that Dodd has achieved a kind of bogey man status in Castle Rock, but as I say it seems to have no relevance, or at least none that I could find, on the novel, Cujo. Of course there is always the possibility that King used the references to the character in order to create a feeling of the Castle Rock universe and that's fine but it seemed odd to mention it in the first paragraph, giving the feeling that this was an important point to the story that follows when it clearly was not.
Nevertheless King is a superb writer and he deserves kudos for dealing with his drug and drink problems so honestly in his memoir and Cujo is certainly not a bad book - on the contrary it is excellent but I thought I'd mention the Dodd thing as, after reading the book, I'm still puzzled and wonder if I missed some salient point.
Cujo is a stunning read and the character of the dog is brilliantly handled, provoking much sympathy for the creature as it transforms realistically from a lovable hunk of a dog to a rabid killing machine. A large part of the book concentrates on the two main characters trapped in their broken down car while the dog runs rampage and these scenes are absolutely thrilling. Not for nothing is King one of the bestselling writers in the world - the man has the common touch with his narrative and makes each and every character seem as real as the guy or gal next door, and that makes everything all the more terrifying. I think any writer would give away a limb to possess only a fraction of the seemingly natural, instinctive talent Stephen King (the lucky bastard) possesses.
Overall I thought this was an exceptional book but I'm sure I missed something with the Frank Dodd thing.