One of my friends put it best, ‘So apparently Cujo is just a bad lifetime movie with a rabid dog’ and although he was referring to the movie, it pretty much sums up the book as well. I just was not impressed and couldn’t get into the novel. The major plus side was that it felt like a short novel.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I didn’t enjoy this book. I am glad I can now say I’ve read a Stephen King novel but overall it was lack-luster and disappointing. I didn’t choose to read this novel on my own, it was the selection for our April Books into Movies library book group. So my disparaging review is totally legit. I did have major issues with the formatting of this book. I read this book through Overdrive from my local library and somewhere during the conversion process a lot of mistakes were processed. It was really distracting and felt more like a galley than an actual published book.
I had a lot of problems with the book especially after it started out with such a good sense of terror and what was to come. I definitely freaked out within the first ten pages, but that feeling slowly disappeared and never returned, a lot of this had to do with King’s writing. It felt like he was writing down to his readers, almost dumbing things down for them and this bothered me. (I will provide a caveat that I read this in the middle of reading Middlemarch which is incredibly well written.)
Apparently this was the perfect time to read this novel. If I would’ve read it any sooner I probably would’ve been upset or bothered by it, but I wasn’t and it was quite enjoyable.
I would never have picked this book up on my own, but it is our February book for Books into Movies book group at the local library. I enjoyed the book more than the movie, shocker, but mostly because I didn’t see the need to move it from London to the US or the rather odd way they had the protagonist, Rob, interact with the camera/audience.
Primarily, this novel is about break-ups, but it’s also about reflecting on one’s life (and love life) in your mid-30s. Now I’m not quite there yet (two more years to rock out my 20s), but I can definitely sympathize with the Rob and questioning everything about every previous relationship and whether it all has to do with him. However, I REALLY hope I don’t go through this sort of soul-searching because I can only imagine how awkward it could be.
WARNING and APOLOGY: this post starts with a rather long tangent about literature, art and people. (Sorry! Probably should be two posts, but I’m lazy.) If you don’t really want to read it (but you should there are a few great quotes) skip to after the third block quote. And to get it out-of-the-way, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the January read for my books into movies book group at the local library and conveniently appears on my Mount TBR (extended) list and my Classics Club list!
Now for my tangent, I’ve noticed as I read a wider variety of literature that the authors I’m drawn to have a lot to say about books, reading and writing. I have a lot of respect for authors who are able to reflect on writing, books, and literature within their own books and stories. In his forward to The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde writes the below quote.
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” (4)
And I can’t help but appreciate how incredibly insightful and powerful this is. Imagine if all the people threatened by books, who’ve burned books, who attempt to ban books, and those who just refuse to read certain books actually understood this. I love this quote so much it’s my new email signature and I’ve added it to the great book quotes on my sidebar (only the third)!
What a messed up novel. And I mean that in a really good way. Like I’m shaking my head saying to myself, ‘What in the world?’ I mean seriously, where do authors come up with ideas like this? I’m sure Levin at some point discussed it in an interview, but I don’t really want to know it’s that strange.
(Also, in honor of the occult in this novel, I’m posting this on 12/12/12 at 12:12. Haahaa! – It just happened to be ready to be posted on 12/12/12 and I was like might as well post it at 12:12)
I read Rosemary’s Baby for our Books into Movies book group at the local library, and for lack of a better word, it was an interesting read. Perhaps strange is a better word, or odd, but not like oh this is strange, but like what a strange ass story. Regardless, this book once again reaffirms why I am glad that I participate in a book group with such a wide range of individuals. It takes me out of my reading comfort-zone and introduces me to some pretty interesting and weird novels. I’m strangely looking forward to the film if only because it is such an iconic thriller, and from the introduction I know that it stays close to the book.
This book was great! I mean I would totally read it again and I’m actually looking forward to watching the film tonight or tomorrow. And the reason this is interesting is this book is for our Books into Movies book group and I’m usually wary of the books and haven’t really fell for one yet, but this one was just so humorous and deceptively convoluted that one can’t help but enjoy it.
This story is great because it weaves real life and hollywood movies together (in a book!) and many of the characters aren’t quite sure what is real and what isn’t. As an outsider, we do know what’s real so we’re kind of laughing at the characters, but simultaneously wondering if maybe we’re wrong and the characters are right. It’s also great because even though it has a lot of stereotypes, Leonard throws many of them out the window or wrenches them around in another direction creating a different sort of story.