“Everything in Cujo’s life should have been right, but somehow it wasn’t. He just didn’t feel good at all.”
Let’s get this out of the way: Cujo would have been way better if it had been a short story. The book is short-ish (at least by King’s standards) but it’s just overstuffed with storylines that you cease to care about once the real action kicks in. However, there’s definitely a reason why this is one of King’s most well-known books. But Cujo (the dog) might be one of the saddest characters in modern literature. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to get snippets of Cujo’s thoughts as he slowly descends into madness and rabies takes control of his brain.
Is it horror? You betcha. King hints at a supernatural element at some points, but that’s an unnecessary part of the story. A gigantic dog (a good boy) tragically gets bit by an infected bat. He slowly loses his mind. In the meantime, a mother and her VERY young son get caught up in the terror and it’s…something. If anything, this book is incredibly claustrophobic and hopeless. Now, i’ve seen the movie (a long time ago, when I was probably way too young) so I knew how the story went. But the reading experience is jarring. The bad parts are…terrible. But the good parts? Incredible.
If you’re an animal lover, this book will rip your heart out (especially one paragraph at the very end…oof). For the record: Cujo was a GOOD BOY. But rabies is a bitch.