Pet Sematary (1983) by Stephen King
Death, paranormal, Wendigos, horror, suspense, thriller
**Also, beware, spoilers ahead!!**
Substance use (alcohol mainly), suicidality (methods/attempt), pet death, sex, trauma, mental health references (“asylums”, psych hospitals and “crazy”)
4/5 Resurrected Beings
Louis Creed, a medical doctor moving his family (wife, Rachel; 5 year old daughter, Ellie; 2 year old son, Gage; and pet cat Church) from Chicago to Maine meets Jud Crandall and his wife Norma across the street of their new home who later inform him about a Pet Sematary a ways behind his house. The Pet Sematary is where kids of the past have buried their pets, often being killed on the busy street (Rt. 15) separating their houses. Rachel has been traumatized by her older sister’s (Zelda) death when she was young which colors her vision by wanting to shield Ellie from the concepts of death and how brutal it can be.
On Louis’s first day at work, a young man named Victor Pascow warns him about the Pet Sematary before he dies. Later, Louis has a “dream” in which Pascow warns him of what’s beyond the deadfall by the Pet Sematary, saying that Louis is not to cross the boundary, that some doors must not be opened and that terrible things were yet to happen. It turns out, amusingly to me and with dismay to Louis, that this “dream” wasn’t a dream, rather he had actually followed Pascow’s ghost into the woods and mud and pine needles as he discovers the next morning.
When everyone but Louis is away in Chicago for Thanksgiving, their cat Church is sadly killed. Jud, then, shows Louis the Micmac burial ground beyond the deadfall which has the power to resurrect the dead although whatever comes back is changed from how they were before.
Later, when Gage is unfortunately killed on Rt. 15, Louis has the compulsion to bury him in the Micmac. Jud warns him of a tale where a human was buried and how they were more like an evil zombie when resurrected than a human being. Still, Louis is desperate to have Gage back that he sets out to rob him from his coffin.
Rachel and Ellie being in Chicago as this takes place, have bad feelings and Rachel makes the trek back to Maine.
Once Gage is resurrected, he goes to Jud to taunt and then kill him.
Rachel arrives at Jud’s house and Gage mocks her in the voice of Zelda, before also murdering her.
Louis wakes up to the aftermath at Jud’s home, killing both Church and Gage then bringing Rachel’s body back to the Micmac, thinking his problem was that he waited too long to resurrect Gage.
A coworker named Steve finds Louis crossing the deadfall where monsters like the Wendigos are and Louis’s hair is all white and he’s under a trance. Steve leaves.
The novel ends with Louis in the kitchen and Rachel approaching him from behind.
My personal thoughts and take on this (which you’ll also read more of later in the Quotes section):
I wondered what happened to Ellie after, her life beyond the events, how Louis explained anything, if at all, before he was also killed.
The trance from the burial ground had managed to discourage Rachel and Jud from interfering even though they try to anyways. I don’t get why Louis aged a lot with the white hair at the end and what significance that particularly had, maybe I’m just missing something. I felt conflicting emotions over this book–I wanted a happy ending for them, a resolution, something, and I really fell in love with them early on. I wanted the best for them ultimately while also wanting to see the shit hit the fan and everything that would come out of that. But, it’s Stephen King, so, what else can we truly expect? XD
The part that really freaked me out in particular was the long paragraph of Death towards the end. All the different methods of dying really freaked me out lmao.
I found the book to be suspenseful in bursts, dragging out the details then a lot happening then dragging it out again.
It was a struggle for me to read this book but when I got into it it was good, my concentration abilities were limited often, but I could read a lot for an extended period of time and really got sucked into it, which is awesome.
I was also often reminded of the novel I wish to write and how creative one can be in fiction. It was very inspiring in that way and the resurrection idea with things not being the same after was fascinating.
I would recommend this story for anyone who enjoys thrillers and not so happy endings.
I also look forward to completing this review, the first two movies and the remake. 🙂
First portion from 3/21/19:
- The contents page which was split into three parts.
My Thoughts here: I begin to ponder my struggles with creativity these days post-mental health conditions. My struggles with creating places with new rules and the balance between imagination and researched/education. The free range of creativity versus the exactness and accuracy. Even just creating fully dimensional characters, plot and OC’s (original characters).
2. “Death is a mystery and burial is a secret” – p. 1
MT: A few things here:
How life is preserved in books–how you can find something new in old familiar pages at different points in your life, how experiences are still new and unique and variable no matter what. How life is unpredictable, essentially.
What this book can say on death and dying and how some of these messages are timeless. And spooky of course. Says a lot about philosophy and life and having gratitude for what we do have.
Also, my own novel “The Cards We’re Dealt” and what I want to publish one day. Thoughts on what I and what I want to create, how to do it, how to write it, where to start, etc. Probably starting with writing the manuscript, knowing the steps to take throughout and finding a publishing agency and such. I’d also like to create something with my artwork and projects. 🙂 Actually reading this novel at the start spurred creativity for my own novel (that I since haven’t worked on but still) which is interesting and fun. 🙂 ❤
3. By page 3–and I should preface this here to say that reading books for me and slightly in general has become very difficult to do with my attention span and you may be able to see that through how rocky the start of these selected quotes (or reminders as it tends to also be) are. I don’t know, I think I lost my discreteness over time, or maybe I’ve just ballooned up the process into a lengthy and hardworking notion. I feel that now I read as three distinct characters: The Reader who is getting lost in the make believe world; The Writer who notes word choices, metaphors, descriptions and such to involve in my own writings; and The Analyzer which tries to see the foreshadowing elements and understand the plot and what is happening and what it all means. It’s definitely not the same as watching a Youtube video and being able to skip ahead to the juicy bits. It really requires me to have to manually get through the information with my fading memory and attention span. Probably why I haven’t done it nearly as much as I’d love to, these days. Having the extra layer of reviewing the works probably adds to this stress and surmountable problem, actually. But for the foreseeable future, I will continue with this work, because I do enjoy it and in some ways, I’m not yet ready to give it up–but by this page I had thoughts about my own fanfiction plots and OC’s and wanting to write a romance AU fic which I’ve since written down in my notes as something to balance out all the heavy, hard hitting plots of mine these days. 🙂
4. “…Louis savored the silence.” – p. 5
MT: I’ve read not many actually Stephen King novels before, I know we had to read “The Shining” in high school and I didn’t fancy it too much, but with this novel I actually really grew to enjoy it (and I read the graphic novel of “The Dark Man” actually before this which helped in many ways, I believe) and the way that King writes and portrays information. Particularly with this description, I enjoy how simple yet impactful it is. It’s a nice word, too “savoring”. 🙂
5. (Gage saying his first word) – p. 5
MT: This is where I began to fall in love with the characters and it churned thoughts of my own characters and plots.
6. “(Louis to Ellie) ‘There. (cleaning a wound) And it really didn’t hurt a bit. Fess up, Ellie'” – p. 7
MT: I thought this was a little abrasive and insensitive, which is a manner that Louis has at times. He’s human after all and sometimes we can be invalidating even when we are not intending to be.
7. “(Jud to Louis) ‘I’ve seen a lot of life right here in Ludlow.'” – p. 11
MT: This reminds me that I should check in soon with an old neighbor. Also, interesting to be reminded of how neighborhoods grow old and change too with the passage of time.
8. “One the road a semi roared by, its running lights twinkling like earthstars” – p. 15
MT: I’m a sucker for stars, planets, galaxies and universe quotes and metaphors and aesthetic. 🙂
9. “(L to J): ‘I’ll take it under advisement'” – p. 17
MT: I think this is a nice phrase, something I’d like to use in a deflection or a way to end an opposing opinion. It’s concise and still polite.
10. “(L’s thoughts about Jud staying up late on his porch) Perhaps they stand watch. Against what?” – p. 18
MT: I thought this would be nice to include as the foreboding nature was present even so early on in the story. So much later build up happens and there were hints all along the way.
11. “(about Norma’s arthritis) She would not surrender to the pain; there would be no white flags. Let it take her if it could” – p. 19
MT: I just really loved this visual. It’s so strong, poetic, and inspiring in some ways. The idea of not letting pain win, in this case physical but also emotionally. It says a lot about resiliency and perseverance, I think.
12. “You learned to accept or you ended up in a small room writing letters home with Crayolas” – p. 19
MT: I’m pretty sure this is a dig at psych hospitals. It’s also not the last. I was slightly offended but forgave it time and time again. That’s why my score settles on a 4 and not a 5, also. I mean, it’s a fair criticism in some ways, but I hate how intertwined mental health and art/storytelling can be because it’s so often stigmatizing rather than educational. It’s so often damaging and ridiculous, especially in the horror genre, which is far too bad. It’s also not rebutted or cleared up either, just passing judgment then moving on as though nothing significant had occurred. It’s a fine line, I think. Choosing to use mental health in an artistic conversation while also being fair and not passing on cruel remarks or lasting damage. If nothing else, it’s disappointing to repeatedly rehash old tropes and persistent myths. It’s also probably a good indicator on personal responsibility within the field itself. (Knowing when to use content warnings if something explicit is described, those who choose to be explicit rather than implicit, talking about the issue with words rather than skittering on the topic but never naming it, etc.)
13. “(L’s thoughts about Ellie going off to school) We’re really going to get old. It’s really true. No one’s going to make an exception for us. She’s on her way…and so are we” – p. 21
MT: I feel like in retrospect this quote is especially sad knowing everything that winds up happening later. Also, as the time I’m writing this review portion is happening (last Friday of April) my headache is returning and I still am struggling to read the notes I have on this particular page flag. I think it says something along the lines of an existential awareness and finality’s.
14. “…They looked over the river, its lush hem of trees, the roads, the fields…” – p. 24
MT: Some of these I’m going to skip and use my own opinion of what’s relevant and what I can probably do without for the sake of time and having your attention. 🙂 You’re welcome! XD But this description of the area reminded me of my Recovery Home ideas/project and TCWD (my novel) and wanting to write for that story at the time, too. That’s all 😉
15. “(L to R) (it was true that he was fine), although his hart was larruping along at a good speed in his chest. He was more used to prescribing physical exercise than he was to doing it” – p. 27
MT: Thought that was an interesting word choice, something different than I’ve seen before. Also, I’m squeamish yet beyond fascinated by hearts. I just think they’re really cool, they make sounds and everything. So along with galaxies, I’m also a sucker for anything heart related. XD Maybe one day I’ll even just talk about this at length in a separate blog post… that would be interesting and cool. I know I’ve briefly mentioned it a few times before but yeah. Especially anatomically correct human hearts. Damn son. That’s my shit. XD ANY WHO! (Also, it shouldn’t come too much as a surprise from my fanfic “A Little Unsteady” which if you don’t know you should totes check out my first part of all about my fanfics here on my blog through the Search button! :D)
16. “(They’re all walking towards the Pet Sematary which is a bit of a hike) ‘I’m fine,’ he called back a little aggressively. Pride probably would have led him to say the same thing even if he had felt the onset of a coronary” – p. 28
MT: Why do men do this (what is the origin of these matters, of thinking admitting to health problems (both mental and physical) is weak rather than life-saving at times)? Also, this is a detail I probably ought to include in my own fics and OC’s. Since it is so common for men. And I’m often writing in the perspective of one. Or, at least, a demigod for fanfics but also prevalent in my own writings. Just interesting, to me, I think. It also reminds me of how if I get lost I’ll just ask someone for directions but even this form of asking for help can be difficult for men. I guess I’m wondering about the societal and cultural factors involved with these issues. Interesting….
17. “He and Rachel exchanged an amused glance and stepped under the arch, instinctively reaching out and grasping each other’s hands as they did so” – p. 28
MT: I like this description and it reminds me of how I’ve initially begun my own novel. 🙂
18. “(Rachel) had never been easy around the appearances of death (not, he supposed, that anyone really was), probably because of her sister. Rachel’s sister had died very young and it had left a scar which Louis had learned early in their marriage not to touch. Her name had been Zelda…” – p. 29
MT: This is a continued quote but for here, I pondered (thinking it was Ellie who died and not Gage based on the trailers I had seen of the remake) how grief would impact Rachel and Louis’s relationship, the matters of Ellie’s (presumed) death as it were and my own characters dealing with the news of death and grief. And I quote my note: “Sad.”
19. “…Zelda had died from spinal meningitis. Her mortal illness had probably been long and painful and ugly, and Rachel would have been at an impressionable age. If she wanted to forget it, he thought there could be no harm in that” – p. 30
MT: At the time of reading this I felt that this may not be the best of approaches as it opened up more issues than addressing the situation could cause. Which, in some respects, was accurate for how things later played out. So, you know, maybe not avoiding things all the time matters? They always have a way of being brought out into the open again, anyhow, those nefarious little bastards.
Second portion from 4/13/19:
20. “(L to E about death) ‘God or Somebody. Clocks run down–that’s all I know. There are no guarantees, babe’ ” – p. 36
MT: I didn’t mention this in another quote but around this section I began to wonder how the process of grief of a child while having another child in existence would be. Here, I was struggling to get back into the book and I found this concept baffling. It reminded me of how we learn and grow with books. Also makes me think and wonder if it’s possible to read all the books in a library, and to ponder how many bookstores and libraries there are all over the world in existence today. Food for thought, that’s for sure.
21. “Now, even if (death) could not be changed, it could at least be wept over” – p. 37
MT: Death is a tricky thing to come to terms with, and I think as humans we come to accept it in differing waves. I don’t necessarily know when I started to become aware of death and dying but it’s always been a fear of mine and something that spooks me out. It’s been something I’ve been so laser focused on over time which probably shouldn’t come as any surprise as to why I later developed Harm OCD. (As you may remember, I only developed mental health conditions as a young adult, not before).
I think it still predominantly freaks me out. I don’t think about it consciously nearly as much as I used to and I barely write as much about it as I used to too. But the idea that life will one day cease to exist for me is so bizarre and unnerving. When I’m not symptomatic (which is most days these days) it’s devastating and hard to swallow whereas when I am symptomatic it … feels like freedom (but not freedom at the same time). Because there’s still so much I want to do and achieve and create and manage in my life. And the end of life is the end of all experiences, something I’m really not ready for.
You know it always kind of freaked me out that death could happen suddenly at any point in time. It still does. For years I didn’t drive much as I was afraid to get into a car accident. I still don’t, not all the way. But I’ve gotten tired of being limited by it. I think the biggest thing I wonder about is whether or not my online presence would be notified if I passed on. And how exactly people would find out and such. I don’t know, that’s just something that came to my mind even now, right this minute, on the last Friday (4/26) of April. Just thought I’d share that with you, too. This also probably explains why I got so freaked out at the dying page-long paragraph at the very end of this book. XD
Third portion from 4/14/19:
*22. “He held her and rocked her, believing, rightly or wrongly, that Ellie wept for the very intractability of death, its imperviousness to argument or to a little girl’s tears; that she wept over its cruel unpredictability; and that she wept because of the human being’s wonderful, deadly ability to translate symbols into conclusions that were either fine and noble or blackly terrifying. If all those animals had died and been buried, then Church could die and be buried; and if that could happen to Church, it could happen to her mother, her father, her baby brother. To herself. Death was a vague idea; the Pet Sematary was real” – p. 37
*MT: At the heart of this story, it’s about death and dealing with it, successfully or unsuccessfully. I feel like this is what I often grappled with in my writings and nowadays I try to grapple more with living lives worth living and overcoming adversity and triumph and hardships to enjoying the pleasantries about life (because they do exist) while we can because we really don’t know when our time will be up.
Do you ever think about what would have happened if things in history had been even just slightly different? If someone who tragically died had survived instead and what larger differences they could have made in people’s lives because of that? I think about that at times. I also think about all the stuff I’m going to leave behind when I poof too (like material things) but I hope that some of it, like my blog here and my Youtube channel and my Twittery-ness will be left behind as I move onwards.
In fact, I don’t necessarily believe in an afterlife which I always found amusing as I write about it a lot. Which is pretty much the basis for my own future novel, actually, too. But besides material things, I hope that I’ve been able to positively impact people in this world, online and off, so that they have a little piece of me to remember me by. Until they inevitably perish as well. Oh boy, this is getting morbid!! Definitely a lot of existential awareness happenings from this book. XD
But lastly, this basically reminded me of my fanfics ALU, S and D&D. And a few others, too, for what I said about life and meaning-making and triumphs. 🙂
Also, the *here on this quote and future ones will be to remind myself of which quotes I’d like to record in my book review blogging journal as I’m largely typing up the majority of this review rather than handwriting it and killing my wrists. Gotta be nice to my aging body!! I will also be noting when I complete this review over multiple days (the summary, recomm. score, title, etc. began April 25th; everything else up to this point was written April 26th) in my MT portions purely for tracking purposes. Okay, that’s enough from me. 🙂
23. “Eventually her tears would stop. It was a necessary first step on the way to making an uneasy peace with a truth that was never going to go away” – p. 37
MT: Death surrounds us just as life does. There will always be people behind and people before. We’re just having to make sense of this unmistakably difficult path in life. We’re only giving one life, which always boggled my mind, as I’d often be able to write and create other individuals and know them more than sometimes my own self. Sorta like living vicariously through other people, ahaha. I’m also wounding down for the evening as I have to wake up early Saturday morning and go see Avengers: Endgame with my Mom. I’m getting tired too and want to do some new reading before the night is over, so a few more quotes for now and then I’ll be jumping off.
24. “All at once he’s my friend” — p. 38
MT: This is a stylistic note, I’ve had someone critique me before on a fanfic for how much I use Italics and Bold font and how they can be the opposite of emphasis, and this was particularly interesting to see how other authors use it. I’ve always used Italics for thoughts and then bold for emphasis and such. Sometimes I’ve used it more creatively for speech patterns, but yeah, this was the first time I saw something de-emphasized by using regular font types (not Italics) within an Italics portion, and is something I may begin to adapt more into my own style, but also maybe not completely. I should probably learn the usages of them and when to use versus not. (Then again, some rules are meant to be broken) 😛
25. “(about marriages and finding out differing opinions about the other)…And then you trod lightly, if you valued your marriage and your peace of mind; you tried to remember that anger at such a discovery was the province of fools who really believed it was possible for one mind to know another” – p. 39
MT: The biggest observation I have with this particular thought pattern is how alone we really can be even when together. And how, maybe that matters, too. I think the idea of romantic relationships being a together thing versus separate is odd and interesting, all right. Sorry, my brain is becoming mush, but I guess it’s just fascinating how single people are like one man parties facing the world whereas couples are a team facing it together. Not that I have much experience in the latter arena however. That’s a whole other bag of worms that I’m not ready to open yet. (Even if I want to be).
Okay, for today, I’m taking a break! That’s all I’m going to do. I’m not even far into this review and I may have to push it out for a few days longer than I would like. I’m just under a time pressure because this book was due back almost a week ago and I still have it in my possession. But I have a life to live and lead so it is what it is. I need to go take something for this nasty headache. But I’ll see you all later, which for you will be in a few paragraphs from now and for me will be about a series of a few days. 🙂 ❤
Hey guys! Welcome back!!
It’s currently a few days later, April 28th 2019, after I was emotionally wrecked from seeing Avengers: Endgame the day before, I’m still grieving somewhat but not nearly as much yet. I have to still take down some notes for things (2 new fic ideas) and try to get on writing them while also re-watching the movie with a friend from program on Monday evening. I really want to get through this review as soon as I can, even though I know it’s going to be a long journey (and my haste is that the book is overdue but I’m behind in this reviewing process) not to mention I have 3 other books almost due back. Sigh. I guess we’ll see how it all goes, that’s for sure. Any who, I’m going to get back into the review now with that out of the way. 🙂 Enjoy!!
Cont… from 4/14/19:
26. “(Rachel talking to Louis) Rachel cried at him, and what her eyes said to him was Talk about the parallels all night and all day, if you want to…” – p. 41
MT: What stood out about this description to me was the manner in which not only do we hear Rachel’s dialogue but it’s paired together with her body language, which I felt was a really nice and special touch. It’s something I’d like to include more explicitly within my own writings too. 🙂
27. “(L to R) ‘Let me ask you something. Because I know that anything–literally anything–can happen to physical beings. As a doctor I know that…'” – p. 41
MT: This part I found as unsettling realizations of death. It reminded me of when I took that Population Biology course last semester in school and we had to learn about all the different diseases and I remembered asking in class whether it was normal to feel like never wanting to leave my house again. XD The fact is that, there are a lot of diseases and things we can die from out there, but we never grew up in a bubble, we always grew with them, and yes, something may–and anything might–one day kill us, but we’ve always lived our lives with that risk known to us and we can’t allow ourselves to be sectioned into a stupor because of that fear of dying. We have to live, after all. So we take the risks, weigh the benefits over the costs, and we, well, we live. Because of life’s fragility and the strength of the human body. Death will one day take us all, but probably not from that asteroid landing on your house or that piano crushing you from an eight foot high drop. It’ll be okay. Even in the end, it’ll be okay. (And here is where I think of Avengers: Endgame again and am left to ruminate about the circumstances left at the end of that movie. *sobs* “You can rest now.”)
28. “As he swept, he reflected on the last thing (Rachel) had said and on the enormity of this difference of opinion, which had gone undiscovered for so long. Because, as a doctor, he knew that death was, except for childbirth, the most natural thing in the world. Taxes were not so sure; human conflicts were not; the conflicts of society were not. In the end there was only the clock, and the markers, which became eroded and nameless in the passage of time” – p. 42
*MT: I found myself agreeing with this perspective of Louis’. I also feel that death is a natural part of the circle of life and that Rachel is incorrect in thinking otherwise. Reminds me of that quote from Mumford & Sons “After the Storm”:
You must know life to see decay
Death and the end of journeys is a part of the journey, no matter how much we wish it weren’t so. There’s a sense of heavy acceptance in that, when you can find the time to accept it. Gosh, this review is somewhat more difficult to complete after the Avengers movie than I was anticipating. I don’t think I was prepared to get so emotionally wrecked after it, but I suppose I wouldn’t want it to be any other way (at least I can continue to process it while I wait for time to come and pass and for me to re-watch the movie and finish this review at the same time). Any who. Yeah, that’s what this part reminded me of and no matter how much we hate the passage of time and death itself, the harder we’re sorta making the process for ourselves. Life begins; Life ends. Whether we like it or not. Getting there is half the battle. Getting through it and accepting it, is the other half. At least we have things like art and self-expression to help us cope and move through the inevitable. Finding light in the darkness, meaning in the meaninglessness. Togetherness in what feels so irrevocably alone. Be good to yourselves and good unto others. We never know when it’ll be the last time to do so. ❤ xxx
*(starred because I can refer back to this particular sense of thought in my own fanfics, stories and art. 🙂 )
**29. “(J to L) ‘He mourned his dog and finished his mourning and got on. Which is what we all do, I guess'” – p. 45
**MT: Another message brought to you by me after finishing this book and processing it in this review and then after having watched and processed through Avengers: Endgame. Mourning and grief are a part of life. And even when we’re not ready to, we mourn and continue grieving as we live on with our lives. Because even in grief we can’t stand still. Time continues to move on despite us not wanting it to or feeling as though it shouldn’t. Time and Death don’t care. They will do as they please. And we just have to pick up the pieces and decide who we are going to be. Will we remain frozen or will we move on? And it’s an ongoing process. It hurts and it’s painful and we move on anyways because life keeps going, the world keeps turning, and we don’t ever forget those we lost. We carry them with us every day. And the reminders of them, the memories of them, they get a little dusty and they get a little harder to remember and we still love them just as much as we did before they passed and maybe even a little more after their passing. We make meaning out of what cannot be explained to us. We make them proud. And we go on until we one day are reunited. Very poignant, indeed.
30. “So they had gotten down on their knees in the kitchen, he and his mother, and they prayed, and it was the praying that finally brought it home to him; if his mother was praying for Ruthie Creed’s soul, then it meant that her body was gone” – p. 48
MT: So, my attention span is waning again so I’ll be wrapping this up here to switch over to writing fanfic instead. I thought this was an interesting quote to include because of the whole soul vs body idea. How we are all just visitors within our human skin, and when we leave this world our bodies are left behind but our spirits float freely back into the universe. 🙂 Also this is some inspiration for me for some of my fics: D&D, S, ALU, SWC.
I think I will keep this book around for the rest of the week, working on the review a little each day or so. Sigh. I think I have to get somewhat offline now though. You’ll probably see me in a review or a blog post within this week on this blog before you ever actually see this completed post. Just FYI. 🙂
I’ve been Deep Diving heavily today (5/2) and so I feel pretty shitty but I’m actually gonna try and make this day somewhat okay rather than how horrid it’s been in terms of Deep Dives thus far. So, I’m going to be continuing this review now. Hope I can make a good dent in it and continue that tomorrow and over the weekend so I can finally bring it back to the library. That, and move on with a few other books and watch the next movies so I can review them and get those all set and done. Without further ado, let’s get back into this!
Fourth portion from 4/15/19
31. Word choice: lingeringly
32. “(Nurse to L) ‘Your basic college hypochondriac. We’ll see her two dozen times this year. Her visits will be more frequent before each round of perlims…” – p. 54
MT: Personally, I feel this is a little dismissive of an approach for those living with this type of mental health condition and also attempts to place them within the category of manipulative rather than anxious and health conscious (even if it’s sometimes overly health conscious). I don’t know enough about this disorder or malingering disorders, but that’s the impression I got from this little quote.
33. “She went but not before he caught her deeply sympathetic glance and interpreted it. This young man, who was deeply tanned and well-muscled…was going to die no matter what they did. He would be just as dead even if their ambulance had been parked out front” – p. 57
MT: This is Pascow, just as an FYI. I thought this particular body language cue and interpretation for us readers was intriguing and something I’d like to also include in more of my own stories and fanfics. 🙂
34. “Horror rolled through Louis, gripping his warm heart in its cold hands, squeezing. It reduced him, made him less and less, until he felt like taking to his heels and running from this bloody, twisted, speaking head” – p. 58
MT: I also just really liked this description for reasons you can probably guess 😉 Horror is an interesting genre for sure… I don’t know if I could write it well necessarily but I know comedy tends to be a harder thing for me (I can include humor in my fics, of course, it’s just a full comedic piece I find is difficult for me, then again, I’ve never really tried it out either. :P)
35. “Louis sat back, vaguely aware that all his clothes were sticking to him; he was drenched with sweat. Darkness bloomed, spreading a wing softly over his eyes, and the world began to swing sickeningly sideways” – p. 59
MT: In this scene, Louis is actually about to pass out before he changes his position and lets the feeling wash over and through him. It kinda helps to remind me of ALU (the fanfic I’m writing where Loki repeatedly passes out) and also TCWD, for things that I want to include in that novel as well. 🙂 Just fun to read about similar descriptions from someone else’s mind.
36. “You could go to school for twenty years and you still couldn’t do a thing when they brought a guy in who had been rammed into a tree hard enough to open a window in his skull. They might as well have called a plumber, a rainmaker, or the Man from Glad” – p. 68
MT: I thought this description was also interesting and it highlights some of the dark humor that is so necessary for some professions to deal with all the shit that they see and go through. I think it also enhances the feeling of helplessness that some cases are just not going to work out the way you’d hope them to, and how at times, those events can be inevitable. (*shudder* Now I sound like Thanos D:) Not everyone can be saved, after all. Whether they don’t want you to or they just can’t be. It sucks, and life is a fickle creature. That’s probably what makes it and death so terrifying for many in it. Let’s move on before I start getting more existential awareness. XD
37. “Louis pushed back the blankets and swung his feet out onto the nubs of the hooked rug, ready to tell her he’d skip the eggs, just a bowl of cereal and he’d run…and the words died in his throat” – p. 72
MT: I actually giggled like an evil giggle at this part since this is where Louis realizes his “dream” of Pascow the night before WASN’T one and that there’s all sorts of dirt and pine needles from his feet because he had actually been through the murky woods and towards the deadfall when he was supposed to be asleep. Hahahaha. I loved the reveal of it. 🙂
38. This is more of a reminder to myself but I read this really great book a couple years ago, I think, called “You Came Back” by who I forget and it was before I started to do Book Reviews but yeah, I’d love to take it back out and review it sometime 🙂
39. “But for those to whom Pascow was only a casualty, he had already been dimmed” – p. 85
MT: I felt this particular quote is very poignant and important. So many faceless people die in the world every day and it’s just not possible for us to connect and relate and mourn for all of them otherwise that’d be a terrible existence to live in (being constantly upset for the loss of others). Instead, we mourn for those we know and knew of the most because we believe we knew all the facets and corners of them and when they’re gone they leave behind noticeable holes. And we’re left to piece together the broken halves that are left and find a life worth living and meaning in that life thereafter. We hurt deeply for the people we think we really knew. And it doesn’t mean that we’re heartless to those faceless people, we just take a few moments fewer to remember them by. The people closest to the individual grieve the most, those who weren’t move on as though nothing spectacular really happened because for them, it didn’t. But we are also connected on a human level to that of grief because we will ALL experience it one day, whether it’s us or those we know or those we look up to, etc. Death comes for all of us, after all. And I think this quote can also apply to the people in this life who go on to do such amazing work in terms of activism and advocacy and art, becoming and leaving behind legacies sometimes greater than their very souls.
Fifth portion from 4/16:
40. “Crossing the lawn and feeling the frost crunching under his shoes, he heard the telephone begin to ring” – p. 100
MT: Gaaaaaaah, I really just like this frost description, tis the only reason I’m including it XD It’s just such a nice, small detail to add in one’s writing.
*41. “Just like your family’s supposed to be different, he thought now. Church wasn’t supposed to get killed because he was inside the magic circle of the family…You could stand up in front of a medical colloquium and cite leukemia figures in children until you were blue in the face and still not believe it if one of your own kids got a call on the phone” – p. 102
*MT: This concept reminds me of what I’m writing in my fanfic “Distorted & Disordered” a mental health based story. It’s that idea that until it happens to you, you don’t realize–you can’t comprehend–what’s happening as thoroughly as you could if it was happening outside of your circle. So like, when the signs are there of any physical or mental illness, you’re more likely to disregard them than to think it’s happening to you. Or even how teenagers think that terrible things won’t happen to them because they’re “invincible” until it does or it happens to someone they know. 😦 It’s harder to see the signs sometimes when it’s playing out in front of you, that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20. That’s also probably why it’s so difficult to predict who is going to be the next murderer or plans get thwarted before they ever began. Sometimes fantasies play out differently than reality. Can we really ever say we knew something would happen before it ever did? It’s easier for us to realize what could have happened differently after the main event has played out, it’s harder and less tangible to have this easy map of understanding if the idea was stopped before it ever began (think terrorist attacks, mass murders, serial killers, the severity of natural disasters, etc.)
I think denial and other emotions can play a hefty role in these circumstances too, thinking it can’t happen to you because you’re a good person or whatever. It’s sad, it sucks, and sometimes it DOES happen to you, for seemingly no reason at all. Life’s hard, peeps. Be kind to yourself and those around you.
42. “(Norma) had recovered nicely from her heart attack, and on that evening less than ten weeks before a cerebral accident would kill her, he thought that she looked less haggard and actually younger. On that evening he could see the girl she had been” – p. 133
MT: I find this quote to remind me of how we age and change in that age and how we can get these glimpses into ourselves and others from how they used to look or even just imagining what they used to look like which is often different than how they are appearing to us now. Like, imagining that bald guy being twenty years younger and how things in his face have changed (wrinkles, moles etc.). How his appearance today isn’t what he always was. If that makes sense? I don’t know, that’s just something that fascinates me these days. Also kinda like how you can’t tell someone is suffering from a mental health condition by looking at them, as how they present today may be different than at their worst years ago. Just my thoughts. 🙂
43. “(J to L) ‘Maybe I did it because kids need to know that sometimes dead is better'” – p. 144
MT: Just got off from another Deep Dive as the lighting where I’m sitting has faded and it’s a little harder to read my notes from these flags. I think I’ll be wrapping up for tonight soon though, maybe try to get to 180. Any who, I think this quote here is important, a giant crux for what this novel is all about. Sometimes when we try to mess with the effects of death, mostly fictionally based to be honest, it doesn’t work in the way we wanted it to and it comes back to bite us in the ass. Like Tony Stark said in Avengers: Endgame — “You mess with time, it tends to mess back.” Messing with the laws of death and life also tend to get a bit grumpy, as is the case for what happens in this book, as well!
Heyyyy guys!! So, I’m back–another day, another chance to continue working and plugging away at this very long book review! Hope your attention span has been keeping up with all my nonsense 😉 Let’s jump back in shall we? Oh, it’s also currently 5/3/19! I’ll be eating dinner soon but I hope to get out another 100 pages this evening (I already Deep Dove earlier :P) I’m also excited and revitalized to do more reading soon! And getting the DVDs of “Pet Sematary” again so I can actually watch and review them all on here too 🙂
44. “(J to L) ‘A little dead. Like they had been…somewhere…and came back…but not all the way'” – p. 145
MT: So, this is another good quote to summarize up this entire novel lol. When placing animals (or sometimes people as it were) into the Micmac burial ground, they don’t return the same as they were before, rather instead muddled and dark and inhuman. That’s probably a good way to describe it: inhuman. They know things that others in life couldn’t know and it’s creepy and critter crawly, if that makes sense. Yeah, those are my thoughts here. 🙂
45. “(J) ‘Maybe [Ellie] will learn something about what death really is, which is where the pain stops and the good memories begin. Not the end of life, but the end of pain. You don’t tell her those things; she will figure them out on her own'” – p. 145
MT: I thought this quote was very interesting, showing us another differing opinion on death and its process as Jud can understand it from all his years of living and as a nice juxtaposition from Rachel’s fearful approach of it. Again, I think death and its concept comes and goes in waves. Sometimes it’s really overly suffocating and terrifying and other times it’s relieving and poetic, even. It all depends on where you’re at and where you’re going and what you believe comes after or doesn’t, as it is in some cases. I think it’s also interesting that Jud suggests not to tell Ellie directly, rather that she will come to these conclusions herself as maybe all of us humans do. As though it’s something only which Ellie can understand and come to approach on her own, by herself. Which, in some ways, is how it is for all of us. Death is fascinating, basically. And cruel. Or maybe it just “is”. *shrugs*
46. (Jud) “‘That place…all at once it gets hold of you…and you make up the sweetest-smelling reasons in the world..but I could be wrong, Louis…. Bringing the dead back to life…that’s about as close to playing god as you can get'” – p. 146
MT: So, even here I found that Jud spoke with dismay and panic, as he’s not sure why he brought Louis to the Micmac burial ground for his cat. He realizes it was probably the power of the burial ground working into him in order to get the chance and opportunity to capture a new victim. Jud is also realizing that the burial ground once its claimed a new victim, will put thoughts into them later to come back and return to it with another new body (someone had showed Jud the burial ground and so when the opportunity presented itself, Jud showed Louis). Powerful shit, man. This is also relevant for how it gets in the way of everyone (Jud and Rachel) from getting to Louis and stopping him from resurrecting Gage.
47. “(Jud in response to Louis’ question about burying a person in the Micmac burial ground) ‘Christ on his throne! No! And who ever would? You don’t even want to talk about such things, Louis!’ (L) ‘I was just curious.'” – p. 147
MT: Honestly, I just thumbed this quote because it reminded me so much of Tom Riddle AKA Voldemort from the Harry Potter franchise when he goes to one of his professors and asks about horcruxes and plays it off as merely being curious when instead he’s planning to cut his soul into multiple pieces to gain more power down the line. Also, in some ways, I find this similar to asking someone “You’re okay, right?” Like it just offers them an answer (yes) without completely asking them and letting them say yay or nay–as opposed to simply asking “Are you okay?” which allows them to say either yes or no and explain or not. Just my thoughts, clearly, 😉
48. “And later, at home, something else occurred to him about how Jud had looked at that moment. He had looked like he was lying” – p. 147
MT: Dun dun dunnnn. Of course, I’ve told you how this all plays out later from earlier portions of this review but man this definitely got me more invested in the story and wanting to know what happens next!!
*49. “(Louis remembering how he thought he looked like shit after Pascow died but he actually was all right) It was enough to make you wonder how many people were going around with dreadful secrets bottled up inside” – p. 154 – 155
*MT: I thought this was also of particular interest because it really highlights what I said earlier about age in some respects and also how we can’t tell someone’s medical (physical/mental) diagnosis by simply looking at them. A lot of us can appear as “normal” while hiding difficult and dark perceptions of ourselves and our lives internally. Sometimes the way we present ourselves to strangers is different than how we present to those we know (like how a stranger may not recognize that you’re being quiet is a symptom of your thinking whereas a great friend could notice and point it out/ask you what’s wrong etc.) Just something to keep in mind, I think. :3 Also, fanfic inspiration can come from this too. (Note to self!)
50. “(Rachel after Gage was choking) ‘But he was close [to dying]. Louis, he was so close.’ Suddenly he remembered her shouting at him in the sunny kitchen: He’s not going to die, no one is going to die around here… ‘Honey, we’re all close. All the time'” – p. 159
MT: I felt this quote from Louis was so hard hitting, like a punch to the gut, because it’s so true. We’re all close to dying all the time and we have to be somewhat conscious of that to try and be nicer to ourselves and those around us while also balancing out the need to buy milk or get pads or get gas for the car etc. Like, even with that knowledge that death can come at any moment–external or internal–we still have to wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house etc. Those little mundane things we don’t always want to do, they still often need to get done even if we’re in the throes of an existential crisis. It’s one of the bane mentalities of life, I suppose. The little things we sometimes take for granted that will still be there when we’re dying, when we die and when we live. Even with advancements in technology, we’re still gonna need to see the medical doctor or put gas into our vehicles etc.
This actually kind of reminds me of a story I wanted to write following some characters as they do their normal everyday routine–as a nice break from all the death and dying and obstacle making that I tend to write about on the daily. Maybe I will include some of these factors into my fanfics, like D&D and ALU and S. That might be nice. 🙂 I can also introduce some stories that haven’t quite made it to pen and paper yet too! (IFIC) Anyways….
51. “He didn’t know if it was over or not, but it felt over; perhaps that would be enough. And for a while, at least, it was” – p. 160
MT: This is my last entry for tonight as I fell into another Deep Dive, whooops. What stuck out to me in this quote is the inclusion of the author knowing ahead of time what is bound to happen to its characters. I’ve used this in my own fanfic writing when it comes to foreshadowing and even inserting myself into the story (D&D this has happened a few times: when I mentioned the options of alternate universes where Loki asked for help and when the voice of recovery speaks to Loki) and I thought this was also a nice exchange to be mentioned in this novel. It’s just a little tug at the end of the bed, you know, by something you cannot see. It grips you and taunts you and it seems like there’s nothing there and then, poof, someone had been there all along! :O Okay, I will write more of this tomorrow… Until then!
Hi again! It’s currently far into the afternoon on Sat 5/4 as I’ve had a pretty lazy and unmotivated day thus far. I’m hoping to salvage the rest of the evening with some new reading, this review and staying offline and maybe even go through some of my journaling and 5 year journaling, if I’m lucky. And my resume. That too. Any who, back to the review!!
52. “(Louis about Jud crying from Norma’s death) ‘That’s good, Jud, she would want you to cry a little, I think. Probably be pissed off if you didn’t'” – p. 171
MT: I thought this was so sad and touching. Grief affects us all in many ways and it’s absolutely okay to express that mourning and repair the holes that we are left behind to tend. I also really fell in love with them so as a reader I go through these emotions with them as well. 😦
*53. “Louis was aware that it was not uncommon for two old married people to go almost hand-in-hand, a month, a week, even a day apart. The shock, he supposed, or maybe even some deep inner urge to catch up with the one gone” – p. 171
*MT: I marked this quote mainly because I felt it could relate to some of my own stories and fanfics, although I don’t think so actually but hey, it’s still nice so I’ll include it here. It might be something I can explore in the future with another story or poem or something. :3
54. “(L to E) ‘Faith is a great thing, and really religious people would like us to believe that faith and knowing are the same thing, but I don’t believe that myself. Because there are too many different ideas on the subject. What we know is this: When we die, one of two things happens. Either our souls and thoughts somehow survive the experience of dying or they don’t. If they do, that opens up every possibility you could think of. If we don’t, the end'” – p. 175
MT: I thought this premise was pretty interesting particularly for TCWD and some of my fanfics. I personally, as I believe I’ve mentioned earlier, don’t believe in an afterlife even though I write about it all the time XD I was raised Christian but I identified more as Atheist in my teens and beyond; I haven’t really sat down to think about where I fall into things now though. Probably between atheism and agnostic. I like thinking of the Universe as a thinking and creating being as for my version of “god”. Hence why I also make it a point not to capitalize ‘god’. Maybe I even believe more in Norse mythology, I don’t know, I’m not super educated on the topic and I’ve not explored much of it either. I’m like that with cultures too, it’s too mind boggling for me to really open my mind to at the moment. Probably one day though. 🙂
55. “(L to E cont.) ‘I believe that we go on. But as to what it’s like, I have no opinion….I believe that Mrs. Crandall is probably someplace where she can be happy'” – p. 176
MT: Legit marked this as a good question, what do I believe in? lol Maybe one day I will choose to sit back and think about it. I feel I’d relate more to spirituality than religion myself though. Then again, I’m not super educated on spirituality either. 😛 Boy, oh boy. XD
56. (page 179 **Trigger Warning for suicide methods**)
57. “(R to L) ‘I had started to think [Zelda with spinal meningitis at age 10] hated me because my back was straight, because I didn’t have the constant pain, because I could walk, because I was going to live'” – p. 180
MT: Honestly, I can really relate to Zelda here not because of spinal meningitis but from scoliosis. Back in high school I used to relate to other people like that, actually until I realized one of my classmates also had scoliosis and they weren’t letting it take over their lives and their identity. That was the day I stopped letting my condition control me and what I did and didn’t do. It really helped actually because it got me to question that if OTHER people weren’t so hung up on it, why was I? Then I got the surgery and all that jazz and it became history. 😛 You can actually find this post here. If you’re curious, that is 😉 Even I haven’t read it but hey, whatevs. XD Next quote!!
*58. “…that grief which the psychologists say begins about three days after the death of a loved one and holds hard from four to six weeks in most cases. But time passes, and time welds one state of human feeling into another until they become something like a rainbow. Strong grief becomes a softer, more mellow grief; mellow grief becomes mourning; mourning at last becomes remembrance–a process that may take from six months to three years and still be considered normal'” – p. 193
*MT: I don’t know how well this depiction of grief has aged, so if any of YOU happen to know, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! I reallllly have to get back into blogging and the blogosphere as I haven’t done that in a few years actually. It would be very nice, wouldn’t it? Sigh. It’d be a better use of my time rather than Deep Dives that’s for sure! But any who, yeah, I wonder about this layer and multi-faceted approach to the grieving process. It actually reminds me of a book on grief that I have that is illustrated. Haven’t finished it yet though 😛 Like most things, honestly XD
I like that idea of mourning turning into remembrance, I’ve written similarly about this in my fic “Somebody Who Cares” which also has a prequel that I have yet to write called “It’s You, I Breathe” both inspired from Michelle Branch songs. 🙂 And probably even this newer fic I’ve started in the last week “Not this Mind and Not this Heart, I Won’t Rot” also has some grief aspects within it as well. I think finding meaning out of the depths of death can be very healing and helps us to move forwards the best that we can. What do you think? Also, we’re almost 200/374 pages in! Woohoo!
59. “Okay, that’s out of the way and it might even do some good, Louis thought, not knowing that marbles were really not the problem, and chills were really not the problem, that a large Orinco truck was going to be the problem, that the road was going to be the problem…as Jud Crandall had warned them it might be on that first day of August” – p. 199
MT: Cue this is when I realize that it’s Gage who dies and not Ellie as I had been led to believe from the remake’s movie trailer. Whooops. I also thought it was some sad foreshadowing, similar to what I include in my fics at times too. 😛
Sixth portion from 4/17/19:
60. “Louis was unable to see the condition of either his wife or his daughter; he ate his breakfast and his mind replayed the accident over and over and over, except in this mind-movie the conclusion was different. In the mind-movie he was quicker, and all that happened was that Gage got a spanking for not stopping when they yelled” – p. 204 – 205
MT: I think those of us with mental health conditions especially and also those not in that category can relate to this a lot. I know that’s how I get to be when the OCD is acting up and I’m a lot more symptomatic. So yeah, I think this is a good depiction of it. (Since we’re so absorbed in what our mind is showing us that we can’t function or relate to the world around us as well)
61. “(L to his co-worker) ‘Right!’ Louis said. More force in reply seemed to be indicated here. He wasn’t sure why” – p. 206
MT: Louis here is still in shock after what happened a few days previous to his son Gage so much so that he’s finding any sort of social interaction abysmal and uninteresting. He’s incapable of being there for his family that has survived this loss and exhibits some of the depressive spectrum symptoms like being numb and indifferent and disconnected from reality and what he is being left with. Sucks. There’s also a pretty good layer of denial and apathy here as well.
62. “And suddenly Louis knew what she was going to say next, and for some reason he dreaded it; yet it was coming, unavoidable, like a black bullet of a large caliber from a killer’s gun, and he knew that he would be struck over and over by this bullet in the next interminable ninety minutes, and then again in the afternoon, while the wounds of the morning were still trickling blood: ‘Thank god he didn’t suffer, Louis. At least it was quick'” – p. 211 – 212
MT: I thought this was a very incredible and interesting description. It’s just so detailed and so rich in language and I really appreciated that and I felt that I could feel Louis’ dismay at hearing these words and how cynical and worn from time and life he feels at this point in time. At least, that’s what I thought reading it and now reviewing it! 🙂
63. “He sat with his face in his hands, not wanting them to see [Gage] anymore, his tear-stained face, his loss, his guilt, his pain, his shame, most of all his cowardly wish to be dead and out of this blackness” – p. 221
MT: I actually don’t agree with this depiction of thinking that suicide is a cowardly act (it’s neither cowardly nor courageous) as it is more about escaping the deep and often scathing pains of life when it seems as though there is no other way out of the darkness that is life and pain (and often symptomatic experiences of mental health conditions). I don’t know, that’s just some of my thoughts, although I’m not intrigued enough to try and debate it further than that. I think life can come with a lot of pain and we learn in varying degrees how to tolerate that pain and some of us are more equipped to handle this pain than others. Whether that’s from how we were raised, our biology, our ins and outs and all the intricacies of life, it’s complicated and there’s no one set reason. I think putting down the people who’ve tragically taken their own lives as “cowards” or implying that those who have thought about, planned or attempted are also “cowards” is just twelve steps backwards. Like, that’s not going to cheer up or inspire anyone to choose to keep living, and it may even just set another person off the edge.
64. “When it started not to hurt, it started not to matter” – p. 224
MT: Thought this was also rather poignant. This and the next quote.
65. “‘Ellie, don’t cry anymore. This isn’t forever'” – p. 224
MT: I felt that it’s so sad and heart-wrenching that Louis knows this grief won’t last forever. That Gage will fade away into a single set of memories, and that they’ll forget what he sounded like and how he smelt and all that goes into life and then the absence of it.
I think the first quote is also interesting in terms of grief, because does it really not matter anymore when it no longer hurts? Or does it just change into a different relationship? Because maybe it doesn’t hurt and it still matters, rather than shifting into not mattering at all.
66. “That’s when Gage will drop off whatever Hot One Hundred there is that exists in little girls’ hearts and starts to become Something That Happened in 1984. A blast from the past” – p. 224
MT: So, see? Louis knows what’s up. Grief, as it happens, comes and goes. Maybe not fully and completely but it does lessen into a dull ache. Louis knows that Ellie will eventually move on and experience life without Gage as though in some respects he hadn’t been there to start with. He’ll become a distant memory of something that once was but no longer is. 😦 More a passing thought than a deep rooted presence in her life as time and her own life move forwards.
Seventh portion from 4/18/19:
67. “[The Zombie of Timmy had mentioned all the bad things about a bunch of men and Jud is telling Louis] ‘But there was good in those men too. That’s what I mean; that’s what folks always find it so hard to remember” – p. 244
MT: This reminds me of a very good video that “Of Herbs and Altars” did about this concept that human beings are multi-faceted with both good parts and bad parts, that we are a mixture of the two rather than purely one or the other, that it’s okay to like parts of a person even when they’ve committed horrendous acts against humanity. I really recommend her video here
68. “‘The thing we saw that night, lookin up into that red sun…that was a monster'” – p. 245
MT: TCWD reminder as well as other fics because what really is a monster? What makes a thing or a human a monster rather than just ordinary? I don’t know, I need to read more about monsters before I can figure that out for myself XD
Eighth portion from 4/22:
69. “(J to E) ‘And he may be dead now, Ellie, but you can keep your memories of him'” – p. 252
MT: A bit frank manner of placing grief but realistic and true all the same. It also reminds me of a quote that your learning is yours alone and that nothing will ever truly erode it (unless you get amnesia or something :/) Your memories, then, are also yours alone. ❤
70. “Louis looked away. There was nothing he could do for [Ellie], not yet. She would have to swim in her grief as best as she could. His thoughts were too full of his son” – p. 253
MT: I think this part really highlights how difficult it must be to have had other children while also dealing with the loss of a different child. As a parent, I imagine that must be so difficult, because the children are not the only ones grieving, you are too. It sucks. 😦 Even when it’s a parent and such. Damn.
Gah, my wrist is starting to protest, I might have to set this aside for the evening soon.
71. “And if Louis’s eyes seemed distant, his manner a little cold, people supposed he was thinking of the past, of the accident, of the Gageless life ahead; none would have suspected that Louis had begun to think about the strategies of grave robbing…only in an academic way, of course; it was not that he intended to do anything” – p. 254
MT: I thought the idea of a ‘Gageless’ life was an interesting way of putting it and gah, oh how Louis was lying to himself! At this point there was still 100 pages left and I wanted the shit to hit the fan while also wanting the best for everyone in the end! Which we didn’t really get 😦 I also think I’ll be finishing up very soon, I think my attention span is waning and my hand brace is a little too bulky for my liking 😛
72. “The day we were out with the kite. You remember how Gage was that day? How vibrant and alive he was, reacting to everything? Wouldn’t it be better to remember him that way? Do you want to resurrect a zombie from a grade-B horror picture?” – p. 259
MT: It comes up later, and I think I tabbed it, that Louis start to think and feel that letting Gage rest in the afterlife was more of a dishonor than trying to resurrect him and get some of his boy back, which is of course flawed logic that is stilted to one side and is probably the Micmac burial ground getting inside his head. Sigh.
Also apparently I wrote that this part reminds me of creativity and imagination in fiction. You’re welcome 😉
73. “All the textbooks he’d read on the subject of death told him that the bereaved’s first strong impulse is to get away from the place where it happened…and that to succumb to such an impulse may turn out to be the most harmful course of action because it allows the bereaved the dubious luxury of refusing to come to terms with the new reality. The books said it was best to remain where you were, to battle grief on its home ground until it subsided into remembrance. But Louis did not dare make the experiment with his family at home (resurrecting Gage)” – p. 262
MT: Thought this was particularly interesting about grief, not sure if it’s outdated now or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning! Of course, Louis is trying to get Rachel and Ellie to leave so he can bring back Gage but things don’t wind up working out as planned. It’s also sad to know that this is where everything was pointing for towards Louis and that this is one of the last encounters Ellie winds up having with both of her parents. 😦 Gosh darn it, to no happy endings!
74. “[Louis having second thoughts on his plan to free Gage] Instead of trying to reopen a door that had swung shut, he would latch it and double-bolt it and throw away the key” – p. 268
MT: I thought this was a nice throwback metaphor to what Pascow had warned him about earlier – not opening closed doors and all. 🙂
75. There’s a book I read two years ago called “The House of Small Shadows” by Adam Nevill that I, well, in part don’t remember where I wrote the review, but also that I want to review and share with you guys here. But yeah, I remembered it at this tab.
76. “But would that not be the same as murdering his son? Killing him a second time?” – p. 268
MT: Louis knows that this isn’t true but he decides to ignore this train of thought and resurrect his son anyways. Which really doesn’t make much sense because if Gage comes back as a monster (which he does) he’ll have to actually kill him a second time anyways. Zombie Gage will inevitably be killed again rather than Metaphorical Gage being saved and welcomed back with open arms. 😛
77. “(R to L) ‘[Dreams of Zelda] The last few nights since Gage died, when I go to sleep, Zelda’s there. She says she’s coming for me, and this time she’ll get me. That both she and Gage will get me. For letting them die'” – p. 270
MT: I thought this might be foreshadowing for when Gage comes back to be like Zelda, which, is kinda what happens in fact. Man, this sucks. I’m pretty sure Gage talks like Zelda at first before being ‘Gage-like’ and ultimately killing Rachel. :S
78. “God was saving [Gage] for Rt. 15” – p. 272
MT: I don’t think it was god, actually. I think it was those cosmic shifts in the Micmac burial ground. They’re the real culprit here, as predicted by Pascow and Jud (since Jud is the one who showed him the grounds and therefore planted the seedling into Louis’ mind).
*79. “[Rachel responding to Louis about whether they would have institutionalized Gage if he had mental deficits like with Zelda] ‘It wouldn’t have been the same. Gage was…. well, Gage was Gage. He was our son. That would have made all the difference'” – p. 272
*MT: D’ohhh, also this reminds me of some fanfic stuff I can use this concept in. Particularly Odin with Loki in D&D, ALU, CtP. I like this idea that it’s a different relationship from parent to child than as sibling to sibling. Like, the dynamic there is inherently different. 😛 I would hope that Odin would share this same sentiment for Loki.
80. “Ellie seemed distant and a trifle odd. Several times that morning Louis had looked up and seen an expression of peculiar speculation on her face” – p. 273
MT: I mean, Ellie was right about Church being dead so is it much of a leap for her to feel the same about Louis? She knows something is up and she’s a pretty smart six year old (children are often more perceptive than we realize). But this will be further explored later.
81. “‘Ellie, come on. You’ll be fine.’ ‘I’ll be fine, but what about you? Daddy, what about you?'” – p. 276
MT: See, she knows something is wrong and her ability to know these things is never fully explored or explained. But it’s still sad all the same.
82. “Ellie’s lips trembled and grew white. Then she allowed herself to be led into the jetway. She looked back at him, and he saw naked terror in her face” – p. 276
MT: So sad and sickening, honestly. This is the last time she sees her father too. 😦 Gwah, why couldn’t he just not have tried to resurrect Gage?! D:
83. “And if the loss is too great–or if he comes back as Timmy apparently came back, as a thing of evil–I will kill him” – p. 279
MT: I don’t understand the point of trying to resurrect your son if you were planning to kill him again if he wasn’t as sweet and innocent as he once was in life. I mean, you can’t really be that picky, you know? Also, this reminded me of Thor: The Dark World with the whole “betray him and I will kill you” idea. XD
Also also, I wish Louis could have been aware of everything he was bound to lose by going through with this plan. Gah, Louis, whhhhyyyy?! “Did you do it? – Yes What did it cost? – Everything” (That’s an Infinity War reference if you couldn’t tell 😉 )
Okay, so I made it to page 280 and that is where I’m stopping for tonight! Thanks for reading again and until tomorrow where I will hopefully finish and finally PUBLISH this review. 🙂 Now I have to wash the dishes and maybe try to read then play some games. Sigh. Lots of work. Lots of it. PS I only have about 20 flags left, so we are almost in fact finished!
Hey guys! I’m back again! It’s currently 5/5 in the later afternoon and I am almost completely finished with this review, so let’s get this going until the end and with my coffee in hand, it should go well! Hooray! This took a LOT of work over multiple days so I hope it’s been an enjoyably long read and that we’ll all be able to sit back and catch up on several old book reviews that are both current (2019) and old (2017). YAY! Here we go!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
84. “(E to R) ‘[Paxcow as Ellie thinks of him] said that he was sent to warn but that he couldn’t interfere. He said that he was… I don’t know… that he was near Daddy because they were together when his soul was dis…'” – p. 283
MT: So what’s happening here is that Ellie had a nightmare on the plane with Rachel back to her parents in Chicago and can only recall Pascow as Paxcow and Rachel can’t place the reason why that name is so familiar. (She eventually does but hot damn). I thought this was so hard on Ellie because she’s still just a little girl and can’t begin to fathom all that is about to happen. She’s smart though, for whatever reason, she knows shit is gonna hit the fan soon.
85. “He ate at a corner table, watching people come and go, wondering if he might not see someone he knew. In a vague way, he rather hoped that would happen. It would lead to questions–where’s Rachel, what are you doing here, how’s it going?–and perhaps the questions would lead to complications and maybe complications were what he really wanted. A way out” – p. 290
MT: I thought this was also telling of how he is having doubts about his plans that are being heavily influenced by the power and magic of the burial ground and he’s wondering if this has to happen the way it appears like it will. It’s kinda heartbreaking because you know that he’s going to make the wrong decision with how much is still left in the novel. 😦 He’s kinda doomed to do the wrong thing, pretty much, and as a reader you can’t do anything to stop it from happening. Sucks. He was a good guy, too. He just lost his way a bit. Sigh.
86. “As he started the Honda’s engine, he thought that perhaps Jud was right about the growing power of that place, for surely he felt it around him now, leading (or pushing) him on, and he wondered: Could I stop? Could I stop even if I wanted to?” – p. 291
MT: There was another couple of quotes in this book that reminded me of my own relationship in regards mostly to suicidality but I skipped a few of those and am only highlighting this one here. I feel that this is like the crux of my own experiences with suicidality and in fact also with mental health conditions. The doubts of what if’s, of better days ahead, of wanting to be found out, of an awareness of how others could thwart my plans, of wondering if stopping were still possible. I found this relatable even if different. It’s like the doubts are there and I wonder if I’m in too deep that I feel obligated to hurt myself by that point. As if it wasn’t enough to talk the talk but to walk the walk, too. But, maybe that’s just me. 😛
87. “Just above his head, the tree forked. He suppose he could–Without allowing himself to think about it further, he reached into the fork and pulled himself up” – p. 298
MT: Again, another pretty relatable approach to me here. I felt that whenever I just pushed aside my doubts and wavering thoughts and just committed to acts of harm to myself that I could go a lot further than if I just took another moment to pause and really think about my decision. Which I suppose is something I utilize more in recovery these days, that I take those extra moments to really do a mental pros/cons of the situation rather than acting impulsively. 🙂
88. “Have you ever thought, Louis, that you may not be doing your son any good service? Perhaps he’s happy where he is…maybe all that isn’t the bullshit you always thought it was. Maybe he’s with the angels or maybe he’s just sleeping. And if he’s sleeping, do you really know what it is you might wake up? Oh Gage, where are you? I want you home with us” – p. 302
MT: See, the sound of logic was approaching Louis, it was calling for him and everything but the power of the burial ground was too strong. Which is so, so tragic. Because even when he’s using his logical, rational mind he still is a hurting man who wants his future to be so much like his past with his son alive and well again. Sucks x1000.
89. Word choice: galloping.
90. “‘Gage,’ he said and began to rock the boy in his arms. Gage’s hair lay against Louis’s wrist, as lifeless as wire. ‘Gage, it will be all right, I swear, Gage, it will be all right, this will end, this is just the night, please, Gage, I love you, Daddy loves you'” – p. 310
MT: Shit man, that’s still just a sad and heartbreaking scene. Fuck me running. The mark of a great piece is how much you can connect with its characters so much so that their heart and pain becomes your own. T_T 😦
91. “[Rachel’s thoughts] But [Louis] was lying about something. It was in his eyes…oh shit, it was all over his face, almost as if he wanted me to see the lie…see it and put a stop to it…because part of him was scared” – p. 324
MT: Gosh darn it, Rachel, why didn’t you push for the answer more! *cries* You poor, poor fool. 😦 I wonder if there was an alternate universe where Louis did crack and let Rachel in and didn’t follow through with resurrecting Gage. Hmmmm..
92. “[Oz] was in the water you drank, the food you ate. Who’s out there? you howled into the dark when you were frightened and all alone, and it was his answer that came back: Don’t be afraid, it’s just me. Hi, howaya? You got cancer of the bowel, what a bummer, so solly, Cholly! Septicemia! Leukemia! Atherosclerosis! Coronary thrombosis! Encephalitis! Osteomyelitis!” – p. 339
MT: Okay, we’re almost done now! My left wrist is starting to bother me now though, gwah. But this is that page long paragraph I was telling you about which is the part that really started to get under my skin and freak me the fuck out. Lmao What do you think? It kept going but hot damn. XD
93. “He understood everything. The leash…the leash was going into the darkness… he was moving fast along it no, hand over hand. Ah, if he could drop it before he saw what was at the end! But it was his leash. He had bought it” – p. 355
MT: This is actually a theme from earlier in the novel which I don’t recall if I had mentioned but Louis takes these responsibilities onto himself by owning what shit had happened. So, for this case, he’s owning up to the fact that killer Gage was his responsibility to handle with care and reprimand the outcomes. Just like Church was originally his responsibility as well (which he kills again anyways). He may even suspect that killer Gage has struck gold across the street where Rachel’s rental car is.
94. “What you bought, you owned, and what you owned eventually came home to you” – p. 358
MT: See, more of that theme here, even. I don’t think I completely understand it myself, actually. I guess it’s talking about responsibility and owning up to the shit that comes after your decisions. That if you bought something it was yours and yours only to take care of. It was your decisions and your responsibility, your essence that trailed back to you, not anyone else. That’s my best guess, at least. 😛
ANNNNND… that is officially it!
That’s all I have for you peeps for this book review. Man, it took a while and it was largely because I had SO MANY tabs in this book that I decided handwriting it would kill my wrist which is why I typed up the majority of this review in this new post so as to save my wrists just a little more. I have PLENTY of other reviews to get out to you guys, largely old ones in various journal piles, so I’m actually quite looking forward to that!
Not to mention, I have other new books to read through and then ultimately review for you guys as well. I’m also thinking of launching my House MD reviews (probably covering every 3-4 episodes), TED talk reviews, documentary reviews, potentially music video reviews, interview reviews etc. Lots of reviews, that’s for sure! I also have old film reviews I can dust off and then get up soon!
I know the most of this is coming out in May but I did read and begin this post in April, which is why it’s titled the way that it is. I also have fanfics to work on and other non-review blog posts as well as Youtube videos for my channel to work on too.
Plus I have to officially send out my resume to jobs and hopefully land something soon for a way to provide further structure and monetary output into my life. My parents are currently out of the house but I’m probably gonna curl up with a book now and start the next review’s process!
Additionally, since we now have Netflix, I will be reviewing “Bird Box” and “The Ritual” as I’ve read both those books and want to review the movies themselves. “Demolition” is a movie I want to find again to help me review it because I have a personal link with that movie from a few years ago.
Any who, that’s all from me for now! Hope you guys liked this review! It was longer than usual and my reading attention span is shotty at best but hopefully it was interesting and I can’t wait to get the movies and review them soon, too! 🙂
I’ll try not to be too long in getting out my next post!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!!
Leave me your comments down below. ❤
Later, I’ll have to notate my stars in my journal (let alone get back on track with all of that!)
See you all next time! 🙂