Published by MacDonald in 1982
Unknown number of chapters
I want to start off by saying that this is my first ever Stephen King novel and I have to say, I'm not completely sold.
King's writing style is interesting, it definitely made me want to keep reading if anything, although I am unsure about how this compares to his other books due to the fact that King was reportedly an alcoholic whilst he wrote this book - and I've even heard that he has claimed that he doesn't even remember writing this book at all. So I'm not too sure whether this decreased the quality of his writing or not, but I'm kind of hoping that it did, I'd like to read a better writing style in his other books I plan on reading in the future.
So, the primary storyline/plot of this novel is this: Donna and Tad Trenton (a fully grown woman and her 4 year old son) take their car to get repaired by a man who lives miles out of town, in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive at the house, they just about make it before their car completely gives in and dies. They then discover that Joe Camber (the man they hoped would repair the car) and his wife and son have all left to go on separate trips for business and to visit family. The horror then begins when the recently rabid dog Cujo begins to torture Donna and Tad by constantly watching over them and waiting, ready to pounce and attack should they leave the vehicle. They are then trapped in their broken down car, in the middle of nowhere, with a rabid dog threatening to break its way into the car and chew the humans to death.
This storyline was great and I really enjoyed reading it and hoping that both the mother and son would make it out alive. I was excited at the points where Cujo attempted to make his way into the car, and when Donna was contemplating getting out of the car and running for the possibly locked front door of the Camber household. This got me excited as I wanted to see what would happen had she attempted this. Putting this storyline aside, we also follow the story of when Vic Trenton (Donna's husband) goes on a business trip to New York with his friend/co-worker Roger. This storyline I didn't enjoy so much, I actually ended up skipping these sections of the book because they were just so boring and dull, there was nothing happening! And this doesn't affect the story of the book whatsoever, even skipping these sections, I still completely understood the main plot and wasn't confused by anything. We also follow the story of Charity and Brett Cambers (wife and 10 year old son of Joe Cambers) when they go on their trip to visit Charity's sister. This storyline didn't really interest me too much, but I still read it, it was far more interesting than the business chatter! Both of these storylines I felt were completely unnecessary, they were only there to explain why everyone wasn't at home and gone on trips. I feel like this could have easily been done within a couple of pages, maximum. They didn't need their own storylines. Without them, this 345 page novel could have easily been 100/150 pages shorter and a lot more fast paced and exciting.
As for the horror in this book, there is none. Sure there is a little bit of gore and a climax as you reach the end of the book, and there were a couple of gory bits that really made me gasp and become shocked, but that was about the height of it. There were moments when Donna and Tad were trapped in the car where I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out if they would survive or if something tragic was about to occur.
I will be reading more of King's books in the future but this one just didn't do it for me.
2 out of 5 stars!