I’m going to begin this book review by pointing out Cujo is a little different from most other books. There are no chapters. It’s just one long, uninterrupted text with occasional spaces between the paragraphs to mark the changes of scene.
Cujo is not the only book Stephen King has written in this way. He did the same with Dolores Claiborne. A book without chapters is a little unusual, but you soon get used to it and a good story is a good story. That’s what counts.
The main character in this story is a 200-pound St. Bernard dog called Cujo. He belongs to a young boy called Brett Camber.
Cujo is a good dog. He tries to do everything the Camber’s family expect of him. The problems begin when Cujo gets scratched by a rabid bat. As the sickness eats its way into his brain, the big dog becomes a 200-pound killing machine.
Cujo is quite a sad story because even though the big Saint Bernard is the bad guy (dog) of the book, it is not his fault. He’s as much a victim as the people he terrorizes and kills.
There are some interesting characters in Cujo and some good sub-plots centered around them and their lives. Like the Trenton family for instance. If you decide to read Cujo you will become well acquainted with the Trentons because, if you forget about the dog, they are the main characters in the book.
Vic Trenton is a partner in a small advertising business and, through no fault of their own, he and his partner Roger are in danger of losing their main client. If they do it could pull the rug out from underneath their whole business, so it is pretty fair to say Vic is a worried man.
Vic is not the only member of the Trenton family to have worries, his four-year-old son Tad appears to have a monster in his closet. Vic’s wife Donna has a skeleton in hers.
The Camber family also feature heavily in the story. They own Cujo so it would be hard for the reader to get to know Cujo without spending some time in the company of the people who have shared his life.
Joe Camber is perhaps not the nicest man to step out of Castle Rock, but he’s a good mechanic and damned cheap one too. Joe’s wife, Charity, has had a hard life with her man, and fears that her son Brett will grow up to be just like his father. However, when Charity comes into rather a lot of money, the money brings a new problem: how can she talk her husband into allowing she and Brett to visit her sister in Connecticut?
While the Cambers and the Trentons are dealing with their various problems, poor Cujo is not feeling very well at all. It seems that no one in Castle Rock is having a very good time of it and as the story progresses things get worse all around.
I’ve read a lot of Stephen King novels and have noticed the characters from one book have a habit of cropping up in another one. While I was reading Cujo I noticed that a few characters from The Dead Zone turned up in the story. I only mention this because I quite enjoy the way King works bits of one story into another.
There is not really much more that I can add to this Cujo book review without giving too much of the plot away. So, in the words of Popeye the sailor man: I have said all that I can say and I will says no more ugg, ugg, ugg, uggghhh!