Stephen King’s Cujo

Stephen King's Cujo, Stephen King Books, Stephen king StoreAs is the case with so many of his stories , Stephen King’s inspiration for Cujo came from an everyday event in his life, to which he applied his vivid imagination and he asked the question of; what if?

In the case of Cujo, Stephen King’s 12th novel, which was first published in 1981, the inspiration came for Cujo when the author took his motorcycle to a mechanic for repair and he was confronted by a huge, growling Saint Bernard dog that had come bounding out of a nearby barn. King began thinking that he could make a story out of just that one scene and the ideas from Cujo flowed from that into what became an extremely aggressive rabid dog, a Ford Pinto, a trapped woman and child, and one heck of a physiological horror novel.






Stephen King Wrote Cujo during the period of his life that he was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and he hardly remembers writing Cujo at all. Apparently, he likes the book, but he has said that it saddens him that he can’t remember enjoying writing any of the good bits.

Cujo was adapted into a horror film in 1983. The Cujo movie was directed by Lewis Teague and it starred Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh-Kelly and Danny Pintauro. The film was a modest box office success, but it does hold the credible accolade of being one of Stephen King’s favourite adaptations of his work. Here’s the trailer for the Cujo movie:

The story is set in King’s fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, and it revolves around two families; the Cambers, who are long time residents of the town, and the Trentons, who only have recently moved to Castle Rock.

Vic Trenton, the father of the Trenton family, is troubled by business problems in New York, so he travels back to the city to sort that out, leaving his four year old son Tad and wife Donna at home in Castle Rock. Cujo a huge, but very friendly St. Bernard, is the family pet of the Cambers. However, when Cujo gets bitten by a rabid bat while chasing a rabbit down a hole, the dog turns into a vicious monster that, ultimately, traps Donna and Tad Trenton in the family Ford Pinto.

While the main horror of the novel is in the predicament of the mother and son being trapped and helpless inside a stiflingly hot car while being terrorised by the rabid St. Bernard outside, there is also a supernatural subplot going on in Cujo that crosses over into another Stephen King book. Young Tad Trenton is being haunted by the ghost of Frank Dodd, a Castle Rock rapist and strangler who appeared in Stephen King’s The Dead Zone

In Cujo, Stephen King explores far more than simply the terror of a rabid dog. The evil lurks in both the snarling, frothing-at-the-mouth Cujo, and in Tad’s closet, where there are some very unpleasant smell, along with the ghost of Frank Dodd and a doorway to who-knows-where. Throw in a bit of marital strife caused by the unfaithfulness of Donna Trenton, and Vic Trenton’s apparent abandonment of his family, and you have a complex tale that is full of shocks and horror that really does go for the jugular. Cujo is a book that both horrifies and leaves you feeling uneasy and the ending of the book is guaranteed to be one that you won’t forget in a hurry.
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