Roadwork, Danse Macabre, Cujo

Roadwork (1980)

This is another one that King originally published as Bachman. This is a good thriller that reminded me a little bit of the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down. The protagonist is a middle aged man named Barton George Dawes who is spiraling out of control as he deals with the impending loss of his house to an eminent domain claim by the local government. Dawes sabotages his career and his marriage on the way to an explosive showdown with law enforcement. This is a good book, maybe not a great one, but it was fun to read.

Danse Macabre (1981)

This is King’s first nonfiction book. It is an interesting and throrough examination of the horror genre. King writes extensively about horror in radio, television, film, and fiction. The book works on multiple levels. As a fan of King’s writing, I enjoyed reading about his thoughts on the works of other authors. As a film buff, I also found many of his selections for film and television intriguing. This is a great read for fans of the horror genre as King dissects and discusses just what it is that makes an audience’s skin crawl.

Cujo (1981)

I have seen the movie based on this one, and it scared the crap out of me as a kid. I had never read the novel, but once I picked it up I could not put it down. The plot centers around a rabid St Bernard named Cujo who terrorizes a woman and her son while they are trapped in their car. The tension in this book is palpable. You can feel the overhwelming heat as Donna and Tad are trapped in the car for hours on end. Every time the dog shows itself and threatens the mother and child you feel their terror. The violence perpetrated by Cujo on his victims is vividly and disturbingly real. The ending of the book is much more bleak than the ending of the film, and I prefer the book’s darkness.

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