A cute family dog turns into a vicious family killer in King's canine classic.
©1982 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin
"He builds up the suspense, holds back the dynamite until you're screaming for it, and then lets you have it." (Minneapolis Tribune)
"It grabs you and holds you and won't let go...excruciating suspense...a genuine page-turner." (Chattanooga Times)
"Just when your blood pressure is back to normal, Stephen King is at it again." (Kansas City Star)
The story holds up remarkably well for an early '80s setting, mostly because the situation is so truly terrifying. It would be a 5-star for me if the choice of narrator wasn't so unfortunate. It's sort of like being read to by your grandmother, and while I like grandmothers, there are some stories that would suit someone else better. In the early going, I actually considered abandoning the audiobook because the narration was just too intrusive. The male voices are particularly awful, although it does get a bit better as the book goes on. Fortunately, this book takes place primarily inside the character's heads, sparing us a great deal of painful dialogue. Lorna Raver might have been great in "Drag Me To Hell," but this is not the right medium for her.
I love King. I'd read his grocery lists; but listening to his books is difficult when the audio publisher will let just anybody narrate them.
This is a story about a young woman in real danger with her tiny son while her (also young) husband is off on a business trip.
The scary parts are about monsters and a big growly dog. Why, in the name of all that's sacred, is this book read by an old lady????? She should be reading Rosamund Pilcher novels or maybe Maeve Binchy but hearing her narrate sex and terror and emotions expressed by 30 somethings really misses the mark.
I can't finish it. Yuck
Why, oh why, do audiobook producers pay so little attention to casting narration? I could have stood it if she hadn't attempted to do the male voices. Those were just flat-out awful. The rest isn't bad enough to force me to not finish the book, but it certainly is cringe-inducing.
Boy she realy sucked at reading this book. Her voice box I am guessing has seen several thousand Marlbros. When she tried to do the voices for the charactors I found myself wishing they would die so I wouldnt have to hear that voice again. Good book, but like a turd in a punch bowl it was ruined.
I almost didn't download this due to bad narration reviews. In the end I went for it because it was one of the few King books I hadn't read.
The narrator would not have been my first choice but I did not find her bad. Certainly she is no Frank Muller or George Guildhall, but overall I found her very good. She did not sound to me like an "old lady".
BEST OF ALL, this production did not have any of the awful synthesizer special effects that so many of these older recordings have.
I could NOT stop listening. I knocked this out in two days.
Yes to Stephen King - I could not sit through another narration by Lorna Raver.
Ms. Raver has a very aristocratic voice, which does not suit this story at all. It seemed like a voice more suited to a victorian tale, or something from the Civil War era. Very dry and dull. Not suited for a suspenseful tale about
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
I have yet to listen to Player One, but due to it's response I probably will. One of the things that seem to make it popular is remembering the 80's. This was written in 1981 and like most King Novels includes all the pop of the time. Here are some examples: Pinto's, Ford Fairlane's, cars with distributor's, station wagons, glass ketchup bottles, crank windows, No 911, stay at home moms, Jimmie Carter, George Carlin, Steve Martin, Johnny Carson, Snoopy lunch boxes, Atari, Video Recorder, George Brett, Love Story, smoking in motels and restaurants, roller skates, instant coffee, Who shot JR, watches with hands, litterbugs, TV picture tubes, X Rated Movie Theaters, Dig it, chive ass, Good Buddy.
Like a lot of King Novels this is a well written story with a little terror thrown in like salt and pepper. He grabs your attention at the beginning with a little terror, builds a little suspense thru the book, and then finishes big with it. The majority of the story is character development and about everyday people, which King does better then most. Kind of like Hearts in Atlantis, The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, it is about people.
I give four and a half stars for the story and character development and three stars for the terror. I am a dog lover and I have known too many loving slobbering St. Bernards to think of them as evil. I realize this one has rabies, but I believe he should have chose a Rottweiler or Doberman. The story did drag a little in the middle and I did not like the main male character who did not respond like I would have to my wife's infidelity, which may explain why is wife cheated on him to begin with. I did like Gary, Who just doesn't give a sh*t.
The narrator has really taken a beaten from some other reviewers, I thought she was great. King often narrates his own stuff, but she sounded like a female version of him. I thought during the whole thing that she was perfect for the story. She did not do male voices real well, but that was not important to the overall effect.
My favorite King books in order are: The Green Mile, The Shinning, Misery, Hearts In Atlantis, Graveyard Shift, Cell, Rose Madder, Thinner, Different Seasons, Gerald's Game and Everything Eventual.
No, but I do think there is a casting issue for this story. The narrator's voice doesn't allow one to envision young people in there 30's. She nailed the NE accent, specifically Maine.
Cujo. I would take him to dinner and spring for rabies shots for dessert.
*Spoiler Alert *
There is a death at the end that felt rash and not necessary ..... Like Mr. King was being called down to suppa and he had to be wicked quick...."not sure where to go with this ... Meatloaf's on the table getting cold... Alrighty... Kill, the end."
A bunch of people make stupid assumptions which dragged the story, but great job on the monster (dog).
I really enjoyed the first half - getting to know various local people with different stories. For example: a guy who drinks too much. When he sees his friend the dog he says “Hello you son of a whore.” I like watching people say and do things I never would.
The second half has Cujo imprisoning Donna and her son in the car in the heat for a couple of days - growing closer and closer to death I was frustrated during that part because everyone was making stupid assumptions. No one did anything smart. I don’t mind some characters doing stupid things, but this was too many. The dog was the smart one. All the other characters are questioning or saying I wonder where so and so is. Or I wonder why this or that. And then someone else says oh it’s probably such and such. So the first person says you’re probably right and does nothing. As a result, no one visits the farm which would save Donna’s life. The cops, the husband, the dog owners, the mailman, the neighbors. Everyone assumes something that keeps them from going to the farm. I felt impatient.
The ending was partly happy, but also sad.
I rounded to 4 stars because it’s a creative, amazing idea for a monster - the huge rabid dog. I liked that we were in the dog’s mind at times. That was a treat. I loved the way the author developed and described local people, their motivations, feelings, and actions. I laughed at the way the author wrote about the imaginary monster in the closet scaring the little kid.
I did not like the narrator Lorna Raver. Her voice sounded elderly, gravely, and at times irritating. The most irritating was when she spoke as Tad being whiny or scared.
Genre: suspense thriller
I can't believe I let this book sit in my wish list for over two years based on user reviews of the reader. Obviously they have never experienced a bad or mediocre reader. Lorna Raver was perfect. I liked her subtle Maine accent. I had no problems trying to figure out the characters. She had great voices for all.
I read the book back when it came out in hardbound. It was good then. It’s still good now. King’s character development in his early days can’t be beat.
I spent a whole day playing solitaire on my computer listening to the end of the book. I couldn’t put it down (or stop listening).
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