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In the twenty-one years since Cujo was published and especially since the release of the movie adaptation the name has become synonymous with big scary dogs Understandable of course but simplistically classifying Cujo as a novel about a rabid dog is like saying that Shakespeares Othello was about a jealous guy or saying that Homers Odyssey was about a guys commute home technically correct but youre really missing the point Cujo is a novel about life blowing up in your face for no apparent reason and it reflects some of the underlying tensions of the late seventies and early eighties as well as some of the problems that Stephen King was struggling with at the time Though rays of hope shine through the darkness along the way the book is in general horrific more because of the way each characters life seems to be inexplicably falling apart Spoiler alert if you havent read the book you might not want to read this review Plot Synapsis Cujo begins not with the travails of the soon-to-be-rabid title character but instead with the story of Frank Dodd a crazed cop who went on a killing spree in bucolic Castle Rock Maine before killing himself King makes a point of establishing quickly that he was not some kind of werewolf vampire ghoul or unnameable creaturehe was only a cop named Frank Dodd with mental and sexual problems Nevertheless Dodd plays a significant role in the rest of the novel Cujo involves Vic Trenton an ad exec whose company is on the verge of failing thanks to the imminent loss of an account his wife Donna who has taken a lover to combat boredom and fear in her everyday life as a housewife and their son Tad whose fear of the monster in the closet may not be groundless In addition to this family we also see Cujos owners the Cambers Joe Camber can be best described as a manipulative
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