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Pet Sematary

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Michael C. Hall
Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (692 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Never before available on unabridged audio! Dexter's Michael C. Hall reads this classic horror story described by Publishers Weekly as the "most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written". 

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic, rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow's tranquility, there's an undercurrent of danger that lingers...like the graveyard in the woods near the Creeds' home, where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. 

Behind the "pet sematary", there is another burial ground, one that lures people to it with seductive promises...and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there - one more terrifying than death itself and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself.... 

©1983 Stephen King (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What the critics say

"The narrator is Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), who can now add an Earphones Award to his resume.... Hall's narration captures the surprising humanity found on the page, but his voice becomes appropriately grim as the story barrels toward the inevitable darkness." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Book with Great Narration

This book is always a great read, with an instant atmosphere that takes over whenever you click play. The themes of death and how "sometimes, dead is better" and the idea of how much do you know you really know your partner, family, and friends really keep the story intriguin during and slower moments. The characters are likeable and empathetic, and the dark tones turn unsettling when they need to. Though the film does a better portrayal of the kills and how menacing they are coming from a 3 year old, the book is able to have Gage say the twisted things that only someone buried at the Mic Mack burial ground could know. The narration from Micheal C. Hall was great, especially his Jud Crandal accent that was essential to read for his character. Though I find the pacing to be quite good in most the book, I found that once Luis went back to Pleasentville to retrieves Gages missing body, the story slows down and becomes and little disjointed. Once Gage is buried in the Mic Mack burial ground, I feel the story is rushed to the end; where I enjoyed the movies ending over the books though they're almost identical. The book is a definite read for any Stephen King and Horror fan, and more than a definite read to anyone whose only seen the movie. Its quick and refreshing, and should be checked out.

1 person found this helpful

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Far more chilling than the 1989 movie!

I was hesitant to read this book after watching the original movie. The original film did not grasp/scare me (mostly because I have become spoiled by modern FX). This book however, was fantastic and chilling! Definitely worth a read, even if you did not enjoy the original movie. The performance was great 10/10 would purchase again.

1 person found this helpful

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perfection of horror

Possibly one of the best Stephen King novels written. Followed along with an amazing narration

1 person found this helpful

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One of King’s best works

Pet Semetary is one of King’s best books. It is genuinely very engaging from a storytelling perspective. It’s characters are very vivid and fully realized. It builds suspense extremely naturally and when it gets to its inevitable conclusion you are completely invested. I’ve read this book so many times and I am still humbled by the master work King weaves in this tale of dread.

Pet Semetary is easily one of the first books I recommend to people wanting to enjoy Stephen King’s work. I consider it easily in his top 5. It helps that this audiobook in particular is narrated by Michael C. Hall who does a brilliant job personifying the various characters. Especially the main character’s neighbour Judd.

Overall, highly recommended. It holds up very well to its cinematic adaptations.

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Holy Hell!

I BLASTED through this book. Though I've watched Stephen King movies, I've never read a book til now. It was full of rich characters and dense subtext, and creepy as hell. Nothing like i expected. better than I expected!

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best

Has to be one of my favorite books! Chilling, intriguing and left me wanting more. Narrator was incredibly, can Michael C Hall read me everything? Read this book!!!!!

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King's Most Frightening Tale

The author himself calls this his scariest story. It's clear that's because it is so close to reality for him...many of the events depicted approximate real events in King's life.
Not having lived through such things, it doesn't have the same personal significance for me...but I'm a Dad...and I've gone through explanations of life and death with my own kids. This book is genuinely disturbing.

Stephen King fills this book with his incredible realism...a plot obviously fictional, but saturated with true-to-life detail...allowing the reader to imagine this could really happen.
His gift for generating suspense is unparalleled.
The evil paranormal powers King describes are vividly illustrated...you can see them in your mind's eye.

Michael C. Hall captures King's pace and emotion exceptionally. His accents are bang-on, and he actually does sound effects...that work.

My only two infinitesimal problems with this audiobook:
1. The huge amount of extraneous events King puts into the narrative: I know, I know it's important for character development and realism...but it's too much. The Climax feels relatively rushed in comparison.
2. The rhythm Hall uses when reading "Hey-ho-let's go": Hasn't he ever heard 'Blitzkreig Bop'? It's "Hey... Ho... Let's go". There's supposed to be a cadence.

Still, this chilling story is easily worth 5 out of 5 stars.

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I know why people like it, but just not for me

I can't finish this audiobook. I tried. I tried several times. At no point could I keep the plot together in my head collected well enough to allow myself to be strung along with the story. I got lost all the time, I'd have to constantly rewind to see if there was something I missed, and yet I couldn't understand why at first. The narrator, Michael Hall, does an excellent job. The pacing is nice, the narration clean and clear, enunciation is on point the entire time. The impression of Jud is also fantastic. It's the writing. I just couldn't get into it. Which is unfortunate because I know how held in high regard Pet Semetary is in the legacy of novels and fiction. Sorry Stephen King, it's just quite possible you aren't for me. I was always more of an R.L. Stein kid growing up anyways 😂

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Hall's narration nostalgic for Dexter fans

As the headline states. I really enjoyed Michael C. Hall's narration of this infamously good book. The depth of his narration gave the words a gaseous quality. The sentences hanging in the air around you after you've stopped listening. His use of different voices (especially Jud) was very memorable. Not much to say about the story as it is excellent. That is coming from someone who has not widely read King or horror literature. But I can see myself going towards more of both now that I've finished this book.

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A great listen.

A classic King novel, and Michael C Hall did an awesome job narrating it. I found myself not wanting to stop the story even though I know this tale already. Highly recommend!

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  • Eric Mochnacz
  • 2018-04-27

Damn scary elevated by Hall's narration!

What made the experience of listening to Pet Sematary the most enjoyable?

Michael C. Hall is an amazing narrator. His characterization of Judd was amazing and unique and brought me back to watching the film the first time and experience Fred Gwynne's performance. After listening, I realized not much actually happens in the novel, but King creates an amazing novel where the dread escalates to a stunning conclusion.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gage after he returns from the semetary is creepy and foul-mouthed. Judd Crandall makes the story. Louis Creed is written well and is multi-dimensional, and King deftly uses him to personify the grief and other emotions that come as a result of a loss of a child.

What does Michael C. Hall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice is amazing and he uses appropriate inflection and speed depending on the events in the story. He gives each character a unique inflection without it being heavy-handed. The story is creepy, and Hall's narration adds to the creepiness of it all.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Nate_D
  • 2018-04-03

THIS is what Audible was made for!

This is a fantastic book. I love King, and have read most of his books. I would go as far as to say that he is my favorite author. I love a few authors more than others that I read, but King is the king.

I first read Pet Sematary right after it came out in hardback. I was in high school, and the book really affected me. Many of King's books have had a significant amount of impact on me, but this one....this one is on a whole other level. The concepts that are dealt with in this book are beyond nightmares. You know what is going to happen rather early on in the story, but you just can't believe that he is REALLY going to go there. I mean, really?? Wow... Heebie Jeebies times 100.

The best thing about my experience with this story this time around was the narration of Michael C Hall. He was fantastic!! I know that he had a thriving TV career with Dexter, and I'm sure he has come across other ways to earn a living since then, and probably never needs to work another day in his life, but he is a MASTERFUL narrator. This book fit his talents perfectly, and left me wanting more from him. Excellent!

84 people found this helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • 2018-06-23

Unbelievable!

Pet Semetery is an absolutely phenomenal audio book! The performance, story and quality make this one of my favorites and I’ve listened to nearly every King book on here. I will now forever associate Michael C Hall’s voice with Louis Creed. Well done audible!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tj
  • 2018-04-10

The soil of a man's heart is stonier. A man

loved how this was delivered. such a wonderful job. couldn't stop listening. had heard/seen/read before but once I saw Hall was narrating was sold. chills and thrills with a wonderful voice! cheers

33 people found this helpful

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  • Mat
  • 2018-09-14

OutStanding .. I want moe Jud!

I enjoyed this so much. The story was great. kept me wanting more every step of the way. And Michael C Hall ( A fav from Dexter ) just added to an already amazing product. He voices for the characters where spot on. I wanted more Jud!!! His voice for Jud just in my head was spot on. Truly a fun ride.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-16

An excellent vocal performance

Michael C. Hall did an absolutely fantastic job at his read of this book. His pacing and vocal add ins were incredible and made the story mich more intense. That being said, the actual plot of the story was very slow and would have lost my interests at time had it not been for the performance.

10 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 2018-03-27

Micheal C. Hall knocks it out of the park

It’s a classic. Made even better by Hall who’s narration is great. I can not put it down. At first I was impressed by the ability to differentiate between the characters. After a few hours I knew which character was speaking by the voice and that goes a long way to sell the story. Great buy. I will listen to this one again and again.

12 people found this helpful

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  • kilgore
  • 2018-03-27

Wonderful!

I have been waiting a long time for this audiobook. Thank you Stephen King! Excellent performance by Michael C. Hall!

28 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 2018-08-09

Well told but very grim

This is another Stephen King classic, and as he says in the preface, he believes it is one of his most horrific stories. Whether you will agree depends on what you define as horror. There are some creepy characters (human, animal, and a shadowy "creature" that is never fully revealed), but the horror comes from the shadow of death that is encroaching on the Creed family. I found the story to be a very slow starter, but as with most of King's stories, there are well-drawn characters, and this gives the story it's emotional impact. Just a warning, this is a very dark no very sad story. It is about death. If that's a sensitive subject for you, I'd recommend you skip this one.
Michael C. Hall gives a fabulous performance of this one, really excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-12

Great performance, predictable plot

I love King’s writing style, but the story just wasn’t strong. Michael C. Hall is great though, and I hope he continues to do audiobooks!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-06-18

Great classic, brilliant performance

After listening this story, I now remember how much I'm agreeing with the consensus on the genius of King's writing. Moreover, Michael C Hall being a great actor, he is at least as good reading the story as he is on screen, with accents, rythm and all. Who would have thought that cats, dogs, southern old men and little children could sound like Hall ?