October 5, 2022
Author Stephen King says his newly written novella Rattlesnakes is a sequel to his 1981 novel Cujo, about a rabid St. Bernard dog.

Forty-one years ago, Stephen King brought the world a novel called Cujo (buy it HERE), which was turned into a movie a couple years later (watch the movie HERE) that King thought should have earned star Dee Wallace an Academy Award. Although the events of Cujo are referenced in other King stories, it has never gotten a direct follow-up – which makes sense, since it’s about a rabid St. Bernard dog that doesn’t survive past the final pages. But now King has returned to Cujo in some way. He was recently interviewed on Bloody Disgusting’s The Losers’ Club Podcast, and during the conversation he revealed that he has just written a novella called Rattlesnakes, which he referred to as a sequel to Cujo.

The first reference to Rattlesnakes came when King was discussing the idea of being transgressive. He said,

There are certain places I go again and again. I think we’re all afraid of death, we’re afraid of dissolution, we’re afraid of falling to pieces. I’ve gone there several times. The thing is, with zombies or any of these things, you try to do something new with it, you try to go to a place where you haven’t been before. I just wrote a long story called Rattlesnakes, and it involves, in one part, twins who are only four years old falling into a rattlesnake pit. And the snakes get ’em, basically. It’s a terrible scene. And you don’t want to say, with a thing like that, ‘Oh wow, I’m doing this, and nobody has done that before!’ It’s all supposed to be organic to the story, it’s supposed to serve the story. So I don’t think a lot about going to a transgressive place on purpose. It’s the nature of the story itself.”

The revelation that Rattlesnakes is a sequel to Cujo came about ten minutes later, when King was asked if he thinks his writing has become more optimistic over the years. King admitted that he has mellowed a little bit, and said that he was a very angry young man when he wrote many of his early stories. He mentioned,

Cujo is an ugly book in a lot of ways. And this novella that I’ve just written, Rattlesnakes, is actually a sequel to Cujo.”

If you need a reminder, Cujo had the following synopsis:

In this tale of a killer canine, man’s best friend turns into his worst enemy. When sweet St. Bernard Cujo is bitten by a bat, he starts behaving oddly and becomes very aggressive. As Cujo morphs into a dangerous beast, he goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna gets caught in Cujo’s crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad. Stuck in their tiny car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal.

It’s not clear exactly how Rattlesnakes is connected to Cujo. We’ll have to wait to see about that.

Are you excited to hear that King is referring to a new story as a sequel to Cujo? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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