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Stephen King's 'Cujo'

And 13 more books about killer animals

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 05, 2024

"You like it darker? Fine, so do I," writes Stephen King in the afterword to his new book of short stories, coming out May 21. The collection, You Like it Darker (available for preorder), includes a sequel to Cujo, King's 1981 novel about a murderous St. Bernard. Cujo is a friendly, loving companion to his person Brett Camber, until one day when he chases a rabbit into a cave inhabited by sick bats and emerges as something new altogether. The book is frighteningly good because of its feverish intensity and all-too-plausible plot. If you loved Cujo and can't wait for the sequel in King's new collection, here are thirteen more books about ferocious fauna (and in one case, flora) you can enjoy in the meantime. 

More books like Cujo

Jaws by Peter Benchley
When a great white shark terrorizes the beautiful summer getaway of Amity Island, a motley crew of men take to the water to do battle with the beast. A heart-pounding novel of suspense and a brilliant meditation on the nature of humanity, this novel inspired Steven Spielberg's 1975 blockbuster.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
The four Native men at the center of this deliciously creepy novel are all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

The Terror by Dan Simmons
The men on board the HMS Terror—part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition—are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. But their real enemy is even more terrifying. Out in the frigid darkness is an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror clawing to get in.

The Ruins by Scott Smith
Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation—sun-drenched days, drunken nights. When a young man from the resort disappears, they venture into the jungle to look for him. What starts as a fun day-trip spirals into a nightmare when they find ancient ruins . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.

The Revenant by Michael Punke
The year is 1823, and Hugh Glass is among the best trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company when he is mauled nearly to death by a grizzly bear. Abandoned by the men dispatched to tend to him until he dies, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. The basis for an Oscar-winning 2015 film.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
In a remote Polish village, Janina's reputation as an oddball and a crank is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. When villagers start turning up dead (starting with a hunter), Janina suspects that the animals may be out for revenge.

Bunnicula by Deborah Howe and James Howe
Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household—a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits . . . and fangs. You may remember loving this one as a kid and guess what? It's still great!

The Roo by Alan Baxter
Something is wrong in the small outback town of Morgan Creek. A farmer goes missing after a blue in the pub. A teenage couple fails to show up for work. As the missing persons list grows, the residents of the remote town find themselves in a fight for their lives against a foe they would never have suspected.

Hell Hound by Ken Greenhall
"What would become of me if she were found unmoving at the bottom of the stairway?" Such are the thoughts of Baxter, a sociopathic bull terrier on the hunt for the perfect master, as he contemplates the demise of his first victim. The reissue of this classic includes an introduction by Grady Hendrix.

The Rats by James Herbert
When the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered, a panic-stricken city began to understand the true nature and power of the swarming creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood. Men and rats have long been enemies. But now the balance of power has shifted.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
A breakthrough in genetic engineering leads to the development of a technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA, a method that brings about the creation of a tourist attraction populated by fearsome creatures that have been extinct for eons. This novel inspired a series and a popular film franchise.

Watchers by Dean Koontz
From a top secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose. A man and a woman get caught up in a relentless storm of mankind's darkest creation.

Thresher by Michael Cole
In the aftermath of a hurricane, a series of strange events plague the coast of Florida. People go into the water and never return. Corpses of killer whales wash up, ravaged from enormous bite marks. Newly arrived in the coastal town of Merit, police officer Leonard Riker uncovers the horrible reality.

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