Update: I could no longer lie to myself by denying this book the five stars it deserves.
There's really no good reason for me not to give this five stars, other than a hankering suspicion that my newfound love of Stephen King might result in five-star mania.
King's ability to convey and replicate the inner monologue of fear is truly incredible. The fact that he does so for such different characters, including the mind of a child, makes it all the more impressive.
Also, there's really nothing more terrifying than the familiar taking on the qualities of the unknown and horrifying.