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The Journals Of Eleanor Druse [Paperback]

Eleanor Druse
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Book Description

10 May 2004

'Dear Stephen King,

I am writing to you because I know you are a true believer in the world of spirits, that your had a near death experience similar to mine, and because you are a fellow Mainer. My name is Eleanor Druse...'

Experimental psychologist and academic Eleanor Druse has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. Then in 1999, her interest took an intensely personal turn when she suffered a serious head trauma in a road accident that resulted in a Near Death Experience. Since then it would seem Eleanor has acquired the disturbing ability to communicate with the dead...

And her interest in this inconclusive world of shadows has become an obsession, prompted by what seems to be happening at Kingdom Hospital - the regional medical centre of her home town of Lewiston, Maine. It's an ultra-modern establishment, a centre of excellence, but it sits on the site of an old textile mill that burned to the ground in 1869. Dozens of workers, mostly child labourers, were trapped underground and perished in the inferno.

Somewhere beneath the modern hospital, Eleanor Druse believes ineffable evil still lurks. She believes the 'distressed spirit' of a child is somehow trapped there, unable to find peace. She feigns illnesses that ensure she is readmitted to the hospital in order to investigate the increasingly strange goings-on there. She wants to make contact with the ghost girl - Mary Jensen - who is calling out to her from the hereafter, and there are those with vested interests who want to stop her. But something strange and disturbing is going on at Kingdom Hospital, something evil that modern science cannot explain away...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition edition (10 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553816969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553816969
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,208,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The terrifying journals that inspired Stephen King's compelling new television series, 'Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital' coming soon on BBCTV...

From the Back Cover

Eleanor Druse has always been interested in the paranormal, but her fascination intensifies after she has a near-death experience at Kingdom Hospital while visiting a childhood friend who had attempted suicide. But it's while being treated for a mysterious condition at Boston General Hospital that Eleanor falls under the care of her nemesis, a surgeon named Stegman, who doesn't believe in her psychic gifts.

Escaping the clutches of Stegman, Eleanor returns home to Lewiston, Maine where she hears of more strange occurrences at Kingdom Hospital. She feels compelled to investigate and enlists her reluctant son Bobby, an orderly there, to help her. It seems the hospital rests on the site of a textile mill that burned to the ground nearly 150 years ago, incinerating many workers, including child labourers. Eleanor is convinced that the spirit of one girl, Mary Jensen, is trapped in the hospital, and that the apparition seeks resolution for her grisly death. She also senses other evil presences in the ancient hallways, including the spirit of a doctor whose past may be intimately bound up with the child's, and with Eleanor's childhood as well.

Providing fascinating insights into the very nature of the spirits that haunt the hereafter, these carefully kept journals trace Eleanor's investigations into Kingdom Hospital, from the beginning of her covert work up until its stunning and terrifying conclusion.

Watch the TV series 'Kingdom Hospital', developed for U.S. television by Stephen King.

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First Sentence
ON DECEMBER THIRTEENTH OF the year 2002, I was awakened in the wee-hour stillness of a winter's night by my ringing telephone. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Jumping on the bandwagon? 9 May 2013
By Chaz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I will be honest I purchased this as a fan of almost everything Stephen King and frankly, it made me angry. Not because it milks an established cash cow but because it was a brilliantly written book which was frankly tedious to read. The writer is obviously intelligent, possessed of a good vocabulary and sense off pace. Their writing is a bit flowery but engaging and the writer is worth so much more than this and they know it. It focuses on one character from the mini-series Kingdom Hospital and tells a tale that really didn't need telling. If you watched the series you already know the denoument and don't need to know anything in this book. If you haven't seen the mini-series then perhaps you will enjoy this more than I did and will find the progression from literature to screen more satisfying and fulfilling?

This was written under a pseudonym - whoever you are you are a great writer so don't prostitute your obvious skills and abilities by involving yourself with something as crass and popularist as this work. You are good, believe in yourself and write something original!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Kingdom Hospital 17 Aug 2010
By MickiF
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big Stephen King fan (this is the book of the tv show Kingdon Hospital written by him)and came across this by accident. It's not the best book I've ever read but interesting nonetheless. Not bad.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Between science and the supernatural 3 Feb 2004
By Eileen Rieback - Published on
When Eleanor Druse is called to the hospital deathbed of an old childhood friend who has attempted suicide, she experiences gruesome hallucinations, both visual and auditory, and then blacks out. These events leads doctors to conclude that Eleanor has a brain abnormality and epilectic seizures. Eleanor believes no such thing. Instead she is certain that her extrasensory abilities have allowed her to view ghosts that haunt Kingdom Hospital.
Reminiscent of The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer and its tie-in to the TV miniseries Rose Red, this novel disguised as nonfiction is a tie-in to the Stephen King TV series Kingdom Hospital. It consists of Eleanor's journals of her investigation into the paranormal occurrences at the hospital, the identity of a child whose phantom cries only she can hear, and the secrets of her own past. The novel reveals an explanation for only part of the mysteries Eleanor is investigating. Her introduction to the journal, a cover letter to Stephen King, warns "Please read these pages as an introduction only to what I believe will one day be a complete scientific assessment of the remarkable occurrences witnessed by myself and others at Kingdom Hospital..." Although this book sets the scene for the TV series that follows, it can stand alone on its own merits.
I recommend this novel as a well-crafted blend of the factual and the fictional. You will learn something about neurological diseases and their treatment as the doctors deal with Eleanor's hallucinations. You will shiver at the spookiest of supernatural events as Eleanor attempts to bridge the gap between the past and the present, and between life and the first state of the afterlife.
Eileen Rieback
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Druse Can't Lose 22 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on
This is just a really fun read. Once you are hooked in bt Eleanor's loser son telling her what is going on, you turn page after page as she uncovers creepy and ultimately unspeakable things going on at the veerable Kingdom Hospital. The book does a nice job setting out that Eleanor is "special" in her ability to sniff out the paranormal and that despite everyones protestations that there is something terribly wrong at the hospital. It is troubling that through most of the book we are never quite sure whether things are really twisted or whether she is crazy and imagining things due to electrochemical malfunctions in her brain The medical professionals will cringe at the prima donna's showcased in this creepy book. I miss the Stephen King who formerly wrote books of a readable length that I could run through in a few nights of diligent reading. This book is a return to form that seems to have a little more of a rock and roll beat. I hate TV but I can't wait for the show.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Find out the secrets, then watch the TV series 28 Jan 2004
By Dr Beverly R Vincent - Published on
The white lettering on the front cover of The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident cover glows ominously in the dark. The unexpected effect is eerie and a little unsettling. The tiny word "Fiction" in faint red text on the back cover stands out less clearly and is the only thing that indicates the book is a novel.
Its predecessor, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer , tied in to the Rose Red miniseries, was a bestseller partly because many believed King wrote it (it was actually written by Ridley Pearson) and partly because some people thought the book was based on a real supernatural investigation.
The Journals opens with a letter to King by Eleanor (Sally to her friends) Druse, asking for help in carrying out her research into the events at Kingdom Hospital in Maine, where she has uncovered an otherworldly crisis. She wants King to have her journals, recorded between late 2002 and 2003, in case something happens to her.
The septuagenarian is a volunteer and regular patient at Kingdom Hospital, well known by staff and patients alike. One of her oldest friends, Madeline Kruger, is hospitalized on a stormy winter night after attempting suicide. In 1939, Sally and Maddy were both admitted to the old Kingdom Hospital, suffering from whooping cough, shortly before the hospital burned to the ground.
Maddy leaves behind a message indicating that something happened to them sixty years ago that Sally has successfully banished from her memory. Perhaps something related to the mysterious lesion that appears on a brain scan taken after Sally collapses and strikes her head when she witnesses something horrible after Maddy dies.
Sally is a believer in mystical events and often conducts siances with her fellow patients at the hospital. She carries healing crystals and meditates to try to communicate with those who have passed on before her. After Maddy's deathbed revelation, Sally becomes aware that the tormented spirit of a young girl haunts Kingdom Hospital, struggling to convey another message.
Sally's badgers her unambitious, beleaguered son Bobby into acquiring Maddy's old records and papers to help her uncover what she has been repressing for six decades while she simultaneously deals with persistent spirits at the hospital - among them a sinister shade she calls Dr. Rat - and the various levels of incompetence exhibited by the hospital's staff, including scalpel-happy Dr. Stegman, in exile from Boston General, who has left a trail of surgical horror stories on his record.
The Journals overlaps some of the events to be played out during the fifteen-hour series, which debuts on ABC on March 3rd, but it also provides backstory only available to readers of this book. The anonymous author knows his or her medicine, especially neuroscience, and the volume makes for interesting reading on its own, though it ends with Sally's mission only partly complete.
To discover more about the mysteries being played out in Kingdom Hospital, readers will have to turn on the television and see what Stephen King has in store for them this spring.
44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Journal of Eleanor Druse 27 Feb 2004
By Stacey Cochran - Published on
In 1996, Stephen King was in Estes Park, Colorado, where filming of "Stephen King's The Shining" TV-mini series was taking place. In a video rental store, he saw a copy of Lars Von Trier's Kingdom Hospital, and he rented it and watched it in the very same town (Estes Park) where, nearly twenty years earlier, he was inspired to write The Shining. (see[...] for a wonderful interview with Kingdom Hospital's director Mark Carliner that explains these origins in detail).

No one was able to secure the rights nor much interest in what Stephen King initially saw as a potential hit-TV show, until fate intervened three years later, and King was struck by a van and nearly died. While recovering from the accident, Stephen King spent a lot of time in hospitals, and Von Trier's idea recurred to him. He wrote 15 hours of television scripts for a new TV show, Kingdom Hospital. Based largely on those scripts, ABC secured the rights to Von Trier's original idea, and preproduction began on the show.

The Journals of Eleanor Druse is a 244-page fictional account of a woman who visits that hospital in Lewiston, Maine, only to discover that the hospital has a sordid history and may be haunted. The story is told in the 1st-person point of view of this old lady who most people think is more than a little daffy. Eleanor claims to hear a young girl crying in the hospital's elevator, and the story takes on a conspiracy tone wherein the doctors do not believe Eleanor (or are trying to cover up what she knows). Keep in mind all of this is told from Eleanor's perspective, and as such the credibility of the narrator itself becomes suspect, which is also part of the fun of the novel.

To me, the most interesting idea King develops in The Journals of Eleanor Druse is the conflict that occurs when someone believes they've experienced a religious event, and scientists tell them that what happened was only the result of chemicals in their brain. In Eleanor's case, she is thought to be epileptic. Some of our very best writers (see Connie Willis's "Passage" and to some degree Carl Sagan's "Contact") in the past few years seem to be exploring that division between what constitutes a religious experience and what is merely a result of too much serotonin in the temporal lobe. Is humanity's belief in God some mass delusion caused by a species with highly evolved imaginative faculties? It's a hell of a question, and one (as a young fiction writer myself) I will probably explore in several novels during the next decade.

The Journals of Eleanor Druse only offers glancing shots at this very profound question, and with blurbs like "Watch Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital on ABC-TV" on the cover of the book, it's tempting to write this book off as an extended ad to help build hype for a TV show. There are very few books that Stephen King has written in the past decade that have genuinely captured my interest, and I only wish the so-called "Master of Horror Fiction" would act more like a Master than the witty used-car salesman he seems content to be.

Stacey Cochran
Author of CLAWS available for 80 cents
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tired of lies, and the book is great 2 Mar 2004
By tethys77 - Published on
If you don't like King's adaptation of "The Kingdom", then that's fine. Each to his own. But I am absolutely fed up with this "King stole it" crap. First off, go to King's own website. It clearly cites "The Kingdom" as the original source for the ABC series. The Time magazine article (Feb. 24th, 2004) also credits von Trier.
If ABC only wants to credit von Trier in the opening or closing credits of the episodes, that is their right. Most likely they are not including von Trier's name in the TV spots that are currently advertising the serires because MOST AMERICANS HAVE NEVER HEARD OF VON TRIER!
They have, however, heard of Stephen King and King's fans are exactly the demographic that this show is going to be targeting. A handful of von Trier fans (most of which are probably going to stop watching early on claiming the original is better) are not going to keep this show's ratings up enough to remain on the air.
So do your homework before you start making baseless claims.
Overall, this book is very well written. The character of Sally Druse is very likeable. Also, be on the lookout for several literary jokes made throughout, which, refreshingly, the author didn't feel the need to explain to the audience. You either get them, and they enhance your reading of the book, or they are over your head. Nice to see an author with faith in his/her audience. I read it in one sitting yesterday in preparation for the premiere tonight. Personally, I felt the book was worth the money even though it ends abruptly and waits for the show to pick up the story.
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