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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King's buried spaceship science fiction horror story
The start of Stephen King's 1987 novel "The Tommyknockers" has always reminded me of the set up of one of my all-time favorite science fiction-horror films, "5 Million Years to Earth" (a.k.a. "Quatermass and the Pit" in the U.K.). A writer named Roberta Anderson, living on the outskirts of the small town of Haven, Maine, is out looking for firewood in the forest behind...
Published on 16 Feb. 2004 by Lawrance Bernabo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Picking Up Stephen King after 15 years
I used to read a lot of Stephen King in my teens and I enjoyed most of them (Needful Things and the Stand stick in my mind) decided to pick up a new book on my Kindle.

I'm not a fan of sci-fi to be honest and this is all about a spaceship, so I supposed I was doomed from the outset with this book, hence the reason for giving it three stars. It is a bit of a...
Published 16 months ago by Paul Holding


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King's buried spaceship science fiction horror story, 16 Feb. 2004
By 
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
The start of Stephen King's 1987 novel "The Tommyknockers" has always reminded me of the set up of one of my all-time favorite science fiction-horror films, "5 Million Years to Earth" (a.k.a. "Quatermass and the Pit" in the U.K.). A writer named Roberta Anderson, living on the outskirts of the small town of Haven, Maine, is out looking for firewood in the forest behind her house when she stumbles over three inches of metal. She assumes that she has stumbled over a beer can left behind by a logger, but instead she discovers the metal was solid. What she has found is a space ship, buried in the earth for millions of years, but still vibrating faintly. So, Bobbi begins to dig the giant craft out of the earth by herself, soon to be joined by her friend and former lover Jim Gardener, and by the strange advanced technology that they are suddenly inspired to create. But as they uncover more of the ship Bobbi and Jim, as well as the rest of the citizens of Haven, all start to change.
Up to that point "The Tommyknockers" is pretty good and I have to admit that I thought the idea of alien technology working into the ancient rubric that there are some things human beings were not meant to tamper with was enough to sustain the story. But instead we are treated to a malevolent presence that has evil designs on the citizen of Haven and that seemed to me like overkill. Add to that the fact the two main characters are writers (King dedicates the novel to his wife Tabitha, who is also a novelist), and "The Tommyknockers" becomes a bit too self referential for me as does the whole subplot about Gardener’s writer’s block. This novel represents the start of a period in King's writing where my recurring complaint was that the great set up never resulted in an ending that was equal to the task, although we do have a sort of reverse "deus ex machina" at the end of this one. But the discovery of the ship and the weird inventions people in Haven start putting together out of odds, ends and batteries is pretty good stuff.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, 3 April 2008
By 
John (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Paperback)
This book is simply amazing. Yes, it may be overly long and slightly tedious in places (particularly near the end), but it does have some fantastic moments including every one of the character sub-stories, particularly the introduction of the middle-aged, gold-toothed, foul mouthed, drug-snorting Sissy which breathes new life into the book in its later stages. The references to other King books (It, Firestarter) are a nice touch too. Obviously people who knock this book don't have very long attention spans and are not aware that it takes great skill to keep a reader entertained over such a long story. A King classic, only the Stand is better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, half SF, half horror story, just a little short of a masterpiece, 5 Sept. 2007
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Paperback)
I first read this book ages ago, in the 80s, and I didn't like it at all - but it was clearly because of a horribly bad French translation (in this time I couldn't read English). I returned to it now and I found it quite good, although with a little weak ending.

There are many excellent things in this book. First, the idea of digging. There is something extremely appealing about the idea that there is somewhere, very close to our home, a buried treasure waiting to be uncovered. King is always at his best exploring children fantasies and fears (he is a teacher by profession) and here he had the idea of discovering a real alien spacecraft buried just behind one of the main character's house. This will of course have very serious consequences to almost everybody in the town, expecially considering that the aliens who used to own the ship were really, but really NOT ET-like...

There are many great moments in this book and in fact one of the chapters from the middle is so good that sometimes it figures in King's antologies as a separate short story and it was also adapted for TV as one of the "Outer Limits" episodes.

There are however some flaws, which make it impossible to five star it. The ending is unsatisfactory and hastened, as if the author was on a too strict a deadline. The identity of the evil force in the book is uncertain and confusing - is it a ghost of one of alien crew? Is it just a poisonous gas? I failed to understand this point and it left me hungry for answers at the end.

Then there is one (just one) point which I found simply too stupid to suffer - although the "tommyknockers" are so smart that they can easily rebuild vending machines in warrior robots, they are forced to kidnap living beings to use them as sources of energy! How on Earth couldn't they think about something simpler, like solar panels or even just tapping discreetly the energy lines? OK, the latter would still attract attention ultimately but much less than disappearance of people!

Still, I had fun reading this book and I think that even less than perfect Stephen King's works are still the best you can find on the market as far as fantastic books are concerned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read read read. Very good. Don't see the film, though., 25 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Paperback)
This truly is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It encompasses humour with violence, horror and a GREAT storyline. I especially like the layout of the book; every chapter makes a different story that all comes together at the end. His people are realistic, his action full-on. He also ends it in true Shakespeare way, but with less tragedy and more humour. But DON'T see the film. Read this instead. One of my favorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best, 9 Oct. 2013
By 
MarkusG "Markus" (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Paperback)
I've heard mostly negative opinions of The Tommyknockers, at least when it was published in 1988 and I was a teenager who read books like this. So I skipped it. Now over 20 years later I decided to try it, for some reason I haven't got a clue of. And I must say that this is one of the best King novels. Of course it is a little too long (nearly 700 pages), but that is his trademark. The story should not be read about in advance, just read the book. It contains some brilliant ideas, the main characters are well drawn and interesting and the story has suspense enough to last to the end. The only thing I find negative is the description of one of minor characters (Sissy), introduced towards the end, who don't feel realistic at all and too much a cliché. But as this is only about 10 pages it's no biggie. Gard, the protagonist, a sometimes brilliant but mostly hopeless alcoholic poet, is well drawn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Picking Up Stephen King after 15 years, 2 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Kindle Edition)
I used to read a lot of Stephen King in my teens and I enjoyed most of them (Needful Things and the Stand stick in my mind) decided to pick up a new book on my Kindle.

I'm not a fan of sci-fi to be honest and this is all about a spaceship, so I supposed I was doomed from the outset with this book, hence the reason for giving it three stars. It is a bit of a tomb too but I have yet to give up on a book and finished this one too although I found that it drags on at times.

I did enjoy defamiliarising myself with Stephen Kings style of writing. He can definitely write there is no denying that. It's also funny to read a book written in the eighties where a lot of the technology we now take for granted is absent which makes a story line possible which no longer would be.

If you like sic-fi and Stephen King, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic, engrossing read..., 30 Aug. 2007
By 
Mr. Bruno Gissara "Angelheart22" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Hardcover)
I bought this book many years ago, but have read it at least six times, and have to say it never bores me... It is easily one of Stephen King's best novels; it is very long, but is so good, time passes easily, and you just want to carry on reading... I rate this book up there with The Shining and Salem's Lot... If you are a fan of Stephen King (as i am) buy it!!..
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good story, good pace but a little slow in places, 21 May 2013
By 
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Kindle Edition)
I've had this one in my collection for a while and couldn't remember reading it - so I gave it a blast. I've read lots of Stephen King novels and whilst he tells an excellent tale, he doesn't always get the endings right. I thought that Tommyknockers has one of the better Stephen King endings, much better than some of his recent books like `Under the Dome'.

The story introduces us the characters in the book and we start to get to know them. Even the secondary characters are well detailed and brought to life by King's narrative. We start to get a hint of the pace changing when lead character Bobbi Anderson trips over a piece of exposed metal on her land. Gradually we find out that the metal is part of a much larger structure, one that begins not only to affect her life but those of the other town-folk as well.

The story is a long one, and the pace is brisk for much of the book although there are some parts that you need to read in fast forward (am I the only one who doesn't like quotes from songs/other books at the start of chapters?). The characters are believable although the science is a little less so (I think there is probably a limit to what you can build with old calculators and batteries...)

The story picks up pace as you get past the half way mark, and even towards the end there are new characters and twists that keep you reading. I enjoyed this book and found myself picking it up and reading it to see what comes next - always the sign of a good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!, 18 Dec. 2003
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Hardcover)
i was bought this book when i was eleven, and if i have read this once, i've read it a million times. and it just gets better each time.
buy it - you won't regret it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King + Science Fiction = Match Made In Heaven!!, 14 Dec. 2012
By 
This review is from: The Tommyknockers (Paperback)
I love this book. It was the second Stephen king book I had read and after reading "The Shining", I was dubious that any book could live up to The Shining.

The Tommy knockers is pure horror, science fiction!

There is a rhyme that is repeated throughout the book.
"Late last night and the night before,
Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door.
I want to go out, don't know if I can,
'Cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man.

One day soon, one day after,
They tried on my sanity with hellacious laughter,
I wanna go to bed, I wanna go to sleep
But I can't ,cause of the damned Tommyknockers creeps."

Just reading this rhyme sends shivers down my spine.

There is nothing quite as horrific as a town being "changed" one by one.
Stephen King's use of wording and imagery is enough to stop anyone investigating that strange piece of metal you fell over last week...

Brilliant book with a brilliant story.
I love this book and highly recommend.
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The Tommyknockers
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King (Paperback - 11 Oct. 2012)
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