- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (4 Aug. 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1444720686
- ISBN-13: 978-1444720686
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 4.3 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 148 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bag of Bones Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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A writer of excellence . . . King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel. (The Sunday Times)
Accomplished . . . unputdownable . . . his mesmerising best. (Observer)
Splendid entertainment . . . Stephen King is one of those natural storytellers . . . getting hooked is easy. (Express)
An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing is so fluid you often forget that you're reading. (Guardian)
A writer of excellence . . . King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (Sunday Times)
Accomplished . . . unputdownable . . . his mesmerising best (Observer)
Splendid entertainment . . . Stephen King is one of those natural storytellers . . . getting hooked is easy (Express)
An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing is so fluid you often forget that you're reading (Guardian)
About the Author
Stephen King has been described by the Guardian as 'one of the greatest storytellers of our time', by the Mirror as a 'genius' and by The Sunday Times as 'one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel.' In 2003, he was given the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, for most of the year in Maine, USA.
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It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either.
Disclaimer: I don't believe in ghosts, so a book has to be pretty good to get me to suspend my disbelief.
I have a prejudice against books where the main character is a writer - it just seems a bit too Marty Stu for my liking - and this book did go on a bit towards the beginning about the mechanics of publishing. I thought we could have done without some of the conversations with the agent, who didn't turn out to play any part in the story.
Having said that, I enjoyed the story when it finally got underway and picked up a bit more pace, and I developed some sympathy for the main character, Mike Noonan.
My main criticism is that I felt the tying up of the two plots - the custody battle and the Sara haunting - was confusing and unconvincing. I struggled to follow and to understand all the detail towards the end. Timescales and generations seemed to play quite a key role but I found I couldn't grasp them or hold them in my head easily (e.g. who is who's great-grandad, what their relationship with another character is now and how that links with the other character's ancestor back then).
The ghosts I also found unconvincing. Why go to all the effort of making someone write a 120-page manuscript and then point them to a really obscure clue hidden within it by means of an even more obscure crossword-clue-like fridge magnet puzzle? Why not just write 'owls under studio' on the fridge in the first place?
The whole fridge magnets thing I thought was hugely cliched but I could have overlooked it if it had been more convincingly written. I don't feel there was any real need for Mike to see the magnets moving.
The connection between the subplots was tenuous, and characters' motivations were poorly explained in a rushed way at the end. Also, the minor characters weren't fleshed out well during the course of the book so at the denouement it was hard to care about them or find them credible as 'baddies'.
All that aside, it was 'a rip roaring yarn' that I'd enjoy on a plane or on the beach.
Mike Noonan, writer of novels, finds himself suffering writers block after the death of his wife and some shock revelations about that life. Eventually coming to the conclusion that a change of scene is required he heads off to "Sara Laughs" - the family summer home situated on the TR. There he gets entangled with Mattie Devore, her 3 year old daughter Kyra, and the evil Billionaire Max Devore who is bound and determined to take Kyra away from her mother. Whilst trying to help Mattie, Mike comes to realise that he is not alone at Sara Laughs....and by delving into her history he unearths a terrible secret that will put both his and Kyra's life on the line.
Slowly, inexorably, this book will haunt your thoughts. The characters are wonderful but they are not all people. Sara Laughs herself is a major player as is the setting, the so called TR. Even nature comes to life here - and all of us "Constant Readers" know that Mr King's strength is taking the everyday, the mundane and turning it into something that will keep you up at nights. I stand by my firm held belief that what Stephen King writes is mostly NOT horror. Oh no. After all, we all have those moments - the ones where you take the sound of the wind whistling through the pipes and turn it into the monster under your bed. But you wouldnt say you were living a horror story...
I'm becoming more convinced that Stephen King is a unique voice in the world of fiction. One we havent seen before and won't see again. As a popular novelist he has been compared to Charles Dickens, THE popular novelist of his time. For those of us who are simply readers searching out a terrific tale to take ourselves out of our own world for a while Stephen King will do that every time. Literary awards are one thing. REAL value from a story is quite another. Next for me is 11.22.63 - a novel I first read last year. Yes perhaps I should go older first. But Bag of Bones has made me want to read another King novel that I know pulls on my heartstrings. Keep an eye out - I'll tell you about that one soon.
This is a ghost story, on one level, and a story of compassion and courage on another. It is only towards the end that the reader learns of the violent act that sets the ghostly goings-on - and the desperate actions of the guilty - in motion. It is also a story that explores with sensitivity the variety of effects of grief, and in this sense it bears some similarity with Lisey's Story, written eight years later. The extraordinary power of love within a marriage is given voice here, as it is in the later story.
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I'm actually disappointed. Having read many of his books, and being fans of most, this felt long-winded to me.Read more
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