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The Tommyknockers [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $9.34
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Late Last Night and the Night Before…

…Tommyknockers, tommyknockers, knocking at the door.

Something was happening in Bobbi Anderson’s idyllic small town of Haven, Maine. Something that gave every man, woman, and child in town powers far beyond ordinary mortals. Something that turned the town into a death trap for all outsiders. Something that came from a metal object, buried for millennia, that Bobbi stumbled across.

It wasn’t that Bobbi and the other good folks of Haven had sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of hell. It was more like a diabolical takeover…and invasion of body and soul—and mind.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

King's new novel, a numbing variation on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, offers its own best commentary on itself. Nearly one-third of the way through the 560-page book, protagonist Bobbi Anderson, a writer of westerns, describes what she has stumbled upon in her backyard to her friend Gardener, an alcoholic poet: "It was a flying saucer. No self-respecting science-fiction writer would put one in his story, and if he did, no self-respecting editor would touch it with a ten-foot pole.. . . It is the oldest wheeze in the book." After the vampirish Tommyknockers in the spaceship have wrought their evil magic upon the inhabitants of Haven (Tommyknockers live on the blood of comatose humans circulated through mind-reading PCs connected to VCRs), the unfortunate townspeople have, it seems, "become" (the word, over-used and never explained, is King's) "something else" (the vague words are also the author's). The "gadgets" of the town "become" living beings that kill (there are marauding hedge cutters and Coke machines, Electrolux vacuums, Yamaha motorcycles and flying smoke detectors ) and The Tommyknockers is consumed by the rambling prose of its author. Taking a whole town as his canvas, King uses too-broad strokes, adding cartoonlike characters and unlikely catastrophes like so many logs on a fire; ultimately he loses all semblance of style, carefully structured plot or resonant meaning, the hallmarks of his best writing. It is clear from this latest work that King himself has "become" a writing machinethis is his fourth novel since It was published 14 months ago; the faithful readers not overwhelmed by his latest fictional "gadget" are likely to wonder, as poet Gardener does near the novel's end: "What had it all been for? He realized miserably that he was never going to know."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Yet another mammoth horror novel from King, this dark tale depicts a small town's fatal encounter with creatures from outer space. Events start with Roberta Anderson, a writer of Old West novels, unearthing a flying saucer on her remote wooded property. Five hundred pages later alcoholic poet Jim Gardener, Roberts's former English teacher, finds himself aboard the flying saucer in outer space. In the interval the creatures (Tommyknockers) destroy the citizenry of Haven, Maine. While this is not one of King's more original novels, it does have plenty of blood and guts, macabre humor, and a well-wrought realization of the New England countryside. No doubt King's legions of fans will demand it. BOMC main selection. James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Lib., Alamosa, Col.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1099 KB
  • Print Length: 996 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0340952733
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (October 31, 1988)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for people of a certain age. January 29, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am about the same age as Stephen King and have read his works throughout my adult life. I think most readers are too young to appreciate this book.

Stephen King's early works, assembelled in chronological order, are all symbolic stories of stages in his own life. "Carrie" is about high school, "Salem's Lot" about love and loss in early adulthood, "The Shining" about the anxieties of fatherhood. "It" is about the reworking of childhood issues in mid-life. All great fiction talks to us on a subconcious level.

"Tommy Knockers" is about aging and death. Time possesses and mutates all of us, makes our teeth and hair fall out, truncates our dreams, makes us unrecognizable from our youthful selves. This is a sad book, and unlike King's earlier works the protagonists have no power to fight such an enemy. Affirming the value of love, however futile, in the face of death is the point of the book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing King, not up to usual standard August 20, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a big King fan, and have read many of his books. They are usually great but this is poor. Bobby Anderson, a quiet women living on a farm in the peaceful town of Haven, stumbles over an object in the woods. Curious, she begins to dig it up, and it begins to change a town of good-natured people into slave-like zombies. Stupidly overlong and sleep-inducingly dull at points, this ridiculous tale about (among other things) aliens, flying tractors, guns that warp people to other planets and battery powered water heaters is daft as hell. King normally gets around this problem by developing great characters, but the book skitters between them far too much to allow you to start caring about them. There are some compelling points (such as the first stages of the chaos that erupts in the town, and Gards first look at the inside of the shed) but they are quickly forgotten thanks to a silly, over-the-top sci-fi sequence or a dull sub-plot. Kings attempt at doing a dated 60's B-movie has not worked, and the result is a tedious read that pushes you through the pages more often than it sucks you in.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why the negativity? This is a gripping read December 6, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, to be honest, the book gets gripping after one slogs through the first 200 pages. Before that, we spend a looong time getting to know Bobbi Anderson and Jim Gardener. But once the book expands its narrative to include the members of the entire town of Haven, the book does not let up.
The first two hundred pages, and a bit too much techno jargon prevent me from fully bestowing this book with a full 5 stars. King has clearly done his homework on this book, but after a while, all the descriptions of the souped up gadgets made my eyes swim (much as Tolkien's endless landscape descriptions in "Lord of the Rings" made me wish good old John Ronald Reuel had pioneered the minimalist writing style.)
The Tommyknockers, while not my favorite King novel, is a great effort. people may complain about an anti-climactic ending (They must have read the ending to a different book, the climax I read was rather exciting)or the fact that the characters seem to stumble down a path of destruction. Well, that happens in life as well. I think King's writing is at the top of its form... I think the scene when Jim Gardener drunkenly ruins an all too polite cocktail party with a rant against the destructive powers of nuclear energy is one of the most powerful scenes in all of King's canon, and one of the most chilling without benefit of any super- or preter- natural interference. Despite all of the evil the characters in his novels have faced (indeed, Pennywise the clown makes a brief appearance in a city sewer, which is odd as this tale is to have taken place 3 years after the events in IT... one thinks King's editors add the dates of the events of his novels to coincide with the publication dates and not to correspond with when the novels were actually written.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll keep you turning the pages right to the end August 24, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not renowned for reading a book twice. In fact it's a VERY rare habit based on the premise that, if I know what's going to happen, I won't enjoy it second time round. However, I made an exception with Tommyknockers because my memories of it had begun to fade. What I discovered on second reading was the depth of Stephen King's writing. Knowing the storyline and the ending probably gave me more time to savour the text and, though King is a genius commercial writer as opposed to a pretentious literary scribbler, there are phrases and structure in this book that evade all but the most accomplished authors. Let's ignore the story (there are plenty of reviews to tell you about that) and just concentrate on the writing. The hero is a troubled alcoholic poet, Jim Gardener, who comes to check on his friend Bobbi who, unknown to him, has uncovered a UFO. There's much in the character of Gardener that escapes through the line spacing first time round. His readings at poetry meetings suddenly take on a new meaning when you're not concerned about the 'plot'. Maybe King based his characterization on his own view of himself. If so, The Tommyknockers gives a real insight into 'The Master'. But then King has always been top of the tree when it comes to characterization, so maybe he just imagined it all in his head. If so, it's an even more remarkable feat. The Tommyknockers is amongst King's best works. If you've not already read it, add it to your shopping basket right now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this story.
Published 3 days ago by Deborah Bahmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Use two books as spacers to raise your monitor because it’s always...
Please people with the money, if you buy a new book, include a used one in your shopping cart. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Ricky Taillefer
5.0 out of 5 stars Late last night and the night before....
What can I say? Another King classic. It takes a very long time for this book to get started - but we need this time to get to know our characters, their strengths - and... Read more
Published 13 days ago by John Drago
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool
I know that King doesn't like this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a way of taking over your mind.
Published 1 month ago by Robert Mays
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by EJ
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought it would be in better
thank you for the book. the condition of it was somewhat disappointing though. I thought it would be in better condition
Published 1 month ago by susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Stephen King is super talented. This book is extremely strange, but in a way that is good and appealing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Aria Stone
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great writing; an unusually interesting story; wonderful entertainment.
Published 2 months ago by William
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Was a present, son in law loves it.
Published 2 months ago by Victoria Werts
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
Scarey. Loved it.
Published 2 months ago by Judy K. Baughman
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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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