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Bag of Bones Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1999
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Anne Rivers Siddons I loved Bag of Bones. It's Stephen King for the new millennium, with all the heart and wit showing through the suspense. I always knew he'd do this. Such an evocation of love, grief and healing.
San Diego Union Tribune For those of you who think that Stephen King writes only horror fiction, think again....In Bag Of Bones, King offers readers a rare blend of luminous prose, thought-provoking themes and masterful storytelling.
Amy Tan What I admire most about Bag of Bones is its intelligence of voice, not only the craftsmanship -- the indelible sense of place, the well-fleshed characters, the unstoppable story line -- but the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination. It places both the ghost story and Stephen King in their proper place on the shelf of literary American fiction.
Entertainment Weekly Bag of Bones is, hands down, King's most narratively subversive fiction. Whenever you're positive -- just positive! -- you know where this ghost story is heading, that's exactly when it gallops off in some jaw-dropping new direction.
Mademoiselle This is King at his clever, terrifying best.
Newsweek Contains some of [King's] best writing...This is King's most romantic book, and ghosts are up and about from the get-go....The big surprise here is the emotional wallop the story packs.
The New York Times Book Review Stephen King is so widely accepted as America's master of paranormal terrors that you can forget his real genius is for the everyday...This is a book about reanimation: the ghosts', of course, but also Mike's, his desire to re-embrace love and work after a long bereavement that King depicts with an eye for the kind of small but moving details that don't typically distinguish blockbuster horror novels.
People magazine Bag of Bones proves that King is as seductive a storyteller as ever, pulling readers along as he explores the hidden evils of small-town America.
Minneapolis Star Tribune King has honed his talent into a unique American voice, broader and more ambitious than most of his peers....[Bag of Bones] has depth....It's a ghost story, a love story, a story about race and power...One more thing: Yes, it's scary. Of course it's scary.
Atlanta Journal & Constitution It may be that after thirty-one novels, Stephen King is just getting started....Bag of Bones may be Stephen King's most ambitious novel ...the effort has inspired a new directness and maturity in his work....Very few writers can convey the passive terrors of nightmares better than King, and he crafts one amazing dream sequence after another.
From the Back Cover
Here is Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel -- a tale of grief and lost love's enduring bonds, of haunting secrets of the past, and of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.
Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose vindictive purpose is to take his three-year-old granddaughter, Kyra, away from her widowed young mother, Mattie. As Mike is drawn into Mattie and Kyra's struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here -- and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
It is no secret that King is one of our most mesmerizing storytellers. In BAG OF BONES, he proves to be one of our most moving as well.
Top customer reviews
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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. I wasn't really feeling the ghost story part either. Maybe he should just stick to writing about sickos that are living, I dunno, but this one... UGH!
The story frustrated me. It took too long to get anywhere, while sometimes I felt it was going nowhere at all. The characters were boring, for the most part, except for Ki. She was adorable. (Was she based on his grand-daughter? Does he even have a grand-daughter? Again, dunno.)
Yup, still a huge fan of Stephen King, but this is not getting a recommendation from me any time soon. Start with Rose Madder instead, if you're a newbie to his works and don't want to get spooked to badly. It's a good one. Or read The Bachman Books. Good stuff there too!
By the first 400 pages, I was ready to give the book a 5/5. The protagonist's internal struggle and the nightmares left me thinking of the possibility that everything happening to him is just some sort of extreme delusion, a product of his mental breakdown culminating over the years since his wife's death. It was mysterious. It was nice. Also, the whole relationship between him, the little girl and her mother felt heartwarming more often than not. His lust at nights. His paranoia. And his will to help her against her daddy-in-law in a lawsuit, who practically wants to take the daughter from her mother. There were two well-crafted storylines flowing parallel to one another, with some seeping from one line to the other.
Then comes the very convenient, yet unexplained suicide of the aforementioned daddy-in-law, and thereafter everything goes south. Inconsequentialities start popping up all around the pages, where you start questioning the reasons behind characters' existence, the why's behind events' occurring, and the how's of characters' abilities. The book even dares to break the fourth wall by referencing one of the 'easy-way-outs'. The book quotes Raymond Chandler, “When the story starts going sour, bring on the man with the gun.”, in reference to earlier events in the book. Telling us that you are aware of a few of your 'easy-way-outs', and yet do nothing beforehand to fix them? That's rather smuggy! I would pass on it if it were the only example, but the final 300 pages were littered with such instances.
I gave the book a 3/5, and that is with a stretch. I really enjoyed the first half. Heck, the scare factor as hell was there. I might be ashamed, or proud to admit, but I did have a few rather unpleasant dreams, with the book's content being the theme. So, as a horror book, it did its job well. However, the second half effectively killed it! 3/5 score is giving my respects to the first half... This is my second worst-yet King's book, right after Cell. (These are the only two King books I did not like)
(Overall, I am huge fan of Stephen King, so this book hurt me... :()