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The Tommyknockers by [King, Stephen]
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The Tommyknockers Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 359 customer reviews

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Length: 749 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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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: 1950 KB
  • Print Length: 749 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (October 31, 1988)
  • Publication Date: October 31, 1988
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SKZBUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,150 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Controversial, but only for slow readers.

The deal is, I'm a pretty fast reader. I tear through books. It is often that a book will be disappoint me because I can clearly see the gaps in plot, or areas where perhaps the author set the manuscript aside, only to return and forget nuances crucial to the development of the story.

This book, one of King's most hotly debated, almost reads like two books: a before, and an after. The first is pure character development, the second all action. I engage with both because they are King trademarks. I don't mind reading about the characters, the minutiae of their lives, of the mundane, because I know that King will deliver in the end. I never got bored, or lost my place. King writes in a fury that shows how dedicated he is to the plot, and he is one of the very few authors that do not disappoint my voracious reading appetite. I enjoyed 'The Tommyknockers,' perhaps not his best, but far from his worst. Besides the extensive 'intro,' it is classic King through-and-through. Reading 'Tommyknockers' now, after reading some of his most recent work, is like returning to your childhood home. A little predictable, familiar, and like the same ghost story told again and again, it's all in the anticipation of what you just know is going to happen.

Why you should read it: if you love vintage King, the good ol'-fashioned Maine backwoods King. Because you love his crazy characters.

Why you shouldn't read it: if you are a slow reader. If you are impatient, and lost to subtlety. If you don't care for well-crafted prose and instead like edge of your seat action without stops.

The story is solid, you just have to be dedicated.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Tommyknockers is not your typical horror novel. Stephen King goes above and beyond our expectations, bringing us mystery, suspense, and an incredible twist at the end that leaves us begging for more. You'll never look at small towns the same after visiting the seemingly innocent community of Haven, Maine, where the story takes place. The superhuman powers and horror that follows after Bobbi Andersons shocking discovery on her property will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire novel. Though the length of the book may seem intimidating at first, do not be deterred; it's an easy read, a constant page turner, and worth every minute! Much like the outsiders around the town of Haven, once you get in to explore the Tommyknockers, there will be no turning back.
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