Bag of Bones is probably the most complete and satisfying Stephen King novel I have heard to date and the fact that it is read by the author is a big plus! Stephen King will be the first to tell you that he isn't a "professional voice" but as he happens to be the author of the book (duh!), his knowledge of the characters, not only what they say but also how they say it is, as they say, priceless.
Bag of Bones is a ghost story, a love story, and a "whodunit and why" murder mystery all rolled into one. It is also a story that leaves the listener in doubt about the chosen sides of many of the characters right through to the end of the novel. Complemented by sound and music, with lyrics by the author, the audio version of this book (I have both read and listened to this one) is the far superior way to experience the story.
Also, the audio version includes a terrific interview of the author by Eve Beglarian, who produced the audio version. This interview gives the listener an even deeper vision of the story as well as a glimpse into the life of the author and his whole hearted endorsement of audio books as a preferred medium for narrative.
This is not just a story that keeps you on the edge of your proverbial seat - although it does that in places. The characters are developed, the plot thickens and the noverl is worthy of in-depth critical analysis - not just a review in the local Gazette. Gore was kept to a minimum which is important to me - I enjoy the psychological angle - a la Hitchcock. A few other reviewers did not care for King's narration. I enjoyed it. There is a quiet, matter of factness with underlying sadness. I hope he writes another book with this type of thoughtfulness.
I used to not like Stephen King, but lately I've gotten into some of his more character-driven works, and found that when he concentrates on the characters instead of the beasties, he's pretty darned good. Even with this new respect for him, I was surprised by the quality of this novel. Everything works in it, even King's reading of it.
The book is sad through much of it, as you will guess from the first line, so don't listen hoping for a cheerful experience. But the characters are complex and the presentation of the local town where most of the story happens is observant and detailed, and King takes his time developing the mystery. He doesn't even introduce the mystery until far longer than you'd think possible. Still, it will captivate you until he does, and throughout, and not just through the mystery, but through the character interactions and even the moral questions raised.
This book has several layers of story, from the horror story to the romance to the backstory that is slowly developed. Through it all there is a mythical and psychological element to have you working out how much King meant to be metaphor, not just story.
Excellent book. May just change your opinion of where Stephen King fits in the world of literature. This is the type of book that when you finish, you won't want to start another book for a while, because you won't want the taste to leave you.
Stephen King goes gothic. It is also, as far as I know, the first time this author has attempted to write a romance. Of course, don't expect anything close to Harlequin. For one, it's about a million times longer. King tends to go on a bit when he doesn't need to. However, if you are a King fan you probably won't be too disappointed.
Recording: I found the best part of this book, by far, was the recording. King reads this himself, which means he knows exactly what it should sound like. He has also used music to enhance several areas of the novel.
Weakness: This isn't an edge of your seat book. It starts slow and never takes on a breakneck pace.
This is a book for people who enjoy a slow-paced ghost story that takes advantage of a remote and spooky environment.
I have been a fan of Stephen King's books for quite a while and have to say that Bag of Bones is one of his best! Somehow, I missed reading it when it first came out, but am so glad to have purchased the audio version recently. I love to hear Stephen reading Stephen. He makes me feel as if I'm sitting right in front of him, in his living room, listening to him spin his yarns just for me. I feel every flinch, hear every sound, as if I'm right there in the story with him. Very Good book and a necessity for any Stephen King fan.
The book is better then some of the Steven King novels where you get a book inside a book, it doesn't tend to ramble about but flows around the story. I enjoyed it and will listen again. I liked having Steven King as the narrator and I think he did justice to his own book.
Read by Steven King the way it was intended.Once you get into to it it just keeps giving. Unlike some of his other work that just dies at the end. The interconnection of events and the way he lays it out is great
Without doubt Stephen King's best! I have listened to it three times since it came out and enjoy it more with each experience. This is perhaps his most "autobiographical" book as he uses the character of a popular fiction writer to express what might well be some of his own deep-seated fears in life. Although his narration obviously lacks the polish of some of the truly great narrators, his voice gives the story an amazing authenticity that draws you into Western Maine and the lives of his characters. And, of course, it terrifies with his best.