Hi all . . . I'm a music professor in Birmingham, AL.
I have loved Stephen King since my youth. This is a mature story that has sprinklings of all the other SK books I've loved for many years. He does a great job reading the work as well.
I am likely to re-listen to this book in order to pick out the little items hinted at towards the beginning that played a larger part in the end. (to see what I overlooked).
As always listening to the Author who knows the tone, style, and what to bring to the story they have written is preferred by me. I know Stephen king isn't the "Actor" some readers are, He seems to get the story across Very Well!.
I rated the performance a 4 basically because compared to some 5 star readers he probably rates about a 3, but the extra quality he brings to reading his own works to me brings it back to a 5, so i averaged it out.
Although, the flow was normal for Stephen King, Slow build up then everything flys at the end. I felt the End was stretched well beyond the story in order to "explain" some of the items that just didn't come out in the story on its own. In this case it may have just been wrong (slowing or disrupting the flow of the story) if it was forced in elsewhere. This is why i discounted to a 4 rating.
It reminds me a little of Duma Key with all of its super natural components.
Mike, of course.
Loved this book...just sucks you in and doesn't let you go. I also loved that King narrated this one himself. I'm new to Stephen King books (my mom read them all, but I was always afraid that they would frighten me!). Now that I've started, I simply can't stop. Love this man's mind!
No, it was the longest book I wish I had never read
Something good by King
King should stick to writing
No, please, no!
Very disappointing to a long-time fan
Female, Military Background, Mother, Wife. Enjoys Science, Medicine (in particular viruses and diseases).
I find that having the author (Stephen King) reading a book that he created brought about a completely different element to the audio book experience. It feels like a more complete experience hearing his voice reading to me the words he created into a story that I truly felt connected to. Like a good friend that I know and trust relaying an intimate story that means something to him about somebody else he has known since birth. The connection is that deep and that strong, and you can feel it. The fact that I can hear the words out loud exactly as Stephen King intended (I presume) his story to be told made it that much more special for me, as one of his many fans out there in the world.
The most satisfying part of this novel, as with any novel, is when the pieces come together after hours of 'foreplay' in which we are trying to understand the motives of the different characters. For me, finally understanding Sarah as a character towards the end of the book tied up all of the loose ends for me in a very satisfying way. My favourite antagonists are the ones that aren't clearly evil or clearly unhuman but the ones that you can relate to and identify with and understand. Especially the ones you can empathize with through the creative narration given to you.
Engaging, Comforting, Intimate
I believe there is already a film for this book.
I listen to many audio-books because I live in southern california, and that means traffic. With that in mind, it took me a few minutes to adjust from the professional orators and their polished recordings for a more intimate version of audio-book story telling. I didn't grade him very well on performance due to the fact that it was a hard adjustment from what I've come to expect from audio books, and his oration wasn't very good, but also added to the comforting feeling of the book. Like a beloved relative (I'm picturing my father) reading to you before you go to bed. It's not perfect, but it's Dad, which makes it that much more special. Same instance here, Stephen King's accent was a bit hard for me to adjust to, but after I adjusted somewhere in chapter 3, his voice became familiar and I began to appreciate the sound of his voice for what it really was: the voice of the creator of the story I was being told.
Great chunks of the story have been left out, I have the book on tape and in paperback
Great story ruined by missing bits
A book read by the author is usually best
Don't know what I was doing back in 1998 that made me miss this Stephen King book, but I'm rather glad to have the chance to listen to it now in 2012. Hearing King read the book was both intimate and chilling. Although the plot is supernatural (which I can't quite believe in), the characters are credible and I thoroughly enjoyed the listen.
Stephen King is a good writer but horrible at reading his own book. The book is full of this annoying audio track of music and sound effects between each chapter that just made the book unreadable to me. Give me a different narrator and no music track and I will try again.
I've heard a few books read by the authors, and in every case it was a disappointment - until Bag of Bones. Stephen King may not be a professional reader, but this is his book and it's so special hearing the tale from the master story teller himself. His characterizations were not overdone - in fact, King is so good when writing character dialogue that you don't really even need a change in voice to tell who is talking - but he did do the changes well, surprisingly so. He knows these people after all. I loved the little girls voice, because he didn't overdo it, and again, her dialect was so perfect for her age, it just seemed natural.
The story itself, (and that's what's the most important) defies being put into a genre. There is a gothic like element, and romance, and just outright human nature at both its best and its worst, and its most human. Something I love about King's books - I always care what happens to the characters. They have their flaws as do we all, and that is what makes us identify with them. There are twists and turns and surprises, and enough suspence to keep you listening much longer than you intended.
The one thing that I have as a critique is the music that played in between many of the chapters, and occasionally during moments of tension. I do "get it" that this particular music was in a sense very much part of the theme of the book. But I am partially deaf in one ear and sounds that blend in with voices tend to muffle out the voices.Suspense doesn't need music to be suspenseful, and bleeding the music into the first or last few lines of each chapter was a distraction for me because I had to listen carefully to hear what was being said. Still, I enjoyed Stephen's reading so much I still gave it a 5 in performance in spite of the music - just wanted to mention it for publishers, please, go light on music in audiobooks.