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Bag of Bones | [Stephen King]

Bag of Bones

Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
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Publisher's Summary

Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, he decides to return to Sara Laughs, the Noonans' isolated summer home. In his beloved Yankee town, he finds himself falling in love with a widowed young mother, who struggles to keep custody of her 3-year-old daughter. He is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

©1998 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved; (P)1998 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved

What the Critics Say

"The witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination." (Amy Tan)
"What King lacks in professional polish he makes up for with an infectious enthusiasm that will lock in listeners for the long haul." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3087 )
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4.3 (1650 )
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Story
4.3 (1639 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth Round Rock, TX, USA 04-09-08
    Kenneth Round Rock, TX, USA 04-09-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    FOLLOWING
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    "King"

    I do not usually write reviews because of time restraints, lack of vanity etc. BUT Thank God for King writing this one (and reading it,bonus)Spellbinding, gripping, thought provoking;easily one of his best works! GREAT!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Burghfield CommonUnited Kingdom 10-05-07
    Wayne Burghfield CommonUnited Kingdom 10-05-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I was dubious of this story from the summary but the fact that it is narrated by Steven King himself caused me to take a punt. I am glad I did as this book, in my opinion, is possibly the best book Steven King has written. Confusing and strange at first but immensely compelling and delightfully involving. Although Steven King doesn't have the voice presence of some of the more popular reading artists, the fact that it is his own work he is reading adds to the overall effect and makes this one of the most enjoyable audible books and stories I have listened to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bang houston, TX, USA 05-04-07
    Bang houston, TX, USA 05-04-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    29
    6
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    "Long but worth the time"

    Awesome book. One of King's best.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Saranac Lake, NY, USA 09-07-06
    Michael Saranac Lake, NY, USA 09-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    4
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    Overall
    "Slow starter, for a good reason"

    I began listening with my daughter on a long drive to NH. After several hours, we agreed it was a well-written slow starter. King's imagery is stunningly vivid, memorable, but why go on in seeming pointless detail about the daily life of a recently widowed writer? And where was the horror? But it becomes so clear later and all those slow life details have a point. It is a quiet horror story about the hidden life of locals in a small Maine town. Be sure and catch the interview with King at the end (but DON'T jump ahead to it!).
    And, of course, what better narrator than King himself? I am not a big King fan and I was quite disappointed with his latest, "Cell," so that was the deciding factor when I purchased this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin austin, TX, United States 12-14-05
    Kevin austin, TX, United States 12-14-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "Best King Bood I've read"

    I got this book just to see if I would like it. I read no reviews and knew nothing about it before I started listening. I was very skeptical about King reading his own work, but decided to give it a try anyway. I am glad I did.

    Bag of Bones is now one of my favorite books. King's narration is nothing short of brilliant. The book is written in first person and you get the feeling that King actually lived this tale.

    What I really like is that Bag of Bones is not just a ghost story. It is a book about a writer attempting to deal with the death of his wife, writer's block, and his dawning realization that there are things more important and more fulfilling in his life that simply writing his mystery novels.

    This book has all the elements that I love in a good story - real characters that you care about, suspense, a great plot that does not reveal itself fully until the end, and great insight into the human condition.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Reynolds 08-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    42
    2
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    "My favorite audio book so far"

    A fascinating story, beautiful writing, and well performed by the author. This book kept me utterly distracted at the office and made me march extra blocks on my evening walks so I could just hear one more chapter. Definitely a must for a King fan.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, USA 12-13-04
    Eric MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, USA 12-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
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    13
    6
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    "A different King"

    I was very pleasantly surprised. King shows a different range in this book. The depth of characters and complex storylines demonstrate King's matrurity and mastery as a writer. This is a long story, with many plotlines and characters, but the characters remained interesting throughout. You really care about what happens to them, and that is what good fiction writing is all about.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Nelson, BC, Canada 05-16-04
    Terry Nelson, BC, Canada 05-16-04 Member Since 2011

    Lawyer in Nelson BC. Love historical fiction like World without End or Up Country. Google Plex was so intriguing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Well worth the listen"

    What a joy to listen to. You get the book and an interview with King at the end where he talks about his views of this book - Both were excellent.

    The story unfolds is such an upredictable style. I listened to it while driving long distances. It makes hours seem like minutes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-10-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1006
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    409
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    Performance
    Story
    "I did not enjoy the journey."

    I did not feel good at the end. Too many unclear dreams and partial psychic visions. Underneath this was a good story and would have been a good novella. But I felt like the author threw in filler to make it novel length. The story begins with Mike losing his wife due to a brain aneurism (or something internal). The first 3 ½ hours are about Mike’s grief and writer’s block. I was tired of it. For me, the story finally begins when Mike meets three-year-old Kyra and her mother Mattie. Mattie’s husband died in an accident. Her wealthy evil father-in-law is suing for custody of Kyra. Mike becomes a friend to Kyra and Mattie and hires a lawyer to help them. The rest of the story has too much vaguery. Mike has several dreams and nightmares. He has many partial psychic visions. Ghosts are doing things, not fully explained. The local townspeople don’t like Mattie and later don’t like Mike. Their reasons and actions were not explained. Finally at the end there is a tell-all where someone asks Mike questions and Mike explains: back in 1901 this happened, then later these other things happened, and recently this happened and why. Tell-alls at the end are not a good vehicle for me. I prefer learning bits and pieces as one journeys through the story. So this disappointed me.

    At the end of the book I was not clear about things, for example why certain local townspeople did what they did. I wanted to know more about Max and Rogette. Max tried to kill someone, but it didn’t work. So why didn’t Max hire someone to do it? He hired someone to kill another. Why didn’t the shooter’s buddies help the shooter when the shooter was in trouble? A good guy tries to help a drowning bad guy. The bad guy bites the hand trying to help and ends up dying. Why bite?

    FOR SENSITIVE READERS:
    There was a horrible-violent-rape-murder scene. It was depressing and stayed in my thoughts too much afterwards. A short part of the story has depressing and sad content about prejudice and violence against blacks. Language includes racial slurs.

    NARRATOR:
    Stephen King narrated. I believe he did the local Maine accent well. I love him as an author but not as a narrator. He says Mondeey, Tuesdeey, and a few other things which are unpleasant for me. I prefer actors with generic accents.

    Genre: paranormal mystery suspense.
    Ending: Good for some good guys, not all.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice Enfield, CT, USA 08-19-03
    Alice Enfield, CT, USA 08-19-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    121
    10
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    "EXCELLENT"

    This was my first Stephen King book ever. I had always been afraid to read his books but this one just looked interesting. I was VERY glad I listened to it, it had just the right amount of scare and no gore. The fact that he reads the story himself is great. It had me interested from the start and kept me interested the entire way through. I found myself wishing my commute was longer some days. I thouroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. If you've never listed to (or read) Stephen King before this is the one to try. I recommended it to a friend and she is enjoying it now just as much as I did. Oh, and the bonus interview with him at the end is interesting too.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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