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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Saranac Lake, NY, USA 09-07-06
    Michael Saranac Lake, NY, USA 09-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    3 of 3 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
    5
    ratings
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Reynolds 08-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    3 of 3 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
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David rockvale, TN, USA 10-23-03
    David rockvale, TN, USA 10-23-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of his best"

    I was reluctant at first to download a 21 hour book first narrarated by steven king but also because I had just read the "the gunslinger" and had not enjoyed it that much. Don't know why. Anyway, I wasn't going to read the rest of the dark tower series if I didn't like the first book. So, I read the comments and ratings for bag of bones, which were very good, and decided I'd give it a try.

    Boy! Was I glad I did! This has got to be one of King's best. I really enjoyed the story and he slowly walks you down a path where reality and fantasy and horror all come togehter in the end but at just the right speed.

    At first I didn't like King's funny voice. I had just listened to "the company--excellent!!--with scott brick as narrator (he's great)so Steven's voice was a "switch". At first it sounded kind of on the unpolished, droning side. But once I got use to it and his inflection and maybe he too got warmed up as the book progressed, I got to really like it. I couldn't imagine anybody else reading this book.

    If you're teetering on this one, DON'T. Download this one. It's well worth the listen. It has all the elements, wife loved, lost, new girl, bad guy(s), kids, comedy, and scary parts. He did great. They need to make a movie out of this one too.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerel Carpinteria, CA, USA 06-22-03
    Jerel Carpinteria, CA, USA 06-22-03 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First Audible and First King!!"

    <u>Bag of Bones</u> is my first Stephen King book, as well as my first Audible book, and I am thoroughly pleased with it. Stephen King's narration was fabulous, though clearly "unprofessional." It only took me a few minutes before the story pulled me in and I became accustomed to his narrative style. Unlike another book I've gotten, his inflection and tone were PERFECT, as you might expect from the author himself. His voice characterizations were not over-done and the music complemented the story perfectly. As for the story, it was truly great and memorable. I am not likely to ever forget this story. It is indeed a haunting, sometimes spooky, love story, and the ending is just as strong as the rest of the book. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to anybody as a "first Audible book" and I would recommend it to anyone who is open to some spookiness in their fiction. I would recommend it to anybody except those who can't stand ANY violence in their books. There is a little, which is crucial to the story, but it is not overdone. All in all, FANTASTIC!!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Garland, TX, USA 03-23-03
    Rick Garland, TX, USA 03-23-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Spooky"

    What a great book! Spooky and interesting. Makes me wonder where Mr. King gets his ideas. Just when you think you know where this story is going...

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, USA 12-13-04
    Eric MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, USA 12-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 12-19-12
    Matt 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Emotionally taxing - well done."
    Where does Bag of Bones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a great deal of Stephen King via audiobook - It, Dark Tower series, Dreamcatchers, etc. This was comparable to my previous experiences. Probably a 7 out of 10 compared to other audiobooks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The writers ability to encourage the reader to look over the precipice of life and into the gaping darkness of being left behind when your loved one’s pass, was personally emotionally taxing, but well done.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As Mike Noonan inadvertantely goes for a swim, a fact dawns on him about the length to which those who oppose him, will go.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Being that it's a lengthy book, that's not practical; but Stephen King has a way of riveting your attention to his stories, only allowing you to let go when you're exhausted and need sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Being young and recently married, the concept of losing my beloved is heart rending. The story was able to connect and stoke my imagination; hopes, dreams, fears and all.

    Having listened to the Dark Tower series, many of the tie-ins were fondly remembered.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 07-05-12
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 07-05-12 Member Since 2009

    The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Steven King: Great Writer ~ Passable Narrator"

    Steven King says he loves this book, and you can see why. Interesting, even compelling plot that peaks and resolves itself fully (which is not always the case with this writer). Even the ending, often a King weakness, is pretty strong. Bag of Bones is certainly worth a read.

    It is a little less worth a listen. King decided to narrate this book himself. He is a MUCH better writer than he is a narrator. He isn't awful, but the most that can be said (except by fanboys, of course) is that his narration is passable. Perhaps he should remember that the ability to read aloud is only ONE of the skills required of a great narrator, just as the ability to put pen to paper is just ONE of the skills required of a great author. King has the full range of skills demanded of an author but lacks many of those demanded of a narrator.

    Finally, skip the last 30 minutes. Not of the novel, but of the recording. It is a tedious interview with Steven King that (1) reveals little new and (2) seems only to serve as a platform for the questioner to try to appear bright, educated and literate. She may be all those things, but you would never know it from the interview. There, she is merely a know-it-all who tries too hard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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