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Insomnia | [Stephen King]

Insomnia

Ralph Roberts has an incurable case of insomnia, but lack of sleep is the least of his worries. Each night he stays awake, Ralph witnesses more of the odd activity taking place in Derry after dark than he wants to know. The nice young chemist up the street beats his wife and has delusions about beings he calls "The Centurions".
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Publisher's Summary

Ralph Roberts has an incurable case of insomnia, but lack of sleep is the least of his worries. Each night he stays awake, Ralph witnesses more of the odd activity taking place in Derry after dark than he wants to know.

The nice young chemist up the street beats his wife and has delusions about beings he calls "The Centurions". A madman with a knife is trying to kill him, he's sure. And on the night May Locher died, one of the two bald men coming out of her house had a pair of scissors in his hand.

What does it all mean? Ralph doesn't quite know. But the bizarre visions he's been having keep getting more intense, the strange deaths in Derry have just begun, and Ralph knows he isn't hallucinating.

Returning to the town of Derry, Maine, the setting of one of his most critically acclaimed novels, It, Stephen King combines bone-chilling realism with supernatural terror to create yet another masterpiece of suspense.

©1994 Stephen King; (P)1994 Penguin HighBridge Audio

What the Critics Say

"This is a yarn so packed with suspense, romance, literary reference, fascinating miscellaneous knowledge, and heart that only Stephen King could have written it. Marvelous - that is, full of marvels." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1134 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (793 )
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Story
4.2 (787 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    KB Birmingham, Alabama, United States 12-23-09
    KB Birmingham, Alabama, United States 12-23-09 Listener Since 2007

    Married, ADD-afflicted mother of two, English major in college - Audible let's me indulge in my love of books while I'm constantly on the go

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "King lover very disappointed - NO Spoilers"

    Wow - what to say. I read the reviews mentioning the annoying background music, but I shrugged it aside thinking "how bad can it be?" Well let me tell you - it is BAD. Not like the chapter transition music you get with some books - this music is jarring, LOUD, and loathsome. It is so much louder than the narration at some points that you can't even hear the reading. I kept having to rip my earbuds out b/c it hurt my ears so much.

    Another problem. I have read every single one of his books - I think this was the only one I hadn't read. I love the author, and after listening to Under The Dome I wanted to see if there were any of his I had missed. Unfortunately, Insomnia was tedious, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. The singular POV is unusual for King, and I kept wishing the narrative would switch to another character and give Ralph Roberts a much needed rest (no pun intended).

    I rarely write reviews, but I just had to on this one. If you're like me - you listen to some books and read some others - put this on your reading list. The noise (I can't even call it music) on this recording is MISERABLE. MISERABLE! Save your credit on this one - I sure wish I had!!

    2 stars only b/c I've heard worse...but not many.

    54 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-09-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    4
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    "Please no more music tracks."

    I was reading this book in paper, and had to return it to the library, so I picked up the audiobook. The music tracks are horrible, they are so loud that I can hardly hear the story. I'll be checking reviews for things like this from now on. However, it is a great story and I don't want to discourage people from reading it. Might just be better off picking up a paperback this time.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Clarkston, WA, United States 06-30-10
    Susan Clarkston, WA, United States 06-30-10
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    "Kill the soundtrack"

    If I want a soundtrack, I'd watch a movie. Some audiobook producers seem convinced that we're hungering for music to liven the pace. Nothing could be further than the truth and this is a case in point of why it DOESN'T work. I actually couldn't hear parts of the story because of the loud music.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Demorestville, ON, Canada 09-13-09
    Douglas Demorestville, ON, Canada 09-13-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I liked this book and the way it is presented.."

    Eli Wallach is a perfect reader for this book.

    I did enjoy listening to him.. and I did not mind the sound effects.. they were interesting and kind of fun.. music also..

    No tinny sound for me as my mp3 player gave me (gives me) perfect sound..

    IMO this is an important book when one is following the story of the crimson king..


    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christie American Fork, UT, USA 12-14-09
    Christie American Fork, UT, USA 12-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, Annoying sounds"

    I'm only 2 hours into the book, and like the rest of his books, it is written very well.

    The "creepy" noises that keep on making are seriously distracting, and have played more times that I would like. I want to stop the story until the sounds stop....and then I realize....I can't. At one point, I couldn't tell what the narrator was saying over the sounds of the "creepy noises"

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 08-20-12
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 08-20-12
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    "Disappointed in King for the first time"
    Any additional comments?

    Prior to "Insomnia"I have loved everything from S. King. But to be blunt, this was a boring, tedious story. I finished 3/4 of the audiobook and couldn't bring myself to finish it even after investing so much time in the story.

    11-22-63: Loved it. 5 stars.
    The Stand: Excellent 4.5 stars.
    Insomnia: Boring 2 Stars

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Dawson 08-05-09
    Troy Dawson 08-05-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Poor Production Values"

    The sound is very tinny, and makes the speakers in my car rattle like the blown speaker on an AM radio. Worse than that, there is an overabundance of noise and music that I believe is intended to create drama and suspense at key points in the story. The noise sounds like the hum of the engine from the cabin an old propeller airline plane. The music ranges from a Twilight Zone-like theme to garbled acid-rock guitar solos. It builds to a dramatic crescendo that actually drowns out the reading of the actual book. There were several points where I had to strain, rewind and ultimately just accept the fact that I was going to miss several pieces of dialogue because it was obliterated by this noise and music. This nonsense is badly done and totally unnecessary. Any halway decent book does not need a musical score and sound effects to tell me when to "be tense! Something scary is happening!" or "pay attention! This a key plot point!"

    Aside from these issues, the story is well read by Eli Wallach. It's just a shame that he is overshadowed by noise.

    The story itself is bloated and tedious. About 1/3 of this novel is meaningless dialogue and descriptive monologues that do nothing to serve the story. It almost seems as though the author had no idea where to take the story next, and yet continued to write, and write, and write...

    I had heard that there are ties to The Dark Tower series within Insomnia, which is my main interest in this book. So far, (about halway through)it seems the connection is pretty thin.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher M Sumner 02-28-10 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book... Good. Music ...Jarring"

    I thought the book was pretty good. The narrator was also good.. The only bummer was the LOUD music( screeching ) that would happen during the chapter transitions. Over all I say a good experience.. but get ready to turn the volume down, often.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Ann Gilbert, AZ, USA 08-28-09
    April Ann Gilbert, AZ, USA 08-28-09
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    "Decent, but not great"

    This audio book is good, with standard audio sound and decent narration. Until transitions. The biggest detractor is the music. It completely overshadows the narration when it appears, and almost makes it un-listenable. Its just that annoying. I would suggest buying the book if possible, as it was a chore to listen to the whole thing.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Albany, NY, USA 05-20-09
    Marjorie Albany, NY, USA 05-20-09
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    "Doesn't need the music track"

    I am an on and off again Stephen King fan. Sometimes his books are just too predictable. In this case, leaving story line aside, the wonderful narration by Eli Wallach is detracted from by the unnecessary occasional "punctuation" of music meant to (I guess) let us know something eerie was about to happen (??????) Note to publisher: Remove the music. Not needed and only detracts.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
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