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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 (1039 )
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4.2 (701 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 03-08-13
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 03-08-13 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "A solid offering from Mr. King"

    I read this book years ago when it came out and enjoyed it so I thought I'd give the audio version a try to see what I'd missed on the first go-round. I am glad I did - the audio definitely gave me a different perspective and brought out a lot more of the fantasy aspect for me. Stephen King is a master of dialogue and character development - and as a true fan, I love the little references he makes with characters from his other books. The narrator was good - the right choice for a story being told by an old man. I wasn't knocked out with this one but it's a good solid offering and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend for King fans or those who want to give this book a shot.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Hanover, IN, United States 05-21-12
    Mark Hanover, IN, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Markus

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    "Exciting and Thought-Provoking"

    First off: please ignore the many reviewers who seem hysterical about a little atmospheric music in the recording. It is simply the usual amount at the beginning and ending of large sections or major turns in the story. Their vehemence makes me think that they listened only to the first few minutes and gave up on the book. That is too bad. As in most audio books, the music fades away quickly and we just have the reader. Yes, the music is kind of dissonant and unpleasant and unnecessary, but I'd say the music is in maybe 3% of the audiobook.

    It is certainly no reason to miss out on this intelligent performance of an intriguing book. It kept me engaged and at times on edge for hours of driving and walking. Pure King-ly pleasure. My pleasure was enhanced by having read or listened to all of the Dark Tower books twice or more, one of the most important reading experiences of my life. This story relates to those worlds. But the story is not dependent on the DT books and is highly engaging on its own. I also love the occasional bumping into story material from King's IT, another favorite of mine, as this takes place in Derry, Maine, and acknowledges the earlier events from the limited perspective of the new character.

    Eli Wallach is an ideal choice as reader, since the protagonist is an elderly man. Wallach is a superb actor and just the perfect interpreter of this long, rewarding story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Stanley, NC, United States 03-29-12
    Mark Stanley, NC, United States 03-29-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Another Great Book For King Fans"
    Where does Insomnia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This audiobook is on my shelf of greats. The music is like that for a reason. Its supposed to jangle your nerves like a 70 year old who can't sleep. It ties


    Have you listened to any of Eli Wallach’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mr Wallach is a great narrator as well as a veteran actor.


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

    I am on the road a lot so I CAN listen almost all of it in one go. Its a page turner for me even though I've read it before. I sat up up all night reading it when I first got the hardcover


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book written for Stephen King fans, if you don't know who Stephen King is then I have an old well I'd like to show you...... come alone.......

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Sherburn, MN, United States 07-18-13
    Brian Sherburn, MN, United States 07-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Good story but whats with the random music?"
    What did you love best about Insomnia?

    I least like the random music scores. I find them very unnecessary, loud, and just plain awful. They also detract from the reader and when the music scores do play, they almost drown out the reader.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Insomnia?

    In general I liked the book in it's entirety.


    What does Eli Wallach bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would say you get a sense of how the story is from an elderly person's point of view, which is how the story was meant to be percieved.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 11-12-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "My least favorite King book."

    I could not finish. I read the first half and the epilogue. It was so boring. Too much description, ramblings, dreams, visions. The guy sees auras and things other people don’t see. The epilogue explained some major events. That was somewhat interesting, but not enough to make me want to read more. One of the things I love about King is his characters. I didn’t care about these characters. My favorite King books are Carrie, The Stand, and Rose Madder.

    The narrator Eli Wallach was painful and hard to listen to. He sounded like he had laryngitis. He has a soft, whispering, gravely voice. At times it felt like he was reading as opposed to acting. My mind kept wandering.

    Genre: paranormal mystery

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy New Bern, NC, United States 02-19-12
    Amy New Bern, NC, United States 02-19-12
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    "AWESOME STORY/WELL READ"
    If you could sum up Insomnia in three words, what would they be?

    very good book


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It is a little bit of a slow starter, but well worth the initial bump.


    What about Eli Wallach’s performance did you like?

    I heard a preview and didn't think I was going to like his reading. However it didn't take long for me to discover he could BE Ralph Roberts.


    If you could rename Insomnia, what would you call it?

    Insomnia. Perfect title.


    Any additional comments?

    I love the Stephen King books that are a little weird, not entirely plausabile but not way out there. Bag of Bones is my all time favorite book of any genre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brandon PARADISE VALLEY, AZ, United States 02-12-12
    brandon PARADISE VALLEY, AZ, United States 02-12-12

    Brandon Found

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    "In awe"

    I waited 15 years to read a Stephen King novel. I think I avoided his novels because I'm suspicious of hype, the popularity was unattractive. Insomnia was my first King experience and beginning from an objective point, it became one of the most beautiful stories I've ever digested. I regret having waited for so long but I couldn't have asked for more from an author. The imagery is stunning, coupled with what I can only call physical que's which are King's opportunities to mentally place yourself within the frame of his story. Parts of it are tactile, visual and poetic simultaneously. I don't know if King is usually this good because this is my first but I'm frankly, a little surprised... Every now and then I download a book that keeps me dragging my mac around the house, listening at every opportune moment; this was the first to book to resemble a crack habit in a while. Of course its not perfect, a book this long is fundamentally repetitive but it wasn't so in bad taste or to excess, more just for the sake of being worth it. I strongly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    art Seattle, WA, United States 12-31-11
    art Seattle, WA, United States 12-31-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Maybe My Favorite."

    I love Stephen King and right now, THIS is the story that I return to the most. Great ideas concerning the worlds beyond our five senses. There is a dissonant music score that I feel is tastefully done and completely appropriate to the story. I LOVE IT!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 02-12-11
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 02-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Good book, terrible music effects"

    Yeah, everyone is right about the music. They need to reissue this book. The music is loud, random, and sometimes drowns out the words. It suddenly flairs to a crescendo at times, so if you are listening quietly it disturbs others. It adds nothing to the reading except a headache when it occurs.

    The book is a good one. King gets you involved in the mystery right away, then leaves it for a while to develop his characters, with his usual magic of keeping the reader charmed and intrigued. The story goes places you don't fully expect, and keeps you listening.

    A few flaws. Some of the political arguments might upset some people, even though King covers all sides somewhat neutrally. A couple of deaths seemed not only gratuitous, but somehow vengeful on King's part--maybe that was just me. And King's usual way of digressing to maximize the suspense gets way too carried away near the end of this one. One of the ways King loses me is when he seems to be intruding into the story--I like my novels to have distance between the writer and the narrator. This one has a little too much of that sloppiness.

    But not enough to ruin it. It's a good, suspenseful, and at times impressive novel. It's not a groundbreaker for King, but it's not derivative of his other works, either. Enjoyable novel.

    The reader is good. The music is horrible, and it was enough to almost make me stop listening. That's unusual for me, too, so for some, I imagine it will be too much.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. Zaharris 03-19-10
    Z. Zaharris 03-19-10 Listener Since 2009
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    "A Cure for Insomnia"

    The story started off strong and interesting but quickly fell into a seemingly repetitive pattern. This book truly bored me to sleep and other activities. It was very difficult to even finish. If you truly are an insomniac, however, this book may get you some shut eye. Either that or just anger you that it cant even keep your long nights interesting.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
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