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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 (1116 )
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4.2 (771 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Z. Zaharris 03-19-10
    Z. Zaharris 03-19-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Allan Whitesburg, TN, United States 12-07-09
    Allan Whitesburg, TN, United States 12-07-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You got to be kidding me???"

    What mental patient put that music in this audio book??? You would have to be riding the short bus to think that makes a book better or more interesting. It is annoying to the fifth power. Please stop it, please don't suffer us with any more audio enhanced books!!!!

    Other than that, good book and goes right along with the rest of the King's books.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Lake Worth, FL, USA 10-20-09
    Ian Lake Worth, FL, USA 10-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
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    "Good Story but annoying sounds..."

    Eli Wallach does an excellent job reading - I'd heard the first couple of chapters through a "share" site and bought the audio book as - as an avid fiction reader who has to spend 2+ hours in the car, this is a new experience for me...I hadn't read this King book (one of the very few) and thought it fairly consistent with his work in the last 15 years (lots of "Dark Tower" stuff). I like unabridged stuff, probably 'cause I like books. I also like the pseudo-first person narration, though I dislike the "hints" of future events. One criticism of Wallach - he changes Ralph's late wife from "Caroline" to "Carol" half way through the book, then back to "Caroline" at the end - I assume this was an audio script error.

    The story is good, but the caustic dysharmonious noise between chapter is distracting. The main character is Ralph Roberts - old codger in his retirement years who becomes an insomiac after his wifes difficult cancer death. This allows him to reach a "hyper-reality" where he see's aura's (life force) and discovers the cause of death(s). He and a codger-ette frient Lois with the same probem have to save the future from "random" events planned by the "Crimson King" which the "Dark Tower" around which all worlds exist. In the end, it works out.

    The epilogue is good, but a little long and highly projected (again, too many hints in the body of the story).

    All and all, pretty good.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryann Cleveland, OH, United States 09-25-14
    Maryann Cleveland, OH, United States 09-25-14 Member Since 2008
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    "This is an excellent story"

    I ordered this to hear it again. I had heard this on tape back in the 90's and have thought about it all these years. I enjoyed it then and I know I will enjoy it now. It has a haunting ending. At least I think so. Surprised it never was made into a movie. I think this is worth a credit for anyone who is unsure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Wasson 09-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Kept waiting for it to get exciting"
    What did you like best about Insomnia? What did you like least?

    I liked the fact it was Stephen King and the setting was Maine because I am from Maine. I thought the story line was a little "far fetched"..


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Gone Girl


    What didn’t you like about Eli Wallach’s performance?

    Monotone voice


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no, sorry


    Any additional comments?

    This has not dissuaded me from listening to more books told by him.. Just not too thrilled about this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Lancaster, TX, United States 09-08-14
    Cheryl Lancaster, TX, United States 09-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Not one I would recommend"
    What disappointed you about Insomnia?

    Everything


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    Yes but not this book


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Music is annoying


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sorry it has no redeeming qualities


    Any additional comments?

    It was nothing like I expected. I was looking forward to another great read from one of Stephen Kings books. This one had me lost and uninterested the longer it went on. I only finished it because I was hoping it would get better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Wells 09-06-14
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    "Overall good, but terrible music."
    Where does Insomnia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Maybe a 7 on a scale of 1-10.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

    Well, yeah, even stuff I've read already.


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

    He was an excellent actor, and he reads the text very well.


    Who was the most memorable character of Insomnia and why?

    I don't think I'll give anything away here.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book overall, but the narrative is occasionally interrupted by discordant, really irritating background music. Totally unnecessary (doesn't enhance the story at all), but if you can stand it for a minute or two every so often, it's worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 08-30-14
    Arthur 08-30-14
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    Story
    "Music overlay ruined it"
    Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Eli Wallach?

    Stephen King - Yes
    Eli Wallach - No. Voice too soft.


    Do you think Insomnia needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Story was good as is and ending does not lend itself to follow-on.


    Any additional comments?

    I really liked the story by narrator was hard to hear at times so I missed parts, especially when music was overlaid, which was too frequent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Omaha, NE, United States 08-16-14
    Terry Omaha, NE, United States 08-16-14
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    "The producer should be fired."
    What would have made Insomnia better?

    This book was great. I read it when it first came out and was very excited to see it in Audible. Eli Wallach does a wonderful job of narrating this book, but....
    I read the other reviews before I bought the book, but I thought "how bad can some music be?" I was thinking about all the music that Stephen King has referenced over the years in his books and thought that would be what they would play.
    Instead, they played some jangled, badly mixed, horrible and tonally insulting mix of sounds. That noise is both jarring and annoying and ruins the mood in several places of this book. What a shame! This could be an amazing book, read by a gifted actor..but noooooooo. Instead its an amazing book read by a an actor who's gifts are wasted because you have to endure teeth rattlingly bad noise interjected into the worst possible places of this book.
    My only remark is: how soon can I return it, and what the heck possessed you (whoever you are, Mr. Producer) to do this to a perfectly great book???


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Stubblefield 08-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    10
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    "classic stephen king"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Insomnia to be better than the print version?

    It is completely different. The reader gives such personality to the characters in the book that it makes it so hard to walk away from.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Insomnia?

    It is amazing how Insomnia touches on many of the other stories. There are hints to the dark tower series, pet semetary, and IT just to name a few.


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

    I haven't listened to any of the other stories that the reader has completed but I am just waiting for him to complete more Stephen king books


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

    very much. I would only caution to listeners that while it was great to have music in the background, it sometimes over-rode the spoken words. maybe it was just my iPhone speaker, but there were times when I was not able to hear what was being said


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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