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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Saranac Lake, NY, USA
  • 09-07-06

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

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • austin, TX, United States
  • 12-14-05

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Terry
  • Nelson, BC, Canada
  • 05-16-04

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

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • 12-13-04

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

  • Overall
  • Rick
  • Garland, TX, USA
  • 03-23-03

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...

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Hakes
  • Wilkes Barre, PA, United States
  • 05-18-12

How did I miss this one?

Don't know what I was doing back in 1998 that made me miss this Stephen King book, but I'm rather glad to have the chance to listen to it now in 2012. Hearing King read the book was both intimate and chilling. Although the plot is supernatural (which I can't quite believe in), the characters are credible and I thoroughly enjoyed the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good King

I've been reading Stephen King since the 70s and have never stopped except for missing a few of the 90s tomes such as this one and 'Gerald's Game' so I've been catching up via Audible.

I liked this story, though I never get used to King's penchant for killing off people we like and to whom I get attached (not really a spoiler, he pretty much does this in every book!)

The 90s King is very long-winded. I think he had too much time on his hands. 'Bag of Bones' could be shorter, but it never reaches tedium as in the aforementioned 'Gerald's Game'.

King does a fine job of narrating, but this is the third King novel that insists on including music during or in between transitions. 'Lisey's Story' and 'Gerald's Game' also had this affect and I don't recall ever hearing such in any other audiobook by any other author, which, given his participation on this one, makes me suspect that the author is responsible for this distraction. PLEASE STOP IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY! I DON'T PLAY MUSIC IN MY HEAD WHEN I READ AND I'D PREFER THAT YOU DIDN'T EITHER! (Thanks, I needed that.)

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

holds your attention to the end

I found this book kept me hooked till the end. A very clever story which though complex held together well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful