The Tommyknockers

Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
Length: 27 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,142 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Stephen King never stops giving us his all" (Chicago Tribune) in this number-one national best seller about the idyllic small town of Haven, Maine, and its encounter with a deadly evil out for a diabolical invasion of body, soul - and mind.

Writer Bobbi Anderson becomes obsessed with digging up something she's found buried in the woods near her home. With the help of her friend, Jim Gardener, she uncovers an alien spaceship. Though exposure to the Tommyknockers, who piloted the alien ship, has harmful effects on residents' health, the people of Haven develop a talent for creating innovative devices under their increasingly malignant influence.

In this riveting, nightmarish story, Stephen King has given us a "brilliant, riveting, marvelous" (The Boston Globe) novel. "You will not be able to put this down" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). And the next time someone raps at your door, you may want to keep the chain on. It just might be the Tommyknocker Man.

©1987 Stephen King, Tabitha King, and Arthur B. Greene (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

spooky and enthralling

The narrator does a great job with this Stephen King signature. Tommyknockers knocking on your door... I love how King fills the space between the book covers with a story about 1 person and the situations they face. There are very few characters you get to know but don't care, it's all about the one, unlike any other. Edward Herrmann, I hope you sought some psychiatric help after embodying Gard for this book. Great all around, excellent to listen to.

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Better Than Expected King Goes Sci-Fi, Dark, Weird

I've always been a big fan of Sc-Fi, even before I became a fan of King, so it was only natural that I eventually came to read this book. King writes a "sci-fi" novel, what could go wrong?

I would only reccomend this book to fans of King or other hardcore sci-fi fans and even then, I wouldn't expect everyone to leave this book having enjoyed it.

I was actually pleasantly surprised. This book was bigger, grander, more enticing than just the mere sum of its parts. It's more than, "ooo King wrote a book with a flying saucer and aliens!" This book is about obsession, curiosity killing the cat, hubris without moral compass, progress for progresses sake, innovation without imagination, cold calculation without purpose, destructive impulses, the drive to improve, a hunger for excess, addiction, and the self destructive forces at the root of the darker side of human nature.

I read an interesting review of this book that calls this King's opus on addiction. Written at a time when he was drinking the heaviest and regularly coked up out of his mind. You can just feel the self loathing peeling off of the page as you plow through it. There are certain passages that are hard to read because of the suicidal and existential dread that weighs the narrative down in certain sections. It's almost a punishment to the reader and a self indulgent self-hatred fest in some of the longer passages of internal dialogue with the main character.

...but I honestly wouldn't change a damn thing. I was thinking about this a lot today, I don't think you really could edit anything out of this book and have it still carry the same weight. It's not King's best book and it's certainly not hard sci-fi, but it's unique and powerful and beautifully grotesque. It had a raw power about it that captured my imagination and wouldn't let go (once I was about half way through it). It can be hard to get through and on to the damn point, but once it picks up steam, the narrative rolls along to a crazy flurry of a conclusion.

lastly, I really enjoyed how mysterious, unexplained, and stupidly pointless a lot of the Tommyknockers alien back story was! I'm a huge hard sci-fi fan and hard sci-fi can tend to over explain or scientifically explain all the magic of the narrative away on the front end. Approaching a sci-fi theme with more of a mystery, suspense angle was a fun twist on familiar themes. And the absurdist idea that the aliens are somehow pointless, futile, unintelligent, in their destructive, directionless, and ill-guided hubris was an awesome spin on the extra-terrestrial theme! Bravo.

9 people found this helpful

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Did they listen to it before publishing?!?

The overall book is good,and the narrator did his job very well. It's just the editing of the audio book is driving me crazy, they cut words short and even a few words out of the end of every chapter 😒

55 people found this helpful

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One of King’s Worst

Stephen King himself called this an “awful book.” It’s all over the place with only one interesting character. There are more questions than answers by the end. Some of the imagery is more ridiculous than believable. It conjures no feelings of discomfort let alone horror.

The narration, however, was well done. Herrmann does his best with the material given.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Me
  • 07-07-19

Great story

Miles fly by while listening to it in my truck. Awesome story, and an awesome author

4 people found this helpful

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Meh

One of my least favourite Stephen King books. The story starts off decent but sort of drops off in my opinion as it goes on. Good performance however.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not Stephen Kings best

Edward Hermann's narration made this worth listening to. Had this been a book likely I wouldn't have finished. Some parts are brilliant; others left me wondering where is this going? I like Kings oldest novels best (e.g. The Stand, The Dead Zone) but also love 11.23.63 which also great for comparison.

8 people found this helpful

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Incredible and interminable.

This book haunts as much as any book I've ever read. Originally I read it shortly after it was released and I have never forgotten disturbing sections of it, particularly the chilling rhyme about Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers (knocking at my door.) This time, through, it felt like an eerie old friend, sitting in partial darkness, only revealing himself a part at a time, as the sun rose. Although it seems to go on forever, there is not a single unnecessary word. King has a mystic ability to weave phenomenally complex stories into a tome you want to put on your shelf and rest easy, knowing it is there whenever you need it. Typically, King has taken innocuous objects or people and slowly colored them with increasingly dark tones and colors. After reading "It," can you ever look at a clown the same way? It is clearly time for me to reconnect with this man's work - before it reconnects with me.

10 people found this helpful

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Top notch!

One of my all-time favorite Stephen King novels from many years ago. It was great to listen to after reading it several times in the past. Hermann did a magnificent narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a tale for when your in the mood to lose yourself.

I listened to The Tommyknockers during a time when a lot was going on in my life that I had no control over. The story was embedded with King’s wit and humor, told with voice and inflection that brought home an entertaining tale, hitting the spot and quenching my need to escape.



1 person found this helpful