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Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love's enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable toStephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love's enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans' isolated summer home.He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath -- held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, 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?As vivid and enthralling as King's most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls "the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination." It's no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones -- described by Gloria Naylor as "a love story about the dark places within us all" -- he proves to be one of our most moving....

Title : Bag of Bones
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780684853505
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 529 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bag of Bones Reviews

  • Diane
    2018-11-21 19:49

    Haunted read! a bit long but the storyline was scary good and very intense (paperback!)

  • Dale
    2018-12-02 19:58

    I am a Stephen King junkie. I started reading him in high school and quickly tore through just about everything he'd ever written, and then started buying every new book he put out. Being a Stephen King fan is kind of like being a geek for Dragonlance or comic books - reviewing his work seems borderline pointless because non-fans will usually dismiss him out of hand and be hard to convince of any intrinsic value, and fans are already pretty hardcore about him. Nevertheless, I wanted to add this specific Stephen King book to my "all time faves" shelf for three reasons:1. It's amazing2. Among King's books, this one is lesser known (hasn't been made into a movie or mini-series, isn't usually on people's Top 5 lists, etc.)3. I think it's one of his more accessible and "mainstream" books.Don't get me wrong, I love IT and The Stand and the Gunslinger septulogy, all the crazy outlandish horror and fantasy that is SK's bread and butter. But I adore Bag of Bones and think it is one of his absolute best. It's very intimate, very down to earth, with the supernatural downplayed. It's told from the first-person perspective of a widower writer with writer's block. I wouldn't want to give away much more than that. It's just a really solidly told story, where King writes about what he knows, doesn't try too hard or reach too far, and ends up with a perfectly polished gem.This is not just a great Stephen King book, it's a great book.

  • Jamieson
    2018-11-25 20:07

    I am enjoying what I think is perhaps Stephen King’s best novel, ever.The opinion on Stephen King’s best work differs depending on who you talk to; but for me, it will always be Bag of Bones.It’s the one novel of Kings that I’ve read more than any other (nine times) and each time it’s just as wonderful and beautiful and engaging as it was the first time I opened up my hardcover copy ten years ago.I think it was the beginning of King moving away from horror and toward a more literary style of writing. Hearts in Atlantis, Lisey’s Story and Duma Key (his most literary works) would come later, but Bag of Bones was the beginning of something, the capturing of time in the pages of a book.I remember when I first read Stephen King’s Bag of Bones. I was on welfare at the time and living in a boarding house with nine other people. It was this big sprawling Victorian house that still had the servants quarters in the attic and the servants stairs to the kitchen. I remember going to the bookstore early in the morning and spending more money than I had on the book.Even though it was fall, I sat outside on the front porch of the big old house and opened my book to the first page. I remember smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee; but I don’t remember much else except the words.It was the words, the language that transported me.I had thought that I was going to read a story of a writer haunted by ghosts. In a sense, that’s what the book was about. But in reality, Bag of Bones was and is about a man haunted by himself, haunted by the past.It was the most beautiful book by King that I had ever read. I felt for and ached for Mike Noonan, newly widowed writer of thriller novels. Newly struggling with a writers block so intense that he could not write a word.I remember thinking when I brought that book home that it was so big, that it was huge. That it would take me forever to finish it (and thus worth the fourty some dollars I had spent on it).The book lasted me three days.Three glorious days where I was held spellbound, enraptured, in rapture. Bag of Bones for me was more than a novel. It was a gift. While reading Bag of Bones, I realized that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to see if I could write something as good as Bag of Boens.I’m still trying.That hardcover copy was lent out, only to be lent out to someone else. It was lost to me, never to be seen again. And so, when the book came out in paperback, I bought a copy. I read that copy twice a year for many years, always saving it for a dark, rainy day. It somehow seemed appropriate, reading Bag of Bones when the rain was falling down around me.It would call to me on my shelf, begging to be read. I swear I could hear the book sigh with contentment when I took it off the shelf and held it in my hands.Not learning my lesson the first time, I lent it out to someone who either lost it or lent it out to someone else. It was never clear what happened to the book. Suffice it to say that I felt like I had lost a part of me. After all, it was Bag of Bones that showed me what I wanted to do with my life.It’s been a couple years since I’ve read Bag of Bones. So imagine my surprise when I saw a trade paperback edition on the shelves in the bookstore yesterday.I had no reason being in the bookstore. I had little money but, when I saw Bag of Bones, sitting there nestled in between other paperbacks, I thought again of when I had first read the novel. I looked at the cover: 10th Anniversary Edition.Ten years? That couldn’t be right, I thought. It can’t have been ten years. But I counted back and indeed it has been. Time flies when you’re having fun. I picked up the book and stroked the cover lightly, letting the memories flood back into my consciousness.It was not lost on me that I found myself in much the same situation as I did ten years ago: Staring at the gorgeous white cover with little money to my name but knowing that I would leave the store a few dollars poorer but all the more richer with that book under my arm.And what a book it is. Bag of Bones reads as fresh ten years later as it did ten years past. What I love most about the novel, I think, is its gothic nature. Mike Noonan, trying to find the power to write again by delving into his past. As a writer myself, I identify with Mike, with his struggle. With his search for peace.There is some bonus material enclosed: we get to read an interview about why Stephen King wrote Bag of Bones and learn a bit more about what he thinks of the novel. We also get a short story, The Cat From Hell, from Kings upcoming collection of short stories Just After Sunset which will hit the shelves on November 11th.But for me, it’s not the bonus material (though great it is) that makes the new edition of Bag of Bones so incredible. For me, then and now, it’s about the story, the language, the power of words and redemption from the ghosts of your past.For, in the end, we are all bags of bones.

  • Nayra.Hassan
    2018-12-12 23:06

    سارة تضحك ..نعم ستضحك سارة علينا لصفحات طويلة..فضحكات سارة "هو اسم البيت الصيفي الذي يهرب اليه مايك. .الكاتب الشهير الذي يعاني أسوأ حالة احتباس كتابة قد يتعرض لها إي مؤلف ولكن مايك كان كالسنجاب الحريص..فقد ادخر 4روايات للاوقات العصيبة ..ساعدته على الاستمرار بعد النكسة التي تعرض لها عقب وفاة زوجته في حادث مريب ..طالت أزمته سنوات....إلى أن بدأت سارة في الضحك ..لتبدأ فواصل من الرعب الهاديء بأنواعه نفسي..لعنات.. .رسائل 📩مع اكتشاف تدريجي لحقائق مرعبة كانت خافية عن المدينة المصيفية الني صار اسيرا لها..فهل زوجته راحت ضحية للمنزل ام ضحية المدينة و راعيها المريب؟حقيبة من العظام نقلة نوعية في إنتاج كينج فمعها انتقل لدار نشر جديدة وأسلوب جديد.. بعيد عن العنف و الدماء و الوحوش الاسطورية..اسلوب مليء بالمشاعر المكبوتة..لارمل عرف عن زوجته الكثير من الاسرار منذ وفاتها ..ولكن تظل سارة تضحك ..و مع ضحكها تتضح الأمور...من كلاسيكيات البيوت المسكونة ومن افضل الروايات عن أزمة المؤلف ..سجلها كينج بصوته..ومن خلفه تدوي ضحكات سارة🎃

  • Char
    2018-11-25 23:06

    Grief. That's the emotion that got to me the most during this reread.The first time I read this book I had just turned thirty and even though I was already married, the horror of losing a spouse didn't get through to me like it did this time. Now, after just having celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary, the idea of losing my husband is unfathomable. Stephen King dove deep into those fathoms and dragged me along with him. I did not like what I saw or felt. That, right there, is the reason why Stephen is the KING.I'm not going to go into the plot too much here, this is an old book and it's even had a made-for-TV-movie, so I can't say much most people don't already know. This story is a combination of ghost story, revenge, and love story. It has genuinely scary moments and other moments so poignant that I found myself with tears in my eyes. But what is most important about this tale, about all of King's works, really, are the characters. King creates characters that are so real you feel like you can reach out and touch them. They are so real, you take in their emotions as your own. And he does it by not shying away from the ugly moments we all experience inside our own heads.The fact that widower Mike Noonan lusts after a young woman is painful for Mike to acknowledge and we, the Constant Readers, canfeelhow Mike is torn between that lust and guilt, and all the tangled feelings of betrayal and loss that go along with that. Even though he's widowed, he feels these emotions and we can feelthem too. In our hearts, we know what Mike is feeling is true, because that's how WE would feel. Not only does King draw great good characters, he draws great bad ones, as well. His bad guys, not just Mr. Devore from this book, but ALL of them, have layers and a realness to them that brings them alive. They're not just men dressed in black, (Randall Flagg, I'm looking at you), they're complicated, (Trashcan Man), they have depth to them, and we (I?) LOVE to hate them. In this book, Mr. Devore is a rich, frail, elderly man in a wheelchair, yet he still comes at Mike with a menace that is horrible to witness. Our emotions are pulled every which way, how could we HATE an old man in a wheelchair? But there is no question that we DO hate him, and there again, the King has manipulated our emotions and has his Constant Readers, and all other readers, in the palms of his skilled, talented hands.I loved this book. I love Stephen King. That doesn't mean that I've loved every book he's written, but I usually do love his characters and creations, (Wolf, Billy Bumblers), and they still live within my memory. For me, no other author has created so many memorable characters and place settings. The words Derry, Jerusalem's Lot and Pennywise- they all cause an instant picture to appear in my brain. I say let him plant a picture in your brain too: of Sarah Laughs, of the T.R. and Mr. Devoe, Mattie and Kyra. I'm pretty sure you'll thank me later. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Just hold on tight, because your emotions are going to get knocked around a bit by the King, but hey, there's no one better qualified to do so. You'll be getting knocked around by one of the best authors living today. I was asked way back in January, I think, to participate in the King For A Year project, and I was honored to be asked. This review is for that project, which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Here's a link in case anyone wants to check out what other authors and reviewers have to say about the King and his works: http://kingreviews2015.blogspot.com/

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2018-12-02 19:57

    I was a big Stephen King fan back in the 7th grade, mainly because it was my first experience with books written for adults. After a while though, I stared reading other more obscure novels and I stopped reading King's works. Bag of Bones really caught my interest though, and I found it to be much better than many of his other books because of the way it deals so much with plain human emotion, loss and life. Like his novel Pet Sematary, Bag of Bones has a main theme of overwhelming grief, as the main character tries to move on from the death of a loved one, finding it impossible. Sometimes it's the simplest things that can be the most complex, as King's novel proves. He also creates a vivid setting and very realistic characters.

  • Edward Lorn
    2018-12-10 22:01

    Had you asked me a month ago what I thought of Bag of Bones I might have chuckled and shook my head. I might have told you it is one of the worst Stephen King books there is, that it is easily in my bottom five King reads, down there with such piles of Kingly excrement as Dreamcatcher, Wizard and Glass, The Eyes of the Dragon, and From a Buick 8, the latter being the pinnacle of Uncle Stevie's fecal production. In other words, friends and neighbors, I hated this book.But that was then and this is now. What happened over the course of 17 years, the timespan between my first read and this one? Well, I stopped doing Class-A narcotics for entertainment purposes, became a husband and a father of two, grew up a little, and all-around dug my head out of my ass. My change of heart could have something to do with one of those things or all of them. I don't know. But this is a gorgeous book. A little heavy in the rear, but absolutely beautiful. My only complaint this time around is how long the book goes on after the denouement. It's not annoyingly long, but I feel a few questions could have been edited out in the beginning half of the book so that we didn't have to sit around for twenty pages reading about two men chatting over whiskey about what happened in the past 710 pages. I only say this editing could have been done because it is one of the things the made-for-tv movie gets right. One of the toughest topics this book tackles is the subject of male lust, how immediate and destructive a force it can be. It took a heavy sack on King's part to speak honestly about something every man deals with yet most cannot explain. King does not condone or make excuses here. He explains. This is how it is, and there are men that find their own thoughts reprehensible. Yes, we all lust. Yes, we all imagine how wonderful it would be for our partners to say "Do what you want", but not all of us prefer that over love and tenderness. Okay, here's where you take responsibility. By clicking on "view spoiler" you agree that you've read King's entire catalogue and will not hold me responsible for things being ruined because you're too damn inquisitive. Trust me, the shit hidden here is only interesting if you have read all of King's books.(view spoiler)[Obvious Tie-ins:Thad Beaumont (The Dark Half), oddly enough this is the novel wherein we learn of Thad's suicide. He's mentioned as having had a divorce in Needful Things, but this is where we learn of his death.William (Big Bill) Denbrough is too. (It)Ralph Roberts (Insomnia) has a pretty big role for a walk-on character from another book. Usually we're only given mentions of people, but here, Ralph sits down to coffee with Mike and chats for a while.Alan Pangborn, Polly Chalmers, and Norris Ridgewick (Needful Things). Alan and Polly are only mentioned, but Norris has a walk-on role as the sheriff of Castle County.Nehemiah Bannerman is obviously the gradfather of the ill-fated sheriff George Bannerman, who makes his first appearance in The Dead Zone only to meet his end in Cujo.The storm of the century in (you guessed it) Storm of the Century is briefly mentioned as the stawm of the century.Ring Around the Tower: Bag of Bones takes place in the same world as Insomnia. In the final two DT novels, King's vacation home Cara Laughs is mentioned. Noonan's vacation home is Sara Laughs.And yeah, the recurrence of the number 19 in this book is kinda obnoxious. It's fucking everywhere. (hide spoiler)]In summation: Some books are better the second time around. What is sad is that I never would have reread this one had I not taken on this massive challenge. I feel that this entire journey has been worth it if only because I have a new favorite King book. Bag of Bones is a powerful novel that doesn't get the credit it deserves from King fans. I cannot recommend a first read, but I highly recommend a reread. Final Judgment: Sometimes it's the reader and not the book.

  • Carol
    2018-12-09 21:49

    Some ghosts can be deadly............and as KING fans already know, evil always seems to be present in and around Derry.BAG OF BONES is the story of novelist Michael Noonan and the effects of his profound grief after the sudden loss of his beloved wife. Even after four years, a paralyzing writer's block takes over his days and creepy repetitive dreams fill his nights that ultimately lead him back to his log cabin hideout, Sara Laughs, in the woods of western Maine.Not long after his arrival, a combination of two pretty new friends and haunting voices of devilry feed Mike's imagination that unwind a nightmarish and dangerous mystery to solve with powerful adversaries from not only this world, but the world beyond.Great ghostly story of horror and romance that is a bit slow getting started, but packs more than one devastating punch!

  • Lyn
    2018-12-13 20:05

    “The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.” A very good ghost story.Stephen King’s 1999 novel about a lonely hamlet in western Maine is told with King’s rare gift for telling these kinds of stories. More than just a ghost story, the author fills his pastoral, suspenseful tale with generations of bad times coming down into a point on a lake, and a town that has some bad history and some secrets.“I think reality is thin, you know, thin as lake ice after a thaw, and we fill our lives with noise and light and motion to hide that thinness from ourselves.”King’s protagonist is a writer of romantic suspense novels with more than just a passing success. As King tells it, he is on the best seller lists that go to 15. Enough success that he and his wife have a summer house on a lake near the New Hampshire border. When a tragedy tears his life apart, Mike Noonan travels to the isolated cabin to try and get his head on straight.And, of course, that’s where King’s expertise takes over. Drawing inspiration from earlier novels The Shining and Pet Sematary, King draws Noonan into a web of old mysteries tied to present day conflict.Well-crafted and told by a master, this was a page turning and entertaining book. Recommended.

  • Wordsmith Johnson
    2018-11-13 21:10

    Easily my favorite Stephen King novel ever, and I've read a wide cross section of different eras of his stuff. This is a ghost story...it's about being haunted, both by spirits and by memories. It's a book about loss and grief, but also a suspenseful mystery with a super spooky atmosphere, set in a creepy, unincorporated and sparesely populated fading resort community with a dark historic past. The mystery and the hauntings are linked in with a child custody battle, complete with a nefarious old villain, and a damsel in distress. At the center of it all is Mike Noonan, a troubled best-selling writer (naturally), who is greiving the sudden loss of his deeply beloved, spunky number one fan, his wife, and, he has reason to believe, their unborn child.

  • Erin (PT)
    2018-12-03 22:15

    Here's the thing about me and Stephen King: no matter how problematic and/or angry-making I find some of his work to be, the man knows how to tell a good story. I had read Bag of Bones before, when it was first published, but all I really remembered about it was that I found it an enjoyable enough story, but not one that was excellent enough to be particularly memorable. And, indeed, I found myself remembering very little of the story while rereading it this time around. Which, on the one hand, the kind of thing I hope for with a reread so that it, again (and hopefully) has the power to surprise me again. There are good things about Bag of Bones. It is a real page-turner of a ghost story, one that gathers momentum page by page to a huge and appropriately dramatic climax. This is important because the quality of King's endings does vary greatly from novel to novel. The narrative arc of Bag of Bones is a very smooth and appropriate one, where 'appropriate' references the gradual raising of the story's stakes from beginning to end. As well, this is one of King's many stories with a writer as a protagonist and few other writers I've read can express the exalted joys, the abysmal lows and strange, superstition filled territories of that state. But there are bad things, too. (view spoiler)[From my original reading, I did remember that the ghostly part of the story somehow revolved around a black woman (Sara Tidwell) who was murdered and whose child was murdered and the whole thing later hushed up by the largely white town. It was, in fact, the one thing I did remember about the story and I remember not feeling completely sanguine or satisfied about it during my initial reading, though I didn't have a strong recollection of why.Reading it this time, I think part of the problem is that I didn't have the knowledge or the vocabulary to put to the why, just that vague sense of I don't like this. I'm not sure I have the knowledge now to fully flesh out that feeling, but even on a second read, it's definitely still there. My initial and most immediate reaction was to the race issues involved here. King frequently writes about small town Maine and the small-town (white) folks that live there with a lot of small town (white) attitudes. He also writes a lot about Magical Negroes. A friend and I were just talking about this (in reference to a different King book) and I said to her, "It's just the price of admission with King." And…though I'm not thrilled about that, it's still just true. So the fact that the underpinnings of this story is about egregious and heinous crimes that were carried out against a tiny black community by the denizens of this unincorporated township—through the direct action of a small few, and the cover up and subsequent shunning and/or harassment and/or passivity of all the rest—all written by a middle-aged, relatively small-town white dude is already enough to get my hackles up. In the course of the story, Sara Tidwell is repeatedly gang raped, forced to watch as her only child is drowned, then is strangled herself (while still being raped). Her remains and those of her murdered son are moved around, buried, unburied and then reburied, not even allowed to rest. Though everyone knows who is responsible for her and her son's disappearance (and presumed death), no justice is served and, when the Tidwell family won't lie down and accept this state of affairs, the township turns against them, to the point that someone leaves an animal trap in the woods which eventually kills another of the Tidwell children. The Tidwells and the other members of their small community, under this duress, leave the township. And while, on the one hand, I don't think that King, in text or without, condones what happens to Sara Tidwell, her son or the rest of the Tidwells, at the same time, the story is set up so that Sara's revenant and vengeful spirit is the ultimate villain of the piece, a monster that has to be vanquished by the (white) (male) (middle-aged) hero of the piece, largely to save the life of a beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde haired little girl. That…doesn't really sit well. It's a very gristly lump to digest, imo. But, thinking about it longer and further, I feel like my issues are actually bigger and deeper than that. Upon more thought, the closest comparison I could come was, ironically enough, a story written by one of King's sons, Joe Hill. In my review of Hill's Heart Shaped Box, I wrote: "Though I feel that the story is really theirs, both women are presented as secondary characters and, more importantly, victims." I feel as though the same problem of point of view and who, exactly 'owns' this story presents itself in Bag of Bones. Sara Tidwell is inarguably a victim here. Mattie Devore, love interest of the protagonist, Mike Noonan, and girl in a fridge, is unquestionably victimized in the course of the story, first by Max Devore, who attempts to literally buy her daughter, then attempts to use the law to steal her daughter and finally, tries to kill her daughter. Devore uses his money and influence to get the town to turn against Mattie, to get her fired from her job and, eventually, he pays to have her killed. As a result, Mattie's daughter, Kyra, loses her only remaining parent; though only three years old, she is equally victimized by Devore. Reaching a little further, you could argue that the town mothers (including Noonan's wife, Jo) are victimized by the men who raped and murdered Sara Tidwell and murdered her son; Sara's revenge against them spans generations, culling the family lines of those men who wronged her—and robbing those women whose worst sin was marrying into those families of their children. In Jo Noonan's case, there's an open question of whether Sara's interference even deprived her of her life. So there's a lot in the fabric of the story that could be said—about patriarchy, about misogyny, about abuses of power, and about race. And, to be fair, I do think that King attempt to address some of these things. But I don't think King's own collection of privileges puts him in the right place to truly or adequately address them and the fact that he lenses the entire story through the viewpoint of an avatar much like himself—a wealthy, white, middle-class man—means that the horrible abuses against all these women are second fiddle to that avatar's man pain and his quest to extricate himself from those same sins of the father (or great-grand-uncle, as it were). So, though Mike is a likeable enough character, his happy ending isn't as satisfying as it might otherwise be, coming, as it does, at the expense of all these wronged, victimized and otherwise unavenged women. Sara Tidwell is a supernatural monster whose bones (and those of her son) are destroyed by lye, denied both her revenge and a respectful or peaceful burial. The last scions of the families that did this to her escape. Mattie Devore has the momentary triumph of knowing her custody of Kyra is secured, but she dies frightened and in pain, half her face blown away simply because of a dead rich man's sour grapes; Devore has already killed himself is out of the picture before the hit against Mattie is even enacted. Kyra is orphaned and traumatized by both the living and the dead. Though no specific number is called out, at least four other mothers lost children to the terrible revenge set in motion when Sara Tidwell was murdered as she was. So putting a smiling face on the relatively happy life that Mike will go on to live over these piles of bones is both a little macabre and an almost brilliant (if unintentional) illustration of why all these things still happen and still matter.(hide spoiler)]At the end of it all, Bag of Bones isn't a bad story so much as one that fails to grasp what it reaches for and that feeds into the same –isms it tries to discuss and depict. It could be better. I wish it were better. But it is just more bones than flesh.

  • Phrynne
    2018-12-13 18:12

    736 pages, so not King's longest book but still a doorstop. I enjoyed it very much anyway and it was certainly a page turner. This is one of his ghostly, horror type stories and at times it was very spooky and frequently very gory. In fact very Stephen King. Not the best book I have read by him but still very worthy of 4 stars.

  • Becky
    2018-11-25 20:52

    I remember reading this when I was 16. My dad bought me the hardcover for my birthday, and I remember reading it on a plane. That's about all that I remember about it, though, other than a vague recollection of liking it, hence my pre-Goodreads rating of 3 stars. Now, 16 years later (Please don't do the math. It will hurt me in my soul.), and I'm reading it again. I've picked this book up a few times over the past... maybe two years, but each time I put it back down again. It just wasn't the right time. But I'm glad that I read this now, because I loved it. I didn't love EVERYTHING about it, but the main, overall story, is pretty effing fantastic. The quick and dirty summary, before we get started: Successful author Mike Noonan's wife, Jo, dies suddenly, and after Mike's suffered 4 years of lonely writer's block, he finds himself drawn to his summer home on Dark Score Lake, where things start to get weird. Alrighty, let's get the nitpicks out of the way, shall we? First: I get it. Mike Noonan is a successful author of romantic mystery/thrillers. That's quite clear enough from Noonan's own perspective, and from the conversations he has with his agent. So it's pretty annoying to have nearly every male character that encounters Mike to have to comment on Mike's Successful Author Status, usually in the form of The Husband Of The Fan relaying his hallowed Favorite Author Status on behalf of said wife. And often in a sort of apologetic way, as though she should really be more discerning, but he writes the stuff, and they ARE women, so it's probably OK. In 732 pages, ONE man is reported to have read one of Mike's books, and that man is his agent. Even his publishers are women, Debra and Phyllis. I don't really know why this bothered me quite so much. I understand that a romantic aspect being a main component of a book will make that one that appeals to more women than men. But it just seemed to be overkill. Everyone has to mention how much women love his books, even when said woman is not around. The subtext being, I guess, that these are good husbands who would catch hell if their wives poked a head out of the kitchen to ask how their days were and found out that hubby'd talked to THEIR FAVORITE AUTHOR and didn't mention that she was a huge fan. Possibly a rolling-pin to the noggin worthy offense. Second: The dialogue. There was really some awkward dialogue in this book. I think that's been present in just about all of King's books, but as I get older, I notice it more. It's just little things, things that bother me and feel... forced? Like a 21 year old girl, the daughter of two alcoholics, who practically raised herself, and who quit highschool when she got pregnant, and now reshelves books at the library for $100/week and can barely afford to keep her trailer saying, "I apologize about calling in the first place - it's a presumption." It's just awkward. Yes, she's smart. Yes, she's a reader of widely varying genres (described as "schizo" by our author/narrators). And yes, she's not the trailer-trash one would expect her to be. But STILL I don't think, in the late 90s, that a girl like her would talk like that. It sounds like it would be coming out of the mouth of a 45 year old WASP, calling on business. And let's not forget about the "Make it Mike/Mattie/Rommie/George/etc" instructions that everyone has to give anyone else they talk to so that they can feel free to get all personal and call them by their first name. This book was set in 1998, not 1958. Jeez. Finally: The repetition. This is something of a slow build of a book. Once it gets going, it goes, but... Mike is a bit slow on the uptake with some things, and so it has to kind of be knocked into his head, which takes repetition. Not only for him to get it, but I presume for the reader to get it and understand the importance as well. King often takes his time to make sure the scene is set and the symbolism and symmetry are in place before letting things get good and rockin'. I appreciate that, but I think Mike could have maybe picked up on a few things a bit faster. To me, they were pretty obvious... but then, I'm reading the book and he's living it. Those are all of the negatives I can think of right now. I'm tired, though, and it's past my bedtime, so I'll get to the good stuff quickly. I loved the way that this story unfolded. I love how all the little pieces of mystery eventually came together. The picture that they formed was horrible, and ugly, and hateful, and sad... but what it spawned is almost righteously beautiful in its anger and hurt. That seems like such a strange sentence to type, but I don't know how else to describe it. The things that happened should not have and I cannot help but understand the rage and the pain and the sense of betrayal... and the need for vengeance. In a way, I was rooting for her to win. I just couldn't bring myself to call her evil... not after what she'd been put through. My heart broke for her. One thing that King does exceptionally well is build a community, and in Bag of Bones, I think this is one of his best. Very close-knit, very proud and quiet and... Maine. The way that this community exists is just as creepy and scary for their everydayness as the things that draws Mike to Sara Laughs and keeps him there. The characters were great, and I loved the way that Mike kept his wife alive in his mind and heart. She died on the first page of the book, and yet she had such an active place in his life, and I loved her character. I loved so much about this book. I enjoyed even the sections of nothing-much-happening, because even when nothing is happening at the moment, the reader is getting to know the characters or the community, or just taking a little walk down memory lane and getting a feel for the relationship that was so recently lost. This book was such an emotional roller-coaster, and I loved it. It had me in tears right off the bat, because one thing that King does amazingly well is writing characters that I can understand and relate to (even if sometimes they talk funny). And Jo's death right at the start of the book, and Mike's reaction to it, just got me in the feels. I understood his need to know why she had been keeping secrets, and I willingly went along with him to find out. I felt like, by the end, I'd been a silent observer of their lives. I loved this book, and despite my criticisms, I think it's right up there among King's best. There are a lot of similarities in this book to 2006's Lisey's Story, only told from the other side of the page, if you will. In this, the writer's wife is the one to die, and in Lisey's Story, the writer himself dies. But both stories pick up from there with the coping and grieving, and the quest to understand WHY their loved one died... and what secrets they may have been keeping. There are also several tie-ins to other novels that King's written - Insomnia, for one, and Needful Things. It's kind of a bridge between the Derry novels and the Castle Rock novels. It's not really set in either one, truly, though it passes through both. Anyway, it's now after 1:30am and if I don't stop typing, I might just ramble on until dawn. So I'll stop now and just say that I loved this book despite it's occasional awkwardness. It's heartbreaking and beautiful and ruthless and eerie all at the same time. Good stuff. Definitely worth the read.

  • Autumn Doughton
    2018-12-01 22:16

    This was a weird novel for me. For the first 450 pages or so I kept thinking that it was by leaps and bounds the best Stephen King book ever. But then things got strange in a way that only King's novels can and I was left feeling like maybe I'd been in a car accident but had blacked out and couldn't really remember the whole thing properly. I think that you either like Stephen King's stuff or you don't. I'm a fan of sci-fi/fantasy/borderline horror and I am a King fan. I have been reading him since the seventh grade and I'm never bored with his stuff and always end up thinking that even if I don't connect with every story, he is a genius. Seriously. Can you imagine what it would be like to have him for a friend? I thought the beginning of Bag of Bones was a bit of a departure for King. The whole set up was very subtle and the story was quite poignant. Of course there was something bizarre developing in the background--it's a Stephen King book! But, what pressed upon me during the first part of the novel was that it was light on the weird stuff and I still loved the story. That just proves what a great writer he is and maybe my point is that he can lay off of his signature crazy shit sometimes. In this case, the weirdness really snuck up on me and last forty pages or so just seemed sort of bizarre and out of place with the rest of the book, almost like he got to the end and was like, "whoa! I need to spice this up!" My only other complaint is that I didn't feel like the story was finished although the book ended. I had some questions. What was the big dream about "low sperm count" supposed to mean? Was that a line of thought that was never completed or were we just being diverted? Also, Micheal Noonan obviously stayed on the TR after the storm. What was his relationship with the townies after the way he had been treated? I thought that was a major part of the book and it was dropped.Overall, I liked this book but it had some problems mainly towards the end. But, really, who am I to judge?

  • FrancoSantos
    2018-11-25 16:16

    Y acaso la mayor bendición fue que nunca supimos que nos quedaba poco tiempo...Muy buen libro de King. Tiene uno de los mejores comienzos que me tocó leer. El autor me transmitió la tristeza, la tragedia y la depresión del protagonista intensamente. Un excelente inicio de novela.El dolor del duelo es como un invitado borracho, cuando parece que se ha marchado vuelve a darte un último abrazo.Ya en la mitad las cosas se empiezan a poner un poco pesadas y repetitivas. Tiene partes que son bastante lentas. Sin embargo, el misterio que le dotó a esta historia King me hizo imposible despegarme de las páginas en ningún momento. Sufría horrores cada vez que tenía que soltar el libro para dormir o comer o estudiar, o lo que sea. Putas interrupciones obligatorias...Es mejor no dejar las cartas de amor por ahí; pueden volver para torturarte... pero no me torturaré yo mismo voluntariamente, y cuando cerré mi libro de sueños lo hice por voluntad propia.En el final todo se vuelve más enérgico. El terror aparece para golpearnos con fuerza y el momento álgido se logra a la perfección. Tiene una conclusión soberbia. En mi opinión es uno de los finales más espeluznantes de King.En definición, un muy buen libro de uno de mis autores favoritos. Lo recomiendo sin dudarlo. Tiene mucho misterio, mucho. Éso me encantó.

  • D.B. Woodling
    2018-11-22 22:14

    3.5 StarsIn Bag of Bones, Mike Noonan, a bestselling author, simultaneously loses his wife Johanna and his ability to write much more than his name. Soon after, the night terrors begin, involving the couple’s lake house retreat dubbed Sara Laughs after a turn-of-the-century singer, and Noonan realizes the solitary cure lies in the confrontation. With tremendous trepidation, he faces the demons, which hold both his and Johanna’s inner peace hostage and, in the end, discovers when and why Sara thundered her last laugh.Many critics have suggested King, like Mike Noonan, suffered his own case of writer’s block during the creation of Bag of Bones, a kind of disconnect, pages of prose that imply King operated on autopilot. However, King’s ability to summon Van Goghish imagery through words alone (a natural talent few writers possess and others achieve only through years of experience if then), makes this novel a supernatural adventure few can resist.

  • Johann (jobis89)
    2018-12-08 21:03

    "Grief is like a drunken house guest, always coming back for one more goodbye hug."Bag of Bones focuses on the story of Mike Noonan, a best-selling writer who's wife unexpectedly passes away. Following her death, Mike suffers from writer's block and begins to have nightmares concerning their lakeside house, Sara Laughs. Mike decides he must go back to their lakeside house in order to confront his fears. Upon his arrival, he meets a beautiful single mother and her daughter, only to find out that a crazy millionaire wants to obtain custody of the young girl, who is his granddaughter. Mike decides he must help the young mother and daughter, but other sinister forces are also at work...I truly believe that no one can depict grief like King can. Between this and Lisey's Story, King seems to have a unique talent for describing those feelings of loss and the process of grief itself. And that is part of the reason why I love King so much, it just feels like he gets you and he is able to connect with his reader so easily. Bag of Bones opens with Mike Noonan trying to cope following the unexpected death of his wife Johanna to a brain aneurysm, and these opening scenes are just heartbreaking to read. Mike's grief is so prominent and it's very easy to empathise with this character. The reality of Johanna's death really hits Mike when he realises that she will never move past page 103 in her current read (this really struck a cord with me). Shortly after her death, the nightmares surrounding their lakeside house begins...This book did actually unsettle me at times. There's just something about creepy happenings occurring in your house. It's those kind of storylines that freak me out the most - the ones that quite literally hit close to home. It's kinda why movies like Paranormal Activity are so effective. Some of the scenes King described left me with the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Serves me right for reading alone in bed late at night...The characters themselves are pretty special. Mike Noonan is just a damn good man. He is caring, generous, thoughtful, and that somehow makes it more difficult to watch him suffering through the loss of his wife. Although Johanna is strictly not a "live" character, she is very much present in this novel, and again, she is a genuinely good person. So her death is even more tragic. Upon meeting Mattie after his arrival at the lakehouse, you find yourself willing Mike to move on, almost like you want to tell him that it's okay. Often when I encounter this kind of a scenario in a book, I am like "HOW DARE YOU! She's barely cold in her grave!" but you can feel Mike's pain and he is clearly a good man who deserves some happiness in his life.How many times do I need to emphasise that King is literally the BEST at developing characters and their relationships. People who say King is all about horror and scares, need to read books like these in order to truly understand what King is really all about. Yes, this book could be considered "horror" in a way, but it's not your usual haunted house storyline at all. It's so much more than that. As for the "baddies" in this book - they were horrible, vile characters, particularly the character Max Devore.The twists and turns and unfolding of events in this novel was very impressive. I was constantly wondering what was coming next, how everything was linked, and I'm very happy to say that it all paid off. One minor complaint is regarding some of the scenes towards the end that made me feel slightly uncomfortable. I felt like perhaps it was maybe a bit too much...however it did really have an impact on me, and perhaps that was King's intention? So maybe it did work then?Anyway, all in all, a great book. 5 stars out of 5 for me! I'm on a run of great King books!

  • Caroline
    2018-12-02 19:53

    Slow moving. I quit halfway through, switched to an action novel which cleared my head and allowed me to continue the laborious trudge.The best thing about this novel, aside from reaching the end (660 pages… it could have been pared back to 450 and I would have been happy), was its intricacy. Almost everything tied in to the end. Of course, for a novelist like Stephen King, I would expect nothing less. However, I found the protag’s involvement left me feeling uneasy. Could Mike have figured everything out sooner and prevented much of the bloodshed? I found Mike to be too blasé about some of the things that happened to him, around him. Yes, they all turned out to have significance, but for a long while he ignored things that he really should have worked much harder to understand. Clues that he tried to find answers to, but then gave up.In fact, he accepts (with little regret) that the answers were so close at hand but he was distracted from searching for them. Admittedly, the distractions were significant, but there were still large gaps where Mike could have picked up the puzzle pieces and figured things out. Another factor that detracted from my enjoyment was the (almost) apology that SK makes (through Mike) in the epilogue. I won’t ruin it for anyone who wishes to read, but Mike (who was a novelist) mused on the convenience of another character’s death. It neatened things up, removed him from a moral dilemma, and it did feel staged, as though SK couldn’t bring himself to allow this scenario to continue. It is said that a story tells something of the author, I wonder if this tells something of SK?I’m glad I finished the book, even if just so I can say that I have. Overall, it was too slow, the characters unique, but lacking emotional depth. This will be my last Stephen King novel for a while.

  • Carmine
    2018-12-05 17:07

    La morte come colpa e redenzione "E forse la nostra benedizione più grande era di non aver mai saputo quanto fosse breve il tempo"Meravigliosa discesa nei dolori del quotidiano, ove l'orrore si nasconde negli anfratti meno nascosti e la fragilità dei rapporti umani rappresenta solo una delle tante sfaccettature di una realtà amara da fare propria per non soccombere.L'omertà in cui serpeggia il male va a braccetto con la paura del giudizio; la verità si nasconde nelle leggende e la si cela, finché possibile.Qui il male vince perché diventa necessario; e a scontarne le colpe sono sempre i figli, ignari eredi di una generazione che ha fallito su tutta la linea in virtù del "bene comune".

  • Wayne Barrett
    2018-12-08 23:08

    Actual 3.5Reflections of Peter Straub's 'Ghost Story' ran through my thoughts as I read this one. And not only did they work together on some novels but King has mentioned how much he admires 'Ghost Story', so maybe...? This was great writing with an interesting plot being weaved to form a masterful picture, but I think it is a picture that brings nothing new to the table and it was too long in the weaving. Bag of Bones was a labor to read but overall was still good.

  • Colin Andersen
    2018-11-21 20:10

    Probably, for me, the best Stephen King horror novel. I am not easily scared by ghosts and other paranormal entities since they mostly live within the pages of horror fiction. But this one has sections, like the ghost that shuffles the magnets stuck on a freeze, that gave me an instant on-rush of fear-hormones. A brick-sized page turner!

  • Kelly
    2018-11-17 20:50

    Described as a haunting love story, it certainly delivers. Instantly engrossing, King grabs you from the first line and keeps you, squirming and uncomfortable, until well after you’ve closed the book. Bag of Bones keeps you wondering what happens next. King’s style of writing is sharp and graceful. The past entwines so completely with the present the change is subtle and quiet. The setting is believable and easy to imagine you live there. The pace is a bit slow at first, but picks up quickly. With the vivid imagery, you experience what the characters do as if you were there with them. The characters are fleshed out and realistic. So easy to identify with, you begin to feel an alarming sense of annoyance and unfairness to some of the situations the characters go through. The ending is shattering and tragic. Beginning the book with a description of the day his wife died, we meet Mike Noonan, our narrator. Four years later, Mike is still haunted with guilt and grief-stricken over his loss. Consumed with questions regarding his wife’s death, and a need to bring a new creative atmosphere to help with his writer’s block, he retreats to Sara Laughs. Furthermore, Mike comes across an attractive young widow, Mattie, and her four-year-old daughter, Kyra. Drawn into their lives, he becomes involved in their fight against Max Devore, a powerful man who wants sole custody of little Kyra. For Mike Noonan, things are about to go from bad to worse. Bag of Bones is a classic ghost story, allowing the horror to creep up on you. The supernatural is interwoven so nicely with the plot that it never distracts. I give it a perfect 5 . Rush out and buy it, now ...you’re still reading? I said GO! -As reviewed for Horror-Web.com

  • Chris_P
    2018-11-18 18:55

    Every once in a while I need to read a good ghost story. One with ectoplasmic ghosts as well as ghosts in the form of memories of what is dead and gone, and a protagonist caught in their web. One in which nostalgia, melancholy, love, fear and suspense all intertwine to create a good enough fire in which to destroy my precious brain cells. Bag Of Bones duly delivered.It took me exactly two days to finish it and that says a lot. I've discovered lately that King's novels have lost their power over me. I don't seem to find them so appealing anymore. Maybe I'm too old for them? Whatever the case, Bag Of Bones has everything my old horror buff self needs. Creepiness and story in the right doses.Of course, like almost every King novel that's over 500 pages, it should be a couple of hundred pages shorter. However, while in other cases the exceeding length is frustrating, here it didn't bother me that much. What did bother me was the seemingly unavoidable (?) exaggeration of the finale that was far too far-fetched for my taste, as well as a few unbelievable actions of the characters which thankfully weren't enough to destroy the experience.All in all, an honest horror novel that flows smoothly and is pretty good at what it is.

  • Cody | codysbookshelf
    2018-11-20 00:03

    I cheated in my Stephen King chronological reread series. Desperation was up next, but... I really dislike that book, okay? I wanted to get to a King novel I love before the year’s end, so here we are.This was my third reread of Bag of Bones; this time it hit me deeper than ever before. Now that I’m familiar with Kong’s entire oeuvre, connections big and small (Thad Beaumont gets a shoutout, there’s a scene with Ralph Roberts and Norris Ridgewick, names like Polly Chalmers and Bannerman are mentioned) stood out, deepening my enjoyment of this novel. This is King’s grief story. Yeah, his early ‘80s works deal in grief, too, but this 1998 tome is steeped in the blues. Four years after his wife’s death, author Mike Noonan moves from Derry to their summer home in TR-90. Dealing with writer’s block and haunted by ghosts both physical and metaphorical, it is a period of intense mourning. This has been a year of mourning, for me, so this particular narrative really hit me hard. A gorgeous, spacious look at romance and small town life and mourning and loss, this is a King classic. If it isn’t in my top five, it’s certainly in my top ten. This is when, I think, King went to a whole ‘nother level in his writing. The move to Scribner did him a world of good. Equal parts moving and terrifying, I cannot recommend this one enough.

  • Rosa, really
    2018-11-28 19:14

    Holy shit! I read this one when it was first published!I think I was going through a "I should read something other than romance" phase. If I remember correctly I was annoyed that the possibilities for romance in the book didn't exactly work out. What the hell did I expect? Jude fucking Deveraux?

  • Glenn Rolfe
    2018-11-26 21:51

    Bag of Bones is one of King's bigger books (just over 700 pages). As with another of his larger novels that I read and loved recently (The Tommyknockers), this one veers off maybe a tick too long here and there, but here, the off-trail jaunts accomplish what they should-they draw you deeper into the story. And what a deep tale it is.“Then I got back to the house, and all I worried about was my story and the people in it--bags of bones which were putting on flesh daily.”As a writer, I fell into this novel more so than some of the others I've read (even King's). We have Mike Noonan, a writer who is facing an entire Walmart of problems. Besides ghosts, small town mysteries, what his since-deceased wife was doing in the months before she died, how he could help a young girl defeat and evil, rich, scaly old SOB and keep her daughter safe, author, Mike Noonan, was struggling with a severe case of writer's block. I felt like King was giving us a look behind the curtain. He noted in the afterward that he was also writing or set to write On Writing at the time, as well. I'm sure those thoughts were floating in his brain at the time and seeped into this larger piece. I found the writer's side of Mike Noonan's adventure (or misadventure) just as captivating as the rest of the amazing story...until I hit the last couple hundred pages...then it was full-on holy hell-what's going to happen! But prior to the last quarter or so of the book, I was pulling for Mike to write again, I was excited for him when he did, I wanted so bad to see him get to write THE END with his new story....The scariest scene in the entire book for me was definitely when Mike gets cornered by Rogette and Max Devore on The Street. If you've read it, you know exactly what I mean, if you haven't-you will (picture that being said in Yoda's voice when he's telling Luke he will be afraid! I think Yoda actually says "you will be", but whatever, you get the point). We hadn't seen Max up until that point and man, King delivers a horror home run. Rogette turns out to be just as scary. "Her lips were painted so brightly red she seemed to be bleeding from the mouth."The heartbreak and magic of the book centers around young widow, Mattie Devore, her 3-year-old daughter, Kyra, and Mike. When I tell you there's some hard hitting stuff in this novel, I'm not kidding. I usually see things from a mile away, but what goes on in this novel caught me by surprise and flipped me on my head. I thought I knew what was around the bend....and each time I got that line of thinking King walloped me, leveling me and leaving me needing to come up for air. Only problem was, the story burns like gasoline in the last two hundred-plus pages....finally finished, I am exhausted. "It was as if the heart had been burned out of her and the sadness that remained was just another ghost , the memory of love haunting the bones of hate."King packs punch after punch of pure heart and soul in these pages. It is a thing of beauty and awe. He has that intangible that all of us are striving for- the honesty and emotion- and does it so effortlessly. He's mastered that chi of writing that makes characters completely real and these worlds of fiction take form around us making everything else fade into the background. Pure magic.Bag of Bones is definitely one of my favorite pieces I've ever read. A brilliant and completely engaging work by my favorite writer.I give Bag of Bones 5 stars!

  • Corey
    2018-12-12 16:10

    WOW!! This is by far, in my opinion Stephen King's best book! It was recommended to me by my Mom, who's a big Stephen King fan!Bag of Bones is about famous bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who lost his wife 4 years ago to a car collision. Mike who is still grieving, is struggling with Writer's Block and has returned to his Summerhouse in Western Maine, which he calls Sara Laughs, to try to find some peace and quiet. But since returning to his Summerhouse, he is plagued by nightmares and ghosts set within the house. Mike also comes across Mattie Devore and her 3-year old daughter Kyra, who he immediately befriends them, while becoming romantically involved with Mattie, and considering Kyra his own daughter, where he has no children of his own. I really liked how the book took place in Maine, which is where I'm from. And I love all the sayings that you only hear people from Maine or New England use, or if one of the characters had a thick Maine accent, it would be written the way the pronounced it, which Maine accents are very hard to mimic from what I hear. This book has a different feel to it than King's other works, it's got almost everything in it, suspense, horror, comedy, romance, and sadness, and those are my favorite type of books!And normally I prefer 3rd person view over 1st person view, but with this one I'll make an exception, and of course it all depends on the book, genre, and even the author. But Bag Of Bones is written in the 1st person POV, which I don't think it would have been as good if it was in the 3rd person, and since it's written in 1st person, it's like you feel you're right there in the story.Highly recommended to fans of Stephen King!

  • Eleni Ouzouni
    2018-12-06 16:05

    Classic story by Stephen King!

  • Bill
    2018-11-22 23:16

    Man, when this guy is good, he is really good. Bag of Bones exemplifies what I love about Stephen King. Characters you care about, and marvelously poignant observances, be they on human nature or a simple description or simile.This isn't much of a horror novel. Although there is one particular passage that caused me a little lost sleep, this is a story of grief, love, and revenge. It's a ghost story (this is the horror and revenge part) that concerns a writer facing writer's block following the sudden death of his wife.I loved reading this, King made me laugh, almost made me cry, and several times had me nodding in agreement whenever he hit upon one of those poignant observances.This book also made me regret any bad things I've written about his other works. This was like coming home again, and it's been a while since I've read a book that I couldn't wait to pick up again.

  • Lena
    2018-12-04 22:59

    “When the story starts going sour, bring on the man with the gun.” Gory I read that quick. Haunted houses, small town secrets, mad old villains, maidens in distress, magic in the air and one lonely widowed writer. Oh yes, there was plenty to keep those pages turning/audiobook flowing. Love King books.