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Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Stephen King

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6,77498545 (3.7)2 / 163
Title:Bag of Bones
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Gallery Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library

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Bag of Bones by Stephen King (1998)

20th century (20) American (23) American literature (16) audiobook (18) dark tower (16) ebook (22) fantasy (31) fiction (636) First Edition (18) ghost stories (41) ghosts (148) hardcover (45) horror (908) horror fiction (20) King (71) Maine (48) mystery (52) novel (70) own (33) paperback (23) paranormal (22) read (103) romance (21) Stephen King (167) supernatural (75) suspense (63) thriller (96) to-read (57) unread (39) writers (21)
  1. 30
    Lisey's Story by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Very similar themes.
  2. 30
    Wizard and Glass by Stephen King (beckylynn)
    beckylynn: It's not related to the Dark Tower Series, but I think it's kind of written in the same fashion as Wizard and Glass.......and little bit of a romance theme if you will.
  3. 20
    It by Stephen King (sturlington)
  4. 11
    Hay alguien ahi: El chico que no miraba a los ojos by Jorge Magano (nosoyretro)
  5. 33
    Gerald's Game by Stephen King (beckylynn)
    beckylynn: Not exactly a ghost story like Bag of Bones, but thrilling to the end. Starts off fast (however does have sexual content).

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English (89)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
After his wife dies suddenly, Mike Noonan develops writers block and retreats to his summer lake house, where he is haunted by a vengeful ghost, gets involved in a custody dispute and unearths long-buried secrets.

Right around here is when I stopped reading each King book more than once. I liked Bag of Bones while I was reading it -- it was suspenseful and frightening, just like much of King's work -- but it didn't really get under my skin like King's earlier works did. I think I had read so much King by then that some themes were starting to seem very familiar. As a matter of fact, I do feel like I have reread this book a couple of times, once as Lisey's Story, and next as Duma Key.

This one sits on the shelf still. I am debating whether to jettison it. It's doubtful whether I will ever want to reread it.

Read in 1998 upon publication because King is my favorite author. Reviewed based on memory. ( )
  sturlington | Nov 27, 2013 |
An amazing novel by Stephen King who is an award winning author because of his other famous books,over more than twenty books. This haunted love story Bag of Bones is about a bond and connection about a lost love and a new love. Love that a has a horrible past about a young child who was shot and killed. A forty year old bestselling author Mike Noonan who lost his wife Jo. But now Mike is now starting to have these dreams causing him to move back to his summer house. Also he soon finds a town that he loved that looks similar on the outside but somehow had changed, thats what money can do. Max who was a filthy rich millionaire who has a young granddaughter and he wants to take her away from her young mom. More and more Mike Noonan keeps getting haunting visits but again in his dreams. This book will leave you gripping on to it because again Stephen King has done it again with an forgetting love story from his powerful imagination. ( )
  br14pasa | Oct 4, 2013 |
Classic King. A wonderful ghost story with all the ends tied neatly. Characters beautifully drawn. However, I did find it rather wordy. Sometimes with King, his characters have too much back story that we probably don't need. ( )
  SusanMayWriter | Oct 1, 2013 |
I guess it was bound to happen. I read a Stephen King. I have to admit that much of the reason lay behind his decision to leave Viking for Scribner's, Viking having decided that $17,000,000 for Bag of Bones was a little too hefty. After reading the novel, I suspect the decision was as much his agent's as his own.

The book is an uncomfortable mix of supernatural and psychological terror. One of the reasons I've delayed reading King is that I have difficulty turning a car into a killer, but then I have no imagination. Still, there is some good writing and I have to admit it's a real page-turner.

Mike Noonan is a successful writer of breezy mystery/thriller titles who has accumulated a comfortable bank account. His wife is killed by a stroke (or was it?) and this event creates a fearful writer's block. Just turning on his computer makes him physically ill. He is also tormented by dreams that seem to be calling him back to Sara Laughs, the name of their lake house, near the town of TR and on Dead Score Lake - both aptly named. Sara was the name of an African-American singer who had built the house many years before, was murdered, and whose malevolent presence haunts the house, although he doesn't know it yet.

He hears all sorts of strange noises and the refrigerator magnets don't you love that touch - begin spelling out strange messages.
Mike strikes up a friendship with Mattie, a lovely young widow and her three-year-old whose name bears an uncanny resemblance to that of his unborn child. He has learned that his wife was pregnant when she died, and he also learns that she had made numerous trips to Sara Laughs, meeting with a strange man and has been asking questions around town that had begun to seriously irritate the locals.

Mike's relationship also does more than irritate the locals; they leave veiled threats telling Mike to stop having anything to do with Mattie.
It turns out that Max Devore, a very wealthy man, and Mattie's father-in-law, wants custody of her child. Mike gets himself in deeper trouble when he hires a New York lawyer to help her in the custody battle. The threats escalate into killing and during a ferocious storm Mike discovers the secrets that his wife had ferreted out.

Personally, I would have preferred more of the psychological and less of the supernatural silliness, but I can see why King has been called the Dickens of the twentieth century. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this novel. If you're looing for a new King book to read, you're looking at it. ( )
  RamzArtso | Sep 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
From Kirkus Reviews
Leaving Viking for the storied literary patina of Scribner, current or not, King seemingly strives on the page for a less vulgar gloss. And he eases from horror into romantic suspense, while adding dollops of the supernatural. The probable model: structural echoes of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca do sound forth, although King never writes one paragraph herein to match du Maurier's opening moonscapes of Manderley. What comes through nevertheless is a strong pull to upgrade his style and storytelling in this his 50th year. Yes, he actually does write better if with less energy and power than in Desperation (1996). In fact, attacking the race problem in lily-white Maine, he even assumes an almost Dreiserian seriousness in his final paragraphs. Well, the story: romantic-suspense novelist Michael Noonan, who summers in Castle Rock on Dark Score Lake, falls into a four-year writer's block when his wife Johanna dies of a brain blowout. Now 40 and childless, Mike has salted away four extra novel manuscripts in his safe-deposit box, one of them 11 years old (shades of Richard Bachman!), and keeps up a pretense of productivity by publishing a ``new'' novel each year. Meanwhile, he finds himself falling for Mattie Devore, a widowed mother half his age. Mattie's late husband is the son of still-thriving half-billionaire computer king Max Devore, 85 years old and monstrous, who plans to gain possession of Mattie's three-year-old daughter, the banally drawn Kyra. Mike's first big question: Did Johanna cuckold him during his long hours writing? If so, will her character reverse our understanding of her, as does Rebecca de Winter's? And how can he help Mattie fight off Max and keep Kyra? The supernatural elements, largely reserved for the interracial climax, are Standard King but fairly mild.
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Yes, Bartleby, stay there behind your screen, thought I; I shall persecute you no more you are harmless and noiseless as any of these old chairs; in short, I never feel so private as when I know you are here.


Herman Melville
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...As I stood there, hushed and still, I could swear that the house was not an empty shell but lived and breathed as it had lived before.


Daphne Du Maurier
Mars is heaven.

Ray Bradbury
This is for Naomi.

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On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription -- this is the stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe.
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Book description
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 Noonan's 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?

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067102423X, Mass Market Paperback)

No longer content to be the prolific provider of text, King grabs the audio reins to recount this haunted tale of grief, young love, and otherworldly visits. When 40-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan returns to his lakeside cabin to process his wife's death, he finds the place a beacon for nightmares and ghoulish visits. But there's hope in Kingsville, as this struggling writer falls in love with a young widow named Mattie and her 3-year-old psychic daughter, Kyra. If you've never heard King speak, be warned: 19-plus hours of his western Maine, nasal-drenched tones may be more than some listeners can bear. But there's a certain warmth and believability to King's voice--after all, it's his book and he is a middle-aged bestselling novelist--that jive well with Noonan's character. And since King rarely reads his own work, perhaps his doing so indicates that he's especially pleased with Bag of Bones; most listeners should be as well. (Running time: 19.5 hours, 14 cassettes) --Rob McDonald

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Novelist Mike Noonan, still grieving the death of his wife after four years, retreats to Sara Laughs, his isolated summer home, but the peace he is seeking slips even further from his grasp when he finds the community in the grip of a powerful millionaire, and his hideaway becomes the site of ghostly visitations.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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