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Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,752113434 (3.7)2 / 173
Title:Bag of Bones
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Gallery Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Bag of Bones by Stephen King (1998)

  1. 40
    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.
  2. 31
    Lisey's Story by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Very similar themes.
  3. 10
    Hay alguien ahi: El chico que no miraba a los ojos by Jorge Magano (nosoyretro)
  4. 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 (107)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  All (1)  All (113)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
One of Stephen King's subtler, and best books. Love the historic setting and the very slow buildup to an excruciating climax. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
Geez, Stephen King can tell a story. In its own way, this one is right up there with THE SHINING. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Oct 31, 2016 |
King masterfully captures the darker side of small town spirits. ( )
  Emery_Demers | Sep 5, 2016 |
Review: Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

This is a wonderful suspenseful haunted house story. Some areas of slow paced but King always keeps you reading. He starts it off with a death of a character but with King’s written words he seems to keep that character alive throughout the book, than slowly with some quiet scenes here and there and an action boost at the end of each chapter he moves the reader along to the next page. His character development is over-the-top and the plot thickens page after page. The story becomes stronger when a variety of strange haunting begins and the supernatural forces come to light near the end of the book. Some of Stephen King’s writing is laid back but he still delivers outstanding work. This book was full of warmth and moving emotions filled with King’s extraordinary imagination.

The bases of the story is about Michael Nooman, a bestselling novelist, living in Maine who’s wife has passed away and finds himself in a state of writer’s block. Four years after his wife’s death and having adventurous nightmares of his country home, Sara Laughs in Western Maine that he shared with his wife every summer, he decides to go there and confront the nightmares and hopes the change of scenery would unlock his writers block.

It wasn’t long before Mike was visited by ghostly spirits, a child crying, someone screaming in pain, a bell ringing, and messages left on his refrigerator by a child’s plastic magnets. While he was trying to solve the mystery behind all the haunting he gets involved with a widowed woman named Mattie and her three year old daughter Kyra in a custody battle with Max Devore the grandfather of Kyra. Max is a wealthy old man in his eighties who is very stubborn and keeps the small country community in his pocket to do what he wants. He also has an elderly female companion who sticks to him like glue and her character can become an angry guard dog when she pleases. As Mike befriends and helps Mattie and her daughter the close community start making Mike feel unwelcome. Somehow in this scenario Mike also finds out that his wife had been keeping secrets from him. Joanne was her name and just before her death she had been to the country home a few times asking questions and the people were upset over her inquires.

So now Mike had two mysteries and a hand in the custody battle. Between the haunting, some doubts about his wife, the battle with wealthy old man and lady, the town turning against him, and noticing weird behavior from the child Kyra, events start to escalate. But wait…! Mike, Mattie, and Kyra the lawyers and the investigator have a need to celebrate first…Why?? King brings it all together at the surprising end and there is a connection with all the spooky and sadness that prevails….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The book was excellent and the movie was pretty good also. The movie was a little hard to follow with the constant switching back and forth between eras. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Violence, natural and supernatural, ensues as past and present mix, culminating in a torrent of climaxes that bind and illuminate the novel's many mysteries. From his mint-fresh etching of spooky rural Maine to his masterful pacing and deft handling of numerous themes, particularly of the fragility of our constructs about reality and of love's ability to mend rifts in those constructs, this is one of King's most accomplished novels.
added by Lemeritus | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 31, 1998)
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.
added by kthomp25 | editKirkus Reviews
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:38 -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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