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Bag of Bones by Stephen King
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Bag of Bones (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Stephen King (Author)

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11,022149624 (3.7)2 / 195
Fiction. Literature. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, a powerful tale of grief, of love's enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the past.
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 following the sudden death of his wife Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his computer.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares, all set at the Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike returns to the lakeside getaway. There he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who will do anything 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 mother and child, 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?

First published in 1998, Bag of Bones was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. It was lauded at its publication as "hands down, Stephen King's most narratively subversive fiction" (Entertainment Weekly) and his "most ambitious novel" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution… (more)
Member:Roisinfee
Title:Bag of Bones
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (1998), Edition: Airportopen Market Ed, 516 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

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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» See also 195 mentions

English (141)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
#1297 in our old book database. Rated "Good." #204 for Adele, rated "Good." ( )
  villemezbrown | Apr 26, 2024 |
Five books into my Great Stephen King Re-Read (2024 Edition), this was a novel I was sincerely looking forward to revisiting. Like DESPERATION before it, I remember truly loving this book the first time around.

Unlike my re-read of DESPERATION this one didn't disappoint. I loved this one all over again.

I was amazed at how much of the story I'd forgotten. I had the opening few chapters clearly, but, by the time Noonan got to Sarah Laughs, I'd forgotten damn near all of it. I'm kind of glad I did, as it allowed me to basically re-read it and experience it much like the first time.

There's so much I loved here. The horror was quite subtle for the first three-quarters, allowing King to also examine Noonan's relationships with Jo, with Matty, with her daughter, with the extended family and townspeople, and while I'm sure some readers found it somewhat self-indulgent and "that crazy Stevie overwriting again" I found it essential to how the story played out.

On top of that, King's examination of grief was given the space it needed to breathe, which I appreciated. I find that, in stories, it's given short shrift, making it feel like it's felt and dealt with in a couple of weeks. It felt real here.

The other aspect I loved—and I'm guessing it's something more that authors would respond to—was King's portrayal of Noonan's creative process and the writing process in general. In fact, it was kind of killing me and every time King brought it up, I kept thinking that I should be writing.

Was it a perfect book? No, but very few are. But did King grab me pretty much from the first page and hold me until the last one? Hell yes.

I was going to say this is one of his best "latter year" novels, but looking at my shelves, it's very clearly closer to the middle output. But he was having a fairly solid streak, with the one-two punch of GERALD'S GAME and DOLORES CLAIBORNE, then ROSE MADDER (a book that I feel has been undervalued), then THE GREEN MILE, DESPERATION, and now this one.

But this particular one? This is one I point to when asked why I love Stephen King. ( )
  TobinElliott | Apr 2, 2024 |
(1998)Very good ghost story about a writer who is haunted by his wife and a women raped by ancestors of a local man. (Amazon)No longer content to be the prolific provider of text, King grabs the audio reigns 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.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
This is a hard book for me to review. It’s got great creepy atmosphere and the mystery at its heart is fun to unravel. At the same time, it’s a hot mess of disjointed reveals, cartoonish villains, unconvincing romance, and a murderous revenant that I felt more sympathy for than almost any other character. Plus, the author gets unpleasantly meta, with the (author) main character musing on the injustice of fiction writers everywhere killing off their characters as a convenience when they aren’t sure what else to do with them, then… you guessed it. Unlike most SK books, I was ready for this one to be over long before the final pages.

Hardcover version, which has been on my shelf since I bought it brand new in 1998. I’d never written a review, so this is a re-read for the 2018 Halloween Bingo. I’ve decided to use Stephen King for my Wild Card author, but I’m holding onto it for now until I decide where best to play it. ( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
Stephen King is a master of his craft...that is all. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (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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Epigraph
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.

"Barleby,"

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.

Rebecca,

Daphne Du Maurier
Mars is heaven.

Ray Bradbury
Dedication
This is for Naomi.

Still.
First words
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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Wikipedia in English (2)

Fiction. Literature. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, a powerful tale of grief, of love's enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the past.
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 following the sudden death of his wife Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his computer.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares, all set at the Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike returns to the lakeside getaway. There he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who will do anything 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 mother and child, 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?

First published in 1998, Bag of Bones was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. It was lauded at its publication as "hands down, Stephen King's most narratively subversive fiction" (Entertainment Weekly) and his "most ambitious novel" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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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?

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