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The Tommyknockers (Signet) by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers (Signet) (edition 1988)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,91864801 (3.32)1 / 132
Title:The Tommyknockers (Signet)
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 752 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, science fiction, horror, October 2008

Work details

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

  1. 60
    The Harvest by Scott Nicholson (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Both books deal with an alien force slowly taking over a rural community.
  2. 40
    The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another book that deals with a sinister alien force that slowly possesses a small town.
  3. 30
    Brain Wave by Poul Anderson (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: King references Brain Wave in The Tommyknockers and with good reasons. Both books deal (in part) with people whose intelligence is suddenly and unexpectedly increased dramatically.
  4. 10
    Strangers by Dean Koontz (sturlington)
  5. 01
    Cross County by Tim Waggoner (beckylynn)
  6. 13
    Prey by Michael Crichton (Hedgepeth)

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English (56)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
“Late last night and the night before, tommyknockers, tommyknockers knocking on my door.
I wanna go out, don't know if I can 'cuz I'm so afraid of the tommyknocker man.”

I had tried to read this book a few times over the last 10 years or so and kept putting it down. King has a tendency to be long winded while setting up the background of the story, and this book stays true to that form. This time around I tried it on audiobook and managed to get past the initial drawn out beginning and actually ended up enjoying the book.
This was actually one of the creepiest stories I've read in a long time!

Bobby Anderson takes a walk in the woods on her property one day and trips over a piece of metal sticking out of the ground. She finds she has an overwhelming urge to dig it up. That decision turns out to be devastating for the small town of Haven, Maine. After starting to dig and realizing that she has found an alien spacecraft Bobbi starts to change, and the whole town follows suit. Strange things start happening around Haven, and to anyone who tries to enter town.

  ChelleBearss | Mar 9, 2018 |
“The Tommyknockers” by Stephen King
Review Written by Diana Iozzia

I can tell you right now that Stephen King is my favorite author. He writes horror fiction, which is one of my favorite genres, and he’s damn good at it. Everyone either despises him or worships him. “The Tommyknockers” was one of the only books I’ve read by him that I despised. You read about a very uninteresting and depressed protagonist named Bobbi Anderson. Bobbi is walking in her backyard with her old dog, when she finds a hunk of metal protruding from the ground.

There are many ways to spoil this book, but I’d rather not completely ruin it for you. It’s very reminiscent of an episode from The Twilight Zone, or at least the beginning is. In many of King’s books, he writes of his inspirations and his connections, but sometimes, they feel so much more coincidental and slightly like he rips off some of his stories.

I love Mr. King, but this was a very skippable book. It’s absolutely gigantic, and I just could not finish this with my sanity full intact. I was tired and bored of it by the first three chapters. Perhaps, I’ll re-read it in ten years and see if my thoughts have changed. Unfortunately, for now, I wouldn’t recommend this book. ( )
2 vote dianaiozzia | Apr 16, 2017 |
i like that while this is ostensibly a ufo and aliens-taking-over-a-town story, it's really a story about friendship. there are strong elements of addiction and community and nuclear power and the climax of the book revolves around the alien issue, but this is about friendship and relationship and doing the right thing. and i really can't get enough of how king writes people and the ways they relate. i'm always so impressed by that.

i'd rate it higher but this could have been edited down a bit, and the climax of the book was a bit farfetched in terms of jim's injuries and his ability to keep going (king does this often, too - pushes his heroes maybe past the point of reality in their heroism, but then most authors do this, no?).

"When he got drunk, his heart got hot. The nukes. The goddam nukes. It was symbolic, yeah, okay, you didn't have to be Freud to figure that what he was really protesting was the reactor in his own heart. When it came to matters of restraint, James Gardener had a bad containment system. There was some technician inside who should have long since been fired. He sat and played with all the wrong switches."

"[He] was garrulous-going-on-tiresome."

(2.75 stars)

from jan 2013:

somewhere around 2.5 stars or slightly above. so the thing is - i am really not into books about aliens and their spacecraft (this book), zombies (i think it was the mist and i haven't read it but i think also cell), vampires ('salem's lot), or werewolves (not a focus, but in the talisman). the fact that i liked this book as much as i did in spite of its alien content says quite a bit about how good stephen king is at his craft. how very, very good. he is truly a master storyteller and consistently writes characters more fully than just about anyone out there. i've long used this book (this was a reread for me; i first (and last) read it probably 20 years ago) as an example of how when the characters in a stephen king novel are faced with something unbelievable, stephen king goes about convincing them as he convinces the reader. i was less convinced during this reading than i was when i first read it, but that didn't detract for me (since i'm not into alien stories anyway, i guess) and was more interested in all the peripheral stuff he does. i loved how what he had to say here about nuclear power/war ended up being something so integral to the story. i also loved his subtle references to at least 3 of his other novels (it, the talisman (multiple times), the dead zone, and a totally overt reference to the jack nicholson movie the shining (it made me laugh out loud that he referenced the movie not the book). i loved his character development, as always. i just get sucked into his writing, which eventually gets me into the story, even when it's about aliens. i wanted to not really like this book, because of the alien thing, but just couldn't help myself from liking it, because of stephen king. and in the end, of course, because it's stephen king, while it's "about aliens," it's also really about people and relationships. and he just does that so well. (2.5 stars) ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jan 7, 2017 |
This book was crazy, Stephen King is definatly one messed up guy. This book took me a while to get into it, but once I made it to Book 2 I couldn't put it down. ( )
  emwelilyls | Jul 9, 2016 |
Classic King but it moves slow. Slimming the book 20% would help. ( )
  Jeffrey_Hatcher | Jun 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
The first third of ''The Tommyknockers'' is wonderful. With his usual eerie effortlessness, Mr. King attaches us to Bobbi and Gard, taunting us with menace neither they nor we can define. When evil starts gobbling Haven with a vengeance, swollen prose and comic-book grue spurt out one authentic gem (a little boy's magic show) and instill in us a creeping terror of good country folks. The last third of the novel is Armageddon, as is usual with Mr. King.

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Late last night and the night before,
Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers,
knocking at the door.
I want to go out, don't know if I can,
'cause I'm so afraid
of the Tommyknocker man.

Well we picked up Harry Truman, floating down from Independence,
We said, "What about the war?"
He said, "Good riddance!"
We said, "What about the bomb? Are you sorry that you did it?"
He said, "Pass me that bottle and mind your own bidness."

The terrorist got bombed!
The President got hit!
Security was tight!
The Secret Service got lit!
And everybody's drunk,
Everybody's wasted,
Everybody's stoned,
And there's nothin gonna change it,
Cause everybody's drunk,
Everybody's wasted,
Everybody's drinkin on the job.

"Drinkin' on the Job"
Then he ran all the way to town, screamin
"It came out of the sky!"

"It Came Out of the Sky"
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

"Won't Get Fooled Again"

"...promises to keep."
First words
For want of a nail the kingdom was lost—that's how the catechism goes when you boil it down.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine the movie with the book; not the same work.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451156609, Mass Market Paperback)

Don't open the door...

Bobbi Anderson and the other good folks of Haven, Maine, have sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of hell.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Bobbi Anderson stumbles across a metal object that gave the people powers beyond what ordinary mortals have.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Average: (3.32)
0.5 6
1 77
1.5 15
2 247
2.5 47
3 569
3.5 97
4 432
4.5 31
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