Monday, October 3, 2011

Bag of Bones.

Title/Author: Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

Read by: Stephen King.

Genre: Supernatural/Horror.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Mike Noonan.

Favorite quote: “Ghosts can’t hurt anyone. That’s what I thought then.”~Mike Noonan.
“What if death drives us insane?”~Mike Noonan.

All in all: Creepy, atmospheric and intricate ghost story.

Synopsis: Now Stephen King brings listeners his most gripping and unforgettable novel--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 of natural and supernatural forces. Set in the territory King has made mythic--on the banks of Dark Score Lake in remote western Maine--Bag of Bones pulls listeners into the plight of 40-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan as he makes his return to the area for the first time since his wife's death. He finds his beloved town is familiar on its surface--but much changed underneath. Features an interview with the author.

My Thoughts: It is so nice to be read a story by the author. He knows what inflections should be where, what tone of voice to use, and all manner of small things from pauses to surprises to thoughts. King did an excellent job at the narration and he differentiated between voices very well. What I really loved about his narration was when things got eerie, his voice almost took on a dream like quality.

The other thing I loved about this audio book was the music. Creepy, ominous background music or just crickets chirping during parts or to let the reader know it’s a key moment. It is so subtle that sometimes I barely noticed it. Also, part of the story is about Sara Tidwell, a musician from the early 1900s. I was so intrigued with the songs on the CD I did a little research and discovered that while the music for Bag of Bones was only recorded for the audio book, a different singer-songwriter was inspired by his words and obtained permission from Mr. King to use them with her music. (If you want to check that story out, click HERE. I actually looked her up on I-Tunes and was quite impressed.)

To be honest, this was a very long winded book. I do feel a lot could have been taken out and I mean a lot. There were passages that while they related to the story and certainly added to it, I’m not sure they are absolutely necessary. However, this audio book had 19 cds. To listen is a commitment. The book is about a vacation area and listening to the backstories and asides, lent that vacation like, meandering quality to the whole experience. You stop and pick up a shell on the beach and examine it or take a walk down a path you never saw before…it’s the same feeling. You listen to each morsel because it’s part of the experience and who knows what that shell will mean later or where that path will lead.

A lot of people say that King tells a wonderful story, and I agree. But I don’t want people to forget that he writes beautiful prose as well. He brings observations to light on the written page. Fireworks in the sky, sunlight on the lake, cloth under his hands and his perceptions of the women in his life.

His words rack up tension and this book is quite spooky and very convincing.  I’m a skeptic, but while listening I could feel my arms tense on the wheel, my breath catch a little bit. King pulled me into his ghost story and had me convinced me to believe it.

The plot and characters are realistic as well, intricate in a straightforward way and compelling. What I really appreciate are details that don’t make sense until toward the end. A stuck door that I wasn’t really conscious of until someone gave me the key and then a few revelations hit. I was very invested in the plot and characters and what made me realize this was when I cursed out loud in disbelief at a line that gave away a plot twist.

What I really loved about this cd was the interview with Stephen King at the end where he discusses the story. I love that stuff! My favorite quote: “For a ghost story to work it should have the feel of a dream that’s real.” I must say that he hit the mark in Bag of Bones.

Other editions:



Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I just want to live inside Stephen King's mind... maybe just part-time though. I loved Bag of Bones, and you're right. So many people think of King as a good horror writer, but he'd just a good writer, period.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

OMG! Love the new header and background, Pam! Totally gets me into the holiday spirit! :)

I don't know how I'd do reading a convincing ghost story, let alone listening to one. I'd probably have to do it in the middle of the day, in the center of my college campus! Don't want to get too spooked. Heh.

Jen | Book Den said...

Maybe I need to listen to Uncle Stevie reading this one to me. As much as I love Stephen King, this is one book I just don't understand why everyone loves it but me. :( Your review makes me really want to listen to him reading it.

Danielle Zappavigna said...

I really liked this book too, mostly because it was one of the only books that really, really scared me - as in I had to read with the lights on and was so anxious I had to wrap myself up in my doona. Brilliant stuff :-)

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

This is one of my favorite SK books. In fact, I plan to read it again before the mini-series comes out (yes, they are planning to make one).

Great review! said...
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