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Stephen King's Bag of Bones.
In this book writer Mike Noonan, is at a book signing when wife Jo gets knocked down by a bus outside the shop where he is doing the book signing he rushes out to find her on the floor covered in blood.
They have a place in Bangor, Maine, Which is where he decides to go back to, so he can recover from her death. After finding out she was with child when she died. Jo and the ghost of a soul singer have other ideas.
The characters (Mike Noonan, Max Devore, Mattie and Kyra) come to life and make you believe they are real within every page. You are guided by the way they think and Steven King gives a vivid account in showing you what they want.
Mike's dream/nightmare world unfolds sometimes making it a bit too real for comfort. There is a feel to it making you think what if it doesn't want to stay a memory, but become a reality again?
He starts to think things are not what they seem and is apparently haunted by a singer who dies in mysterious circumstances.
There is an eerie quality to the characters, and you find yourself being sucked into their lives right the way through the book. This is a must read and I found it nearly impossible to put down. There in the plot is love, revenge and a mysterious ghost story waiting to be found out, it for me was enthralling and I could not wait to find out what happened next.
Mike Noonan, starts searching for the truth, he finds out about his wife's mysterious trips to their summer home (Sarah Laughs). Mike comes to realize that his dead wife discovered something about this place and the people within it and comes to find (Sarah Laughs) the house to be haunted in more ways than one.
Then the nightmares start all of them linked to a place on the Dark Score Lake where Mike and Jo have their log cabin (Sara Laughs) on the shores of the lake and finds some of the locals are involved.
Matty (trailer trash) meets Lance Devore, who is the son of Millionaire Max Devore they get married, much to the annoyance of Max Devore who wanted a much better bride for his beloved son Lance. He cuts him off without a penny leaving them to survive on what little earnings they make reducing them to live in a cheap trailer where the birth of a baby girl Kyra is born. Lance is killed a year later in a freak accident and "Mattie" struggles to bring Kyra up on her own.
This is the setting for a chain of events that will bring Mike together with Mattie and Kyra nearly four years later. He first meets Kyra, a bright three-year-old child walking in the middle of a busy road, screeching to a halt in his car he gets out and scoops her to safety in his arms, he finds a troubled Matty running toward him. Their lives inextricably linked from thereon in.
He is also trying to come to terms with why his wife didn't tell him she was pregnant, is it because she having an affair? Did this creepy place have something to do with it? Can he help Matty and Kyra? This is why he attempts to face his nightmares by returning to the place where they were once happy.
Remember the ghosts? a child weeps in the night, the fridge magnets start to spell out words and then Mike finds that Jo had been visiting the house without telling him at a time when he was deep in writing a new book. Is there a link? Did she find out things he had no knowledge of?
Mike helps Matty fight a custody battle with Devore and pays for this himself. He does this after some threatening calls made by Max Devore himself and doesn't take kindly to the threats.
He finds himself attracted to this poor young woman and tries to fight against the attraction he feels towards her as there is a large age-gap of nearly twenty years.
Mike finds out that Sara a young singer, died in the swamp area of this little town and finds that his wife also found out some things pertaining to this woman's death.
Why this happened is another matter. Who killed her and where is the body?
Who is the little girl that keeps appearing and then just as quickly disappears?
Why did Jo not confide in him after all she was married to him?
What happens to Matty and the child Kyra (incidentally the same name they would have chosen for their child) coincidence?
There are a lot of questions this book leaves open right up to the last minute and I for one will leave you all to draw your own conclusions as to the answers.
I found this book exciting and enthralling and have read the book and have it also on audio books for my dyslexic son so he could read and listen to the tapes as we went along. The tapes droned on a bit in Steven Kings own inimitable voice making the story very creepy but wanting his voice to cheer up a bit.
We also recently saw this on the TV, with their adaptation to the book and found they kept to the storyline fairly well. I loved this book and am sure you will too.
The book and audio discs came at a pricey £28 plus vat. This was much cheaper than the £35 they wanted in W .H .Smiths. I found them online and decided that I would order them for my son for his Christmas before lasts pressie.
Stephen King has struck again. The master author who lives in Bangor, Maine has written many books; some have received the O. Henry Award and Bag of Bones is right up there with the best of them.
Like many of King's books, upstate Maine is the center of weird happenings. King helps you experience the scenery as if you were there. You see, hear, feel and smell everything the characters do. The characters (Mike Noonan, Sara Laughs, Max Devore, Mattie and Kyra) develop with every page. You see into the way they think and what they want. Throughout the book you're brought into Mike's dream/nightmare world. Unfortunately, that world was once too real. What if it doesn't want to stay a memory, but become a reality again? Maybe there is unfinished business to attend to.
There is an eerie, unexpected love story between the characters. The more than 500 pages seem a lot to read, but once you pick it up, it's nearly impossible to put down. Revenge, love, a ghost story and a mystery all in one, what more could you ask for?
This is another example of King's class in creating a riveting story that is both thrilling and completely addictive. Enjoy....
Once again King ceases to amaze me with his profound and intriguing cleverness in Bag of Bones. Yet again he comes forth with a wonderful piece of work which I have not seen in some time since some of his recent works. This book is about a novelist, Mike Noonan, searching for the truth of his wifes mysterious trips to their summer home Sarah Laughs. Mike comes to realize that his dead wife may had discovered something and comes to find Sarah Laughs to be haunted in more ways than one. Unlike some of King's book, this one isn't as scary for me but more suspenseful and an enjoyment to read. Even if you haven't liked some of his other books, this one's definitely worth your while. The attachment the reader feels towords the characters is unmistakeabley real. The characters are compelling and cherishable which King has a knack for writing them to be. The story itself is memorable and worth all the time it takes to read. I am a die hard King fan and never have I read through one of his books as fleeting as I did Bag of Bones. This book is worth every second. The plot was amazing and I would expect nothing less from King. Some of his books are better than others and Bag of Bones is definitely high on my list next to The Stand and The Green Mile. My only complaint is the ending and even it is a trivial one. The ending some how just didn't seem to sit right with me and didn't hold the same suspense I felt throughout the rest of the novel. It almost seemed to just drag on. But in closing, King has once again demonstrated to me his remarkable aptitude and has reminded me why he is my favorite author.
There is nothing quite as good as a decent, old-fashioned horror story to those that like me enjoy this genre. So before you think Oh no, not another Stephen King book review allow me a chance to say why this is one of his better novels.
I dont think there is any need to go into the authors background except to say that there is a class distinction in America much like our own British one. We call it working class the Americans call it either White trash or trailer trash.
Before I get some remarks about racialism Im simply trying to point out that these euphemisms are still in existence today as in the times when Stephen King was a young lad. White Trash were one step up from coloured people, trailer trash applied to those who could not afford a proper house. Stephen Kings family were the former type that is why you will find such expressions in many of his books. He must have felt it keenly to use it so many times. This has some bearing on the book so hang in there with me for a while.
The year is 1994 and in Derry, Maine, Mike Noonans wife Jo has recently died from a brain aneurysm while coming out of the local drugstore. Mike is a fairly successful writer but in the aftermath of his wifes death he finds he can no longer write. This is no ordinary writers block but a severe panic attack every time he approaches his computer.
Then the nightmares start all of them linked to a place on the Dark Score Lake where Mike and Jo had a retreat called Sara Laughs a substantial log cabin on the shores of the lake and also a home to locals and the summer people.
Roughly around the months before Jo dies a young woman called Mary meets the son of a millionaire businessman, Max Devore who once had some attachment to the same place. In the space of a few weeks they get married, much to the annoyance of Max who wanted a much better bride for his beloved son Lance. Cutting him off without a penny to his name the young couple survive on what little earnings both can make until the birth of a baby girl Kyra forces them to live in a cheap trailer. Lance is killed a year later in a freak accident and Mattie struggles to bring Kyra up on her own.
This is the setting for a chain of events that will bring Mike together with Mattie and Kyra nearly four years later. In an attempt to face his nightmares Mike returns to the place where once he was happy with Jo, the only problem with their marriage was the lack of a child, the ultimate sorrow for Mike was finding out that Jo was newly pregnant when she died, but why did she keep it from him?
All is not well in the house called Sara Laughs, a child weeps in the night, the fridge magnets start to spell out words and then Mike finds that Jo had been visiting the house without telling him at a time when he was deep in writing a new book.
He first meets Kyra, a bright three-year-old child walking in the middle of a busy road, scooping her to safety in his arms Mary (Mattie) screeches to a halt with her battered car inches away from Mikes own. His initial thought of her as irresponsible mother changes when he finds out her background and the custody suit that Max is intent on winning despite the fact that he is far too old to care for such a young child.
So the battle begins with Mike paying for a lawyer to fight for Mattie and her child.
He also has to fight against the attraction he feels towards her despite an age-gap of nearly twenty years.
The poltergeist activities in the house take on a new meaning when Mike buys three sets of fridge magnets, two for his own house and one for Kyra, it seems that there are two presences in the house, one benign, one vengeful. Words appear help her and in the trailer Kyra too is picking up similar messages.
Mike discovers that Jo had been researching the history of the area, in particular the events at the turn of the century when a band of talented coloured musicians once lived near to their house named after Sara the leading singer whose raw singing voice and her laughter charmed people from miles around. After over a year why did the group suddenly leave when they had built cabins there? Slowly Mike picks up rumours of a young coloured boy that died from blood poisoning after being trapped in a snare. Other rumours lead to yet another young coloured boy being drowned in the lake.
Then there are the stories that Jo found out, more cases of drowning this time over a period of time that spanned decades and involved certain families that had always lived in the area. Add to this the unusual name of Kia that Mile had chosen if the couple had a girl-child and all the elements of suspense are there for the readers to find out for themselves.
Notes on the plot
Stephen Kings books are always page-turners but rarely has he juggled so many sub-plots without giving away the ending. He has that rare talent of building up the suspense until you long to find out the ending, its one of the points that fans disagree on, some find the descriptions too long, others relish that slow build-up of tension that only few horror-writers can do so well.
There is a lot of the supernatural in the book and some action sequences that are gripping, however, this is one of his more restrained books with very little of the gory bits that put readers off. There are some parts that are truly horrifying but this is no blood and gore story, neither is there the bad language that some readers find offensive.
The horror is the kind that makes the reader glance over their shoulder and is not advisable to read late at night.
Ive chosen this style rather than a lengthy summary. A good deal of the story concentrates on the subject of child custody, something that King did a good deal of research on. There is also romance of an enduring kind, which reaches out from beyond the grave.
Its also another peek into small town mentality something that Stephen King does so well.
Many of his books are set in or around the area of Maine where he lives with his family. For a large number of his fans this continuity helps to understand the American way of life that could prove difficult to understand in another setting.
Writing in the first person narrative is never an easy way to write a book as we see different characters only from the perspective of the speaker. We have to take the other characters on trust and hope the narrator is guiding us faithfully.
There are characters in the book that we come to love or hate but the writing is so good that we get to see inside the narrator himself, warts and all. Despite some graphic scenes of violence the interaction between Mike and Kyra is the highlight of the book and the tenderness of such a fragile bond often had me near to tears, I wonder if King put the love of his own children into the soul of the Mike?
Im sure you have already guessed this is one of my favourite Stephen King books. It has something about it that stands out from some of his better-known books. Some may find it slow in parts and too raw in others but for me it brings the author to life in ways that his other books didnt quite reach. It scared me a lot in some parts, it also made me take a good look inside myself to acknowledge that dark side that all people have at some times in their lives. There is also a moral to the story but that would be giving too much away.
Borrow it from the library, look in second-hand shops or seek it out on Amazon or E-bay, but read it and weep.
My copy is a hardback version that I bought when I belonged to a book club. I think I probably paid about £8 for it as I have a large collection of his books in hardback.
Prices vary as usual from 1p to about £6.30 depending on whether you want to chance an auction or buy it outright.
As normal both Amazon and E-bay offer the best deals.
In the words of the Master himself, thank you, constant reader.
© Lisa Fuller. 2005.
Bag of Bones, by Stephen King, is one of his scariest novels ever written. I was afraid to go to sleep at night because I thought the evil spirits in the book were going to come and get me. King has a talent for horrifying his readers with haunting tales of blood and gore. In this novel, the main character is a writer whose wife passes away from a stroke at a very young age. His writing career staggers because of writer's block. In order to attempt to write again, he goes to their second home to begin work on a new novel. While there, he discovers secrets from the past and secrets his wife kept from him. This story leads the reader on a roller coaster of terror. I highly recommend this book, and any other of King's books to anyone who likes a little scare every once in a while.
Where do I start?? Bag of Bones is another great King novel, its beautifully written and totally engaging. Before I had read the first chapter i was already hooked. Without giving too much away heres the plot in a nutshell....the main character is an author, his wife dies suddenly, he is left with lots of grief and an inexplicable writers block. In an attempt to break free from this block and get over his wifes death he decides to return to their holiday home -Sara Laughs. He is confronted with a haunted house and a terrible secret which someone badly wants him to uncover all whilst helping to fight a custody battle for a little girl who he inadvertantly saves. Sounds complicated but its really not, its captivating and so easy to fall in love with. Every character and place leap out of the pages effortlessly and with every chapter you are drawn further and further into the mystery. I would highly recommend this to anyone as its thrilling, moving and so easy to read..it practically reads itself. The only thing i didnt like about Bag of Bones was the ending, i think it ended too abruptly in the last couple of chapters, which was a bit of an anti-climax.
If you have a skeleton in your cupboard, be warned, it could catch up with you. Mike Noonan’s the main character and after his wife dies of a brain aneurysm, he finds she was pregnant at the time and he didn’t know his ability to write has deserted him. He decides after quite some time to try writing again at his and his former wife’s holiday home “Sara Laughs” which has a history of it’s own. After a very short time things begin to bump in the night, day and afternoon. He quickly realises that a beautiful young women and her incredible young daughter is in need of his help and the ghosts won’t let him forget that. Not the happiest of endings, but a happy one nevertheless. A lot of contents dealing with skeletons from the past haunting your future relations. A must to read, too much to write about. I will say if you could choose one of the ghosts out of this book, I recommend the one with the sense of humour.
As I was packing my bag for my holidays I came upon my collection of books to take to read in the sun, I glaced over adn saw 'Bag of Bones' which has been sitting on my bookself for about 2 months waiting to be picked up. I stuff in my bag thinking I would read it if I finished the other two books first. Well let me tell you I got to this one first. This book is not one of his best books, but also not one of his worst. I have to say I did read this book in about 2 days as there were some bits where I just could not put it down. The book by no means is short it is 660 pages long and most of them are of pure entertament. The story is about a writer called Mike Noonan, in the story his wife sudden dies while running to help someone in a car crash. If this is not bad enough for Mike he founds out his wife is pregnent after trying for years of having a baby. Mike then starts to suffer from desperate writer's block and is drawn through many a hellish year until he decides to pack up and move to his summer home, Sara Laughs, which is situated in the beautiful state of Maine along the lake. The irony of this is, that this beautiful lakes side home has been hauting him in his dreams for months before he decided to move there. However, when Mike does make it back to his lake side town he finds that the once familiar town now in a tyrannical grip of a millionaire Max Devore. Max Devore is a desprite to get custody of his deceased son;s child and is twisting the fabric of the community to this purpose. With a number of unusal situations and Mike ending up saving the life of the deceased son's child (Kyra) Mike decided to help Kyra and her mother Mattie. This however becauses an almost fatal mistake, and with the help of Max and sinister forces at Sara a number of unusal and intresting this happen to Mike, Mattie, and Kyra. And with the help of the refrigator people and the ghosts haunting Sara Laughts will Mike be abl
e to unlock the secert before the house get him?? I have to say that this book is quite a read and well worth it, the ending is a bit of an anti-climax in a way however it is very good. At certain parts in the book I could even feel the hairs on the back of my neck go up, this book is definetly not one to read at night.
Having left this novel to be a 'dustcatcher' on my bookshelves for months, a heavy cold prompted me to pick it up and give it a go. Two days later and it's finished - which I think is as good an indication as any of what a page turner it is. The plot is like many of his more recent books, concerned with romance and small town history as much as it is with horror. Set initially in one of his favourite(?) fictional spots, Derry (also home to IT and more recently Insomnia), we are introduced to bestselling (though only up to number 15) author Mike Noonan and his beautiful wife Johanna, who dies tragically within the first few pages. Soon after her death Mike discovers he has writers' block, and prompted by a series of strange dreams, he decides to return to the summer retreat they once shared, Sara Laughs, and the community there, to try and put her spirit finally to rest. However, when he arrives on the shores of the lake, he discovers that hers may not be the only spirit vying for his attention. Needless to say for King, this is merely the beginning of the story. While he is at the cottage he becomes mixed up in a custody battle for a three-year-old girl against the local multi-millionaire and also begins to chip away at the mysterious secret Johanna took to her grave. This is the most satisfying King book I have read for a long time, combining as it did enough jumpy moments to make me scared to look under the bed (and this was in the day!) but also tackling the concepts of love, loss and renewal faced by many. His portrayal of the local, insular community is never less than compelling, and will resonate with anyone who has experienced 'village' life. There is also a good deal of humour in this book, with King carefully satirising the publishing industry and problems of a writer, down from his pushy agent to the singlemindedness of the writer themselves. I certai
nly came away with a sense that at least some of this material was autobiographical, and am quite looking forward to reading his latest tome, On Writing, to see if it sheds any light. All in all it is a beautifully-crafted tale of romance, suspense, magic and mystery, which will please fans and newcomers alike... Just don't leave it under the bed.
I have just finished the book today, ok, it took me a while but there were times I couldn't put it down and other times I couldn't pick it up because it scared me so much. This King book is open for all types of readers - mystery, horror, suspence, and there is even a bit of romance! This book focuses on the events that happen to a widowed best selling novelist, Mike Noonan who is grieving from his wife's very sudden and unexpected death. He starts to suffer from writer's block and he then begins having a repetative dream which focuses on his dead wife appearing at the doorsteps of his Maine summer house he calls Sara Laughs. He packs up his belongings and moves into the old house in a hope that he will ease up and begin writing again. Along the way, he meets a young woman, Mattie Devore and her daughter Kyra who are suffering from the death of Mattie's husband. Mike begins to notice supernatural occurrences that occasionally appear around Sara Laughs and realizes that they are there to help him (a) begin writing and get over the loss of his wife, and (b) help Mattie and Kyra escape from the clutches of her father in law, Max Devore who is trying to gain custody of his granddaughter. The book is incredible in that it begins a little unnearving, then towards the middle flattens itself out into a love story, and then wraps back up into King's typical scary ending. While it took me about 2 months to finish reading it, I found myself thinking about the book all the time, looking forward to sitting down with it on nights and weekends. Hopefully you'll feel the same way too? Oh, and running at 660 pages, you can use it as a doorstop after you've read it!
Bag of Bones is partly inspired by Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, but there's more than homage in this novel of horror and romance. Like du Maurier's Manderley, King's scary old place (on the shore of Maine's remote Dark Score Lake) is haunted by the late lady of the manor. There are many gory ghosts afoot, though: men, women, and wailing kids. The hero, a thriller novelist, stirs up hell's plenty of angry shades while investigating his wife's death. It turns out she either had a dark secret herself or was onto some dread scandal lurking in Dark Score Lake. As in King's previous book, Wizard and Glass, the fabric of reality is thin, and nosy narrators are in peril of plunging right out of this world and into a rather hostile otherworld. Bag of Bones is a writer-haunted book, too. The spirits of Herman Melville and Ray Bradbury are deeply felt, and so are the tale's two romances (the hero muses on his marriage and falls for a young single mom with a marvelous, psychic daughter). There is also good-humored satire of the real bestseller book world--the hero complains that "the publicity process is like going to a sushi bar where you're the sushi." In its deep concerns with love, sprawling families, the writer's life, endangered children, and good old-fashioned storytelling, the book resembles a John Irving novel. It is also absolutely classic Stephen King, packed with nifty turns of phrase, irreverent wit, and lurid ghouls who grab you from beneath the bed while you cower under the covers.
Having read several Stephen King novels in the past, and owning a moderatly large collection of them, I feel safe to call myself 'a fan of his'. King has always managed to keep me on the edge of my seat with heart-stopping classics like Misery and Pet Semetary, however with Bag Of Bones, I felt dissapointed. Perhaps King has grown mellow with age, aswhere once he created such beasts like the Norman Daniels in Rose Madder and Anne Wilkes in Misery, with this book he scares us only with a single lame ghost and an frail old man. The first half of this book is spent dealing with the death that is accounted in the first page. From this morbid starting point, we are subjected to chapter after chapter of the deceased husband's long and drawn-out greaving process in which countless numbers of his fiction memories are accounted for. Too early in the novel are we expected to feel empathy for a character who we hardly know - how can we justifably feel sorry for him? The novel does having endearing factors of course, King may suffer from poor content but his skill for writing will always be present. It is also a fine book for picking up tips on writing, as some of the describitions into the main charactors (who is a novelist) writing habits boarders on what can only be presumed as autobigrapical Overall, I would recommend this book to non-King fans only, or perhapes those amused by well written romance novels
Another gripping, mesmerising book from the master himself, Stephen King. Bestselling author Mike Noonanis drawn to his summer retreat after the sudden death of his wife. But the town is different, it is in the grip of tyrannical millionaire Max Devore, who is determined to gain custody of his dead sons child. The 3 year and her mother turn to Mike for help, who becoms besotted with them and is unable to resist their calls for help. But there are sinister forces determined to stand in their way. After a bit of a slow start, this book was unputdownable, you'll be thoroughly engrossed in every one of the 660 pages. Lots of typical Stephen King stuff here, such as strange dreams and fridge magnets that mysteriously re-arrange themselves into messages. There is some strong language in this book, which I felt was not entirely necessary, but it didn't detract from the story too much. All in all, another classic from The Man.
Stephen King is back. This time, it's about a writer, Mike Noonan, who went back to his summer home after his wife's death. There, he's haunted by someone who's died many years ago but is still looking for revenge on those who had killed her. The spirit of his late wife is also there, trying to tell him what happened and to show him how to protect himself. He also found himself trying to help a woman protect her daughter in a bitter custody battle. It's a trilling read and I could feel my hair standing up during some part of the book.
Another very good yarn from SK. He writes so many that you come to expect a certain standard, which a few I've read more recently haven't come up to. This had me totally absorbed, but not from the beginning. The first few chapters were very slow and I was initially put off that yet another SK main character was a writer (Misery, Desperation). It was only when the plot progressed that I couldn't put the book down. We follow the life of Mike Noonan after his wife dies unexpectedly and nightmares and voices start to disturb and haunt him. He's drawn back to their old summer retreat, Sara Laughs, where the events unfold and the opening chapters at last make some sense. It's a fabulous tale where the past merges with the present and the obligatory battle between good and evil, right and wrong, ensues. Mike has to face up to the death of his wife, his feelings for a new found love and the many ghosts that haunt him. To make it all so much harder an old tyranical millionaire has control over the townspeople and always gets his way. This is a novel that has so many thoght provoking levels it was a joy to sit up until 2am to read.