Summary and book reviews of Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones

By Stephen King

Bag of Bones
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  • Hardcover: Sep 1998,
    529 pages.
    Paperback: May 1999,
    732 pages.

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Book Summary

Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is 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.

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 Noonans' 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?

As vivid and enthralling as King's most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls "the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination." It's no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones -- described by Gloria Naylor as "a love story about the dark places within us all" -- he proves to be one of our most moving.

Chapter 1

On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription -- this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe. I'd finished my writing for the day and offered to pick it up for her. She said thanks, but she wanted to get a piece of fish at the supermarket next door anyway; two birds with one stone and all of that. She blew a kiss at me off the palm of her hand and went out. The next time I saw her, she was on TV. That's how you identify the dead here in Derry -- no walking down a subterranean corridor with green tiles on the walls and long fluorescent bars overhead, no naked body rolling out of a chilly drawer on casters; you just go into an office marked PRIVATE and look at a TV screen and say yep or nope.

The Rite Aid and the Shopwell are less than a mile from our house, in a little neighborhood strip mall which also supports a video store, a used-book ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Amy Tan
What I admire most about Bag of Bones is its intelligence of voice, not only the craftsmanship -- the indelible sense of place, the well-fleshed characters, the unstoppable story line -- but the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination. It places both the ghost story and Stephen King in their proper place on the shelf of literary American fiction.

Author Blurb Anne Rivers Siddons
I loved Bag of Bones. It's Stephen King for the new millennium, with all the heart and wit showing through the suspense. I always knew he'd do this. Such an evocation of love, grief and healing.

Author Blurb Gloria Naylor
For years, I've been saying that Stephen King is much more than just a horror fiction writer. And I believe that he's never been given credit for taking American literature and stretching its boundaries. Bag of Bones proves me right. It is a love story about the dark places within us all, a metaphor for the act of creativity itself.

Reader Reviews
mary

Bag of Bones
I did not like this book at all. Most of the story plot dragged and at times it was painful to read. I did muster myself to finish it and the big shabang was mediocre at best. This book is not the best by Mr. King and overall it is not a worthwhile ...   Read More

Laura H.

I loved this book because it wasn't just a horror story, but it was also a love story, mixed with twists and turns. King's characterization is so detailed that the reader feels as if he/she knows the characters personally. Some of the foreshadowing...   Read More

Swinger

This is a MasterPiece for the lovers of Stephen King. Although this was my second book it got me hooked to his style. The past is so wonderfully interwoven with the present bringing psychology, mystique and mystery into a most realistic setting. The ...   Read More

Sage

This is a really really great book ive read it up to 13 times because it just sticks to me

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