Title: Bag of Bones
Author/Narrator: Stephen King
Published: 1998; Pages: 752
Audio Duration: 21 hr, 21 min
Rating: Good storytelling, but not a King favorite of mine
Bag of Bones In Short: A man grieving over the loss of his wife returns to their summer cottage and becomes entangled in a young single mother’s custody battle over her young daughter. Plus a whole lot of house haunting, mysterious lake drownings, and revenge of the dead. Sounds scary but I think the Google Images for “Bag of Bones” is more frightening than the book was.
Why I Read/Listened: Bag of Bones came fairly highly recommended after my recent Stephen King binges. I read for a readalong (#BOBalong) and listened in part because of Stephen King narrating and to make the length of the book less intimidating.
Thoughts in General: Is it weird that I write every other section of my book posts before coming back to the Thoughts in General? I feel like I need to write profound things since I “hosted” a readalong of Bag of Bones, but really I don’t have much to say. Maybe I’ll just save y’all the reading/skimming.
Ok, Just Random Thoughts: (*some minor and vague spoilers in this paragraph*) I liked Mike Noonan, the narrator. I found his relationship with Mattie (the 21 year old widow with a 3 year old daughter) to be a bit creepy. Actually some of the internal monologues in the book were way creepy–confessions from a horny old man. I liked the premise of the book and sometimes the explanations/endings of King books fall flat to me but I liked how this one all fit together. However, I think that some of the revelations could have come earlier and then been used for scare factor throughout the book. Perhaps too much was spent on Mike Noonan as a best-selling author (or at least top 15). Max Devore was an ass! And Rogette was creepy. I loved the tie-ins with Rebecca and it made me want to re-read the book. By the time I finally finished the book, I wish that I could read it again knowing what I knew by the time I finished. Again, I think that King could have done a tighter job with the storylines and mystery. Way way way too much beginning and not enough middle and end. (/end spoilers)
Bottom Line: Is it bad to be disappointed when a book doesn’t scare the wits out of you? Even when you don’t necessarily enjoy being scared? I enjoyed King’s storytelling, as always, and loved the characters he created and the general air of creepiness. Overall, though, I wasn’t blown away like I expected to be. I’m glad I read Bag of Bones but it won’t be a favorite (though 11/22/63 and IT are certainly hard to beat!).
Notes on the Audio: Stephen King as narrator. It took me a while to get used to his voice–his is not quite as deep a voice as I’m used to my King books being narrated with and I did bump up the speed to 1.25x (typical for me with audio). But I was very impressed with his narration abilities and even got some delight over the occasional singing throughout the book. There is musical interludes in the audio, especially in the beginning, and I found them distracting. I did enjoy the actual singing musical interludes, though–by whoever sang for Sara Tidwell.
Anyway, thanks for those who participated in the BOBalong. In the future, I think I’ll write off December as a good readalong month. Ha!
So, Jill has asked me to rank the King books I’ve read. I think I need to read a few more before I can accurately do a ranking, but I’d love to know what’s at the top of your King list.
And really–if you haven’t read any King yet, what the heck are you waiting for?!