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Avg. Rating: 4.08
Ending lost my interest...
This was the second King book I ever read and probably the last. First, let me say that I understand why King is such a successful writer. I cared for the main characters Noonan and Mattie and Kyra and hated Devore. King described the life in Maine perfectly. So I feel that I got out of the story what King wanted me too, and I that is why I didn't like it. I will explain what I think was wrong with the story without giving away the plot.
The first half of the book is concerned with Noonan's wife Jo, Mattie and her girl, and Devore. There are several clues and mysterious happenings concerning these people that lead me to believe that the book is going to be about them. The other mystery of the book revolves around the town, its people, and Sara Tidwell (a black folk singer who died 100 years ago and the person who Mike's house is named after). There are a few odds and ends sprinkled in the first part of the book about the town and its history and mystery. The problem is, there is not enough to make me care about the town and its secrets. So when the book makes a U-turn and the primary plot of the book involves Sara Tidwell and the bad people of the town, I really don't care. King did not do a good job of convincing me that I should care about the town and its people. I wanted to focus on Mattie and her child and Jo. Sure, they are a part of the story too, but really as only an means to the end of Sara and the town's terrible past. The supernatural part of the book was somewhat interesting, with all of the clues the ghosts (his wife) gave to Noonan. Still, the clues never appeared to lead where I thought they would, and that was frustrating. This was a well written book that failed to convince me to care about the ending.
Moving, Gripping, Satisfying.
In true King fashion, Bag of Bones is a literary masterpiece and a tale to scare you out of your wits. The cover jacket gives this description in the opening paragraph: "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." This book mixes the supernatural with reality and fate with coincidence, giving you a terrific ride and bringing you to a startling conclusion.
I am continually impressed with the way King's mind seems to work. Every page in each of his books is carefully and strategically planned out. It doesn't take much to write a book, but it takes a lot to write a good book. Without fail, King continually provides his audience with good books that are entertaining, moving, and fulfilling.
A good old-fashioned ghost story
Stephen King proves he can still scare the socks off you with this one. I bought this one afternoon and was up till twelve midnight reading it. Then I stayed up till two because I was afraid to go to sleep afterwards. But there's much more here than just scares.
All good ghost stories have a mystery at the heart of them, and this one is no different. The revelation of what happened to the turn-of-the-century singing group Sara Tidwell and the Red Tops, woven in with the supernatural manifestations Mike Noonan is experiencing in his present-day cabin of Sara Laughs (named after the aforementioned singer), coupled with King's textured exploration of small-town life, are what give this book substance and make it more than just a superficial slasher fic.
King revisits many of his favorite themes, such as themes of insiders vs. outsiders in community life, the way a community's buried past reaches out to affect its present, and the idea that loving connections between human beings are necessary to stand in the face of evil. Interwoven with subthemes on sexism, racism, power, and social inequality, this is far from a melodramatic, soulless Hollywood-esque production and is instead a book with interesting commentary, richness, and some real heart (as well as being scary as all get out). I wish more authors were capable of writing with this kind of detailed, balanced richness.
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