Monday, August 9, 2010

Bag of Bones by Stephen King (highly recommended)

I just finished Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  This is the most 'literary' book that I've read by him.  It won the British Fantasy Award in 1999.  If you like suspense novels, I recommend Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

Bag of Bones is about a writer, Michael Noonan in Maine who loses his wife to an aneurysm.  The death of his wife brings about a long season of writer's block.  Four years later, Michael Noonan begins to experience nightmare set at his summer house in TR-90 in Maine.  The house is named Sara Laughs after an old blues singer.  Micheal meets Kyra and her mom Mattie, a widow, who is about 20 years younger than Michael who is around 40 years old at this point in the story.  He becomes fond of Mattie and Kyra.  Mattie's father-in-law, Max Devore, is a powerful and evil man who wants to take Kyra away from Mattie, to take legal custody of Kyra.  Max Devore is described as mad (crazy) and obsessive about the things that he wants.  Michael decides to help Mattie keep Kyra.

This book seems to be divided into several sections: (1) a man grieving his dead wife, (2) a legal battle between Michael Noonan and Max Devore and (3) a ghost story.

I liked that this book kept on surprising me.  I couldn't anticipate where the story would lead me and I liked that.  I really, really liked the introduction of Kyra and Mattie.  I thought this entire chapter was the bee's knees.  :)

I really like the way Stephen King writes.  I especially liked the little insights that he gives the reader about the life and idiosyncrasies of what it is like to be a writer.

The pacing of the book is...well...Stephen King.  He has his own rhythm which I like.  Overall, the story unfolds at a leisurely pace but when it does pick up, I couldn't get through the pages fast enough.

The book does has profanity and violence.  There is a significant scene of violence in the end of the book (you should be able to figure out when it is coming up).  You can skip or skim this whole scene without losing any part of the story.

Overall, I really liked this book.  This book is less horror and more suspense and a lot of the times, it's just character development.  The story is outstanding at times.  And the ending was a big surprise for me.  During the middle of the book, the main conflict seemed to have been resolved but there was a significant amount of the book left; I couldn't figure out what he could possibly write about in those pages.  Stephen King is an organic writer; he does not plan out the entire book before he starts writing and I really like that.  I think that he excels at organic writing (i.e. the stories seems not to follow a formula but seems to go where ever it may--in a good way...most of the time).  (NOTE: a problem with organic writing is bag endings which Stephen King has been known to have but Bag of Bones had a satisfying ending for me.)  Bag of Bones is a great example of his organic writing style.  I would highly recommend this to those that like suspense novels.  Until the next time...  

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