Customer Reviews for

Bag of Bones

Average Rating 4.5
( 536 )
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(322)

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(63)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

My all-time favorite

This is my absolute favorite book EVER!! I totally fell in love with the characters and missed them when I was finished with the book. I have read 15 SK novels and this is the only one that gave me trouble sleeping. SK is the only author I know who can mix a love story ...
This is my absolute favorite book EVER!! I totally fell in love with the characters and missed them when I was finished with the book. I have read 15 SK novels and this is the only one that gave me trouble sleeping. SK is the only author I know who can mix a love story into a horror story, add a few racy and explicit sex scenes (as is his style)and wind up with one spectacluar novel!! For those of you who think SK only does horror... READ THIS BOOK!

posted by Mamajenns3 on December 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

27 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Bag of Bones is a great read--until the very end.

I am, by no means, a Stephen King fan. I don't dislike him necessarily, but he's not my favorite by far. I had read one his older novels, and quite a lot of his short stories, but I could never really get into them in the way I got into other books, or other authors. It...
I am, by no means, a Stephen King fan. I don't dislike him necessarily, but he's not my favorite by far. I had read one his older novels, and quite a lot of his short stories, but I could never really get into them in the way I got into other books, or other authors. It's his style. I guess with him there's this very weighty palpable air of: "I'm a writer! Are you enjoying my writing?! These words, that I'm writing to you, dear reader?!" Understand, I don't mean this is in the sense that he's arrogant, or pretentious at all, it's just to me, that seems to be his style of writing, and the connection that he feels between himself, being the writer, and his readers, is strong--one in which it seems that he's perpetually aware that he's writing TO someone. And it shows--that attitude manifests itself at the output of his novels and short stories-and that's a good thing, it really is. It's a good attitude to have, if I'm reading him, right. Just not so much for me, personally.
So, when I was given Bag of Bones to read, I wasn't sure if I would even be able to get into it.
I was dead wrong.
I read this book-529 pages-in roughly four sittings. I seriously couldn't put it down, and, at first, I had no idea why. King's aforementioned style is still there, he didn't abandon it for this one, but for some reason it just worked for me in this context. I realized that the hilariously obsessive tone that King gave to Mike Noonan, the main character, is a huge reason why I was so absorbed in his story. Every little thought that ever crosses Mike's mind is dragged out of his head and painted onto the page for us to read-no matter how irreverent, heartbreaking, wonderful, vulnerable or premature those thoughts may be. There were quite a few moments during my reading, that I actually laughed out loud by one of Noonan's quick, jarringly wry comments-one time in which I had to close the book until I could gather myself enough to open the book and move on. That doesn't happen to me. Ever. Mike Noonan is a real person, and despite Mike Noonan's intelligence, and highly successful life, in his mind, he's an everyman. Mike Noonan is an incredibly round character, bursting with life. So much so, that you literally feel what he feels, as he's feeling it. Mike is real, and he feels alive, as do all the other characters in the book-no matter how small their role. Everyone is believable, and almost nothing is left to the imagination-right down to mannerisms, gait, and accents. Everything is fleshed out ad nauseum, at times, and the book is better for it.
To me, the third act, or whatever you want to call it, suffers the way most Stephen King's stories suffer. And it makes sense, I guess, when you think about it, considering his stories do follow a certain formula. Stephen is one of the best at setting up a story, and leaving tension. It's when King tries to resolve it, that we run into trouble. I just don't think he's very good at writing action-or at least I'm not fond of the way he writes action. Maybe it's because of the fact that he is so formulaic, that he's just naturally better at telling what could be there, instead of telling you what is there. The ending to Bag of Bones is a stupid lumbering mess, and really isn't that scary..just weird.
But then, the epilogue seems to bring things back home, and all is right again with a story that you'll have grown to love.
So, do I recommend this story? Absolutely. I think it's one of the best novels I've read.

posted by Corey_Andreas on September 3, 2009

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  • Posted September 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bag of Bones is a great read--until the very end.

    I am, by no means, a Stephen King fan. I don't dislike him necessarily, but he's not my favorite by far. I had read one his older novels, and quite a lot of his short stories, but I could never really get into them in the way I got into other books, or other authors. It's his style. I guess with him there's this very weighty palpable air of: "I'm a writer! Are you enjoying my writing?! These words, that I'm writing to you, dear reader?!" Understand, I don't mean this is in the sense that he's arrogant, or pretentious at all, it's just to me, that seems to be his style of writing, and the connection that he feels between himself, being the writer, and his readers, is strong--one in which it seems that he's perpetually aware that he's writing TO someone. And it shows--that attitude manifests itself at the output of his novels and short stories-and that's a good thing, it really is. It's a good attitude to have, if I'm reading him, right. Just not so much for me, personally.
    So, when I was given Bag of Bones to read, I wasn't sure if I would even be able to get into it.
    I was dead wrong.
    I read this book-529 pages-in roughly four sittings. I seriously couldn't put it down, and, at first, I had no idea why. King's aforementioned style is still there, he didn't abandon it for this one, but for some reason it just worked for me in this context. I realized that the hilariously obsessive tone that King gave to Mike Noonan, the main character, is a huge reason why I was so absorbed in his story. Every little thought that ever crosses Mike's mind is dragged out of his head and painted onto the page for us to read-no matter how irreverent, heartbreaking, wonderful, vulnerable or premature those thoughts may be. There were quite a few moments during my reading, that I actually laughed out loud by one of Noonan's quick, jarringly wry comments-one time in which I had to close the book until I could gather myself enough to open the book and move on. That doesn't happen to me. Ever. Mike Noonan is a real person, and despite Mike Noonan's intelligence, and highly successful life, in his mind, he's an everyman. Mike Noonan is an incredibly round character, bursting with life. So much so, that you literally feel what he feels, as he's feeling it. Mike is real, and he feels alive, as do all the other characters in the book-no matter how small their role. Everyone is believable, and almost nothing is left to the imagination-right down to mannerisms, gait, and accents. Everything is fleshed out ad nauseum, at times, and the book is better for it.
    To me, the third act, or whatever you want to call it, suffers the way most Stephen King's stories suffer. And it makes sense, I guess, when you think about it, considering his stories do follow a certain formula. Stephen is one of the best at setting up a story, and leaving tension. It's when King tries to resolve it, that we run into trouble. I just don't think he's very good at writing action-or at least I'm not fond of the way he writes action. Maybe it's because of the fact that he is so formulaic, that he's just naturally better at telling what could be there, instead of telling you what is there. The ending to Bag of Bones is a stupid lumbering mess, and really isn't that scary..just weird.
    But then, the epilogue seems to bring things back home, and all is right again with a story that you'll have grown to love.
    So, do I recommend this story? Absolutely. I think it's one of the best novels I've read.

    27 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My all-time favorite

    This is my absolute favorite book EVER!! I totally fell in love with the characters and missed them when I was finished with the book. I have read 15 SK novels and this is the only one that gave me trouble sleeping. SK is the only author I know who can mix a love story into a horror story, add a few racy and explicit sex scenes (as is his style)and wind up with one spectacluar novel!! For those of you who think SK only does horror... READ THIS BOOK!

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    I enjoyed reading this book. Very suspenseful. one of the best of S.King

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2012

    If you liked The Shining you will like Bag of Bones even more.

    In my opinion King writes best when he writes in the first person narrative. Bag of Bones may be the best example of this.

    This is as much a story of a loving marriage as it is a ghost story. The details of the relationship between Mike and Jo Noonan add a level of believability to this story that only intensifies the horrors that are revealed. Interspaced with this rich and detailed view of lives lived by two people King inserts doubts and creeping dread and suspense, along with a few writing tricks and gimmicks that tease the reader into saying, “Why didn’t I see that?”

    I do not consider Bag of Bones to be Kings master piece, but I do consider it to be the work of a master story teller and is easily in Kings top three. This story will grab you on page one, and it won‘t let you go till the last page. You won’t like everything that happens. But, that just adds to the realism of the story.

    I give it 5 stars.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    just as good as his older novels

    this is my first introduction to *new-er* King. I've read his older novels and "The Stand" is actually one of my favorite books. I've heard that people don't realy like the newer novels because I guess they feel he's "lost his edge". I don't feel this way. "Bag of Bones" was amazing on so many levels. There of course is a sense of terror with all of the ghosts and the dark history at Sara Laughs. But at its core, it is a love story. While I haven't read any other newer novels, I am very impressed with this novel and will continue to read more recent novels by King. I highly reccommend this novel!!!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    If you are a Stephen King fan, you will love this. It's the old Stephen King again as in Salem's Lot. Loved the characters and didn't want the book to end! Scary. Riveting. Touching. Great read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    I don't know.

    I'm a huge Stephen King fan, I've read most of his books, and usually each one is just as good as the last, most of them are just perfect, intriguing characters,, cool villian et cetera, et cetera... But Bag of Bones....Well....I don't know. I had high expectations going into this book, most of the reviews I've read described it as unforgettable and his best work yet. I found it to be quite the opposite, actually. So the beggining is okay. But as the beggingin turns into 100 pages you start to wonder, when is it gonna start? It's gonna ba soon! then 200 pages come around and you're still ecstatic about the book, maybe it's speeding up a little, by the 300 page mark you're thinking: come on! 400, uggghhh, any time! 500, nope, don't like it. 600 UUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!!! and when you're at he end that you've had to force to read the last 300 or so pages and you're not satisfied at all. It's so boring!!!!! And being an avid SK reader you learn to expect boredom in his books, but this is a different kind. This is the type of boredom that stretches through out the entire book...The enitire 700 page book.
    Their are some redeeming qualities, though. The end is very good, I'd say one of the better endings of any Stephen King book, usually his endings are a little shallow. The characters are very good, and it's a shame that they couldn't have been put in another -better!!!!!- novel. The villian is cool, and the part where (spoiler!!!) he and his crony ambush Mike, toss him in the lake and pelt him with rocks is probably some of Stephen Kings best writing. I wished Jo could've made a better appearence at the end, it would've wrapped the novel up in a nicer way.
    I read a review on amazon who had the same complaints as me. He thought up a better title for the book: My Summer, With Ghosts Added for Effect. It's true. The supernatural parts of this book are slim compared to the other boring parts, such as the custody battle between Maddie and Max Devore. It seems like the ghosties are taking a back seat in this novel. It's a shame, too, because when he does add supernatural effect it's very good, and even sometimes scary, especially in the beggining.
    I love Stephen King, but even I have to admit this book stinked. It is the only one that I have not liked, and hopefully the last. This novel had so much potential, a good plot, great characters and spooks, but the way King executed all of it is just bad.
    Sorry, Stephen.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2000

    Chilling and Beautiful at the Same Time-- Is This Really King?

    There are very few books I've read more than once. VERY few. This is one of them. I loved it because it's so very King, but more. I hadn't read King in years before I picked up this book, but when I did, I remembered why I used to love his books so much. It's both down-to-earth and ethereal enough to make you look over your shoulder every once in a while, and the trademark King sarcasm is still there. It's a hauntingly beautiful book-- I'll read it again, I'm sure-- once I get it back from my co-worker!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Amazing.

    What a gorgeous haunted love story. About as romantic as Stephen King will ever get. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Way better than the movie

    Read this because i liked the movie and the book was 10X better!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    SPELLBINDING!!

    What can I say? Stephen King is the master of horror and suspense. This novel lived up to my expectations and more. Keeps you glued to the pages even after you know you have to get some sleep. Awesome read!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    Still loving Stephen King

    I have been a Stephen King fan since childhood. Bag of Bones is another great book that delivers everything you would expect from the author. The story line is fabulous with a ton of unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think you know what is coming, it turns and it is something else completely. This book is another late night page turner keeping you up at night and filling your dreams with suspense once asleep!!! The characters are entertaining as well as intriguing as always. He sets the scene beautifully which draws you right in!!!! Do yourself a favor and go out and pick up this book, you won't be disappointed!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

    my favorite King book by far.

    I am a Huge Stephen King fan. When I enter a B&N or any bookstore, I always go straight to where the King novels are. I've a read numerous novels by King and can fairly say that Bag of Bones is my all time favorite. I honestly might have to read it again! If you love King's amazing sense of imagination and the crazy twists he puts on his stories then this is definetly a fantastic book to read. I would read it every night before I went to sleep and it honestly made me feel somewhat uneasy. The image he portrays with Sara Laughs is a clear one that you can find on the back roads of any lakeside community.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    The Author Has Become Verbose

    I'm 66 years old. I've read King for the past 30 years. This was a struggle. The introspective meanderings of our hero dulled my senses.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    A Must

    Stephen King's usual standard has been carried on. Excellent listening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Terrific!

    Great ghost story. Way better than the A&E movie. I love Stephen King!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2006

    GRATE BAG OF BONES

    This book starts out with a woman goes to the pharmacy. Out side there is a bad car accedent. Cars are piled up every where. The woman dies and her husband is very sad. He sits at home and crys. He tells of the stories of him and his wife. Don't take my word for it, read it your self!!! I like this book because its kind of scary.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Best Book ever!

    Wow i read this in one day and one night finished ir around 3am and i was so scared i conldnt go to sleep! BEST BOOK EVER WORTH THE READ!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    King Does It Again!

    Another great novel by Stephen King. Set in a small lake town near King's famous "Derry, Maine", King's explores the horrors of the cursed "Dark Score Lake" as well as the Jazz Age legend which accompanies it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    I pooped

    I pooped halfway through

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