4.0 289
by Stephen King

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Nightmares come to life for Ralph Roberts. Up all night, he's seeing some pretty strange things. No wonder he can't get back to sleep. Readers won't be able to either.  See more details below


Nightmares come to life for Ralph Roberts. Up all night, he's seeing some pretty strange things. No wonder he can't get back to sleep. Readers won't be able to either.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Forget the lean, mean King of Misery, Gerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne. This is the other King—the Grand Vizier of Verbosity who gave us It, The Tommyknockers and Needful Things. There's much of everything in these 800 pages, including the worthy. Notable is a rare septuagenarian hero, recently widowed Ralph Roberts, whose broodings on old age immerse readers into the aging psyche almost as clearly as other King heroes have revealed the minds of children. Then there's the slam-bang final 300 pages, in themselves a novel's worth of excitement as Ralph battles demonic entities to prevent a holocaust in his small town of Derry, Maine (site of It). The problem is that the finale is preceded by more than a novel's worth of casual, even tedious buildup: Ralph's growing insomnia; his new ability to see auras around all living things; his dismay as Derry's citizens divide violently over the impending visit of a radical pro-lifer; his slow realization that celestial forces have marked Derry as a battleground between good and evil. King remains popular fiction's most reliable mirror of cultural trends, in particular our continuing love affair with horror (Barker and Koontz are palpable influences here). If this novel were liposuctioned, it would rank among King's best; as is, it's another roly-poly volume from a skilled writer who presumes his readers' appetite for words is more gourmand than gourmet. 1,500,000 first printing; $1 million ad/promo; paperback rights to Signet; simultaneous audio release from Penguin Highbridge; BOMC selection. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The publisher plans to promote King's latest bit of horror with an advertising campaign-aimed at everything from TV to online services-that says, ``Insomnia. It looms.'' A BOMC main selection.
School Library Journal
YA-Ralph Roberts has been waking earlier and earlier every night for weeks, and the forgetfulness and weariness caused by sleep deprivation are starting to affect him. When he begins to see brilliant auras around people and objects, his concern grows. As his nights become shorter, his visions become more terrifying, and yet more real. Strange forces are maneuvering for power in Derry, Maine, and somehow Ralph is a part of the conflict. Well-read students will note references to Greek mythology, the Bible, and to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (Houghton, 1967) interspersed with modern cultural allusions. King's forte, however, is characterization, and there is no shortage of it here. Good guys and evil are well developed, with a depth that makes them believable. Although Ralph is clearly identified as a septuagenarian, he is never stodgy or prudish, and will appeal to teens. Some of King's more recent novels, such as Gerald's Game (1992), have been disappointing, but Insomnia is closer to It (1987) and Needful Things (1992, all Viking) in its suspense and entertainment potential. A good return trip to Derry, Maine.-Robin Deffendall, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA
Ray Olson
King's last few novels have been, by his standard, slim and economical. With this dark fantasy based on the conception of a multilevel ultimate reality, he returns to the massiveness of The Stand and It and The Tommyknockers. On one of the long, exhausting walks old Ralph Roberts starts taking as a brain tumor slowly kills his wife, he witnesses a friendly young neighbor, Ed Deepneau, behaving totally out of character--indeed, like someone possessed. About a year later and after his wife's death, Ralph begins waking early and then earlier and earlier. He also starts seeing things--intense colors streaming off people and animals. Meanwhile, Ed has turned into an antiabortion fanatic and wife-beater. Ralph intervenes to help Helen Deepneau escape from Ed, for which Ed threatens him. Or is it Ed? Ralph senses that someone or something else is in control of the troubled man. Ralph's right, of course. Ed has been involuntarily recruited on one side, and, it develops, Ralph and his also-widowed neighbor, Lois Chasse, on the other, of a supercosmic struggle the import of which King reveals with deliciously tantalizing gradualness. This is a yarn so packed with suspense, romance, literary reference, fascinating miscellaneous knowledge, and heart that only Stephen King could have written it. Marvelous--that is, full of marvels.
Stephen King is an immensely talented storyteller of seemingly inexhaustible gifts.
Stephen King is superb.

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.36(w) x 6.98(h) x 1.46(d)
1020L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Stephen King is an immensely talented storyteller of seemingly inexhaustible gifts.”—Interview
“Stephen King is superb.”—Time


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Insomnia 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 289 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book may be one of stephen kings best. Me being 16 years old, i started reading king's books about a year ago and i figured that i would read one of his bigger books. When seeing that the book was 600 pages, i thought i would be reading it for a month. I was way wrong about that. Yea, the story does start out slow but after the first 100 pages you cant put the book down. Its one of the best books i ever read! I got the book done in a week where every day it kept me up at night thinking about what will happen next! This book will forever make you think twice about life and death, and old people too haha. This is a great read that i would recommend
QUEENNOBLE More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let the bad reviews fool you this is a great book. it was tedious for the first few chapters but after the beginning is over it starts to get really really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a huge Stephen King fan, I gobble up pretty much everything he writes. King steers in a little different direction in INSOMNIA than many of his other novels by adding in some sci-fi bits. The character developments are, as always, riviting. The story starts off a little slow but still interesting. Setting the supernatural stuff aside, this book is about second chances. You won't be disappointed if you give it a chance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone should read this book it was amazing and one of those books you just couldnt stop reading
DavGrn More than 1 year ago
Like Roland says in the dark tower series this book seems tricksie. I've read almost everything that Stephen King has written and I find myself returning to this novel to provide insights into other novels that he ha written. I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me. It was much better than expected and any true Stephen King fan will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book but have read better from king. Overall it held my interest but lagged at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. One of the big things that i enjoyed was the old age of the main characters. Its not everyday you read a story about an old man and woman saving the day. This book kept me hooked from page one.
DavesMuse More than 1 year ago
I am not really a fan of Stephen King; I tried to get through several of his other books but could not. SK is a magnificent, well-crafted writer, and I will have to reconsider reading his books after reading “Insomnia”. It is great. Anyone who writes as I do, would also like to read his short book On Writing ... “Insomnia” was well worth the time spent in his world.
KevinDee More than 1 year ago
I would rate this novel 3.5 stars. Going by the title and description I was thinking this book was going to be more of a psychological thriller than the strange scifi category I would put it in. It started off great and the character development is outstanding (like all of King's novels) but there were points in this story where the plot just got flat out ridiculous. I mean fighting a dwarf underground with an elderly woman's pair of panties in order to get a magical ring? cmon... it seemed like King ran out of ideas towards the end of this one. Putting the strange parts aside, the rest of this was a great read. But It is not one I will be reading again.
jameson812 More than 1 year ago
This book like most of Kings books is better understood if you read ALL of his work. Insomnia is loosley linked to the Dark Tower series which I have not read but was lucky enough to know someone who did. You dont have to read this series to understand this book but from what I have heard it helps. Its still a wonderful story if you can follow it. I have actually read it twice now and enjoyed it equally well both times.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I read this book because I had insomnia at the time. I will fully admit that this book starts a bit slow, but when it gets going...look out!! I can say that despite knowing that this is only a scarry story, I am completely terrified. My baby girl has lost a shoe!!! Thank you Mr. King, I now have insomnia again!!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Cool usual. In book VII of the dark tower series this book is called a keystone by the tet corporation...of course Roland refuses to bring it back to Fedic...he doesnt trust it if it do ya and we all say thankya.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A loyal and sweet older man in his late 70's that he for some reason has been chosen to save the town. Stephen King has done it again. Romantic, full of suspense, nail biting frightful and full of hope. How does he do it? I must admit the first one hundred pages were a slow start for me (which is unusual wig S King) however, once I got thru that I just had to keep reading to find out what this man was going to do next. When the last page was read, I kept looking for another, very disappointed there wasn't anymore to read. This is always the case with any of Stephen King's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel when it was first published. I often find myself thinking back to it. . . fondly. I'm a King fan, but even so, this novel remains more vivid to me than most of the novels I have read (King's included).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Read it 3 times now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love almost all book of King. But not this one. It is really REALLY boring....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so book is so boring i barely got threw it.....i had to read it or i was gonna get grounded so ' ' !!!DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book in spanish because the description is?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and as a Dark Tower fan I love the links to Mid-World. I give it 4 stars because the editing isn't great. Lots of missing punctuation and strange words. If you can handle that, though, its a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Stephen King... but I just could not stay interested in this book... VERY disappointing!!