Insomnia

( 285 )

Overview

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.

Old Ralph Roberts hasn't been sleeping well lately. Every night he wakes just a little bit earlier, and pretty soon, he thinks, he won't get any sleep at all. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the strange hallucinations he's been having. Or, at least, he hopes they are hallucinations--because here in ...

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Insomnia

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Overview

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.

Old Ralph Roberts hasn't been sleeping well lately. Every night he wakes just a little bit earlier, and pretty soon, he thinks, he won't get any sleep at all. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the strange hallucinations he's been having. Or, at least, he hopes they are hallucinations--because here in Derry, one never can tell. Part of the "Books That Take You Anywhere You Want To Go" Summer Reading Promotion.

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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.
Interview
Stephen King is an immensely talented storyteller of seemingly inexhaustible gifts.
Time
Stephen King is superb.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451184962
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 672
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King

Stephen King, the world's bestselling novelist, was educated at the University of Maine at Orono. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, and their children in Bangor, Maine.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 285 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(134)

4 Star

(77)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 285 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Anthony

    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

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2011

    AGAIN

    STEPHEN JUST KEEPS THE HITS COMING- AGAIN HE HAS DUG INTO HIS WEIRD BRAIN AND COME UP WITH ANOTHER "CAN'T PUT IT DOWN" STORY. GREAT - GREAT - KEEP IT UP - I'LL KEEP READING. ANNIE

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    MUST BE DEDICATED TO ENJOY

    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.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

    Great!

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Love stephin king but i dont know what the book is about

    Why is the exerpt in spanish??????

    Some one please tell me what this book is about

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Almost a Great Read

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    Convoluted mess

    What starts off as a creepy, intriguing story, quickly snowballs out of proportion and into a total mess. A convoluted mythology that makes little sense and a very questionable philosophical underpinning are the biggest failures, followed by the sheer amount of words King wastes on such a primitive story. He is at his best when at his most minimal and when the dangers stem from within (The Shining), not from something this abstract and baseless.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    cookie_16monsta@yahoo.com

    I've only made it through about 1/4 of the book. It's so long and it's hard to focus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Impossible to get through. It just dragged on and on without eve

    Impossible to get through. It just dragged on and on without ever getting suspenseful or interesting.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Amazing

    Everyone should read this book it was amazing and one of those books you just couldnt stop reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 19, 2012

    Like Roland says in the dark tower series this book seems tricks

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Surprised

    This book surprised me. It was much better than expected and any true Stephen King fan will love it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Brian

    What the... what are ou talking about?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Hmm...

    I liked the book but have read better from king. Overall it held my interest but lagged at times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Very good book.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Great Read

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2012

    One of my favorite King novels

    This is one of King's more inventive projects. In this novel, the main characters' perceptions are elevated by sleep deprivation, revealing a world just beyond normal human senses, in which the personifications of order are opposed by the agents of chaos. It ties well into the whole Tower mythology that perhaps began with The Stand and was central in the disappointing Gunslinger series (with apologies to the first three books, which were terrific).

    King's formula of pitting ordinary people against extraordinary events works as well in this novel as ever.

    If you are like me, you read King for the brisk development of the plot, the simple characters (they are), the foreshadowing, and the need to read just a little bit more late at night, even if just to confirm what you already know is going to happen. King is just simply a great master of telling a story. Most of the time. In this case, that holds true.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    My most favorite after the dark tower series

    I love this book. Read it 3 times now

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    No, this IS REALLY BORING.

    I love almost all book of King. But not this one. It is really REALLY boring....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 285 Customer Reviews

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