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Bag of Bones

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  128,477 Ratings  ·  2,862 Reviews
Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 736 pages
Published June 1999 by Pocket Books (first published September 22nd 1998)
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Dawna I agree! I am reading it currently because a good friend of mine read it multiple times and its her favorite book. It is taking forever to get thru…moreI agree! I am reading it currently because a good friend of mine read it multiple times and its her favorite book. It is taking forever to get thru with too many pointless details. I am going to finish it this weekend but come on already! Ive read a few others from him and they were better but this is just not working for me. (less)
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L.K. Scott If you can't handle that, then you probably shouldn't read horror. Horror is horror because it's graphic, eerie, and/or violent. Horror expresses…moreIf you can't handle that, then you probably shouldn't read horror. Horror is horror because it's graphic, eerie, and/or violent. Horror expresses topics that make you uncomfortable. If you're not uncomfortable, then it wouldn't be horror, would it? Horror is not happy lovers stroking each other and singing koombayah. It asks the hard questions everyone else is too afraid to confront. Stick to Twilight sweetie where the vampires glitter. (less)
The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
19th out of 122 books — 2,792 voters
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Best Horror Novels
41st out of 1,428 books — 4,375 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 31, 2007 Dale rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics and people who've never read Stephen King
I am a Stephen King junkie. I started reading him in high school and quickly tore through just about everything he'd ever written, and then started buying every new book he put out. Being a Stephen King fan is kind of like being a geek for Dragonlance or comic books - reviewing his work seems borderline pointless because non-fans will usually dismiss him out of hand and be hard to convince of any intrinsic value, and fans are already pretty hardcore about him.

Nevertheless, I wanted to add this
Feb 04, 2009 Jamieson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying what I think is perhaps Stephen King’s best novel, ever.

The opinion on Stephen King’s best work differs depending on who you talk to; but for me, it will always be Bag of Bones.

It’s the one novel of Kings that I’ve read more than any other (nine times) and each time it’s just as wonderful and beautiful and engaging as it was the first time I opened up my hardcover copy ten years ago.

I think it was the beginning of King moving away from horror and toward a more literary style of wri
Grief. That's the emotion that got to me the most during this reread.

The first time I read this book I had just turned thirty and even though I was already married, the horror of losing a spouse didn't get through to me like it did this time. Now, after just having celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary, the idea of losing my husband is unfathomable. Stephen King dove deep into those fathoms and dragged me along with him. I did not like what I saw or felt. That, right there, is the reason why St
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing
Had you asked me a month ago what I thought of Bag of Bones I might have chuckled and shook my head. I might have told you it is one of the worst Stephen King books there is, that it is easily in my bottom five King reads, down there with such piles of Kingly excrement as Dreamcatcher, Wizard and Glass, The Eyes of the Dragon, and From a Buick 8, the latter being the pinnacle of Uncle Stevie's fecal production. In other words, friends and neighbors, I hated this book.

But that was then and this i
Some ghosts can be deadly............and as KING fans already know, evil always seems to be present in and around Derry.

BAG OF BONES is the story of novelist Michael Noonan and the effects of his profound grief after the sudden loss of his beloved wife. Even after four years, a paralyzing writer's block takes over his days and creepy repetitive dreams fill his nights that ultimately lead him back to his log cabin hideout, Sara Laughs, in the woods of western Maine.

Not long after his arrival, a c

Wordsmith Johnson
Jun 20, 2007 Wordsmith Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haveread
Easily my favorite Stephen King novel ever, and I've read a wide cross section of different eras of his stuff. This is a ghost's about being haunted, both by spirits and by memories. It's a book about loss and grief, but also a suspenseful mystery with a super spooky atmosphere, set in a creepy, unincorporated and sparesely populated fading resort community with a dark historic past. The mystery and the hauntings are linked in with a child custody battle, complete with a nefarious old ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it
736 pages, so not King's longest book but still a doorstop. I enjoyed it very much anyway and it was certainly a page turner. This is one of his ghostly, horror type stories and at times it was very spooky and frequently very gory. In fact very Stephen King. Not the best book I have read by him but still very worthy of 4 stars.
Erin (PT)
Here's the thing about me and Stephen King: no matter how problematic and/or angry-making I find some of his work to be, the man knows how to tell a good story.

I had read Bag of Bones before, when it was first published, but all I really remembered about it was that I found it an enjoyable enough story, but not one that was excellent enough to be particularly memorable. And, indeed, I found myself remembering very little of the story while rereading it this time around. Which, on the one hand,
I remember reading this when I was 16. My dad bought me the hardcover for my birthday, and I remember reading it on a plane. That's about all that I remember about it, though, other than a vague recollection of liking it, hence my pre-Goodreads rating of 3 stars.

Now, 16 years later (Please don't do the math. It will hurt me in my soul.), and I'm reading it again. I've picked this book up a few times over the past... maybe two years, but each time I put it back down again. It just wasn't the rig
Autumn Doughton
This was a weird novel for me. For the first 450 pages or so I kept thinking that it was by leaps and bounds the best Stephen King book ever. But then things got strange in a way that only King's novels can and I was left feeling like maybe I'd been in a car accident but had blacked out and couldn't really remember the whole thing properly.
I think that you either like Stephen King's stuff or you don't. I'm a fan of sci-fi/fantasy/borderline horror and I am a King fan. I have been reading him si
D.B. Woodling
May 28, 2016 D.B. Woodling rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of horror/supernatural novels
3.5 Stars
In Bag of Bones, Mike Noonan, a bestselling author, simultaneously loses his wife Johanna and his ability to write much more than his name.

Soon after, the night terrors begin, involving the couple’s lake house retreat dubbed Sara Laughs after a turn-of-the-century singer, and Noonan realizes the solitary cure lies in the confrontation.

With tremendous trepidation, he faces the demons, which hold both his and Johanna’s inner peace hostage and, in the end, discovers when and why Sara thu
Nov 12, 2016 Nayra.Hassan rated it really liked it
سارة تضحك ..نعم ستضحك سارة علينا لصفحات طويلة..
فضحكات سارة "هو اسم البيت الصيفي الذي يهرب اليه مايك. .الكاتب الشهير الذي يعاني أسوأ حالة احتباس كتابة قد يتعرض لها إي مؤلف ولكن مايك كان كالسنجاب الحريص
..فقد ادخر 4روايات للاوقات العصيبة
..ساعدته على الاستمرار بعد النكسة التي تعرض لها عقب وفاة زوجته في حادث مريب

..طالت أزمته سنوات..إلى أن بدأت سارة في الضحك ..لتبدأ فواصل من الرعب الهاديء بأنواعه
نفسي..لعنات. .رسائل
مع اكتشاف تدريجي لحقائق مرعبة كانت خافية عن المدينة المصيفية الني صار اسيرا لها..فهل
Oct 27, 2007 Caroline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
Slow moving. I quit halfway through, switched to an action novel which cleared my head and allowed me to continue the laborious trudge.

The best thing about this novel, aside from reaching the end (660 pages… it could have been pared back to 450 and I would have been happy), was its intricacy. Almost everything tied in to the end. Of course, for a novelist like Stephen King, I would expect nothing less. However, I found the protag’s involvement left me feeling uneasy. Could Mike have figured ever
Franco  Santos
Jul 08, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Y acaso la mayor bendición fue que nunca supimos que nos quedaba poco tiempo...

Muy buen libro de King. Tiene uno de los mejores comienzos que me tocó leer. El autor me transmitió la tristeza, la tragedia y la depresión del protagonista intensamente. Un excelente inicio de novela.

El dolor del duelo es como un invitado borracho, cuando parece que se ha marchado vuelve a darte un último abrazo.

Ya en la mitad las cosas se empiezan a poner un poco pesadas y repetitivas. Tiene partes que son bastante
Every once in a while I need to read a good ghost story. One with ectoplasmic ghosts as well as ghosts in the form of memories of what is dead and gone, and a protagonist caught in their web. One in which nostalgia, melancholy, love, fear and suspense all intertwine to create a good enough fire in which to destroy my precious brain cells. Bag Of Bones duly delivered.

It took me exactly two days to finish it and that says a lot. I've discovered lately that King's novels have lost their power over
Rosa, really

Holy shit!

I read this one when it was first published!

I think I was going through a "I should read something other than romance" phase. If I remember correctly I was annoyed that the possibilities for romance in the book didn't exactly work out. What the hell did I expect? Jude fucking Deveraux?
Eleni Ouzouni
Aug 05, 2015 Eleni Ouzouni rated it really liked it
Classic story by Stephen King!
Oct 25, 2016 Carmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E forse la nostra benedizione più grande era di non aver mai saputo quanto fosse breve il tempo.

Il miglior King letto nel mio 2015 di letture.
Il tema del lutto - già sviscerato in maniera impressionante in "pet semetary" - si amalgama benissimo con la componente sovrannaturale, restituendo al lettore un'atmosfera in bilico tra lo straniante e l'onirico.
L'introspezione dei personaggi, jolly dell'intero romanzo, risulta un ulteriore punto di forza; in virtù di tali pregi, posso tranquillamente pe
Wayne Barrett

Actual 3.5

Reflections of Peter Straub's 'Ghost Story' ran through my thoughts as I read this one. And not only did they work together on some novels but King has mentioned how much he admires 'Ghost Story', so maybe...?

This was great writing with an interesting plot being weaved to form a masterful picture, but I think it is a picture that brings nothing new to the table and it was too long in the weaving.

Bag of Bones was a labor to read but overall was still good.
Jan 24, 2012 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is my first Steven King novel. There are others on my list that I want to read, but somehow this one was first. For 25% of the book I thought he rambled on forever, getting no where fast. Then the last portions of the book really got me. I did enjoy it. Did I think it was 5 star worthy? No. First let me say, I LOVE paranormal books. And as far as the paranormal portion of the book went, I thought that was excellent. I could see what was happening, I could feel the chills. I loved that it ...more
May 21, 2015 Adrianna rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This isn't an average read for me. I have quite a few Stephen King novels that have been sitting on my shelves for ages and I wanted to branch out from the normal genres I read, figured I could start with him.

Now I know the majority of this author's books are chunksters, but this being my first book by him left me kind of bored. Felt like it could have been cut by 200 pages.

I think that if King is a favorite of yours, you'll enjoy this, but I wouldn't recommend this as a first try. I own more t
Colin Andersen
Mar 31, 2016 Colin Andersen rated it it was amazing
Probably, for me, the best Stephen King horror novel. I am not easily scared by ghosts and other paranormal entities since they mostly live within the pages of horror fiction. But this one has sections, like the ghost that shuffles the magnets stuck on a freeze, that gave me an instant on-rush of fear-hormones. A brick-sized page turner!

Oct 06, 2016 Reanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me forever it seemed, mostly because I was reading this on on my laptop so sitting and staring was kept to a minimum. With that said, I actually loved this one. I can see how some people either loved it or hated it. I definitely loved the first half or so better than the last half but overall it was a really enjoyable read.

I'll do a proper review at some point soon. :)
Nick Iuppa
Jul 30, 2015 Nick Iuppa rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Glenn Rolfe
Apr 04, 2016 Glenn Rolfe rated it it was amazing
Bag of Bones is one of King's bigger books (just over 700 pages). As with another of his larger novels that I read and loved recently (The Tommyknockers), this one veers off maybe a tick too long here and there, but here, the off-trail jaunts accomplish what they should-they draw you deeper into the story. And what a deep tale it is.

“Then I got back to the house, and all I worried about was my story and the people in it--bags of bones which were putting on flesh daily.”

As a writer, I fell into t
Oct 15, 2014 Linn rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Hardcore Stephen King fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Dixon
Nov 02, 2014 Jack Dixon rated it it was amazing
I know it's hard to believe when I say that this was my very first Stephen King novel. I LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!!! I have felt spooked before by my previous reads, but never has a novel made me cry from joy and sadness too. I admit that I was a little worried when the first 100 pages seemed like the author was rambling...but turned out for good reason. This is a rare book I would definitely read again. More, please!
Riku Sayuj
Typical King. Probably one of his better novels.
Bunga Mawar
Buku ini menyeramkan.

Curhat bagian 1: 28 Oktober 2010.
(Ditujukan untuk Ibu Dokter Iyut dan saudara Rauf).

Saya sudah tahu sejak SMA, bahwa Stephen King memang nama jaminan untuk kisah2 menegangkan yang berbau hantua2an. Namun kontak saya dengan karya King pertama malah baru tahun 2009 lalu lewat film "1408", yang jujur saja saya beli karena pemeran utamanya adalah John Cusack, hehe... Film itu, yang DVD-nya sendirian saya tonton di kamar (untungnya sore2!) membuat sebentar2 tangan saya naik menut
Jul 29, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Like many Stephen King books, the characters he creates seem almost real. Throughout Bag od Bones, the central character, Mike Noonan, obviously parallels King's life. You come to think of Mike as someone who really existed. Of course if Mike really existed, then the Sara Laughs story must be real-and threin lies the horror.

At first I didn't think that this story was very scary. I thought it was a very touching account about loss and a quirky writer who was trying to cope. I loved that he fell i
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, ...more
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