Bill Harrington's Reviews > Insomnia

Insomnia by Stephen King
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M_50x66
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Apr 25, 08


If you find yourself with an afternoon to kill...read a magazine. If, however, you need to occupy yourself on a voyage to Mars, pick up "Insomnia."

It's long.

It is, however, quite good.

"Insomnia" begins as Ralph Roberts, a pleasant, not-too-cantankerous gentleman in his 70s, watches his beloved wife taken from him by cancer. Shortly after her death, he begins to experience "early waking" insomnia. Each night, it seems, he wakes earlier than the one before. Soon, he is awake all night.

In the deepest throes of this affliction, Ralph starts to see what he initially concludes are hallucinations, figments of the imagination of a sleep-deprived mind. Auras around people, animals, changing in shape and color to seemingly reflect that person's health, thoughts, mood and personality. He suffers, largely in silence, until the day where, almost by accident, he discovers that he is not alone in what he is experiencing.

It is here that King takes us into the world of the unseen. To say more might give away important plot points...suffice it to say that the reader must suspend reality for a bit and let their imagination steer the ship.

Meanwhile, all is not well in the sleepy Maine city of Derry, where the entire story takes place. A national pro-choice advocate, Susan Day, is scheduled to speak in support of a local woman's shelter which is also suspected of providing abortion counseling and referrals. In resoponse, a pro-life group begins to stage protests in the vicinity of the shelter and throughout Derry. One man, however, Edward Deepneau, plans to do much more than protest.

It falls to Ralph and his companion, to stop Ed at all costs, resulting in a battle that takes place both in this world, and the world of the auras.

As is typical of King, the character development is second to none. Ralph Roberts truly comes to life, and his world is painted with vivid colors. This is true of all of the characters in the story. Even an old stray dog, Rosalie, is described with such expert detail, that we feel every ache of her weary, arthritic old bones as she hobbles her way down the street looking for discarded scraps of food.

King takes his time in developing the story...nothing is rushed. This adds pages, to be sure, but the reader is treated to a much richer experience for it. A definite win for King.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Erin (new)

Erin Great review. Thank you.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

is the book in english? because the synopsis comes up in another language :/


Nessa Blankenbaker A beautifully written review. And, only halfway through, I still agree whole heartedly.


Greg Voyage to Mars! Lol.. Just started listening to the audiobook and your review put me in a good mood


Machel love your opening line on mars bit!


message 6: by R (new) - rated it 4 stars

R Wow. I read this novel my freshman year of high school and I loved it. For some reason I thought I'd come and read the reviews on the book, I was curious to see how others felt about the book and I'm was glad to find yours. It's been a while since I've read but your review was perfect. You truly understood every inch of this interesting book.


Melinda MacLean One of the best reviews I've read for a book, makes me excited to read it.


message 8: by Melinda (new) - added it

Melinda Maltby I'm going to read it..sounds good


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