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Insomnia

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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  118,355 Ratings  ·  2,609 Reviews
Since his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he wakes up a bit earlier, until he’s barely sleeping at all. During his late night walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people’s heads, two strange little men wandering around town after dark, and more. He begins to suspect tha ...more
Paperback, 890 pages
Published February 28th 2005 by DEBOLS!LLO (first published September 15th 1994)
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Irwin Fletcher Insomnia isn't really necessary (although recommended) for a DT read-through, but some DT reading is pretty important if you want to enjoy Insomnia. I…moreInsomnia isn't really necessary (although recommended) for a DT read-through, but some DT reading is pretty important if you want to enjoy Insomnia. I read it as part of my first Dark Tower read-through about 5 years ago, prior to that I didn't know much about it and had no clue it was tied to the DT. I'm glad it was a book I just happened to have not read prior to that because I can't imagine just reading it as a stand-alone novel. I've spoken to people who have and said they enjoyed it but I think you'll be missing a lot of what the book offers. Outside of the actual DT novels, Insomnia is probably the most bizarre book in Stephen King's bibliography. Maybe even the most bizarre. And without the craziness of the DT books to prepare you or knowing what all the DT references are about, it would probably seem like random insanity just spilled all over the page. It's hard to describe just how MUCH this book ties into the DT series without spoilers, but it's so much that I don't consider it a stand-alone novel. Hearts In Atlantis is somewhat similar in that it's stand-alone and a tie-in at the same time but it doesn't lean on the DT stuff nearly as much as Insomnia. You could easily read that without having even heard of the DT but I'm not sure about this one.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Bill Harrington
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 deep
...more
Jeff
This was an official Pantless group side-read with those splendid cullys (a big shout-out to our newest member, baby Ryder!!!) of the Dark Tower Buddy read group…

…and that was pretty much the only thing that got me through this labored read.

This was a DNF the first time I tried to read it and it was almost a DNF the second time. Yes, I made more progress this time before I almost threw in the towel, but the anticipation of a tie-in to the Dark Tower series kept me going. And going.



And going.

A va
...more
Johann (jobis89)
“It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in a while exhilarating.”

Following the death of his wife, Ralph Roberts has trouble sleeping. He finds himself waking up earlier and earlier each night. During his late night vigils, he observes weird goings on in his hometown of Derry, Maine. Pretty quickly he realises that the strange things he is seeing are not the result of sleep-deprived hallucinations, but something much more significant.

I got a l
...more
Rachael
Nov 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
This book is not for everyone. For one its over 700 pages long. Another reason is that it deals with what some people say is uncomfortable topics:abortion, mental illness, domestic abuse and the afterlife and possible alternate worlds.

Another reason why this book is unique and different from other books is that the hero is a regular joe who happens to be in his 70's!

I loved this book. It took my mind to a place where few books can take me. I was not here reading the book-I was in Derry, Maine w
...more
Lyn
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Weird book.

Remind me to never visit Derry Maine. This setting of a number of Stephen King’s novels is again center stage in this 1994 book about not sleeping and going crazy because of it.

I was drawn to this title as I have struggled off and on with insomnia most of my life. I wonder how many readers have stayed up all night reading, I know I have. I remember a haze of years when I averaged about 4-5 hours a sleep a night and recall visual hallucinations and waking dreams and just being tired al
...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
Prefatory Matters: I lost a twenty-year-old book during this reread. Most of you have the seen the picture of my gutted hardcover copy of Insomnia. If you haven’t I’ll include it at the end of this post as well. Total loss of containment, folks. About thirty pages loosed themselves from the glue and became individual souls. I have a 284 page section, and another section of about 400 pages, and a little bit in the middle that just said “Fuck it” and struck out for the territories. All in all, a s ...more
Arah-Lynda
Jun 04, 2015 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
It's crazy I know. I mean I am over three quarters of the way through this book but if I am being honest, the chances of my ever going back to finish it are just about nil.

Why you may ask and I guess the answer would be that I was never truly invested in the story or it's characters. In fairness it started out reasonably well and I did enjoy the camaraderie between Ralph and Lois but once the little bald doctors started making their appearance my interest level began to diminish quickly.

So way t
...more
Paul O'Neill
A reread on the journey to the Dark Tower...

I read this a few years back and gave it a one star rating, I feel I may have been a bit harsh. This book has a lot going for it and is quite important in the Stephen King universe.

The characters are great, it's nice to see older characters for a change and Ralph is awesome. A unique concept with sprinklings of the Dark Tower throughout.

It was a bit lengthy though and there are huge parts of this book where it drags along, which is ultimately why it
...more
Jackie
Oct 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone needed a doorstop
Shelves: horror
I HATED it. Extremely long-winded and convoluted. Horrible, absolutely horrible. Probably his most pointless story ever.
This is when I knew Stephen King had lost his awesome writing powers and I can't really bring myself to read him again. Bad enough I had to suffer through Black House, and then this.
He really should have quit while he ahead and still an icon in the writing world. As for me, I'd rather slit my own wrists than suffer through another one of his awful novels ever again.
Steve
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I saw somewhere that Insomnia is considered by some to be one of King's "problem" books. I'm not sure what's meant by that tag, though for me the "problem" eventually would become that I didn't think of the book as a horror novel. It started out strongly, with a likable 70 year old everyman, Ralph Roberts, adjusting to life without his beloved wife. King's focus on aging and loneliness is as good as anything I've read by him. And deftly slipped in, a hint of the supernatural and coming doom, as ...more
Ruth Turner
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it

"You may not know it, but shape-changing is a time-honored custom in Derry.”


Audiobook – Narrated by – Eli Wallach – A good narration except for the background music. At times I couldn’t even hear Wallach’s voice, so in the end I gave up.

***

Ebook:

When I read Insomnia the first time, many years ago, I hated it. I hadn’t read The Dark Tower novels and knew next to nothing about them, so I missed the connections. This time, although I still haven’t read the DT series (except for The Gunslinger), I’m
...more
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
You either love it or hate it.
I'm obviously of the earlier persuasion.



Review soonish. Maybe.

5 ninja bunnehs with balloon strings
Delee
Dec 04, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Group read with The Dark Tower Honk MahFahs.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

“It's a long way back to Eden, Sweetheart, so don't sweat the small stuff.”

This book does a weird thing books generally don't do - it starts well but keeps getting progressively worse as the length keeps unmercifully chugging away. I was into it for the first 200 pages although little was happening and the build-up stage was generous, but it kept letting out steam as it kept going, and when it came into weird territory and everything felt muddy and more complex, I lost interest. The last few hun
...more
Cody | codysbookshelf
Writing this review is going to break my heart, so I'm going to get it over with as quickly as possible. Deal? Okay.

The most interesting thing about rereading Stephen King's works in chronological order is seeing how my opinions of them change in comparison to how I felt years ago. Experiencing his releases one after the other in publication order puts them in a new light, and that new light can often shine previously unnoticed brilliance or bring dark shadows to my attention.

Insomnia is a nove
...more
Ɗắɳ  2.☊
2.5 stars

This was definitely a weird one. RTC, after all or most or at least a few of my buddies finish up. Or will they all DNF it? Only time will tell.
Ed
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has read, or is going to read, the Dark Tower novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stepheny


Since I’ve been on a bender writing reviews of books I didn’t enjoy, I think I’ll take a minute to write one about a book I enjoyed!

*think happy thoughts*

Insomnia was a buddy read with my hostages lttle band of misfits that are reading the Dark Tower together. I’ve read the DTS several times and knew that Insomnia had a few tie-ins with it, but this is the first time I had actually read it. I’m glad I did. The character that comes into play in the DTS is mentioned in this book but there’s not a
...more
Ashley Daviau
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my first time reading Insomnia, I think it may be my third or fourth time actually. But I definitely enjoyed it the most this time around! I gained a whole new love for this book on this read-through and I'm still stunned by all the Dark Tower references that I missed the other times I read this book!

I will admit that Insomnia is a bit slow at times and I did feel there was points were it dragged on a bit needlessly. But when it did pick up, it MORE than made up for the slow bits! Mo
...more
Adam Light
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have now read this one three times, and I still love it. It certainly is overlong, but that is one of the reasons I enjoy it so. King's imagination was on fire, maybe more so than at any other time. I really dug all the literary references, and the completely insane hallucinatory adventures Ralph Roberts has. Oh, and the way it ties in to the Dark Tower saga is a highlight as well.
Abbie | ab_reads
Review to come...
Nikki
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fantasy
I liked Insomnia a lot. I was quite surprised by the older protagonists, although of course there are things which compensate for their age. It wasn't a bad surprise, either. I thought it might be harder to relate to Ralph and Lois because of it, but it ended up not really being a problem at all. The most fascinating character for me, though, was Ed Deepneau. It was interesting how he kept the photo with him until the very end.

I loved a lot of the imagery that ran throughout this -- the auras, t
...more
Craig "NEEDS MORE DAMN TIME TO READ !!!!"
Thouroughly enjoyable read BUT, as is sometimes the case with a King book, a little too wordy and over long. Would have flowed better if the first half of the book had been condensed by 300 pages or so. The second half if the book is where the story truly shines.

This book featured some new 'powers'. These powers where used in interesting ways. There was a bit of everything here, romance, action, horror and so on.

Now to the GREAT parts of the book. Those Dark Tower references! Wow! There are quit
...more
Edward Lorn
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gift from Thomas Strömquist. :)
Robjr73
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Geez, where to begin. Well, for starters, Ralph is one of my favorite Stephen King characters of all time. Right from the first chapter, my heart ached for this guy and I was hooked. Seriously, only King can get you that involved with a character that early on in a book. Ralph is the main character and the first half revolves around the insomnia he experiences after the passing of his wife. The second half is where the story gets trippy. Having read some reviews from other Goodreads buddies, I k ...more
Ginger
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pantless-fun
I admit that I did enjoy this book but finishing felt kinda like this:



Wow.
Just Wow.
Sitting here, trying to sum up the book (which is unnecessary as I know you are fully capable of reading the summary on the book page), I find that there really wasn't much to the story at all. The last hundred pages held all the action and the first 500 or so is filled with:



and



and a little bit 'o



I have to give it to King, really. To keep me reading, that many pages, for so long.....*sigh*
I have not read any of th
...more
Damien
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who started reading King in the eighties, Insomnia was a book I have been meaning to get to for many a year. So, was it worth the wait? In short, yes.

I thoroughly enjoyed ambling along with Ralph Roberts as a somewhat unconventional senior citizen protagonist that seemed to, at the same time, remain quintessentially King. At the point where Ralph and his sidekick Lois Chasse team up to work out who the little bald men are and what their relationship was to the auras, I did feel a litt
...more
Cathy (cathepsut)
Apparently I would have enjoyed this a lot more, if I had read the Dark Tower series. I read The Gunslinger 12 years ago, but don't remember much. Time to read the rest of that series, I guess. Maybe. Considering how much I did not enjoy this, I might have to take a longer break, before picking up another novel by Stephen King.

I gave up after reading 300 pages. I realized that I don't care. Boring. The plot ambled along without any suspense or meaningful build-up. Ralph can't sleep, he goes for
...more
HannahN
Dec 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is only the second Stephen King book I've ever read - the first was Pet Sematary, which I picked up on a whim. Pet Sematary was so good, it made me rabid for more Stephen King novels. I ran right out to the used bookstore and picked up Insomnia and The Stand - completely random choices, since I know nothing of Stephen King.

OH MY GOD THIS IS A BAD BOOK.

I pushed through and read the whole thing, because I kept thinking of Pet Sematary and how it haunted me after I finished reading it. I thoug
...more
Jennifer Lynn Harrison
Wow...just...Well, first of all- SO many literary comparisons of various existing (IRL, kiddies) works are made in the dialogue between the main characters of this novel, especially near the conclusion; this is awesome + something I had not noticed the 1st time I read this one by King (although, I was probably like, 12 when I read this book for the first time, now that I think about it)....This was at least my 3rd time re-reading this book, and another thing that will strike Constant Readers lik ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add page number 2 13 Dec 22, 2017 05:12AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Insomnia by Stephen King - Starting August 1st, 2017 23 25 Aug 12, 2017 08:44AM  
Horror Aficionados : April 2017 Group Read Winner - Insomnia 35 197 May 07, 2017 03:07PM  
#RetoTorreOscura: Insomnia 3 19 Feb 11, 2017 04:31PM  
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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, M ...more
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“It's a long way back to Eden, Sweetheart, so don't sweat the small stuff.” 104 likes
“It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in a while exhilarating.” 64 likes
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