Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tommyknockers” as Want to Read:
The Tommyknockers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Tommyknockers

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  115,966 ratings  ·  2,443 reviews
From the Flap:

Late last night and the night before,

Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers,

knocking at my door.

I want to go out, don't know if I can,

'cause I'm so afraid

of the Tommyknocker man.

It begins with nothing more frightening than a nursery rhyme; yet in Stephen King's hands it becomes an unforgettable parable of dread, a threat from an unimaginable darkness that drags
Hardcover, 558 pages
Published November 10th 1987 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tommyknockers, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Michael Rettenmund B ... probably ;-)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  115,966 ratings  ·  2,443 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Tommyknockers
Mark Lawrence
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems to be one of Stephen King's less known and less liked novels.

I really liked it. Not 5* blown away liked, but a good solid 4* really liked.

I think my difference from the majority here is two-fold:

Firstly, I've discovered many people want all of a story to be good. If the end lets it down, they feel the whole book is a waste of time. Well... the end did let it down, but the story itself is packed with good stuff. There were so many scenes, characters, ideas and descriptions that all
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
I mean, The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act. And I've thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, "There's really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back." The book is about 700 pages long, and I'm thinking, "There's probably a good 350-page novel in there."

- Stephen King in a Rolling Stone interview.

You got that right, Uncle Stevie.

Bobbi Anderson is a writer
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

Happy Reading!

Paul O'Neill
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Late last night and the night before, tommyknockers tommyknockers knocking at your door

I can make a couple of guesses to explain why this book only has a rating of 3.46, which it doesn't deserve. I thought it was great. Interesting and very different to Kings usual books. That being said, all the elements of a King book are here, great characters, unusual story and great dialogue.

I've read a few reviews saying that the ending is rubbish. I don't agree with this and there are definitely worse
Bri | bribooks
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
2018 update: I am bumping my rating up to five stars because.... well, this book is simply one of King’s best.

The Tommyknockers is about Pandora's box, and what happens once it's open — and it's also about failed (missed? unrequited?) love. Our two main characters are Bobbi Anderson, a moderately successful writer of western novels, and Jim Gardener, a published poet and struggling alcoholic. The two are friends, and in the past have been lovers, enemies . . . and everything in between. Their
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Let me tell you a story. (Jason, Dustin- you guys have probably heard me tell this enough times you’re sick of it so you guys can skip ahead!)

Many years ago I first read the Tommyknockers. It was a huge brick of a book- a hardcover version no less. I was fascinated with it. I was a new Stephen King fan and after picking up the first book of his I ever read, I had to grab another and another and another.

The Tommyknockers had this great build- up, it was intense, there was so much going on.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Please allow me to preface this review.

I love to read. I’ve been escaping by burying my nose in books for as long as I can remember and this particular book has taken me back to where it all began. Reading this book again after nearly 28 years has vividly reminded me of those early days when a 600 page book was such a huge part of my life, and the newest Stephen King hardcover was the BEST Christmas present ever! I say all of this to make clear that I’m probably unable to separate my
Edward Lorn
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King completionists
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
Well, that was unexpected.

First time I read this, I loved the first two-thirds of the book and loathed the last third. This time, it was the exact opposite. I enjoyed the introductions to Bobbi and Gard all right, I guess, but the middle was boring. I almost gave up. In fact, I switched to the audio book so that I could play Minecraft while listening to it. Then, an odd thing happened. I became involved again. (This was after the vagina tentacles.) I started catching reference after reference,
Dan Schwent
Feb 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Bobbie Anderson finds an object buried in the woods that happens to be the tip of an alien craft. After she tampers with it sufficiently, the whole town gradually begins changing into aliens.

A guy I used to work with kept urging me to read this one. He read half of it during a week long stint in the brig while in the navy, then rescued the book from destruction while he was throwing the ship's trash in the ocean a week later. Was it worth it? Hell yes. King novels don't usually affect me but I
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read

Prior to going into my second reading of The Tommyknockers, I wasn't sure that I even wanted to read it. Needful Things, Lisey's Story, or The Talisman would have been preferable, as those three novels have been on my mind a lot lately. The only reason I decided to go with The Tommyknockers is because it won the SK group read for September, and I'd never participated in a group read, and wanted to be a part of it.
Having said that, I am so glad that I did!

I finished last night, and what can I
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who live in the woods and want to be frightened
Okay, so I may have read this when I was twelve, but I tell you, it fucked my shit up! It's really really long and has violence and intrigue--if you're twelve and you start it in December, you might not finish it until mid-January. The best part was that it was the first book that made reference to location that I had actually been. IT took place in Maine, people, what could be creepier??
This is an underrated classic with possibly the best title of all time. Just say it. Tommyknockers. Awesome.
Ashley Daviau
So this is most definitely NOT my favourite King book. In fact, it was quite painful to read at times and took me ages to get through. Some parts were really interesting but on a whole, this book was a huge drag to read. It’s painful for me to give a King book such a low rating because I love his writing so much but this is some of his worst work in my opinion. I think it could have done well as a short story but as a novel it just didn’t do it for me!
Bill Khaemba
Late last night and the night before,

Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door.

I want to go out, don't know if I can,
'Cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man.

Image result for checks under the bed gif
By The way, that jingle is really creepy if it was sung by a kid
Something is creeping up in Haven, the atmosphere has rapidly changed after Bobbi Anderson stumbles upon something in the woods… It will alter the normalcy of this small town in a very weird way.

Before anything this book was another successful buddy read,
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, sci-fi
Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to go out, don't know if I can, 'cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man

So that’s a little creepy. Ever heard that childhood poem? I had not. Nor have I read much of H.P. Lovecraft, the horror author who influenced King’s writing of The Tommyknockers. King has said that his idea for the novel was based from “The Colour Out of Space”, a short story by Lovecraft. Tommyknockers is not the only
James Hartley
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book on many levels.
Written at the height of Kings various addictions (with cotton wool stuffed up his nose to stop him bleeding onto the typewriter, apparently) - he wouldnt publish again for another two years - its a look at what happens to a writer when they go out of control. Its almost a master-class, writing-wise, on what NOT to do, but its loveable and fascinating: a drunk wheeling around a bar telling great stories in a scary, about-to-fall-over way. A coke fiends
Well, I just finished The Tommyknockers, and to be rather blunt...I'm disappointed. Really disappointed.

The beginning was good, entertaining, even hilarious at parts. When I got to Book II, it really started to drag for me. And when I mean drag....I just kept saying in my head as I read, "GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But also, I felt like it was a little all over the place. I consider myself to be one who at least has half a brain (Hell, I have a Master's degree, I would I hope I have
The Face of Your Father
There is a certain novel within Stephen King's bibliography that is treated like an adopted son that you hide underneath the stairs. What can be said about a novel that is hated by the majority and disowned by the author who wrote it?

Well.. I believe that 1987's small town tale 'The Tommyknockers' is as good, if not better, than the novel that came before it, 1986's thesis on the horror genre, 'IT'.

Let us dissect: 'The Tommyknockers' features everything you love about the traits of King. Are
Late last night and the night before,
Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door.
I want to go out, don't know if I can,
'Cause I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man.

When Bobbi Anderson goes for a walk in the woods and trips over a small piece of metal, she doesn't know that she has only seconds left to live. Her life will not end, though; it will change in a way that she, a writer of popular westerns, is not even able to imagine. Determined to see what is in the earth, Bobbi starts digging
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Stephen King book I read, and at the time probably the biggest book I had read at that time. This was when I moved away from reading books that were available at the school library and moved on to what I could get at the public library.

This probably hasn't aged well but it will always have a place in my heart as the first real adventure I had in literature, will I read it again? probably not, don't want to ruin a good thing.

What I can remember from the book, bleeding, headaches, a hum
May 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Let's face it. Stephen King can't write science fiction.

I'm not even sure why King even thought Tommyknockers needed to be written. It's bad SF and not as all equal to his horror writings. It doesn't dazzle and it doesn't shine. The best thing I can say for it is that it doesn't feature a rabid Saint Bernard.

Update: I might have to change that first sentence. King's 11-23-63 proved that he can write effective science fiction, at least in the speculative history sub-genre. But I still dislike The
Tom Swift
One thing is for sure. I am never moving to a small town in Maine. Strange things happen. Picked this one up at Half Priced Books for $1. Working my way through King's older stuff. Fun ride. A word of advice, don't dig anything up in your backyard, leave it alone.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm an unabashed fan of this book. Through and through. In fact, I'd say it's one of the best books of his that I've ever read. Yes, I'm dead serious.

The pace is deliciously slow, building tension in waves and layers, rather than spurts and fits. The cosmic terror is enjoyably vague, yet the nature and logic of its machinations contains some truly eerie implications. And the characters? Don't even get me started...but, since I have already, they're amazing. Not one owner of a name is anything
Holly (The Grimdragon)
One of these days, I'm going to go through all my old King books and write reviews, considering a massive chunk of them I had read long before Goodreads. BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!!

For now, I'll add a mini review here and there as I write about them over on Bookstagram.

The Tommyknockers is one of the most divisive King novels, splitting Constant Readers into two groups - those that liked it and those that hated it. Hell, Uncle Stevie himself said it's an
Michael Jandrok
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: This review is overlong and a bit disjointed and possibly boring in places, just like the subject matter. Continue at your own discretion.

Keeping with my September/October obsession with the macabre, I decided to head for the bookstore and pick up a fresh copy of Stephen King’s “The Tommyknockers.” There is a new commercial interest in King as the theatrical version of “It” has now become the highest grossing horror film in cinema history. And I loved reading “It,” but I will also
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stephen-king
Awe shucks, such a missed opportunity by King here.

The Tommyknockers was a solid concept, but poorly executed. King himself has criticised this book as being one of, if not the, worst of his novels. He said it was the last book he wrote before cleaning up his act. In other words, it was written during a coke-fuelled binge of sorts. And it shows.

For me, this novel is really a book of thirds.

1/3. This section of the book was honestly some of the most engaging King writing I've ever read. Prior to
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-king, horror
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is long but I never got bored and I wanted to know what happens next.
It is one of those novels from SK which one loves or dislikes for its length. And it also is one of those novels where a small town in Maine, located next to Derry, together with all its citizens plays a huge role. I see it this way: We have three main characters in here: Bobbi (and her dog Peter of course), an author of western novels who stumbles and thus starts everything happening in
Wayne Barrett

Even Stephen King admitted that this book was a mess, and I have to agree. The first time I read it, which was about 25 years ago, I thought the book was pretty good but didn't like the ending. I thought maybe knowing beforehand how it was going to end, I might not be so disappointed. Well, this time around I am wondering how in the hell I thought the first part of the book was good? This thing really was a mess. Political rantings, overkill on fillers, and still a horrible ending. As a fan who
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was about 12 years old when this came out. My friend's mother at the time was our personal expert consultant on all things Stephen King. Her opinion of this book was something like "meh." That isn't verbatim but it's pretty close. After that, I read some mediocre or even less flattering reviews in whatever rags I was reading back then - TIME, NEWSWEEK, THE BERGEN RECORD, shit like that. This book went on my permanent not-to-be-read-list. I even skipped the mini-series on TV because the ...more
Amanda || eastofreaden
I feel terrible for giving this book such a low rating but I genuinely feel like I suffered through a large portion of it. Some of it was SO good, and I flew through those portions. But then it would be another 100 pages of horrible pacing and information that I found so inconsequential I didn't even retain any of it. I read that King feels like this is his worst book, and he might be right. I guess it was time for me to finally discover a book of his I didn't absolutely love.
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Edward Herrmann – Excellent narration.


Ebook: Not quite 4**** but more than 3*** So, 3 and a half stars.

The Onion wrote an article claiming that King couldn't remember writing The Tommyknockers. He (King) then admitted that it was actually true, as he couldn't remember writing many novels from the 80s due to his alcoholism, including Cujo.

For me, Cujo was a winner whether King remembered writing it or not. I can’t say the same for The Tommyknockers! Or so I thought.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fiction Fanatics: October 2019 - The Tommyknockers 12 16 Oct 23, 2019 09:19PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Tommyknockers 121 205 Sep 10, 2019 03:14AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please update cover 2 14 Feb 05, 2019 09:16AM  
Stephen King 2019...: It's OCTOBER my favorite month of the year!! 11 20 Nov 15, 2018 07:57PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add reciprocal ACE info 1 7 Sep 17, 2018 06:11AM  
Stephen King Fans: The Tommyknockers 332 413 Apr 17, 2018 05:21PM  
2019 & 2020 Readi...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Tommyknockers 2 153 Sep 04, 2017 05:12PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Thinner
  • The Regulators
  • Roadwork
  • The Long Walk
  • Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • The Exorcist
  • The Running Man
  • NOS4A2
  • The Bad Place
  • Horns
  • The Bachman Books
  • Blaze
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Let the Right One In
  • Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
  • Rage
  • The Silence of the Lambs  (Hannibal Lecter, #2)
  • The Servants of Twilight
See similar books…
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
“Late last night and the night before, tommyknockers, tommyknockers knocking on my door. I wanna go out, don't know if I can 'cuz I'm so afraid of the tommyknocker man.” 85 likes
“He remembered waking up once, listening to the wind, thinking of all the dark and rushing cold outside and all the warmth of this bed, filled with their peaceful heat under two quilts, and wishing it could be like this forever.” 18 likes
More quotes…