Wei Cho's Reviews > Bag of Bones

Bag of Bones by Stephen King
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's review
Jan 26, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: horror

dear reader,

this was a present from a dear friend (who apparently doesn't know about my literary tastes). *shrugs* just saying.

This is my first Stephen King’s book. Usually, I try to steer away from them because I am not a fan of the horror genre, but since it was a birthday present (from of a friend who obviously isn’t aware of my literary tastes), I decided to give it a go. I didn’t find it as “horrific” as I thought I would. In fact, it was quite beautifully written, achieving an aesthetic quality by harmoniously weaving literary devices into the writing. The suspense that kept me clinging to its pages weren’t the horror cliches, but something new and so devoted to description that I trembled on the edge of my seat, eager to find out the fate of the characters.

Mike is a writer suffering a serious case of writer’s block, that impedes him from writing a word for the latest novel he is working on. King’s description of his despair and frustration was clear and simple, making the intellectual quality top notch, and so other authors can relate to Mike. It seems like this novel will be about ghosts haunting Mike, but it isn’t so. It’s more complex and intricate, which is one of the good things about this book. The ghosts are ghosts from Mike’s past, buried deep in his memory. The last quarter of the book gets really good pacing compared to the rest of the book, and the major plot twist was introduced quite nicely; and let me warn you, it was a shock.

Despite the good and positive aspects I pointed out previously, there are some things that didn’t quite settle for me. The plot was slow, dragging descriptions slowly, page after page and chapter after chapter. Whilst reading it, half the time I was confused with what was happening because I got so lost in the extensive descriptive paragraphs, that I lost focus of whatever was going on. During these dazed moments, I needed to drop the book and take a break.

One thing I have to praise King for, is for the complexity of his story and how he ties it all together in the end. The characters were unique, but lacked emotional depth. The imagery for the setting painted the “intense”mood throughout the story. And lastly, the impression the book left upon me can be all summarized with there words:

“For, in the end, we are all bags of bones.”

happy reading.

my fondest valedictory,

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Comments (showing 1-2)

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Paige Vest I'm glad you enjoyed the book but I've got to admit my surprise at your comment about the characters lacking emotional depth.
Mike weeps often for his dead wife and worries incessantly over what secrets she may have been keeping from him. He struggles first with his crippling writer's block and then he struggles with his feelings for Mattie. He also displays affection for Kyra and a fierce indignation over Max Devore's treatment of her mother
Mattie herself is vibrant and colorful. She's fiercely protective of her child and the introduction of her character tearing down the road in the Scout and the subsequent conversation with Mike is a great scene that rounds her out well from the get-go, I think.
Kyra is one of the best parts of this book. She's smart and precocious and just plain bloody adorable. One thing that King excels at is character development and his novels are nothing if not character driven. The 'horror' aspect of the story would fall flat if you didn't care about the characters experiencing the events.
Just thought I'd toss in my 2¢!

J.N. If you ever decide to read SK again, I would recommend Firestarter. It's not too "horror" filled and it's a lot shorter (which means it's a bit more to the point). Even though I love SK, he tends to be very wordy.

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