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The Tommyknockers
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Buddy Reads > The Tommyknockers

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Daniel Barnett | 64 comments I picked this up at the used bookstore the other day (it's one of the few King novels I haven't gotten around to reading yet), and I plan on starting it in the near future, after I finish reading The Fireman. Anyone interested in joining me for a read?


Kirstin | 220 comments I'm in. I just finished The Fireman too. I've had this one on my shelf for a while now.


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Awesome! I've got about 60 pages left in The Fireman so I'll be free to start this one whenever.


Kirstin | 220 comments Great! I'm good to start when you are. :) I'm also just about to finish a book.


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments I just put away the last of The Fireman and am going to open The Tommyknockers tomorrow or potentially even tonight. Excited to read and have someone to read with!


Kirstin | 220 comments Same here! I'm excited for The Tommyknockers because I have no idea what the book is about.


Kandice | 3977 comments Kirstin wrote: "Same here! I'm excited for The Tommyknockers because I have no idea what the book is about."

I really enjoyed this book, but seem to be in the minority. I've read that it was his homage to H.P. Lovecraft who I do NOT adore, so I'm surprised I like it as well as I do.

I'm glad you guys are doing a buddy read of it. If you are still going when I finish End of Watch I think I will join in.


Kirstin | 220 comments I'm glad to hear you liked it. I always hesitated to pick it up because it's not too well loved. On the other hand I have never hated a King book.

I hope you enjoy End of Watch. I'll be picking that up soon too. :)


Kenneth McKinley | 277 comments Kirsten, I've never understood the hate for Tommyknockers. I get it that it's long. I know that it could've been trimmed. But I still think it's a hell of a good story with visuals that will stay in your head for the rest of your life. So I challenge you to go into it with an open mind and see if it doesn't do the same for you.


message 10: by Daniel (last edited Jun 07, 2016 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Kandice wrote: "Kirstin wrote: "Same here! I'm excited for The Tommyknockers because I have no idea what the book is about."

I really enjoyed this book, but seem to be in the minority. I've read that it was his h..."


I am thoroughly excited for End of Watch myself. Finders Keepers was brilliant. And please join in on the read/conversation if you'd like! I've always been hesitant to pick this one up for the same reason that Kirstin mentioned, but it's so nice to have a King book in hand, and I know there will be something in here to enjoy even if it's not one of my favorites when it's all said and done.

Also excited to hear that there might be a Lovecraftian element to it. I ended up loving From a Buick 8 after a lot of hesitation going in. King, in many ways, is the best at cosmic horror because he never loses grasp of the characters that ground his stories.


Kirstin | 220 comments Ken wrote: "Kirsten, I've never understood the hate for Tommyknockers. I get it that it's long. I know that it could've been trimmed. But I still think it's a hell of a good story with visuals that will stay i..."

Awesome! I never shy away from the length of a book. In fact, I seem to prefer the 700+ page ones. That feeling of settling in for a long story. :)


Kirstin | 220 comments Cosmic horror sounds good to me! Thanks, Kandice and Ken. I'm really glad you wanted to read this with someone, Daniel. I love buddy reads.

I'm going to start this afternoon. I have some free time while my daughter has her lessons.


Kandice | 3977 comments Like Kirstin I welcome a long book! Especially from King. No matter what length his books end up being I am always left wanting more, so how can I complain about number of pages? When I first open one of his new ones (or his son’s) the first thing I do is flip to the back to see how many pages of actual story I get! I don’t count the listing on Amazon or B&N because those are total pages, not story pages. :)

I love Tommyknockers because King makes the town, as a whole, a character like he did in ‘Salem’s Lot and Needful Things. He is one of the few authors I feel can do that well and when he does I am destined to perpetually reread. What does that say about me? I don’t care!


message 14: by Squire (last edited Jun 07, 2016 09:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Ken wrote: "Kirsten, I've never understood the hate for Tommyknockers. I get it that it's long. I know that it could've been trimmed. But I still think it's a hell of a good story with visuals that will stay i..."

The perceived "hate" for the book is simply that is does not fare well against other King books. Let's face it, King has been competing against himself for the last 25 years--his books aren't compared to the books of other authors, they are compared to other King books. Since King has more than 50 books published, the fact that it falls in the bottom 15-25 books for fans shouldn't be all that surprising and isn't really "hate" for it.

For me, the problem with the Tommyknockers was simply that King wasn't able to give his characters any real warmth until about the halfway point. Up until then, Jim Gardner had been "Gardner" or "Gard" in dialog and Bobbi Anderson had been "Anderson"; thus it was difficult to relate to them.

But a 3-star rating is far from hating a book. I quite enjoyed reading it.


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments I seem to remember King admitting being high as a kite when he wrote The Tommyknockers.

It has been a while since I read it, but I remember enjoying it.


Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Ha! King's best stuff came while he was abusing substances. And though I would not wish substance abuse on anyone (having watched a family member go through it), I sure do miss the energy and intensity of his early works (which remain my favorites of his).


Kirstin | 220 comments At 36 pages in (view spoiler)


Kandice | 3977 comments Kirstin (view spoiler)


Kirstin | 220 comments Kandice wrote


It wasn't the (view spoiler)


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments Kristin and Kandice (do I have to be KMatthew to respond ;))

(view spoiler)


Kandice | 3977 comments OMG I am feeling very silly at the idea of this conversation!


Kirstin | 220 comments Omg! I'm dying over here! Lol

But I wasn't meaning a debate of one vs. the other just the idea that it had 'works'. Too funny!


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments Sorry if I made it weird . . .


Kandice | 3977 comments Kirstin wrote: "Omg! I'm dying over here! Lol

But I wasn't meaning a debate of one vs. the other just the idea that it had 'works'. Too funny!"


I didn't question that part at all! Shows how weird I am. ;)


Kandice | 3977 comments Matthew wrote: "Sorry if I made it weird . . ."

No, it was definitely us!


Kirstin | 220 comments Matthew wrote: "Sorry if I made it weird . . ."

Nope, all my fault, I'm afraid! ;)


Kirstin | 220 comments Kandice wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Sorry if I made it weird . . ."

No, it was definitely us!"


Lol!


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Haha this book read is going places! I just got there myself and I took it more as an attempt to casually describe the underwear, pad, and pants all at once, but you're definitely right, Kirstin, she does seem older than 37. I like it though. It seems to be a symptom of her reclusivity (and maybe some empathy for her rapidly aging dog making her older than her years, so to speak). I wouldn't be surprised if the events of the book push her out of her shell in a lot of respects.

Anyway, so far it's a little slow. But it's a comfortable slow for me. King's rambling about daily life stuff has a way of taking down your guards, so that the little bits of creepiness tend to sneak up on you.


Kirstin | 220 comments I'm feeling for her in her isolation(with Jim not around). And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog.

I'm not sure what to make of Jim yet. I wonder what Bobbi means when she says he's 'wiggy'?


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Not sure about Jim yet either. I actually just looked up what "bent" means in slang (it seems to be long out of season). As far as I can guess, he's either got an interest in men or a substance abuse problem. More likely the former, since "bent" when referring to intoxication seems to describe a single state of mind. "I was so bent last night."


Kirstin | 220 comments Haha! Although, he seems to be quite the ladies man. Hopefully we'll find out soon!


message 32: by Nick (last edited Jun 08, 2016 10:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3996 comments Kirstin wrote: "I'm feeling for her in her isolation(with Jim not around). And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog.

I'm not sure what to make of Jim yet. I wonder what B..."


When a character in a horror novel has a dog, I feel a lot of concern for the dog. Daniel, can't remember the quote about "bent", but in days gone by "get bent," meant "go to hell,' or "go f*** yourself."


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Nick wrote: "Kirstin wrote: "I'm feeling for her in her isolation(with Jim not around). And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog.

I'm not sure what to make of Jim yet...."


Yeah, the word takes place in a different context here. Something like "he was bent, she knew that, and weak too."


message 34: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3996 comments Daniel wrote: "Nick wrote: "Kirstin wrote: "I'm feeling for her in her isolation(with Jim not around). And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog.

I'm not sure what to mak..."


Whoops... sorry.


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments Kirstin wrote: "And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog."

Unless its Dean Koontz - then I fear for everyone but the dog!


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Nick wrote: "Daniel wrote: "Nick wrote: "Kirstin wrote: "I'm feeling for her in her isolation(with Jim not around). And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog.

I'm not s..."


No worries at all. It seems to be a word with a list of different meanings (some of them expired now).


Kirstin | 220 comments Matthew wrote: "Kirstin wrote: "And poor Pete. I always brace myself when a character in a horror novel has a dog."

Unless its Dean Koontz - then I fear for everyone but the dog!"


Ha! They did not fare well in the one I read(Intensity), but they were the bad guys dogs.


Kirstin | 220 comments I'm thinking 'bent' just means not quite right in the head. Like 'off-kilter'.


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments Yeah, he doesn't like bad dogs. But, if it's a golden retriever - forget about it!


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Kirstin wrote: "I'm thinking 'bent' just means not quite right in the head. Like 'off-kilter'."

That could definitely be too.


message 41: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3996 comments Kirstin wrote: "I'm thinking 'bent' just means not quite right in the head. Like 'off-kilter'."

Sounds right.


Kandice | 3977 comments Because we all know how gaga King goes over his own dogs, I wonder if his dog deathscenes are horrific to him personally which is part of why he writes them. The first one I remember was in ‘Salem’s Lot when the dog with the distinctive markings on his face met his untimely demise. I was young when I read it and was almost more bothered by the dog’s death than the people.


Matthew (funkygman007) | 199 comments Kandice wrote: "Because we all know how gaga King goes over his own dogs, I wonder if his dog deathscenes are horrific to him personally which is part of why he writes them. The first one I remember was in ‘Salem’..."

The dog poisoning in IT still sends tingles down my spine!


Kirstin | 220 comments One of the things I love about King is how many fears/phobias he can fit into his books. Not even 40 pages in he's already covered, isolation, family estrangement, losing a pet, nightmares, existential angst, loneliness, bleeding profusely...and probably others. Crazy!

I always picture him typing away with glee whenever he writes anything particularly awful. Lol


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Kirstin wrote: "One of the things I love about King is how many fears/phobias he can fit into his books. Not even 40 pages in he's already covered, isolation, family estrangement, losing a pet, nightmares, existen..."

That's a really great point. He's excellent at interweaving natural phobias/fears into his characters, without overdoing it to the point that those phobias and fears define them. It's one of the things that makes them feel so real.


Squire (srboone) | 11 comments I never worry about the dog in a King novel. I know that the character of the dog will come through nicely, even if it isn't fated to survive the novel.

I fear for the character of the dog in Koontz novel (based on the few that I've read).

Which is worse: to be a terrific character that gets killed or to be a bland character that survives?


Kirstin | 220 comments Well, Daniel we seem to be reading at the exact same pace. That makes commenting pretty easy. :) Page 60

Pete the beagle is playing a much bigger role than I thought he would. (view spoiler)

I'm ready for Bobbi to let someone(anyone) in on her secret so I can read more than 10 pages before falling asleep! Otherwise we'll be here til October!


Kandice | 3977 comments I have a theory about Pete. (view spoiler)


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments Kirstin wrote: "Well, Daniel we seem to be reading at the exact same pace. That makes commenting pretty easy. :) Page 60

Pete the beagle is playing a much bigger role than I thought he would. [spoilers removed]

..."


Yeah, we're right on pace so far. Pretty cool. :)

I'm also ready for Bobbi to clue someone in on her secret, so we can get a little more character interactions on the page. As for Pete, (view spoiler)


Daniel Barnett | 64 comments I flew back home from visiting my family today, so I had a nice chunk of time to read on the plane. I just hit page 142, and the gears seem to have connected to get the plot rolling at this point.

Jim's characterization is pretty great, and I enjoyed the faculty party scene even if it seemed to go on just shy of forever((view spoiler)).

Curious to see where things go from here.


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