Title: Bag of Bones
Author: Stephen King
1998 – Fiction – Horror
The Story: After his wife’s death, author Mike Noonan begins to suffer severe writer’s block. So he sets out for the lake house he and his wife loved so much, Sara Laughs, hoping to find inspiration and refreshment in the small town he remembers so fondly. Instead, he finds that his wife had big secrets. And the town he loved so dearly is now in the grip of eccentric and dangerous millionaire Max Devore. After stepping in on behalf of Max’s daughter-in-law Mattie and her daughter Kyra against Max, Mike finds himself caught up in a supernatural battle that has raged throughout the history of the town.
The Opening Line: On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription – this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe.
What I Loved: This chunkster demanded a huge portion of my time and attention. I happily gave it. I think the greatest thing about this book was how well King was able to build tension and suspense – even when absolutely nothing terrifying had happened yet. It was the delicious anticipation of how King was going my scare my socks off that I loved the most. And then when King actually began to weave the story together and things began to happen, that’s when I had to stop reading before bed or when I was home alone.
What I Didn’t Love: I read this back in early December, so I can’t exactly remember anything I particularly didn’t love about it. Maybe some of the things that happened during the ending that I can’t talk about? Oh, and the way he repeated the phrase “bag of bones” throughout. Yep, I get that it’s the title, but it was annoying.
Final Thoughts: So I was trying to compare Bag of Bones to ‘Salem’s Lot, but it’s hard. The vampires of the Lot are super terrifying in kind of a known way. But the thing is, you know how to fight them – during the day, with stakes and holy water and faith. The supernatural events of Bag of Bones were less tangible, but equally scary. Once again, King amazed and petrified me, leaving me to wonder if I should read another of King’s books or seek out less terrifying fare. Thoughts?