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10 thoughts on “Insomnia

  1. Bill Harrington Bill Harrington says:

    If you find yourself with an afternoon to killread 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 deepest throes of this affliction, Ralph starts to see what he initially concludes are hallucinations, figments of the imagination of a sleep deprived mind Auras around people, animals, changing in shape and color to seemingly reflect that person s health, thoughts, mood and personality He suffers, largely in silence, until the day where, almost by accident, he discovers that he is not alone in what he is experiencing.It is here that King takes us into the world of the unseen To say might give away important plot pointssuffice it to say that the reader must suspend reality for a bit and let their imagination steer the ship Meanwhile, all is not well in the sleepy Maine city of Derry, where the entire story takes place A national pro choice advocate, Susan Day, is scheduled to speak in support of a local woman s shelter which is also suspected of providing abortion counseling and referrals In resoponse, a pro life group begins to stage protests in the vicinity of the shelter and throughout Derry One man, however, Edward Deepneau, plans to do much than protest.It falls to Ralph and his companion, to stop Ed at all costs, resulting in a battle that takes place both in this world, and the world of the auras.As is typical of King, the character development is second to none Ralph Roberts truly comes to life, and his world is painted with vivid colors This is true of all of the characters in the story Even an old stray dog, Rosalie, is described with such expert detail, that we feel every ache of her weary, arthritic old bones as she hobbles her way down the street looking for discarded scraps of food King takes his time in developing the storynothing is rushed This adds pages, to be sure, but the reader is treated to a much richer experience for it A definite win for King.


  2. Jeff Jeff says:

    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 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 vague mention of the actual Dark Tower here, dropping in ka and ka tet to make it part of Ralph and Lois s lexicon there, that King Crimson fella, and finally a couple of mentions of Roland at the end.Whew Thanks, Mr King Hey, wait a minute Did I just read a 663 page backstory for a character that King inserts into the final Dark Tower book Yes, Jeff Yes, you did.Thanks for the confirmation, random Goodreader and what are you doing here Don t you usually pop up in my funny book reviews I m with you always, Jeff I secretly follow you around everywhere shivers Doesn t this book have any merits beyond being a kitty squishing set up for volume seven, Jeff Well, before I alert the authorities my stalkerish, random friend, I ll address that point It s reminiscent of a lot King s lengthy tomes It gets off to a good start, spends too much time in Story Stretch town, Randomly chosen super powers burg and my favorite location the plot development cul de sac And, yet, it characteristically ends on a high note That epilogue almost brought man tears to my eyes.It gets two stars from me for that, the fact that I genuinely liked Ralph, the main character he was forspecial , and an extra star for me, Jeff, for spending the last two months whizzing heh through this book and finally finishing it.Go me.


  3. Johann (jobis89) Johann (jobis89) says:

    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 significant.I got a lot of thoughts about this book and you re gonna hear all about it I honestly don t think I ve ever felt so polarised reading a book before At times I wanted to tear my hair out and scream OMG JUST END ALREADY which I expressed countless times on Instagram and then at other points, I was legit fangirling over the Dark Tower connections and Derry references Oh, and I absolutely ADORED Ralph Roberts So I m quite literally torn when it comes to this book.The start is so strong, maybe it s the pharmacist in me or maybe it s because I m not a great sleeper myself, but I loved reading about Ralph s insomnia issues Then the middle to end just drags on and on and on and on Then it drags on a little But during these lulls where not much seems to happen, or the story moves at a snail s pace, King throws in a Tolkien reference or some kind of Dark Tower connection and all of a sudden I m LOVING the book again King, you sly dog Toying with my emotions like this Insomnia is an unusual book in that its main characters are elderly, and I don t often come across books like this But have no fear Ralph and Lois are awesome Ralph is one of those typical everyman characters that King loves to include in his works An ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances And I was totally on board with this elderly romance, it s the cutest The storyline itself it gets pretty bonkers at times If I didn t know better, I d have guessed King wrote this in a drugged up haze The storyline is crazy, and it does work at points, but overall it s definitely not my favourite My biggest gripe with this book was, of course, the length In no fucking world or level of the tower does Insomnia need to be the length it is No Freaking Way This book could easily be around 300 pages shorter However, I do have to commend the ending, I thought it was perfectly executed Absolutely brilliant The tie ins to the DT had me crying like a baby and reminded me why King is my fave author.For those who have yet to read Insomnia, I strongly recommend leaving it until after you ve read the Dark Tower series I m sure plenty of people have read Insomnia without reading the DT, and have perhaps still enjoyed it, but I think to really understand and appreciate this book, the DT knowledge is necessary.I ve been trying to think of a rating for this one for days CONFLICTED I think I have to go for 3 stars, it seems to be the most fair rating for a love hate experience, no


  4. Lyn Lyn says:

    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 all the time In this book, King describes how paranormal forces are alive and kicking and come out to play when our hero goes for weeks with poor sleep Fans of Stephen King will be accustomed to his fantastic forays into the extraordinary and this fits into that genre, and there were than passing references to his The Dark Tower series There were also nods to his novel It was well as a one liner that alluded to Pet Sematary.This is also an exploration about the abortion debate in our society and King cranks up the nasty in this showdown in Derry between the polar opposites.Even with King s signature brilliance in characterization and dialogue, this buckled under its own weight just too damn long I liked the kinship with the Dark Tower books and to the recurring world myth of his creation, but some hefty editing down would have made this enjoyable.


  5. Rachael Rachael says:

    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 with Ralph and Lois and Bill The sweet Natalie and her mother Helen The insane Ed and the 3 little bald headed doctors Clotho, Lacheses and the nasty Atropos.Walk side by side with these characters as they battle each other and themselves through hard, insane times and insomnia And always be aware of the Crimson King


  6. Edward Lorn Edward Lorn says:

    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 sad day Luckily, I have another one Same edition Same year All s good Oh, and a quick warning to owners of first edition Insomnias, the glue the printing press used back in 1994 is faulty This separation is a common problem with this edition of the book Keep your copy on a shelf Do not touch This has been a public service announcement brought to you in part by the letter E.Actual Review Insomnia is a difficult book to review without spoilers Hell, the publisher didn t even know what to do with the cover of this one so they just put King s name on the front along with the title in alternating red and white It s even a difficult novel to categorize I guess it s horror Maybe it s speculative fiction or perhaps lit fic or maybe bizarro Fuck if I know, dude I will say this much, it s a fun ride The only problem with this book is the requirement that you must have read the Dark Tower series to fully understand some of the plot I mean, you can get through it without such knowledge, but it s a bit confusing in places if you don t have said knowledge Roland Deschain is mentioned three times in this book I tried to look at these sections as an outsider, as someone who has not read the DT books even though I have numerous times , and I feel comfortable saying that the sections which mention Roland and the Tower would make zero sense to someone who is new to the King verse There is no context, nothing to draw off of In fact, there is a paragraph toward the end of the book that says Worlds which had trembled in their orbits now steadied, and in one of those worlds, in a desert that was the apotheosis of all deserts, a man named Roland turned over in his bedroll and slept easily once again beneath the alien constellations Imagine, if you will, that you ve never read a Dark Tower novel or, shit, maybe you haven t and you just happened to pick up Insomnia because your buddy said, Yo, kid, peep this thick ass book Looks legit good, right I mean, who the fuck doesn t love 800 pages cloaked in a sexy as fuck red and white jacket If you re that kid , that Roland fucker means absolutely nothing to you It seems pointless Sad panda But for me Son, I live for that shit I love the DT references, all of them I dig that shit in my heart of hearts I m the asshole in the coffee shop that won t shut up with the Yeah, but did you catch this bit comments I know, I know, I hate me too, but it s the truth As far as I am aware there is no other author who has created a vaster universe, one that crosses every genre line in the business King has written it all, and everything he writes puzzle pieces back together in some way Dig it, man Or, you know, don t dig it But I m still going to nerd out whenever I stumble across the Beam Yes, this book is a little longwinded in spots, but what King book isn t Dolores Claiborne Yes, it references the Dark Tower, but what King novel doesn t Mr Mercedes seriously, so far it s the only novel of his that doesn t reference Mid World in some way But it s also one of his most imaginative stories I kinda feel that Insomnia is an 800 page wink and nod to the King verse fans out there Shit, dudettes, even the shoe Gage loses in Pet Semetery is in this book, not to mention entire ass loads of It, Derry, and Pennywise references Does all this bog down the story No Are there going to be parts you don t understand if you haven t read Roland s quest or trip trapped through the story of The Loser s Club Yes Does any of this detract from the fun of this book Nope Not in the least There is a well plotted, expertly honed story under all the referencing and fan service This is King doing what King does best Entertaining the people who bought tickets to see him in concert I will be skipping my normal Hidden Gems and Obvious Tie Ins sections because I m saving them for my A Decade with King 1985 1994 post, which will be out April 1, 2015 There s a lot this time around, and I don t wanna type it twice But I will leave you with this food for thought Spoilers for several King books Click view spoiler at your own risk view spoiler Are the likes of Abra Stone and Dan Torrance and Johnny Smith on the same level of the tower that Ralph and Lois visit in Insomnia Does Danny help people die in Doctor Sleep by allowing their aura to pass into him I just got goosebumps You didn t need to know that, but that s how hard I fanboy hide spoiler


  7. Arah-Lynda Arah-Lynda says:

    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 too many pages later I set this down in favour of another book thinking I would finish it off quickly after a little break Well that was many books ago now and any inclination I had to do so has long since disappeared Sorry Mr King Perhaps this could be successfully marketed as a remedy for Insomnia.


  8. Jackie Jackie says:

    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.


  9. Paul O& Paul O& says:

    A reread on the journey to the Dark TowerI 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 receives three stars, and not four Not as strong as King s other books, but still worth a read


  10. Steve Steve says:

    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 Roberts witnesses a friend s confrontation and near fight on a road.Roberts adjustment comes with an unwanted companion, a bad case of insomnia Paralleling the insomnia is the growing controversy in Derry King s favorite town over a famous abortion rights advocate coming to speak at the local abortion clinic I dreaded this part, largely because of King s earlier political tirade in Tommyknockers a really bad novel that had me swearing off of King for years To my surprise, King handled this divisive issue very well The issue was part of the story, not a soapbox for the author to shout from and King can be very shrill But other novelistic breakdowns were coming About a third of the way in, a warning sign came when Roberts starts looking for a pair of binoculars in the hall closet Roberts has seen something sinister across the street, and wants a closer look King clearly wants to ratchet things up in a Rear Window kind of way, but the result is instead a two page passage of over description that stands as a prime of example of King s writerly sins in fairness, two pages is not that bad with King, I ve read much worse Soon to follow are the endless repetitions West Side Gardeners, Hey, hey, Susan Dey, a recurring Panama hat, etc that have always struck me as padding rather than tension building writing In addition, fantastical plot elements start to multiply, crowding the story with a grab bag of new meaning s Roberts starts seeing auras around people, little bald doctors not scary in the night, he can fire little blue balls from his finger tips, read people s thoughts, etc There s also a Dark Tower tie in that strikes me as manufactured than organic The King Mythos is not to be confused with Horror s greater Mythos There are a number of cool scenes in the book, but if you ve read King, you ve probably encountered similar scenes in earlier books He s cannibalizing himself here, again Oh, and things blow up in the end, but not without a super sappy closing that would make Spielberg blush.