Ralph's insomnia gets worse when Ed Deepneau gets out of control. Ed is obsessed with the notion that Derry is becoming the new Armageddon and that time is ticking away for the residents. An evil of unimaginable proportions has began and Ralph has the one chance to beat it.
Forget the lean, mean King of Misery, Gerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne. This is the other King-the Grand Vizier of Verbosity who gave us It, The Tommyknockers and Needful Things. There's much of everything in these 800 pages, including the worthy. Stephen King
Notable is a rare septuagenarian hero, recently widowed Ralph Roberts, whose broodings on old age immerse readers into the aging psyche almost as clearly as other King heroes have revealed the minds of children. Then there's the slam-bang final 300 pages, in themselves a novel's worth of excitement as Ralph battles demonic entities to prevent a holocaust in his small town of Derry, Maine (site of It).
The problem is that the finale is preceded by more than a novel's worth of casual, even tedious buildup: Ralph's growing insomnia; his new ability to see auras around all living things; his dismay as Derry's citizens divide violently over the impending visit of a radical pro-lifer; his slow realization that celestial forces have marked Derry as a battleground between good and evil.
King remains popular fiction's most reliable mirror of cultural trends, in particular our continuing love affair with horror (Barker and Koontz are palpable influences here). If this novel were liposuctioned, it would rank among King's best; as is, it's another roly-poly volume from a skilled writer who presumes his readers' appetite for words is more gourmand than gourmet. 1,500,000 first printing; $1 million ad/promo; paperback rights to Signet; simultaneous audio release from Penguin Highbridge; BOMC selection.
***** Don't read the Amazon review!
There are many people for whom the book "Insomnia" will serve as a cure for the titular condition. It's an 800 page book that takes about 150 pages to start making sense -- the first quarter of the book is all strange goings-on with no exposition. Our hero, an old man with a dying wife, begins loosing sleep and (he thinks) hallucinating... Read more »
***** Second time around was much better
This has to be one of King's most misunderstood and underappreciated works. When I first read this in 1994, I was in my early twenties and didn't really connect with the older characters of this book. Now in my thirties, and not being as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I recently dusted off my hardcover and re-read this. In my opinion this has to rank among the best King has done... Read more »