From international bestseller Stephen King, a tale of grief, of love’s enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the past—the inspiration for the A&E miniseries.
Stephen King’s most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love’s enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.
Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.
Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans’ isolated summer home.
He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath—held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother.
As Mike is drawn into their struggle as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
As vivid and enthralling as King’s most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls “the witty and obsessive voice of King’s powerful imagination.” It’s no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones—described by Gloria Naylor as “a love story about the dark places within us all”—he proves to be one of our most moving.
Carrying galley copy that avoids the h(orror) word while touting its "O. Henry Award-winning author," King's latest novel features a marketing campaign in accord with the distinguished pedigree of his new publisher. But has King written a book that ranks him as a literary heavyweight? Indeed he has, though not by forsaking his roots: the novel is a classic ghost story. It opens quietly as narrator Mike Noonan, 40, bestselling author of romantic suspense potboilers (and latest in a line of King novelist-heroes, cf. Misery and The Dark Half) describes the death of his wife four years back and his consequent grief and writer's block. Mike has kept the block hidden from the publishing world--limned in delicious detail, with real names--by annually pulling one of his own, unpublished mss. from a safe-deposit box. Now that he's out of old novels to submit, he resolves to work through his troubles at Sara Laughs, his country house in backwoods Maine. Arriving there, Mike nearly drives over a three-year-old girl. She is Kyra, granddaughter--by way of beautiful young widow Mattie--of mad computer mogul Max Devore, who is hellbent on snatching the girl from her mother. Taking up Kyra's cause, falling in love with Mattie, Mike gears up for a custody battle. Invigorated, he breaks through his writer's block; but great danger, psychological and physical, awaits, from Max Devore but especially from the spirits, mostly malevolent, that haunt Sara Laughs due to hideous crimes committed by Devore's ancestor a century earlier. Violence, natural and supernatural, ensues as past and present mix, culminating in a torrent of climaxes that bind and illuminate the novel's many mysteries. From his mint-fresh etching of spooky rural Maine to his masterful pacing and deft handling of numerous themes, particularly of the fragility of our constructs about reality and of love's ability to mend rifts in those constructs, this is one of King's most accomplished novels. It is his most personal as well, revealing through Mike's broodings the intimacies of the creative writing process: a passionate gift from a veteran author to all who care about the art and craft of storytelling. 1.26 million first printing; BOMC main selection FYI: Bag of Bones is the only hardcover Scribner will publish in September.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I had read this book when it was first published in the late 90s. Now that I have an iPad I decided to make this my first book on it. I must say I forgot how great this book is! At some points I got chills while reading it. And reading it home alone was also a lot more intense. SK writes thrillers so well! Thanks for such a good one.
Having wandered away from Mr. King for about a decade I believe I'm now largely caught up. I was hesitant to read Bag of Bones fearing it would not have aged well. My fears were completely unfounded. Bag is peak King...enthralling, grotesque and down right bone-chilling.
I once again feel I could run into one of Kings's characters, those that remain on this side of the divide, in the mall or at church. Hello Mike Noonan...say hi to Kyra for me.
Bag of Bones
This was the first book I ever read by Stephen King. I was only 15 years old and that began my love for Mr King’s writing that persists to this day 21 years later