I'm not sure whether it's the marketing I've been subjected to, or listening to King talk about writing, or because I read his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, but I have always respected King as a storyteller; the man can spin a yarn. There is an honesty to his writing earned by hard work and from experience - like the seasoned songwriter who understands his audience and eliminates the unnecessary for the compelling - that makes King easy to read. Even when King is long winded - like when a character's own mental narrative spirals out of control for pages and pages - at least he takes you somewhere. Bag of Bones takes you lots of places.
Bag of Bones is a love story, wrapped in a mystery, bundled in a ghost story. It is melancholy at times, shocking at others, and thoroughly wrapped in a wonderful gauze of eerie longing. Bestselling author Mike Noonan's love for his recently deceased wife, his intensely vivid memories of her, and his wakeful dream life, propels him into a rich narrative that extends deep in the town's unspoken history - a history of fraught race relations and a blanket of old time Yankee secretiveness. Noonan is a sweet, likable character and we feel bad that his world has fallen out from under him; we can't help but root and worry for him.
I love mysteries and I love ghost stories, and this is one of the most enjoyable, gripping books I have read in either genre. I have also listened to King read it on one of my long road trips. His wonderful "everyman" voice and delivery complements the first person narrative perfectly. Highly recommended.
The inside has lots of little words.
-Review by Tom