Review.Bag of Bones, Stephen King, or "Rosebud."

This here review comes both with and without spoilers.

Non-spoileriffic: King is the master of page-turners. Even the most mundane events make you flip...flip...flip...until it's much too late to think of doing anything other than flip...flip...flip. Not one of his best books. Read It or The Shining or The Stand if you want that kind of heightened mythicalness. This is a story about unique events told in a fascinatingly mundane way.

Oxymoron. That's the word you're looking for, as in "But isn't 'fascinatingly mundane' an oxymoron?"


This is The Shining all over again, or Misery, or The Dark Half or (the main characters from the Dark Half are even mentioned as is the sherrif from Needful Things). Yessir, this is one of those Steven King books about a writer who can't write; doesn't want to write; has other, natural problems; and is plagued by some kind of nasty from the Other Side. Predictable? No. And just because this is the spoiler version, don't think I'm going to blow the ending.

I was left (unintentionally?) with the impression that Stephen King, the writer, should either quit writing or just get out of the damn business (continue to write novels, lock them in a safe-deposit box, and leave them to his offspring).

Dear Stephen King,

Jesus, guy, if you're done, you're done. Nobody but the psychos needs you to write for them. You can quit already. You can write literary novels. You can write poetry, you can crochet. And if you're just letting off steam again, well, that's good, too. I don't like putting people through hell. Not even a writer.

But as far as this book goes, it was the seven-eighths of the book written as a straight novel that I liked. The supernatural elements did nothing for me. The story could have ended with purely the "natural" elements, and I would have been more than satisfied. The characters were better-drawn than the epinonymous quote suggests. I cared. I even chortled over the sled, all right? I liked the details, and I liked the way you brought attention to the fact that it was a writerly trick to put them in.

Do what you want to do already.


P.S. And yeah, it did remind me of The Tempest. A little.