Bag of Bones is a Stephen King book that won the author a number of awards. The novel was published in 1988 and it was awarded the 1999 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel as well as the 1998 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.
Bag of Bones is another Stephen book that takes a look inside the life and mind of an author. On this occasion, the writer is a bestselling author named Mike Noonan who, following the death of his wife, suffers writer’s block and can’t bear to look at the empty pages staring back at him from the screen of his computer.
Still grieving four years after the death of his wife, Noonan decides to go and live in his summer home where he hopes to recuperate and be able to confront some of his fears. The house is called Sara Laughs and it is situated near a tiny town in Maine that is known only by its map coordinates, TR-90.
On his first day back in town, Noonan meets a woman named Mattie Devore and her young daughter called Kyra. It’s not too long before Noonan begins to fall in love with the woman and her daughter and he becomes embroiled in Mattie’s battle with her millionaire father in law, Max Devore, over the custody of her daughter.
Noonan also becomes determined to solve the mystery of the ghost of Sara Tidwell that is said to haunt the house that he has made his home. He becomes aware that the ghost of his beloved wife is also with him, trying to help him solve the mystery.
In Bag of Bones, Stephen King brings love, murder and ghosts all together in a situation that has the everyday meeting the paranormal. The brilliantly interwoven plot lines that seem to be completely unconnected are eventually seen to be heading toward one another for a terrifying conclusion.
The novelist Gloria Naylor described Bag of Bones as “a love story about the dark places within us all”, while the writer Amy Tan sail that the book was brimming over with “the witty and obsessive voice of King’s powerful imagination”.
You might be familiar with the story from the TV miniseries adaptation of the same name that starred Pierce Brosnan, but don’t let that put you off reading the book! Although the basic plot of the movie is the same as the book, there are some important differences, including how the story ends, not to mention the in-depth characterisations.
As usual, the screen adaptation of the novel just didn’t live up to the original work, even with an actor of Pierce Brosnan’s skill to prop it up. If you have only ever watched the movie versions of Stephen King’s work, you really need to read one of books to discover why he is so popular.
Stephen King fans will love Bag of Bones. It’s the author writing at his best. The novel also has just the right combination of suspense, intrigue and horror to tempt the new reader into becoming a constant reader.