Listeners, I am delighted to bring you a cross-over episode for this month’s installment of the UNspoiled! Book Club. Andrew and Craig of Overdue (a podcast about the books that you’ve been meaning to read) join me to talk about Stephen King’s odd and surprising book Bag Of Bones, which we all agree is a book full of great and interesting ideas, but which suffers from a lack of serious structural edits and a twist whose full potential feels unexplored.
Bag Of Bones is the kind of book which, once finished with it, a reader might look back on the early chapters and wonder how they could possibly have been part of the same story. It seems in some ways that Stephen King was working out some of his own frustrations and petty hangups in the first half, and while I was engaged by that part of the story at the time, it just feels so completely disconnected from what happens later as to be downright confusing.
However, what happens later is a compelling and mysterious ghost story that turns out to be entwined with the structure of the town as a whole, and Mike Noonan (our protagonist) is an outsider with no clue what kind of hornet’s nest he’s just stepped into. His wife knew, though, and although she’s died quite suddenly by the start of the book, she’s left lots of clues behind for her husband to piece together. She tries to help him piece it together from beyond the grave, such is her determination, but there’s someone else in the house that doesn’t want her interfering…and it looks like they might win.
This is a book that requires a lot of patience, in many ways like IT, and I would fully understand that people might not be able to get into it. But it’s sure to start an interesting conversation if you do.
Thanks for listening, and I will see you next month with The Haunting Of Hill House, which you can buy via my link if you’d like to read along!
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