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Insomnia

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Sekitar sebulan setelah kematian istrinya, Ralph Roberts menderita insomnia untuk pertama kalinya. Tak ada obat atau cara apa pun untuk menyembuhkannya. Dan Ralph merasa makin kacau ketika ia mulai melihat warna-warni dari benda-benda serta orang-orang di sekitarnya. Bukan itu saja. Suasana Derry yang biasanya tenang, bahkan nyaris membosankan, mendadak berubah. Seakan ada Sekitar sebulan setelah kematian istrinya, Ralph Roberts menderita insomnia untuk pertama kalinya. Tak ada obat atau cara apa pun untuk menyembuhkannya. Dan Ralph merasa makin kacau ketika ia mulai melihat warna-warni dari benda-benda serta orang-orang di sekitarnya. Bukan itu saja. Suasana Derry yang biasanya tenang, bahkan nyaris membosankan, mendadak berubah. Seakan ada sesuatu yang menggelegak dan menunggu pecah. Ada kekuatan tersembunyi yang sedang bekerja, yang akhirnya menyeret Ralph ke dalam pusaran pertarungan makhluk-makhluk supranatural.


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Sekitar sebulan setelah kematian istrinya, Ralph Roberts menderita insomnia untuk pertama kalinya. Tak ada obat atau cara apa pun untuk menyembuhkannya. Dan Ralph merasa makin kacau ketika ia mulai melihat warna-warni dari benda-benda serta orang-orang di sekitarnya. Bukan itu saja. Suasana Derry yang biasanya tenang, bahkan nyaris membosankan, mendadak berubah. Seakan ada Sekitar sebulan setelah kematian istrinya, Ralph Roberts menderita insomnia untuk pertama kalinya. Tak ada obat atau cara apa pun untuk menyembuhkannya. Dan Ralph merasa makin kacau ketika ia mulai melihat warna-warni dari benda-benda serta orang-orang di sekitarnya. Bukan itu saja. Suasana Derry yang biasanya tenang, bahkan nyaris membosankan, mendadak berubah. Seakan ada sesuatu yang menggelegak dan menunggu pecah. Ada kekuatan tersembunyi yang sedang bekerja, yang akhirnya menyeret Ralph ke dalam pusaran pertarungan makhluk-makhluk supranatural.

30 review for Insomnia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Harrington

    If you find yourself with an afternoon to kill...read a magazine. If, however, you need to occupy yourself on a voyage to Mars, pick up "Insomnia." It's long. It is, however, quite good. "Insomnia" begins as Ralph Roberts, a pleasant, not-too-cantankerous gentleman in his 70s, watches his beloved wife taken from him by cancer. Shortly after her death, he begins to experience "early waking" insomnia. Each night, it seems, he wakes earlier than the one before. Soon, he is awake all night. In the deep If you find yourself with an afternoon to kill...read a magazine. If, however, you need to occupy yourself on a voyage to Mars, pick up "Insomnia." It's long. It is, however, quite good. "Insomnia" begins as Ralph Roberts, a pleasant, not-too-cantankerous gentleman in his 70s, watches his beloved wife taken from him by cancer. Shortly after her death, he begins to experience "early waking" insomnia. Each night, it seems, he wakes earlier than the one before. Soon, he is awake all night. In the deepest throes of this affliction, Ralph starts to see what he initially concludes are hallucinations, figments of the imagination of a sleep-deprived mind. Auras around people, animals, changing in shape and color to seemingly reflect that person's health, thoughts, mood and personality. He suffers, largely in silence, until the day where, almost by accident, he discovers that he is not alone in what he is experiencing. It is here that King takes us into the world of the unseen. To say more might give away important plot points...suffice it to say that the reader must suspend reality for a bit and let their imagination steer the ship. Meanwhile, all is not well in the sleepy Maine city of Derry, where the entire story takes place. A national pro-choice advocate, Susan Day, is scheduled to speak in support of a local woman's shelter which is also suspected of providing abortion counseling and referrals. In resoponse, a pro-life group begins to stage protests in the vicinity of the shelter and throughout Derry. One man, however, Edward Deepneau, plans to do much more than protest. It falls to Ralph and his companion, to stop Ed at all costs, resulting in a battle that takes place both in this world, and the world of the auras. As is typical of King, the character development is second to none. Ralph Roberts truly comes to life, and his world is painted with vivid colors. This is true of all of the characters in the story. Even an old stray dog, Rosalie, is described with such expert detail, that we feel every ache of her weary, arthritic old bones as she hobbles her way down the street looking for discarded scraps of food. King takes his time in developing the story...nothing is rushed. This adds pages, to be sure, but the reader is treated to a much richer experience for it. A definite win for King.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This was an official Pantless group side-read with those splendid cullys (a big shout-out to our newest member, baby Ryder!!!) of the Dark Tower Buddy read group… …and that was pretty much the only thing that got me through this labored read. This was a DNF the first time I tried to read it and it was almost a DNF the second time. Yes, I made more progress this time before I almost threw in the towel, but the anticipation of a tie-in to the Dark Tower series kept me going. And going. And going. A va This was an official Pantless group side-read with those splendid cullys (a big shout-out to our newest member, baby Ryder!!!) of the Dark Tower Buddy read group… …and that was pretty much the only thing that got me through this labored read. This was a DNF the first time I tried to read it and it was almost a DNF the second time. Yes, I made more progress this time before I almost threw in the towel, but the anticipation of a tie-in to the Dark Tower series kept me going. And going. And going. A vague mention of the actual Dark Tower here, dropping in “ka” and “ka-tet” to make it part of Ralph and Lois’s lexicon there, that King Crimson fella, and finally a couple of mentions of Roland at the end. Whew! Thanks, Mr. King! Hey, wait a minute!! Did I just read a 663 page backstory for a character that King inserts into the final Dark Tower book? Yes, Jeff. Yes, you did. Thanks for the confirmation, random Goodreader and what are you doing here? Don’t you usually pop-up in my funny book reviews? I’m with you always, Jeff. I secretly follow you around everywhere. *shivers* Doesn’t this book have any merits beyond being a kitty squishing set-up for volume seven, Jeff? Well, before I alert the authorities my stalkerish, random friend, I’ll address that point. It’s reminiscent of a lot King’s lengthy tomes. It gets off to a good start, spends too much time in Story-Stretch-town, Randomly-chosen-super-powers-burg and my favorite location – the plot-development cul-de-sac. And, yet, it characteristically ends on a high note. That epilogue almost brought man-tears to my eyes. It gets two stars from me for that, the fact that I genuinely liked Ralph, the main character (he was forspecial), and an extra star for me, Jeff, for spending the last two months whizzing (heh) through this book and finally finishing it. Go me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    “It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in a while exhilarating.” Following the death of his wife, Ralph Roberts has trouble sleeping. He finds himself waking up earlier and earlier each night. During his late night vigils, he observes weird goings on in his hometown of Derry, Maine. Pretty quickly he realises that the strange things he is seeing are not the result of sleep-deprived hallucinations, but something much more significant. I got a l “It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in a while exhilarating.” Following the death of his wife, Ralph Roberts has trouble sleeping. He finds himself waking up earlier and earlier each night. During his late night vigils, he observes weird goings on in his hometown of Derry, Maine. Pretty quickly he realises that the strange things he is seeing are not the result of sleep-deprived hallucinations, but something much more significant. I got a lot of thoughts about this book… and you’re gonna hear all about it! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt so polarised reading a book before. At times I wanted to tear my hair out and scream “OMG JUST END ALREADY” – which I expressed countless times on Instagram – and then at other points, I was legit fangirling over the Dark Tower connections and Derry references. Oh, and I absolutely ADORED Ralph Roberts. So I’m quite literally torn when it comes to this book. The start is so strong, maybe it’s the pharmacist in me or maybe it’s because I’m not a great sleeper myself, but I loved reading about Ralph’s insomnia issues. Then the middle to end just drags on and on and on…and on. Then it drags on a little more. But during these lulls where not much seems to happen, or the story moves at a snail’s pace, King throws in a Tolkien reference or some kind of Dark Tower connection and all of a sudden I’m LOVING the book again. King, you sly dog. Toying with my emotions like this! Insomnia is an unusual book in that its main characters are elderly, and I don’t often come across books like this. But have no fear! Ralph and Lois are awesome. Ralph is one of those typical “everyman” characters that King loves to include in his works. An ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. And I was totally on board with this elderly romance, it’s the cutest!! The storyline itself… it gets pretty bonkers at times. If I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed King wrote this in a drugged up haze. The storyline is crazy, and it does work at points, but overall it’s definitely not my favourite. My biggest gripe with this book was, of course, the length. In no fucking world – or level of the tower – does Insomnia need to be the length it is. No. Freaking. Way. This book could easily be around 300 pages shorter. However, I do have to commend the ending, I thought it was perfectly executed. Absolutely brilliant. The tie-ins to the DT had me crying like a baby and reminded me why King is my fave author. For those who have yet to read Insomnia, I strongly recommend leaving it until after you’ve read the Dark Tower series. I’m sure plenty of people have read Insomnia without reading the DT, and have perhaps still enjoyed it, but I think to really understand and appreciate this book, the DT knowledge is necessary. I’ve been trying to think of a rating for this one for days… CONFLICTED. I think I have to go for 3 stars, it seems to be the most fair rating for a love/hate experience, no??

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Weird book. Remind me to never visit Derry Maine. This setting of a number of Stephen King’s novels is again center stage in this 1994 book about not sleeping and going crazy because of it. I was drawn to this title as I have struggled off and on with insomnia most of my life. I wonder how many readers have stayed up all night reading, I know I have. I remember a haze of years when I averaged about 4-5 hours a sleep a night and recall visual hallucinations and waking dreams and just being tired al Weird book. Remind me to never visit Derry Maine. This setting of a number of Stephen King’s novels is again center stage in this 1994 book about not sleeping and going crazy because of it. I was drawn to this title as I have struggled off and on with insomnia most of my life. I wonder how many readers have stayed up all night reading, I know I have. I remember a haze of years when I averaged about 4-5 hours a sleep a night and recall visual hallucinations and waking dreams and just being tired all the time. In this book, King describes how paranormal forces are alive and kicking and come out to play when our hero goes for weeks with poor sleep. Fans of Stephen King will be accustomed to his fantastic forays into the extraordinary and this fits into that genre, and there were more than passing references to his The Dark Tower series. (There were also nods to his novel It was well as a one liner that alluded to Pet Sematary). This is also an exploration about the abortion debate in our society and King cranks up the nasty in this showdown in Derry between the polar opposites. Even with King’s signature brilliance in characterization and dialogue, this buckled under its own weight – just too damn long. I liked the kinship with the Dark Tower books and to the recurring world myth of his creation, but some hefty editing down would have made this more enjoyable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    This book is not for everyone. For one its over 700 pages long. Another reason is that it deals with what some people say is uncomfortable topics:abortion, mental illness, domestic abuse and the afterlife and possible alternate worlds. Another reason why this book is unique and different from other books is that the hero is a regular joe who happens to be in his 70's! I loved this book. It took my mind to a place where few books can take me. I was not here reading the book-I was in Derry, Maine w This book is not for everyone. For one its over 700 pages long. Another reason is that it deals with what some people say is uncomfortable topics:abortion, mental illness, domestic abuse and the afterlife and possible alternate worlds. Another reason why this book is unique and different from other books is that the hero is a regular joe who happens to be in his 70's! I loved this book. It took my mind to a place where few books can take me. I was not here reading the book-I was in Derry, Maine with Ralph and Lois and Bill. The sweet Natalie and her mother Helen. The insane Ed and the 3 little bald headed doctors: Clotho, Lacheses and the nasty Atropos. Walk side by side with these characters as they battle each other and themselves through hard, insane times and insomnia. And always be aware of the Crimson King!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Prefatory Matters: I lost a twenty-year-old book during this reread. Most of you have the seen the picture of my gutted hardcover copy of Insomnia. If you haven’t I’ll include it at the end of this post as well. Total loss of containment, folks. About thirty pages loosed themselves from the glue and became individual souls. I have a 284 page section, and another section of about 400 pages, and a little bit in the middle that just said “Fuck it” and struck out for the territories. All in all, a s Prefatory Matters: I lost a twenty-year-old book during this reread. Most of you have the seen the picture of my gutted hardcover copy of Insomnia. If you haven’t I’ll include it at the end of this post as well. Total loss of containment, folks. About thirty pages loosed themselves from the glue and became individual souls. I have a 284 page section, and another section of about 400 pages, and a little bit in the middle that just said “Fuck it” and struck out for the territories. All in all, a sad day. Luckily, I have another one. Same edition. Same year. All’s good. Oh, and a quick warning to owners of first edition Insomnias, the glue the printing press used back in 1994 is faulty. This separation is a common problem with this edition of the book. Keep your copy on a shelf. Do not touch. This has been a public service announcement brought to you in part by the letter E. Actual Review: Insomnia is a difficult book to review without spoilers. Hell, the publisher didn’t even know what to do with the cover of this one so they just put King’s name on the front along with the title in alternating red and white. It’s even a difficult novel to categorize. I guess it’s horror. Maybe it’s speculative fiction… or perhaps lit fic… or maybe bizarro… Fuck if I know, dude. I will say this much, it’s a fun ride. The only problem with this book is the requirement that you must have read the Dark Tower series to fully understand some of the plot. I mean, you can get through it without such knowledge, but it’s a bit confusing in places if you don’t have said knowledge. Roland Deschain is mentioned three times in this book. I tried to look at these sections as an outsider, as someone who has not read the DT books even though I have (numerous times), and I feel comfortable saying that the sections which mention Roland and the Tower would make zero sense to someone who is new to the King-verse. There is no context, nothing to draw off of. In fact, there is a paragraph toward the end of the book that says: “Worlds which had trembled in their orbits now steadied, and in one of those worlds, in a desert that was the apotheosis of all deserts, a man named Roland turned over in his bedroll and slept easily once again beneath the alien constellations.” Imagine, if you will, that you’ve never read a Dark Tower novel (or, shit, maybe you haven’t) and you just happened to pick up Insomnia because your buddy said, “Yo, kid, peep this thick-ass book. Looks legit good, right? I mean, who the fuck doesn’t love 800 pages cloaked in a sexy-as-fuck red and white jacket!?!?!?!?” If you’re that “kid”, that Roland fucker means absolutely nothing to you. It seems pointless. Sad panda. But for me? Son, I live for that shit. I love the DT references, all of them. I dig that shit in my heart of hearts. I’m the asshole in the coffee shop that won’t shut up with the “Yeah, but did you catch this bit?” comments. I know, I know, I hate me too, but it’s the truth. As far as I am aware there is no other author who has created a vaster universe, one that crosses every genre line in the business. King has written it all, and everything he writes puzzle-pieces back together in some way. Dig it, man. Or, you know, don’t dig it. But I’m still going to nerd out whenever I stumble across the Beam. Yes, this book is a little longwinded in spots, but what King book isn’t? (Dolores Claiborne) Yes, it references the Dark Tower, but what King novel doesn’t? (Mr. Mercedes … seriously, so far it’s the only novel of his that doesn’t reference Mid-World in some way.) But it’s also one of his most imaginative stories. I kinda feel that Insomnia is an 800-page wink-and-nod to the King-verse fans out there. Shit, dudettes, even the shoe Gage loses in Pet Semetery is in this book, not to mention entire ass-loads of It, Derry, and Pennywise references. Does all this bog down the story? No. Are there going to be parts you don’t understand if you haven’t read Roland’s quest or trip-trapped through the story of The Loser’s Club? Yes. Does any of this detract from the fun of this book? Nope. Not in the least. There is a well-plotted, expertly-honed story under all the referencing and fan service. This is King doing what King does best. Entertaining the people who bought tickets to see him in concert. I will be skipping my normal Hidden Gems and Obvious Tie-Ins sections because I’m saving them for my A Decade with King: 1985-1994 post, which will be out April 1, 2015. There’s a lot this time around, and I don’t wanna type it twice. But I will leave you with this food for thought: Spoilers for several King books. Click “view spoiler” at your own risk: (view spoiler)[Are the likes of Abra Stone and Dan Torrance and Johnny Smith on the same level of the tower that Ralph and Lois visit in Insomnia? Does Danny help people die in Doctor Sleep by allowing their aura to pass into him? (I just got goosebumps. You didn’t need to know that, but that’s how hard I fanboy.) (hide spoiler)] In summation: A King novel for King fans. I don’t suggest anyone start with Insomnia, but I recommend it to all fans of the Dark Tower series and It. A mashup of everything fans love and hate about King rolled up in a Derry burrito and seasoned with Mid-World. Final Judgment: Worth losing sleep over.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    It's crazy I know. I mean I am over three quarters of the way through this book but if I am being honest, the chances of my ever going back to finish it are just about nil. Why you may ask and I guess the answer would be that I was never truly invested in the story or it's characters. In fairness it started out reasonably well and I did enjoy the camaraderie between Ralph and Lois but once the little bald doctors started making their appearance my interest level began to diminish quickly. So way t It's crazy I know. I mean I am over three quarters of the way through this book but if I am being honest, the chances of my ever going back to finish it are just about nil. Why you may ask and I guess the answer would be that I was never truly invested in the story or it's characters. In fairness it started out reasonably well and I did enjoy the camaraderie between Ralph and Lois but once the little bald doctors started making their appearance my interest level began to diminish quickly. So way too many pages later I set this down in favour of another book thinking I would finish it off quickly after a little break. Well that was many books ago now and any inclination I had to do so has long since disappeared. Sorry Mr. King. Perhaps this could be successfully marketed as a remedy for Insomnia.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I HATED it. Extremely long-winded and convoluted. Horrible, absolutely horrible. Probably his most pointless story ever. This is when I knew Stephen King had lost his awesome writing powers and I can't really bring myself to read him again. Bad enough I had to suffer through Black House, and then this. He really should have quit while he ahead and still an icon in the writing world. As for me, I'd rather slit my own wrists than suffer through another one of his awful novels ever again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul O'Neill

    A reread on the journey to the Dark Tower... I read this a few years back and gave it a one star rating, I feel I may have been a bit harsh. This book has a lot going for it and is quite important in the Stephen King universe. The characters are great, it's nice to see older characters for a change and Ralph is awesome. A unique concept with sprinklings of the Dark Tower throughout. It was a bit lengthy though and there are huge parts of this book where it drags along, which is ultimately why it A reread on the journey to the Dark Tower... I read this a few years back and gave it a one star rating, I feel I may have been a bit harsh. This book has a lot going for it and is quite important in the Stephen King universe. The characters are great, it's nice to see older characters for a change and Ralph is awesome. A unique concept with sprinklings of the Dark Tower throughout. It was a bit lengthy though and there are huge parts of this book where it drags along, which is ultimately why it receives three stars, and not four. Not as strong as King's other books, but still worth a read

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I saw somewhere that Insomnia is considered by some to be one of King's "problem" books. I'm not sure what's meant by that tag, though for me the "problem" eventually would become that I didn't think of the book as a horror novel. It started out strongly, with a likable 70 year old everyman, Ralph Roberts, adjusting to life without his beloved wife. King's focus on aging and loneliness is as good as anything I've read by him. And deftly slipped in, a hint of the supernatural and coming doom, as I saw somewhere that Insomnia is considered by some to be one of King's "problem" books. I'm not sure what's meant by that tag, though for me the "problem" eventually would become that I didn't think of the book as a horror novel. It started out strongly, with a likable 70 year old everyman, Ralph Roberts, adjusting to life without his beloved wife. King's focus on aging and loneliness is as good as anything I've read by him. And deftly slipped in, a hint of the supernatural and coming doom, as Roberts witnesses a friend's confrontation and near fight on a road. Roberts' adjustment comes with an unwanted companion, a bad case of insomnia. Paralleling the insomnia is the growing controversy in Derry (King's favorite town) over a famous abortion rights advocate coming to speak at the local abortion clinic. I dreaded this part, largely because of King's earlier political tirade in Tommyknockers (a really bad novel that had me swearing off of King for years). To my surprise, King handled this divisive issue very well. The issue was part of the story, not a soapbox for the author to shout from (and King can be very shrill). But other novelistic breakdowns were coming. About a third of the way in, a warning sign came when Roberts starts looking for a pair of binoculars in the hall closet. Roberts has seen something sinister across the street, and wants a closer look. King clearly wants to ratchet things up in a Rear Window kind of way, but the result is instead a two page passage of over description that stands as a prime of example of King's writerly sins (in fairness, two pages is not that bad with King, I've read much worse). Soon to follow are the endless repetitions ("West Side Gardeners," "Hey, hey, Susan Dey," a recurring Panama hat, etc.) that have always struck me as padding rather than tension building writing. In addition, fantastical plot elements start to multiply, crowding the story with a grab bag of new meaning(s). Roberts starts seeing auras around people, little bald doctors (not scary) in the night, he can fire little blue balls from his finger tips, read people's thoughts, etc. There's also a Dark Tower tie in that strikes me as more manufactured than organic. (The King "Mythos" is not to be confused with Horror's greater Mythos.) There are a number of cool scenes in the book, but if you've read King, you've probably encountered similar scenes in earlier books. He's cannibalizing himself here, again. Oh, and things blow up in the end, but not without a super sappy closing that would make Spielberg blush.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cody | codysbookshelf

    Writing this review is going to break my heart, so I'm going to get it over with as quickly as possible. Deal? Okay. The most interesting thing about rereading Stephen King's works in chronological order is seeing how my opinions of them change in comparison to how I felt years ago. Experiencing his releases one after the other in publication order puts them in a new light, and that new light can often shine previously unnoticed brilliance or bring dark shadows to my attention. Insomnia is a nove Writing this review is going to break my heart, so I'm going to get it over with as quickly as possible. Deal? Okay. The most interesting thing about rereading Stephen King's works in chronological order is seeing how my opinions of them change in comparison to how I felt years ago. Experiencing his releases one after the other in publication order puts them in a new light, and that new light can often shine previously unnoticed brilliance or bring dark shadows to my attention. Insomnia is a novel I used to number among my favorites; after this reread, I cannot, in good conscience, give it a higher rating than two stars. It's just such a deeply silly work. Yeah, the concept itself is one of King's coolest — Ralph Roberts, elderly Derry resident, begins to see strange auras and Little Bald Doctors after developing insomnia in the months following his wife's death — but I feel it's really bungled. Reading this man's novels in order has opened my eyes to this fact: post-drugs King rambles. A LOT. Entire chapters of this novel could have easily been cut; this thing is filled to the brim with exposition. And yeah, of course I want King to explain this strange concept he's come up with, but he holds the reader's hand. Nothing is left to the imagination. And what's more, not much is done with these crazy happenings — said happenings are merely talked about. It feels like the characters spin their wheels at times by ruminating on the same things. Something happens, and the main characters spend an entire chapter discussing it. Ridiculous. The worst offending scene that comes to mind is Ralph and Lois on the hospital roof. If you've read this book, you know what I'm talking about. So much of that chapter could have and should have been axed. A large component of this 1994 tome is pro-life vs. pro-choice debate going on in Derry. It's almost tearing the town apart, though none of it feels particularly . . . vital? Energetic? Like, it feels as though the reader is really supposed to care about this issue, but King writes it so ho-hum. I dunno. As my friend Aaron pointed out, this plot line really doesn't go much of anywhere; it just gathers everyone up for the finale. Maybe I'm just burned out on politics as of late (despite it deeply annoying me, I stay in tune with the news every day); maybe that's why reading this grated my nerves a little. The entire political aspect of this work adds a cynical, unpleasant flavor to the dish. (And my god, what is up with everyone in Derry apparently owning a super specific political bumper sticker? Seriously. Like, nine or ten times King makes mention of bumper stickers. Weird.) Laborious and so intricately plotted the energy is totally sapped from this doorstop, Insomnia is, unfortunately, the worst time I've had in the Stephen King reread yet. From the hokey, unrealistic dialogue to the laughably silly climax featuring the Kingfish, I cannot recommend this one. Though filled with cool references to several King novels — especially his magnum opus, The Dark Tower — this hefty volume is a chore to wade through. No favorite quote or references today. I'm grumpy. Sad face.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Turner

    "You may not know it, but shape-changing is a time-honored custom in Derry.” Audiobook – Narrated by – Eli Wallach – A good narration except for the background music. At times I couldn’t even hear Wallach’s voice, so in the end I gave up. *** Ebook: When I read Insomnia the first time, many years ago, I hated it. I hadn’t read The Dark Tower novels and knew next to nothing about them, so I missed the connections. This time, although I still haven’t read the DT series (except for The Gunslinger), I’m "You may not know it, but shape-changing is a time-honored custom in Derry.” Audiobook – Narrated by – Eli Wallach – A good narration except for the background music. At times I couldn’t even hear Wallach’s voice, so in the end I gave up. *** Ebook: When I read Insomnia the first time, many years ago, I hated it. I hadn’t read The Dark Tower novels and knew next to nothing about them, so I missed the connections. This time, although I still haven’t read the DT series (except for The Gunslinger), I’m not entirely ignorant of the basic story and characters. I had hoped that this might make a difference. It didn’t at first. I still hated it and had to push myself to keep reading. The beginning bored me senseless, I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, and although the story was set in Derry it didn’t *feel* like Derry. And this, in particular, made me angry. Yes, there were The Barrens, Neibolt Street, Bassy Park, Kissing Bridge, Up-mile Hill and all my other favorite places from IT, but they were just words on paper. King hadn't taken me back to Derry. In part, Insomnia deals with growing old. His main characters are in their seventies and battling the feelings and insecurities that come with old age. King hit the nail on the head with this one; maybe a little too close to home for my comfort! Gary Paulson, one of King’s characters from "It Grows On You"…He, Gary, “doesn't know a whole hell of a lot lately, but he knows getting old is a lousy way to spend the last years of your life “ In Insomnia, King brings this home in spades. I felt quite depressed at times. However, as I continued to read I found myself enjoying the story more and more, and how could I have doubted his ability to create wonderful characters? Shame on me! Yes, it’s slow to start, and yes, it’s somewhat long-winded, but by the time I reached the end I didn’t want to leave. And Derry? Well, as I was reading The Epilogue – Winding the Deathwatch II, then, finally, I *knew* I was in Derry…and I cried. It was the “forgetting” towards the end that did me in. Just like IT. Anticipated it being a 2** read, by halfway it was a 3*** and by the end a solid 4**** ***

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    There’s so many great individual elements in Insomnia that it really could have been potentially one of King’s best works. So it’s really frustrating that there’s so many dull moments that drags the pacing of the story down, I’m sure King isn’t intending to send he’s readers to sleep?? Recently widowed Ralph Roberts starts having trouble sleeping, he puts this down to the recent loss of he’s wife Carolyn. But soon Ralph starts to see these strange visions... I really loved the opening to this book, There’s so many great individual elements in Insomnia that it really could have been potentially one of King’s best works. So it’s really frustrating that there’s so many dull moments that drags the pacing of the story down, I’m sure King isn’t intending to send he’s readers to sleep?? Recently widowed Ralph Roberts starts having trouble sleeping, he puts this down to the recent loss of he’s wife Carolyn. But soon Ralph starts to see these strange visions... I really loved the opening to this book, I instantly clicked with everyday man Ralph and could appreciate he’s grief. The book also bravely tackles some tough subjects like mental health and abortion. I took this novel on holiday with me and without the usual daily routine of life getting in the way of reading, I was able to just work my way through all the dull moments relatively quickly. The great sections certainly made up for the less interesting parts in the story! It also reminded me that I really need to continue with The Dark Tower series!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤

    You either love it or hate it. I'm obviously of the earlier persuasion. Review soonish. Maybe. 5 ninja bunnehs with balloon strings

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    “It's a long way back to Eden, Sweetheart, so don't sweat the small stuff.” This book does a weird thing books generally don't do - it starts well but keeps getting progressively worse as the length keeps unmercifully chugging away. I was into it for the first 200 pages although little was happening and the build-up stage was generous, but it kept letting out steam as it kept going, and when it came into weird territory and everything felt muddy and more complex, I lost interest. The last few hun “It's a long way back to Eden, Sweetheart, so don't sweat the small stuff.” This book does a weird thing books generally don't do - it starts well but keeps getting progressively worse as the length keeps unmercifully chugging away. I was into it for the first 200 pages although little was happening and the build-up stage was generous, but it kept letting out steam as it kept going, and when it came into weird territory and everything felt muddy and more complex, I lost interest. The last few hundred pages were a chore to get through. Ralph Roberts has insomnia after the death of his wife. At first he chalks it up to grief, but as it gets worse and he doesn't get better, no thanks to the helpful remedies from mean-well folks around town, he starts worrying about his sanity. Eventually he finds out that he's not the only one, and that there's a lot more involved with this insomnia business. Meanwhile Susan Day is coming to town, making abortion activists freak out, but Ralph soon learns there's more to that business than meets the eye. Abortion is a big bag in this book. King doesn't get outright political since both views are shown with both valid points, so I don't think he intended to do a big liberal commentary on women's rights. Still, there's some spousal abuse in here, women leaning on each other for salvation, women getting rescued and strong, the mother-child bond, and personal choice/freedom. The supernatural stuff is outright weird, requiring mucho focus and suspension of belief. That wouldn't be bad, but when each scene keeps dragging on and on with the auras, the strange men, the conversations with them, then it loses its magic and shock effect quickly. There's a few nods to the Dark Tower series - "The Crimson King" is the major one, although there is a quote or so like Ralph mentioning a tower, and a little girl with this quote: “Him's name is Roland, Mama. I dream about him, sometimes. Him's a King, too.” It also gets major kudos for being set in the town of Derry. IT isn't mentioned, but a certain scene at the beginning of the book kind of is (the homosexual hate crime), and there is mention of when things go into the sewers, they can take awhile to show up again. The town is just bad news really, but it was nice to see Mike again in the library and hear about the Barrens. I thought it was a nifty trick that auras reminded Ralph of balloons and the strings being cut - since of course IT had balloons floating around most of the book. The characters are okay - Ralph leads the entire narration and he's not a bad character, but when he buddies up with a particular character, the plot seems to slow. Dialogue can be annoying sometimes too, especially with some of the old timer sayings. Overall there's some cool stuff here, especially if you're fans of his other books (think Cujo gets a sentence if Ir emember correctly), but the book becomes outright boring after awhile. The storyline isn't a bad idea but it doesn't have enough action sequences to support the weight of a book this long. Bummer.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Delee

    Group read with The Dark Tower Honk MahFahs.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam Light

    I have now read this one three times, and I still love it. It certainly is overlong, but that is one of the reasons I enjoy it so. King's imagination was on fire, maybe more so than at any other time. I really dug all the literary references, and the completely insane hallucinatory adventures Ralph Roberts has. Oh, and the way it ties in to the Dark Tower saga is a highlight as well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ɗẳɳ 2.☊

    2.5 stars This was definitely a weird one. RTC, after all or most or at least a few of my buddies finish up. Or will they all DNF it? Only time will tell.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I finished this one about an hour ago, so I'm still trying to gather my thoughts on it. Generally I'll finish a book and let it stew in my mind for a few days before attempting a review, but things are different with Stephen King. The one thing I love most about Stephen King's work is that his characters are real. They're not superheroes; they're just ordinary people with ordinary lives, generally from Maine, with weaknesses and insecurities like the rest of us. Exciting plot lines aside, that's I finished this one about an hour ago, so I'm still trying to gather my thoughts on it. Generally I'll finish a book and let it stew in my mind for a few days before attempting a review, but things are different with Stephen King. The one thing I love most about Stephen King's work is that his characters are real. They're not superheroes; they're just ordinary people with ordinary lives, generally from Maine, with weaknesses and insecurities like the rest of us. Exciting plot lines aside, that's got to be the reason behind King's success. Insomnia is no different. Ralph Roberts is an ordinary guy. Except that at 70 years of age, he's no ordinary hero. Ralph has just lost his wife, and he's coping admirably considering. Then he starts to wake earlier and earlier each morning. And starts seeing auras, and strange little men who look to him like little bald doctors. From there, things keep getting weirder for poor Ralph. The setting of Derry, Maine, is one which should be familiar, if not entirely comfortable, to most Constant Readers. This time around, Derry's Civic Center is to host a speech by America's most prominent feminist, Susan Day. Of course, things can't really happen quietly in Derry and its resident pro-lifers can't see past the fact that Ms Susan Day happens to be pro-choice. They start protesting and the mood in Derry soon turns sour. Head of the pro-life movement, at least for a while, is Ed Deepneau. Formerly a neighbor of Ralph's, Deepneau has been acting strangely for a while now. Ralph has been witness to some of his stranger behavior and as time passes comes to understand more and more just why Ed has been acting so oddly. At the heart of it all lies the Crimson King (whose name will be familiar if you have read the Dark Tower series), who is simply using Ed as a pawn to get rid of a four-year-old boy named Patrick Danville. It is Ralph who is called upon to stop this from happening. As with many of King's novels, the weakness here is in the ending. The penultimate climax in Atropos's den was quite thrilling, but the final encounter with the Crimson King all seems rather rushed, confusing, and anti-climatic. I have to say, though, that the very end of the book did leave me with a lump in my throat. This is one of King's more supernatural novels, and although it has its creepy moments, I wouldn't go as far as to call it a horror novel. It broaches several touchy subjects, and Ed's kamikaze mission is going to get you thinking of 9/11 and terrorism. This book is closely tied in with King's Dark Tower series, and although you can read it as a stand alone, it is far more fulfilling to be read in conjunction with that series. That ought to be taken into consideration if you're thinking of reading this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stepheny

    Since I’ve been on a bender writing reviews of books I didn’t enjoy, I think I’ll take a minute to write one about a book I enjoyed! *think happy thoughts* Insomnia was a buddy read with my hostages lttle band of misfits that are reading the Dark Tower together. I’ve read the DTS several times and knew that Insomnia had a few tie-ins with it, but this is the first time I had actually read it. I’m glad I did. The character that comes into play in the DTS is mentioned in this book but there’s not a Since I’ve been on a bender writing reviews of books I didn’t enjoy, I think I’ll take a minute to write one about a book I enjoyed! *think happy thoughts* Insomnia was a buddy read with my hostages lttle band of misfits that are reading the Dark Tower together. I’ve read the DTS several times and knew that Insomnia had a few tie-ins with it, but this is the first time I had actually read it. I’m glad I did. The character that comes into play in the DTS is mentioned in this book but there’s not a whole lot of development. Either way, I enjoyed Insomnia. Ralph can’t sleep. Duh! Did you read the name of this book?! He walks hoping to tire himself out enough to sleep at night, but as the days go by, he gets less and less sleep. While on one of these walks he witnesses his good friend who is normally a kind and personable man, flipping the fuuuuck out on another guy. He’s accusing this guy of killing children and even goes so far as to reach his hands into the vats of fertilizer he is transporting, believing that the man is hiding dead babies and children within those vats. Ralph is perplexed but believes it may have to do with the heat. Maybe his buddy is just having a rough day. Ralph’s wife dies and he continues to struggle sleeping. He begins to see things- auras. People have different colors around them and he thinks he is losing his mind. He soon finds out that he is not alone. You see, Lois- the GILF up the street- is also experiencing insomnia and seeing auras. Ralph and Lois swap stories and find out that they are a part of something big. The whole book centers around an upcoming event. The whole town is in an uproar. You see, this event, is a rally of sorts for a very big name in the pro-choice movement. Ralph’s buddy is leading the group of pro-lifers. But something isn’t quite right with him. He keeps talking about the Crimson King. Has he lost his mind? Is this about more than just abortion? Ralph and Lois soon find out that, whether they like it or not, they need to play a part in this upcoming event. And whether they like it or not, they’ll have some very hard decisions to make. The book was tedious at times, but I really loved Ralph. Lois I could have done without, but she didn’t annoy me enough to where she affected my enjoyment. Ralph is a diamond in the rough though. He is an instant favorite. ESPECIALLY after that ending!!! Talk about a hit in the feels! King doesn’t nail all of his endings, but this one was out of the park!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Davor Salopek

    I'm getting more and more sucked into Kings books. They start so normal with some issues, the plot is getting so confused and after some time they make sense and end up so good, can't wait to start Rose Madder soon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    This isn't my first time reading Insomnia, I think it may be my third or fourth time actually. But I definitely enjoyed it the most this time around! I gained a whole new love for this book on this read-through and I'm still stunned by all the Dark Tower references that I missed the other times I read this book! I will admit that Insomnia is a bit slow at times and I did feel there was points were it dragged on a bit needlessly. But when it did pick up, it MORE than made up for the slow bits! Mo This isn't my first time reading Insomnia, I think it may be my third or fourth time actually. But I definitely enjoyed it the most this time around! I gained a whole new love for this book on this read-through and I'm still stunned by all the Dark Tower references that I missed the other times I read this book! I will admit that Insomnia is a bit slow at times and I did feel there was points were it dragged on a bit needlessly. But when it did pick up, it MORE than made up for the slow bits! More than once I kind of had to pause for a few minutes to absorb everything that was happening because it got pretty damn crazy at times! I really think this may be one of my top favourite King books, I just love everything about it so much! I find the whole concept of the story absolutely fascinating, I could get lost in thinking about it for days! And Ralph is such a gem of a character, I just love him to pieces! I mean all the characters are actually pretty great but he just holds a special place in my heart! I think my favourite part of this read-through though would have to be noticing all the Dark Tower references throughout. I had honestly never noticed them on my previous reads and seeing them all pop up this time around had me floored. It's actually quite mind blowing how intertwined this story is with the Dark Tower series!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I liked Insomnia a lot. I was quite surprised by the older protagonists, although of course there are things which compensate for their age. It wasn't a bad surprise, either. I thought it might be harder to relate to Ralph and Lois because of it, but it ended up not really being a problem at all. The most fascinating character for me, though, was Ed Deepneau. It was interesting how he kept the photo with him until the very end. I loved a lot of the imagery that ran throughout this -- the auras, t I liked Insomnia a lot. I was quite surprised by the older protagonists, although of course there are things which compensate for their age. It wasn't a bad surprise, either. I thought it might be harder to relate to Ralph and Lois because of it, but it ended up not really being a problem at all. The most fascinating character for me, though, was Ed Deepneau. It was interesting how he kept the photo with him until the very end. I loved a lot of the imagery that ran throughout this -- the auras, the "deathwatch", the "balloon strings". The Clotho/Lachesis/Atropos triad was a very, very interesting plot point. I love references to mythology. And the trade Ralph makes to save Nat breaks my heart a little, and is a lovely way to end things. It's also interesting to see all the links between this and other Stephen King books. I'm guessing that a large amount of the references were to The Dark Tower, which convinces me that it's probably time to start reading those.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Craig "NEEDS MORE DAMN TIME TO READ !!!!"

    Thouroughly enjoyable read BUT, as is sometimes the case with a King book, a little too wordy and over long. Would have flowed better if the first half of the book had been condensed by 300 pages or so. The second half if the book is where the story truly shines. This book featured some new 'powers'. These powers where used in interesting ways. There was a bit of everything here, romance, action, horror and so on. Now to the GREAT parts of the book. Those Dark Tower references! Wow! There are quit Thouroughly enjoyable read BUT, as is sometimes the case with a King book, a little too wordy and over long. Would have flowed better if the first half of the book had been condensed by 300 pages or so. The second half if the book is where the story truly shines. This book featured some new 'powers'. These powers where used in interesting ways. There was a bit of everything here, romance, action, horror and so on. Now to the GREAT parts of the book. Those Dark Tower references! Wow! There are quite a few and for anyone who has read that series beforehand, you will be smiling to yourself like I was :) Now to a conundrum....figure in the setting and time line and these key words, shape shifting and *gasp!!* DEADLIGHTS....hmmmm :)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Insomnia in my opinion isn't as good as some of King's books, but it's still a really great story that joins into the frequent setting of the fictional small town of Derry, Maine, often present in King's works as the mysterious place where oddities and evil happens. In this particular one, it features an ordinary an whose lack of sleep allows him to see the monsters affecting everyone in town.

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    This book started out so promising, then gradually jumped the tracks into the absurd. I couldn't even bring myself to finish INSOMNIA.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ♆Hayley (TheVillainousReader)

    2.5 S T A R S 25. Two. Five. TWENTY. FIVE. 25 hours, 39 minutes, four attempts and two years. That's how long it took me to finish this massive book. This might have been a 3/4 star read if Stephen King didn't have so much word vomit. Don't @ me. Even he has admitted to his tendency to have "word diarrhea". This was enjoyable and interesting up until about hour 20, which is where I mostly stopped listening, bumped this bad boy up to 1.5x and prayed for it to be over. It. was. just. way. too. frea 2.5 S T A R S 25. Two. Five. TWENTY. FIVE. 25 hours, 39 minutes, four attempts and two years. That's how long it took me to finish this massive book. This might have been a 3/4 star read if Stephen King didn't have so much word vomit. Don't @ me. Even he has admitted to his tendency to have "word diarrhea". This was enjoyable and interesting up until about hour 20, which is where I mostly stopped listening, bumped this bad boy up to 1.5x and prayed for it to be over. It. was. just. way. too. freaking. long. OH. MY. GOD. It was so unnecessarily long. If all the repetitive, useless words, and long references had been cut out this book, would have been half as long but the story just as good. The story never felt heart-pounding or fast-paced. It just plodded along. FOR. ALL. 25. HOURS. Stephen King is very hit or miss for me. I love some of his books and absolutely hate others *cough* Pet Semetary *cough*. This one was mediocre and honestly, it's only because of the length. The story was creepy and interesting and I loved all of the references to other characters in other books - that's always so much fun. Ralph and Lois were cute and pleasant and never really got on my nerves, but I didn't really care what happened to them. They were just another aspect of the story as opposed to characters I fell in love with. AND, any time SK writes anything remotely "sexy" I get so uncomfortable. It's like watching a movie with my parents and having a sex scene come on. To this day, at 26-years-old, I still feign sudden all-consuming thirst or the need to use the restroom and make a quick exit. I do wish this had been scarier, but oh well you can't win them all. So yeah, if you couldn't tell, the length is what killed this one for me. Would have been a hit if it wasn't so damn long *eye twitches*. A U D I O B O O K I really liked the narrator for this! He was really great. He inflected his words at just the right time to get the "feel" of the scene across. His narrating voice was soothing yet a little spooky, like listening to a scary story at a sleepover, and he had distinct voices for every character. I never had a hard time trying to figure out who was who. What I absolutely hated was that there was music that would play at certain points throughout the book. I get that it was trying to emphasize the creepiness of it all, and sometimes it succeed, but most of the time it was jarring and a little ear-splitting. The sounds were not pleasant, violin strings screeching and such, and they would come out of no-where. I would quickly have to turn down the volume to sooth my ears. On top of that it would nearly drawn out the narration which was super frustrating! So there are pros and cons of the audio. I guess, buyer beware? In the end, this was just mediocre.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robjr73

    Geez, where to begin. Well, for starters, Ralph is one of my favorite Stephen King characters of all time. Right from the first chapter, my heart ached for this guy and I was hooked. Seriously, only King can get you that involved with a character that early on in a book. Ralph is the main character and the first half revolves around the insomnia he experiences after the passing of his wife. The second half is where the story gets trippy. Having read some reviews from other Goodreads buddies, I k Geez, where to begin. Well, for starters, Ralph is one of my favorite Stephen King characters of all time. Right from the first chapter, my heart ached for this guy and I was hooked. Seriously, only King can get you that involved with a character that early on in a book. Ralph is the main character and the first half revolves around the insomnia he experiences after the passing of his wife. The second half is where the story gets trippy. Having read some reviews from other Goodreads buddies, I knew going in this would have some Dark Tower references. I just didn't realize to what extent. This is the first book I can ever recall where as I was reading it, I would go back and reread earlier bits to assure I was understanding everything that was going on and to get the full experience. I'm sure despite doing that, I still probably missed a ton of references to the Dark Tower and certain concepts probably went right over my head. This book in all fairness to it's readers, should be labeled Dark Tower #0. (Or "The Dark Tower Prequel"). And frankly, I can't be certain whether it's better if you read this BEFORE you read the Dark Tower books or after. I've only read the first three, so I still have a ways to go. Anyway, the point is this is very much so a part of the whole Dark Tower story and readers should know that going in. All in all, I loved it! Loved Ralph and this book made me want to jump into book 4 of DT. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone so I can't talk too much more about the plot. I will say that I thought in some weird way this book also shared a lot in common with Dr. Sleep. Both books contain telepathic characters who can suck the energy or aura out of others. Both books also compare these types of people to vampires. Annnd of course their titles, (Insomnia and Dr. Sleep) almost scream connection. But maybe I'm trying too hard to connect all the dots. In summary, this is an instant King classic. A little lengthy (definitely could've been trimmed down) and I couldn't recommend this to someone who has never read a Stephen King simply due to all the connections to other books. It's a five star book for any other author had they written it, but since I put King's books in their own grading scale, I'll stick to four and give it a reread once I've finished the rest of the Dark Tower series. Now I need a nap....

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen from Quebec :0)

    Wow...just...Well, first of all- SO many literary comparisons of various existing (IRL, kiddies) works are made in the dialogue between the main characters of this novel, especially near the conclusion; this is awesome + something I had not noticed the 1st time I read this one by King (although, I was probably like, 12 when I read this book for the first time, now that I think about it)....This was at least my 3rd time re-reading this book, and another thing that will strike Constant Readers lik Wow...just...Well, first of all- SO many literary comparisons of various existing (IRL, kiddies) works are made in the dialogue between the main characters of this novel, especially near the conclusion; this is awesome + something I had not noticed the 1st time I read this one by King (although, I was probably like, 12 when I read this book for the first time, now that I think about it)....This was at least my 3rd time re-reading this book, and another thing that will strike Constant Readers like myself is just HOW MANY references there are to King's DARK TOWER series! It's all about KA-TET, Constant Readers! (Although, I had not yet read the Dark Tower series the first time I found Insomnia.) This is now way up on the list of my favorite books of King's...and THAT is saying a LOT. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    I admit that I did enjoy this book but finishing felt kinda like this: Wow. Just Wow. Sitting here, trying to sum up the book (which is unnecessary as I know you are fully capable of reading the summary on the book page), I find that there really wasn't much to the story at all. The last hundred pages held all the action and the first 500 or so is filled with: and and a little bit 'o I have to give it to King, really. To keep me reading, that many pages, for so long.....*sigh* I have not read any of th I admit that I did enjoy this book but finishing felt kinda like this: Wow. Just Wow. Sitting here, trying to sum up the book (which is unnecessary as I know you are fully capable of reading the summary on the book page), I find that there really wasn't much to the story at all. The last hundred pages held all the action and the first 500 or so is filled with: and and a little bit 'o I have to give it to King, really. To keep me reading, that many pages, for so long.....*sigh* I have not read any of the Dark Tower series so I can honestly say that you can read this as a stand alone. Believe me. This book stands on its own. Just keep it away from the kitties and no one will get hurt. Sorry for the lackluster review. But seriously, this is King how much help could he possibly need from reviews? Bye all. I need a nap.

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