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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Book Review: Insomnia by Stephen King

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.


 “It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in a while exhilarating.”

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??

Johann
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1 comment :

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