BOOK REVIEW: INSOMNIA BY STEPHEN KING

Insomnia

GENERAL INFORMATION

TITLE: INSOMNIA

AUTHOR: STEPHEN KING

PAGES: 760

PUBLISHER: NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY

YEAR: 1994

GENRE: HORROR FICTION

COVER TYPE: PAPER BACK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia_(novel)

www.stephenking.com

BLURB FROM THE COVER 

You’ll lose a lot of sleep. 

Ralph does. At first he starts waking up earlier and earlier. Then the hallucinations start – the colours, shapes and strange auras. Not to mention the bald doctors who always turn up at the scene of a death. 

That’s when Ralph begins to lose a lot more than sleep. When he begins to understand why his hitherto, mild-mannered friend, Ed, is getting out of control – dangerously so. And why his hometown is about to become the new Armageddon. 

An evil of unimaginable proportions has found a way in and Ralph has only one chance to beat it. The stakes are high – they always are when you’re playing for human souls. With a joker in the pack – a bald one with a rusty scalpel.    

THE OPENING LINE 

No one – least of all Dr Litchfield – came right out and told Ralph Roberts that his wife was going to die, but there came a time when Ralph understood without needing to be told.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Insomnia is one of my favourite King novels. The copy I have is coming apart at the seams. Insomnia is one of King’s novels that show off the impressive depth of his imagination in a way that ‘tame’ novels like Gerald’s Game simply can’t. Insomnia is one of the reasons why King became and remains one of my favourite writers.

REVIEW 

In Insomnia, King offers us his version of Greek mythology.  Well one part of it anyway. The bald doctors Ralph and later Lois start to see everywhere are Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, clearly inspired by the three sisters of fate or the Moirai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai). This is one of my favourite things about Insomnia. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology. I love the God of War videogames solely because they’re based around these myths. I’ve written my own stories involving the sister of fate. I like the way King interprets the myth in Insomnia.

Insomnia is set in Derry, Maine. This is a fictional town King uses several times in his fiction, most notably in IT. Derry is my favourite fictional place. One of my favourite things about Insomnia is that it’s set in Derry. It was like talking a walk down the streets of a place I love with an old, dear friend. Derry felt so real I was almost there.

Many of King’s novels are linked to The Dark Tower series. Insomnia is one of the ones with the clearest links. Ralph’s friend Ed has fallen under the influence of The Crimson King who plays a major role in The Dark Tower. Ralph and Lois are able to see different planes of reality thanks to the hallucinations brought on by insomnia and are able to sense the dark tower and the different levels of reality. Ed intends to be a kamikaze pilot and crash a plane into the civic centre to kill abortionist Susan Day. However, The Crimson King wants him to do this to kill a young boy called Patrick Danville, the artist who features prominently in the final Dark Tower novel. I love it when King does this.

King’s characterisation and writing style is spot on in Insomnia. He ticks all the boxes.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

I love Insomnia. It’s an amazing book that combines Greek mythology and King’s Dark Tower world to create something quite stunning and unique. Oh and it’s set in Derry, a place where bad shit happens. What’s not to love?

RATING

5 STAR RATING

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