Bag of Bones

Stephen King
Bag of Bones Cover

Bag of Bones


Stephen King's novel Bag of Bones won the Bram Stoker Award from horror writers, and then the British Fantasy Society award. This shows the dual nature of this novel, with bits of fantasy and bits of horror.

The entire novel is told from the perspective of the main character, a thriller writer who lives in Maine - an example of "write what you know". Over the first few chapters we learn his recent backstory and meet a large cast of characters. Among these insular Maine residents are a young mother Mattie and her daughter Kyra.

The writer steps in to stick up for the underdog, helping Mattie keep custody of her child, and ends up falling into all the history of this place. At one point this happens literally, with a dream-like time travel sequence back to the turn of the century. Over the rest of the story, he deals with corrupt residents, ghosts, and his own haunted cabin on the lake.

This book is not often in the top list of Mr. King's works, but perhaps a really good novel gets lost among many others. Even over 600 pages, this novel didn't ramble. What seemed minor characters were all threads in the historical tapestry that wrapped this story together. In the epilogue, the writer ponders over the nature of writing and killing off characters, an interesting bit that might reflect on earlier works.

I tackled this novel as part of a challenge to read the Grand Masters of Science Fiction and Horror. Looking forward to reading more in the future.