Any other big fans of The Tommyknockers?

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Sunlight Gardener

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2013
369
1,216
#44
I thought Tommyknockers started out strong but then lost momentum as the story went on...much like The Stand (blasphemy I know). I have a hard time staying interested in both at about the halfway point in the story. That first half of The Stand is phenomenal....when it shifts from the characters dealing with the onset of Captain Trips I am enthralled. When that part is over and the story shifts to the characters themselves and the mythical battle that follows, I lose interest.
 

Nomik

Carry on
Jun 19, 2016
3,597
18,110
41
Derry, NH
#45
I thought Tommyknockers started out strong but then lost momentum as the story went on...much like The Stand (blasphemy I know). I have a hard time staying interested in both at about the halfway point in the story. That first half of The Stand is phenomenal....when it shifts from the characters dealing with the onset of Captain Trips I am enthralled. When that part is over and the story shifts to the characters themselves and the mythical battle that follows, I lose interest.
This comment applies to your comment on The Stand:
I can understand that; you liked the active apocalyptic momentum!
I grew very attached to the characters and the plot, not to mention the burning desire find out what happens in the end.
 

muskrat

Dis-Member
Nov 8, 2010
4,486
19,225
Under your bed
#47
Gard was an alcoholic, somewhat of a loser, and held strongly to many conspiracy theories but he was a loyal friend. I think he stacks up admirably among other protagonists with character deficiencies. Think of Edgar Freemantle losing an arm and struggling with anger issues, or Donna Trenton who was cheating on her husband yet the reader is asked to sympathize with her. I like flawed leading characters and Gard is no exception. This is not to say a protagonist has to be some sort of antihero (or morally ambiguous) but that they should be imperfect; a personality impairment more than a physical impairment.
I really liked that despite his faults and weaknesses he selflessly helped his friend and redeemed himself in the process. We could split hairs over his real motivation but I see him as a true friend to Bobbi Anderson.
Word UP, home slice. I can't get into a 'perfect' protagonist.
 

Sunlight Gardener

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2013
369
1,216
#48
This comment applies to your comment on The Stand:
I can understand that; you liked the active apocalyptic momentum!
I grew very attached to the characters and the plot, not to mention the burning desire find out what happens in the end.
I totally get that. For whatever reason I guess the characters didn't grab me all that much. But I feel the same way as you just stated about most all SK books. I'm normally burning to get to the conclusion. For some strange reason The Stand is one of the few that I don't feel that way about. Maybe it's just the huge letdown after Act I ends. I am a sucker for Apocalyptic stories so maybe when the story turns away from that dynamic I don't give it enough of a chance. I will try again one day. I read the book in it's entirety the first time years ago. Tried to do it again within the past 5 years and gave up on it after Act I. I was pissed at myself for doing it because that's normally sacrilege for me and SK books but I found myself having to read the same pages over and over and over again trying to concentrate on what I was reading but it just wasn't happening. I could read the first half in no time flat and often. Love it.
 

Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
184,434
Thornfield
#50
When Tommyknockers came out I totally hated it. Left it for a looooooong time. I found a second hand copy in a charity shop and decided to give a second shot. Like others, I love Gard and felt a lot of sympathy for Bobbi and it was a fantastic ride. Kind of like UTD. Didn't like the ending. But unlike years ago I loved the first part.
Same exactly for me. Couldn't read it year ago. Started and stopped. But I think I read it a couple years ago and was very surprised how much I enjoyed. It could've been tightened up a bit, but it was still a good story.
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#53
i've always enjoyed conspiracy/body snatcher type stories. even though it involves "becoming" it's basically invasion of the body snatchers if you boil it down. king builds up the characters, then tears the whole thing down. while i feel the story started off a bit slow when it only focused on bobbi and then gard, once he moved on to the town in general, it really picked up steam, and then got really fast paced at the end when everything started falling apart and gard had to take on the whole town. i enjoyed it a great deal, personally. this book and needful things remind me of each other, and i enjoy them equally. lot's of build up and character, and then he just sort of sets everything off at once, and chaos ensues, and the town just goes to hell (although, tbh, needful things is the winner of the two with it's chaos, even though tommyknockers was more complete with it's destruction)
 

The Walkin' Dude

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2016
47
262
25
Charlotte, NC
#54
Love all of the responses here! Gard is one of my favorite characters, I love his complex relationship with Bobbi but I do wish we had a little more time with her before she starts "becoming". I think the ridiculous killing machines that show up only adds to the hysteria and crazed feeling that is prevalent in the story. It matched the feeling of the book to me and I didn't find it the least bit distracting. I love this book.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,773
#55
I've enjoyed the story three or four times. The movie version is done poorly. Whoever made the movie should be spanked and made to stand in the corner. Reading Watch and there's that description by the kid about his parents arguing? That phrase he uses reminds me of a character name in this story. Professor Arglebargle or something like that. What happens with the plane late in the story brings to mind the Dome. I like that several chapters can be (and one is) stand-alone stories...the one about Ruth and the dolls, the town folken. How can a reader like Needful Things, Cell, Under the Dome and other stories and not like this one? Top it all off, it's a door-stopper. I especially liked the discovery and uncovering of the ship. Born and raised in an area where the hills and woods behind the house contain deep gullies many with a waterfall at the top end so the size of the ship is easy to imagine, big. Not a Smurf Village like in the movie. Who hasn't given the gurgling Coke machine in the hotel hallway a wide berth when out of the room, fetching ice? Bloody thing is always humming, you got the ice machine next to it, spitting ice-cubes, that snack machine, always with a package of Skittles that didn't quite fall. And isn't the floor warmer there?
 

grin willard

Grin. Boasting a profile u could cut cheese with.
Feb 21, 2017
1,064
5,567
45
#57
Nice Creed! So many intelligent comments here. I'm not a big fan of the book. But I liked Bobbi! She's such a misanthrope. Thank the big giant head that King did not (for once) decide to dredge up abuse or a screwed up ex to explain why she's that way. Bobbi was just weird! She was a pure loner. Gard was one of the few people she could take on anything like a day to day basis. I liked their relationship very much. Still, I did not care for Gard. He was less of an antihero, more of a wuss. :icon_eek: Something in his utter weakness somehow brought out Bobbi's maternal side, and they each got something from the relationship. And he gave her Peter! The beagle.

It really took a while to get going. I thought about quitting or skipping ahead. But I soldiered on! I kept wondering, what would have happened if Bobbi had called the authorities? Would they have contained the situation or made things worse? Sent in has mat suited scientists? Armed guards? Dentists?! SK apparently said, "The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act." I wouldn't say awful. But the ending was awful! Midway the book became very intriguing. Bobbi's sister was a real handful! Ruth McCausland was a fantastic character. And there were a lot of well defined peripheral characters here & there, making the book a good read. By the end I was getting into it, which made the sucky ending even worse. But generally, I enjoyed it.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
14,836
65,860
United States
#58
Nice Creed! So many intelligent comments here. I'm not a big fan of the book. But I liked Bobbi! She's such a misanthrope. Thank the big giant head that King did not (for once) decide to dredge up abuse or a screwed up ex to explain why she's that way. Bobbi was just weird! She was a pure loner. Gard was one of the few people she could take on anything like a day to day basis. I liked their relationship very much. Still, I did not care for Gard. He was less of an antihero, more of a wuss. :icon_eek: Something in his utter weakness somehow brought out Bobbi's maternal side, and they each got something from the relationship. And he gave her Peter! The beagle.

It really took a while to get going. I thought about quitting or skipping ahead. But I soldiered on! I kept wondering, what would have happened if Bobbi had called the authorities? Would they have contained the situation or made things worse? Sent in has mat suited scientists? Armed guards? Dentists?! SK apparently said, "The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act." I wouldn't say awful. But the ending was awful! Midway the book became very intriguing. Bobbi's sister was a real handful! Ruth McCausland was a fantastic character. And there were a lot of well defined peripheral characters here & there, making the book a good read. By the end I was getting into it, which made the sucky ending even worse. But generally, I enjoyed it.
I think you're probably right about their relationship. Good points. I actually don't think Gard was a wuss, just a self-loathing personality. I mean he passes out in the bathtub, on the beach, at Bobbi's house...he was a drunk and he knew it. Do we ever learn why he was so aimless and lost? I don't remember a definitive reason. The ending was disappointing (the last few pages), but these days I'm more forgiving of all the book's flaws.
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#59
I think you're probably right about their relationship. Good points. I actually don't think Gard was a wuss, just a self-loathing personality. I mean he passes out in the bathtub, on the beach, at Bobbi's house...he was a drunk and he knew it. Do we ever learn why he was so aimless and lost? I don't remember a definitive reason. The ending was disappointing (the last few pages), but these days I'm more forgiving of all the book's flaws.
i think it was just old fashioned alcoholism, although he spiced his up with a healthy dose of radicalization on the subject of nuclear energy (not that it's necessarily 100% a great thing, but he definitely raged extra hard about it). too much drinking, too many blackouts, too many bad things done during those blackouts.
 
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