Brief Insomnia Review - Spoiler Free

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NightShifter

Well-Known Member
Nov 8, 2013
63
343
Mansfield, Massachusetts
#1
Finally finished Stephen King's Insomnia this week and I was not expecting all the Dark Tower connections. I have not read Dark Tower yet, but this may be my catalyst. The book has a hard time standing on its own and I'm happy I had an idea about the Dark Tower series so I could follow what was going on. Even so, I'm sure a lot went over my head. I would not recommend Insomnia as a standalone novel, only for those Tower fans looking for a companion piece.

My biggest criticism is the story is nearly 650 pages and it could have been told in 350. It is a slow read. The irony is the book actually put me to sleep a lot because it was so slow. Another negative is the book is just very weird and I can see a lot of people putting the book down for that reason alone. You spend a lot of the book just not knowing what's going on and there are some odd creative choices King makes.

I enjoyed reading a book where the heroes are an elderly man and woman. This is a refreshing change and I loved it. There are three supernatural characters nicknamed Doc #1, Doc #2, and the evil Doc #3. I really enjoyed these characters and found them fascinating, especially when they interacted with the heroes. Ralph, the main character, calls them doctors because they look like pint-sized medical professionals. The ending is very strong, which cannot always be said for King stories.

With the movie on the horizon I may be starting Dark Tower next.
 

NightShifter

Well-Known Member
Nov 8, 2013
63
343
Mansfield, Massachusetts
#3
Insomnia seems to be one of those books you either love or don't much care for. I loved it. I wish it had been longer lol.
Yea, that seems to be the general consensus. There are parts I liked and parts I didn't. I loved the scene where Ralph asked Clotho and Lachesis if they shook hands. I really likes those two characters a lot. And I loved the ending. The whole Epilogue was masterful.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,788
#4
I often imagined Simon Barr Sinister when I thought of the good doctors, or the one anyway, maybe not so much the two better docs. Three of them is too much.

Enjoyed the heck out of the story, have read it multiple times. I read the dark tower stories before Insomnia. The story moves fast for me, had no problem with the flow and yeah, I really liked the connections. You'll appreciate it even more once you read the dark tower stories.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
15,559
70,877
41
United States
#6
My biggest criticism is the story is nearly 650 pages and it could have been told in 350. It is a slow read. The irony is the book actually put me to sleep a lot because it was so slow. Another negative is the book is just very weird and I can see a lot of people putting the book down for that reason alone. You spend a lot of the book just not knowing what's going on and there are some odd creative choices King makes.
I felt the same way the first time I read it, when it was first released. It was like eating an airy, ersatz ice-cream cone...or maybe two dozen. I love long books and I wasn't intimidated by its length but the plot became excruciatingly slow at times. I love the characters, and I actually like the weirdness, lol. Readers criticize The Tommyknockers for similar reasons but I believe The Tommyknockers, despite being bloated, was far more entertaining. I was less focused during Insomnia and think the book would've benefited from a shrewd editor.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,681
117,890
Spokane, WA
#8
Definitely could have been whittled down in size. I just can't make myself believe that a person of Ralph's age listened to and knew the music of Pearl Jam. Was it Pearl Jam? I can't remember, but I thought that there was no way he would listen to the type of music that he did. I did like the book and all of its Tower ties.
 
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