Bag of Bones: A Novel (Paperback)
Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, a powerful tale of grief, of love's enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the past.
Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving following the sudden death of his wife Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his computer.
Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares, all set at the Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike returns to the lakeside getaway. There he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who will do anything to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both mother and child, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
First published in 1998, Bag of Bones was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. It was lauded at its publication as “hands down, Stephen King’s most narratively subversive fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and his “most ambitious novel” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
"What I admire most about Bag of Bones is its intelligence of voice, not only the craftsmanship -- the indelible sense of place, the well-fleshed characters, the unstoppable story line -- but the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination. It places both the ghost story and Stephen King in their proper place on the shelf of literary American fiction."—Amy Tan
"Bag of Bones is, hands down, King's most narratively subversive fiction. Whenever you're positive -- just positive! -- you know where this ghost story is heading, that's exactly when it gallops off in some jaw-dropping new direction." —Entertainment Weekly
"This is King at his clever, terrifying best."—Mademoiselle
"Contains some of [King's] best writing...This is King's most romantic book, and ghosts are up and about from the get-go....The big surprise here is the emotional wallop the story packs."— Newsweek
"Stephen King is so widely accepted as America's master of paranormal terrors that you can forget his real genius is for the everyday...This is a book about reanimation: the ghosts', of course, but also Mike's, his desire to re-embrace love and work after a long bereavement that King depicts with an eye for the kind of small but moving details that don't typically distinguish blockbuster horror novels." —The New York Times Book Review
"Bag of Bones proves that King is as seductive a storyteller as ever, pulling readers along as he explores the hidden evils of small-town America." —People
"King has honed his talent into a unique American voice, broader and more ambitious than most of his peers....[Bag of Bones] has depth....It's a ghost story, a love story, a story about race and power...One more thing: Yes, it's scary. Of course it's scary."— Minneapolis Star Tribune
"It may be that after thirty-one novels, Stephen King is just getting started....Bag of Bones may be Stephen King's most ambitious novel ...the effort has inspired a new directness and maturity in his work....Very few writers can convey the passive terrors of nightmares better than King, and he crafts one amazing dream sequence after another."—Atlanta Journal & Constitution
“…a thoroughly compelling thriller…”—Esquire
“…King orchestrates the rising tension with the deft touch of a maestro.”—Library Journal
“Showcases this master horror writer’s other skills – humor, deft characterizations, and a dead-on portrait of twentieth-century life.”—Elle
“It’s sometimes hard to tell what’s more threatening: the ghosts that rearrange the magnetic letters on Noonan’s refrigerator or the gossip and domestic violence festering in a rural New England town. But that’s the genius of King, a master of inserting the 'para' into normal, everyday life.”—Glamour