01 April 2015

Bag of Bones, by Stephen King (Audio Review)

I usually don't like listening to an author narrate their own work. In my opinion, they are too close to it and someone else is better able to bring the story to life in a way that the author never could. Or, sometimes authors don't have the right voice for audio, and the story ends up being something I just don't like listening to. Even if the reviews of a Stephen King-narrated book are over the moon about it, I still pick something else; I'll be honest that I was never fair about this assumption.

But recently I listened to On Writing and Stephen King surprised me with how honest his voice was, carrying his work to my ears in a way I wasn't expecting. It held my attention and I enjoyed the time I spent listening. So when I realized I downloaded Bag of Bones, I wasn't as apprehensive as I thought I would be.

This story seemed so close and personal (it's also mentioned frequently in On Writing, mostly because it was written/published at the same time). This is a true ghost story from Stephen King and there are elements that will linger with you and just might make you look a few times over your shoulder late at night. Writer Mike Noonan loses his wife suddenly and in his resulting sense of loss, he uncovers she was working on something much more mysterious than his best-selling novels. When he dives into her unfinished investigation, Mike is drawn into something quite unforgivable and disturbing, and, as only good husband-wife teams go, he has to finish what she started. A generational secret is exposed in a quiet town through a web of characters that are never boring and the life of a child is at stake. Readers sometimes complain with some of Stephen King's longer novels that, "it really could have been shorter," or, "too much!" But with this one, it met the mark on every level for me and wasn't too long, too short, or too wordy. It was a story that needed to be told, something that would be worth your time. Typical King has you walking through a story that is full of characters with essential and wild back stories that are all connected, and Bag of Bones is no different. It's a wild ride of creepiness, villains of the most disturbing kind, racism, music, and the noble urge to do something incredibly right after such a tragic wrong. This is good stuff. Stephen King knocks it out of the park and I will never worry about grabbing an author-narrated book again if it's him.

Did you know Pierce Brosnan starred in a two part mini-series? It's on Netflix. I'll have to watch that soon.

FTC Disclosure: I purchased this audiobook through my Audible.com membership. Click here to listen to the sample.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: 05/23/00
Audio Time: 21 hours, 21 minutes
Narrator: Stephen King

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty novels, including The StandThe Dark TowerItThe Shining, oh...what more can be written that one doesn't already know? So here you go, click here to visit this cool author's official website.


  1. I'm generally with you on authors reading their own stuff. The one exception is Neil Gaiman, who does a great job. I was also pleasantly surprised by On Writing...though nothing else King has written holds any interest for me, unfortunately! (Scary/horror is about as far from my thing as possible, even if I envy you guys and your #gangstercats! I never, ever want to read/watch/listen to something that will make me look over my shoulder in the night :) )

    1. It won't make you look over your shoulder! Although it may make you look twice at your cat. ;-) I really think we need a campaign to get Erin to join us on our next readalong.
      I've heard King do some of the intros to his books and I just can't get into his voice enough to want to listen to it for 21 hours. Gaiman, though...I could listen to him read the dictionary and be happy.

  2. Yeah, a lot of author narrated books are not great. Glad to hear King does it well.

  3. I generally prefer author narration for memoirs but in fiction it's hit or miss. I've often heard King's narration is excellent, and I'm glad to see you found that to be true!

  4. I like hearing authors narrate their own books, but I imagine that it's possible to run into some that just aren't good at it. I've only read one Stephen King novel, but I'm interested in more. Especially if he manages to make it sound more creepy.

  5. It took my a while to get used to Stephen King's 'folksy' style when I read On Writing last year. Maybe hearing it read in his own voice would make more sense. Also I like the Maine accent!

  6. Huh,did I know and forget that they did a mini-series?! I thought King did a fine job narrating. and sometimes, I really trusted his sentence intonations and thought to myself, "no one else would have said that right." :D