Saturday Selections: The Tommyknockers (novel)

Like any book lover I have shelves full of books that I have every intention of reading but somehow never get to. One of these shelves is dedicated to my mostly-unread Stephen King novels. I’ve been reading King since I was a kid (which could explain a lot about the routes my brain takes) and he is an excellent writer, but there’s just one problem…Stephen King books are VERY long. I mean I’ve spent more time on one King novel than I’ve spent in some relationships.

TommyknockersWhich is why I was thrilled the other week when I came across The Tommyknockers as an audiobook download through my library. My paperback copy of The Tommyknockers has occupied a wide space on my bookshelf since I picked it up at a used bookstore years ago. Again, I was full of good intentions to read it especially since the sales clerk said it was the scariest book he ever read. Finally, with this download, I could get through the book without having to make a long-term commitment (and I love being able to read while getting my chores done at the same time!).

About the Book

The Tommyknockers is Stephen King’s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers where sci-fi meets horror. Walking in the woods one day, Bobbi Anderson comes across something metal sticking out of the ground. For some reason she can’t explain, she feels compelled to dig it out. The more she digs, the stranger things become as the metal object (which she is certain is a spaceship) begins affecting everyone in her small Maine town.

Of course, at first everyone feels great; they’re smarter, their health problems go away and they are full of energy. But the truth of what the ship is doing to them is just full-on King creepy!

How’d I Like It?

The book immediately sucked me in, but then I got annoyed when the main Bobbi Anderson/James Gardener story line gets cut off with a long spell of back story. At first I wondered why King was killing the pace of the novel with this town history that goes on and on, but then, using his King-ly magic, I got sucked into the back story that eventually morphs into what is happening to everyone in the town thanks to Bobbi’s digging.

The book is long, VERY long, and there are some parts that felt like they could be cut without doing any damage to the plot, but overall the book was engrossing and had me reaching for my headphones every chance I got.

As far as the clerk’s assessment that it was the scariest book he’s ever read? Well, he may have just been a big chicken. While the book was eerie and filled me with that get-out-of-there-you-idiot sensation plenty of times, I wouldn’t say this was all that scary. Still, I would highly recommend it if you enjoy your sci-fi with a good dose of creepy.

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