I am kicking R.I.P. ass (sorry to be so abusive to your reading challenge, Carl).
I signed up for Peril the Third, but I am well on my way to completing Peril the First. Mainly, this is because I was home sick for three days last week, so I had a little binge-fest of horror. I started with Insomnia, then moved on to Game (the sequel to I Hunt Killers), and then finished up with Blood of My Blood (the sequel to Game). And I am now reading The Supernatural Enhancements, which is great fun, even if I have No Idea what is happening.
But enough about those other books, let’s talk about Insomnia.
I somehow managed to make it all the way to my 40s (yikes, I’m dating myself) without reading any of Stephen King’s fiction. I say fiction, because I did read his On Writing at some point (which was a really fun read, by the way). But I never had much interest in his novels because I always thought my dislike of scary movies would translate into a dislike of scary books.
I am now a staunch fan of all things Uncle Stevie. Mostly because his characters are The Shit. Seriously. His baddies are beyond bad (my favorite remains Big Jim Rennie from Under the Dome) and his goodies (that sounds bad, sorry) are these flawed characters that you can’t help fall in love with (my favorite goodie, Barbie, is also from Under the Dome). And along with the fabulous characters, he comes up with these fascinating, convoluted plots that always seem so completely far-fetched yet based in reality (you know what I mean if you ever happened to sneeze while reading The Stand. Or you saw a clown (or even a storm drain) while reading IT). And granted, he almost always goes one step too far and throws in some weird ass shit that leaves me shaking my head and saying “Why? Why did you do that?” but I still keep reading and not regretting.
Which brings me to Insomnia. Synopsis snagged from StephenKing.com, because I’m lazy:
Since his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he awakens a little earlier until he’s barely sleeping at all. During his late night vigils and walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people’s heads. He witnesses two strange little men wandering the city under cover of night. He begins to suspect that these visions are something more than hallucinations brought about by sleep deprivation. Ralph and his friend, widow Lois Chasse, become enmeshed in events of cosmic significance.
Insomnia takes us back to Derry, Maine (the setting for IT). This is awesome if you’ve read IT, because there are a few return characters (hello, Mike Hanlon, so nice to see you again) and some veiled references to things that happened. My favorite:
“Derry was not precisely like other places.”
Which is pretty much the understatement of the year.
For me, the most surprising thing about this book was that the requisite weird-ass shit appeared early. Granted, there is almost always a woo-woo element going on in King’s books (the recent Mr. Mercedes being a notable exception, and raise your hand if you’re like me and spent the whole damn book just waiting for the woo-woo only to get to the end convinced I had missed something), but in Insomnia, the woo-woo is totally in your face by about page 470 (a little past the halfway point).
And while this won’t rank up there with my King favorites (Under the Dome and 11/22/63 top the list), it was still better than some (not really a fan of Rose Madder, or the Dark Tower stuff) and totally worth the time.