Book review – Insomnia by Stephen King

Caidyn's review (1)


2/5 – DNF at 58%

CW: death, cancer, abortion, domestic violence, and animal abuse

I hate DNFing Stephen King, but this one had to be done. Could I have finished it? Totally. I could have made myself get through it and have the whole story at my fingertips to reference. But did I want to? No way.

This story follows two men who are on opposite sides of Derry. Ed Deepneau, the dark and conservative side, and Ralph Roberts, the light and liberal side. Because, at times, this book felt like our political scene, with the conservatives against the liberals using a lot of the same rhetoric.

It also spends a lot of time on abortion, which is one of Ed’s obsessions for some reason. I didn’t quite get why, but whatever. He was a pretty lackluster villain, as were the “bald doctors” that King introduced.

But, I’m rambling. Probably because I can’t nail down the exact plot of this story and how to explain it.

King even calls it a “stiff, try-hard novel”. And I agree with him. It was far too stiff, trying to make some point about the world that we live in while also tying in his Dark Tower series (which I’m not into one bit) and keeping with his interest in psychokinesis and things along that topic.

It just didn’t work for me. I loved Ralph and I love it when people examine the realities of a small town, but this didn’t work for me. I was bored and confused. With how long it is (nearly 800 pages!) there was next to no plot and I found it tedious to get to the point. I nearly got 500 pages in before calling quits.

So, sorry, King. This isn’t my favorite of yours.

Talk to me!
Can you think of a book that you’d label as stiff or try-hard?

22 thoughts on “Book review – Insomnia by Stephen King

  1. I’m from Maine and live in Maine, so I feel like kind of a fraud because I’m not a huge Stephen King fan. I couldn’t make myself read anything from him until 11/22/63. Now I’m slowly picking and choosing some of his books to read. I will keep this one off the list for the moment. Very informative review.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was thinking of reading this one later this year, but I might skip it now. Sleeping Beauties was king of the same for me. I speed read the last 300 pages or so because I just wasn’t interested, and the book made it’s point about misogyny in the first 100 pages. Maybe I’ll pick up the Outsider instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You picked some duds! I didn’t like Sleeping Beauties either. But, The Outsider was amazing! However, it does spoil the Bill Hodges trilogy so if you haven’t read that yet, start with Mr. Mercedes. But if you don’t care to know the ending, go with The Outsider! I five starred that because it was sooo good!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If you’ve read the Dark Tower series it ties into that at the end which does make it a bit more interesting. That being said I remember reading SK saying that this book was just him showing off his knowledge of mythology. I listened to the audiobook and am a diehard SK fan and this one wasn’t my favorite either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment! I’ve read The Gunslinger, wasn’t a fan, and have no interest in reading the rest of the series. I knew that it linked in somehow (not just because of the setting in Derry) but I didn’t care for it. Sucks that this one isn’t a favorite for a lot of people.


  4. Pingback: August Wrap-up – BW Reviews

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