Tag: Specific

Stephen King – Insomnia | Review

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 760

Rating: 3.25/5



I have pretty mixed feelings about this book, because there were elements and themes to it which I liked but it was also pretty boring in places. There were also some unusual formatting elements being used to convey psychic conversations that made it a little harder/more involved to read it, as well as tiny print and super thin pages that sometimes made the actual book difficult to hold.

This is definitely not one that you should read if you’re new to King, and there’s a very specific reason for that. It has some heavy tie-ins with the Dark Tower series, including a cameo from Roland and references to ka-tets and a whole section named after the Crimson King. The stakes are high, too. If the life of a certain child isn’t saved, the Tower will fall down.

If all of that means something to you, you’re probably ready to read this book. If not, maybe leave it for a while, especially because it was the lore and the tie-ins with the multiverse which made this worth reading, at least in my opinion. Other than that, it was pretty dull, although it wasn’t as tedious of a read as Bag of Bones. It was also confusing at times, but there were at least these little periods here and there where it sort of managed to reabsorb me again.



I was also kind of disappointed with the fact that insomnia itself didn’t really play a major part in the story line. It was more as though it was the inciting incident and then the rest of the story just went off on a tangent with almost Donnie Darko vibes when it comes to how the protagonists could see auras and influence people and the events that were happening. That was all fine, but as an actual insomniac, I was kind of hoping to see more from that.

It also felt as though the pacing was off, with a little too much worldbuilding for my taste. The only saving grace there was that it was set in Derry, Maine, one of King’s most iconic settings, and so it was good to get a little extra background information. It stopped me caring too much about whether the plot was going anywhere because I was just happy to be there.

Then, when the plot did go places, it quite often took off like a rocket, hooking me in for fifty pages or so before it went back to not much happening. Then it was followed up by what felt like a rushed epilogue with a pretty cliché ending, but then I suppose King isn’t really known for having the best endings anyway. I think if anything, it just ran out of steam, and when you consider that it was written across a three year period, perhaps that’s understandable.


Stephen King

Stephen King


There’s just something missing here, that magic spark that King’s work sometimes has. I think different people experience his different books in different ways, and there’s a risk that sometimes with his longer work, if the book doesn’t connect with you, it ends up feeling like a chore. This one wasn’t quite a chore, but it also wasn’t far off it, and if it had been another hundred pages or so I think I would have given up and switched it out as a bedtime book.

My experience then was mostly positive, but I don’t think I’d be in any hurry to pick it up again for a re-read unless there was some big reason for it. I think one time was enough, and it pretty much ranks towards the lower middle of the list of King books that I’ve read so far, which is most of them. It’s just okay, nothing more nor less than that, and while I’m definitely glad that I read it, I’m also glad that it’s over and I don’t need to pick it up again. So yeah.


Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote


Click here to buy Insomnia.

Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way | Review

Title: Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 402

Rating: 5*/5


Charles Bukowski - Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way


This book is one of several poetry collections that were edited together by John Martin, Bukowski’s long-term editor, from a ream of material that he left behind to be published after his death. I actually like most of this more recently published stuff the most, in part because I think he got better with age and in part because I think he left some of his most personal stuff to be published after he was gone.

For the first time ever, I actually tabbed this collection with sticky labels so that I could go back to some of the poems for my video review. That also means that I can spend the rest of this review telling you about some of my favourites. Right off the bat, it kicks things off with So You Want To Be A Writer?, a poem that I’ve seen quoted to death elsewhere by people who’ve searched for “writing quotes” and ended up finding a random Bukowski poem. But it’s a good one.

The Great Escape was another good one, which was about crabs escaping from a bucket and which reflected Bukowski’s own employment at the post office. One Step Removed was about famous writers and the groupies they attract, and A Mechanical Lazarus is about his trusty IBM typewriter which refused to die. A Sickness was also about writers, but it focused more on how they always seem to end up going insane or committing suicide.


Charles Bukowski Quote

Charles Bukowski Quote


Later we have poems about women (Dream Girl) and drinking (Who Needs It?), both of which are pretty much required subjects for a Bukowski collection, but there are plenty of other subject matters on offer too. It’s also split up into sections, which mainly act as dividers to keep the flow of the book going rather than as any official categorisations, but they do somehow add a little something to the feel of the book by highlighting specific lines.

All in all, if you’ve read Bukowski’s work before then you pretty much know what to expect, and if you haven’t then you ought to get started. And this could be just the book to help you with that. Go ahead and buy it.


Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski


Click here to buy Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.