I chose to
read this book because of my class’s previous assignment to read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Maybe this was a clever marketing ploy by King: make a book on writing causing everyone who read it to want to read your other books to see your actual writing style and see if you stuck to your own advice. It sure had that effect on me. But in seriousness, this is exactly why I wanted to read The Tommyknockers. That and the fact that I thought I could learn a few more things by reading another work of his. In addition to this book, I also picked up another book of his, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, which I have been reading as well.
many of his novels do, this story takes place in rural Maine. We follow a woman named Anderson who, besides the company of her dog Peter, lives by herself. One day, while walking in the woods near her house, she literally stumbles over a piece of metal sticking out of the earth and stops to examine it.
The metal was dull grey- not the bright color of tin or iron at all. And it was thicker than a can, maybe a quarter-inch at its top. Anderson placed the pad of her right index finder of this edge and felt a momentary odd tingling, like a vibration.
the depth of the characters in this book. The two main characters, Anderson and Gardner have a complicated past which comes up again as they are brought back together seemingly by the force of The Tommyknockers. Gardner is an alcoholic at the end of his rope who comes close to killing himself, and Anderson is a writer living by herself who dropped out of college right before she was to graduate. Because of the struggles of Gardner, through his alcoholism, and Anderson, because of the effects of the Tommyknockers on her mental and physical well-being, and the way that the characters responded to these struggles, I saw them as believable characters.
The Sci-Fi elements which King uses in this book are also believable and really interesting. Fairly on in the book Anderson decides that the piece of metal she tripped over in the woods must be part of an alien space craft. Later on, once she has become fully under the sway of the Tommyknockers, the devices which she creates for herself are believable in the sense that these are devices which she needs, like fixing her water heater and providing her home with a free source of power.
The world building of this story is also very believable and interesting. King basically created the entire town of Haven and at one point he spends a whole section of the book providing short stories of people who currently live there or have lived there in the past. We see almost every aspect of the town play out from where the town recieves its power from to the vet where Anderson takes her dog.
The only section
that was hard for me to read was some of the information on Gardner’s introduction. His backstory and his reason that lead to him hitting rock-bottom, as they say, were a bit dull of a read to be honest.