Insomnia is the twentieth book in my book challenge .
Ralph Roberts loses his wife, Carolyn, to cancer. His entire existence seems meaningless. While listening to her deathwatch before she died, Ralph came across a seriously strange confrontation between his neighbour and friend Ed Deepneau and a truck driver. The memory is forgotten, but will prove to be immensely valuable after his insomnia sets in. Before long Ralph rescues Ed’s wife Helen and their baby, Natalie, after Ed damn near beat Helen to death. During the investigation, Ralph befriends detective John Leydecker.
Ralph, as a retired widower, is desperate for regular sleep again, and tries every trick in the book to help him along his fruitless mission to find his consistent rest again, but to no avail. Soon he begins to see peoples auras and before long little bald doctors. Afraid to share his experience, Ralph suffers alone, and later finds that it is unnecessary. His friend and new love, Lois Chasse, is suffering from the very same problem that Ralph is. Together they need to figure out what is real and what is fictitious, and who the hell the Crimson King that Ed keeps blabbering about is. Together they perceive different planes of existence and reality, and it is slightly unsettling.
Derry is ready to go to war with the upcoming speech of feminist Susan Day, the town is hanging in an uneasy balance. Disagreements about abortion and the right to life run rampant, and Ralph and Lois need to work out exactly how the bald doctors fit into the whole story. The two good ones are Clotho and Lachesis and they represent the Purpose, while the evil one that Ralph and Lois need to overcome is Atropos, who represents the Random. Many things seem to be both helping them as well as hindering them. Will they be able to fight on a field they have no understanding of? Will their reality ever return to what they know to be normal?
I really liked this book. Stephen King is a genius, a unique and elegant writer, sheer brilliance, with such a complex and strange story. I worked through it slower than usual so that I could enjoy it as much as I possibly could, and to savour it. The writing style was again fantastic; Stephen King is an absolute master in that respect. The story was solid, and a little out there as one grows accustomed to when reading King’s work. Everything flowed nicely, the language usage was gorgeous, and the story itself was captivating and chilling, all at once. There was not a single dull moment for me, and I always wanted to know what would come next. I felt I understood what Ralph was going through, and that I was hearing the story from him, and walking through it with the character. I enjoyed how King worked some other characters from other stories of his into this book. He has an uncanny knack of doing that and suddenly something from another unrelated world makes sense (such as Gage from Pet Semetery in this book). Also, it is cool how strongly this points back to the Dark Tower series (as I understand due to a certain character and ones that briefly come up in connection to that character), when I start reading them I can share more on that front. If you have not read this one, it is totally worth it.