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.
I’m not too sure what to make of this book, it has an interesting plot and some good, likeable characters, but it feels stretched, and takes a long time to get to the central story. I don’t usually mind the length of King novels, they’re well written and have complex plots, which I like, but on this occasion I think the story could have been condensed into two thirds the length, or perhaps even half.
A lot of the scenes, while decently written, and either fun or interesting, don’t seem to advance the story all that much, leaving you, or at least me, wanting to skip ahead until I find the plot again.
Not only that but it’s a little moralistic for my tastes; it seems more interested in suggesting that pro-life campaigners are akin to terrorists. I don’t doubt that there are pro-life campaigners who are prepared to act like Al Qaeda or ISIS or any of a number of other terrorist groups, but that isn’t the case for all.
I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who love this book as much as they do any other King novel, unfortunately I’m not one of them.