[to top | index]

the Dark Tower ref. :
Nineteen (19)

First line :
No one - least of all Dr Litchfield - came right out and told Ralph Roberts that his wife was going to die, but there came a time when Ralph understood without needing to be told.

Notes :
The Story takes place in Derry

Ralph and Lois ?? find Gage Creed's sneaker in Athropos' cave.

Ralph meets pharmacist Joe Wyzer.

Roland and his party are mentioned several times.

Ka, ka-tet and the Tower are mentioned

Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis are the three witches that cut your life string, when your time has come.

Places :
Derry, Maine
Take a look at the towns for more info...

Quotes :
  • “When things reached a certain degree of wrongness, they could no longer be redeemed or turned around; they just kept going wronger and wronger.”
  • “Once stupidity reaches a certain level, it becomes hard to live with.”
  • “I think it’s very rare for ordinary human conflicts to resolve themselves the way they do on TV. In reality they just keep coming back, turning in diminishing circles until they finally disappear. Except disappearing isn’t really what they do; they dry up, like mudpuddles in the sun.”
  • “Nothing in the whole wide world can measure up to a good night’s sleep.”
  • “People die from lack of sleep all the time, although the medical examiner usually ends up writing suicide on the cause-of-death, rather than insomnia.”
  • “There are forces at work in Derry that you don’t want to know about.”
  • “In some ways – in a lot of ways, actually – Derry wasn’t like other places.”
  • “The loneliness is the worst part of getting old, I think – not the aches and pains, not the cranky bowels or the way you lose your breath after climbing a flight of stairs you could have just about flown up when you were twenty – but being lonely.”
  • “The truth is that life is both random and on purpose, although not in equal measure.”
  • “Random is crazy. Purpose is sane.”
  • “Life was funnier than Groucho Marx sometimes.”
  • “You may not know it, but shape-changing is a time-honored custom in Derry.”
  • “Anything’s possible.”
  • “Sooner or later everything you thought you’d left behind comes around again. For good or ill, it comes around again.”

  • previous title: nightmares & dreamscapes | rose madder :next title
    PAGE MENU : description | review | editions

  • Written : September 10, 1990 – November 10, 1993
  • Insomnia takes place in Derry...
  • Stephen King brings his usual chilly touch to Insomnia, the story of a small-town gripped by a creeping evil...
  • Synopsis :
    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.

    It is a hulking mass of book, weighing in at almost four pounds and nearly 800 pages.
    It is Insomnia, and if ever a Stephen King novel begged not to be bought, it was this one. At first glance, it is a bloated testimony of a writer's self-indulgence. The main character, Ralph Roberts, isn't much of a modern hero: he is a seventy-year-old widower who is having trouble staying asleep. The first few hundred pages deal with the problems of the aged and the dividing of a town along pro-life and pro-choice lines. These first few hundred pages (with the exeption of a startling and very effective action sequence near the beginning) are slow (not plodding) and seemingly meandering. King, of course, has used this tactic before in his earlier novels (to its best effect in Needful Things), but here the device is a little distracting. Sure, King has infused life into Ralph and his friends Lois Chasse and Bill McGovern, and yes, the reader is happy to be exploring the town of Derry again (the home of King's 1986 tome It,) but really, Steve, where are we going here?
    Then come the auras and the little bald doctors. Ralph begins to see what he thinks of as 'auras', emissions of brilliant light enclosing every person and thing, with a slender stem jutting up from people's and animal's heads, what Ralph thinks of as their 'lifeline'. During one night of premature waking, Ralph glimpses out his window to see two small men who look like doctors enter one of his neighbor's houses with a giant pair of scissors. The next day, the neighbor is dead of heart failure. Ralph's quest begins. Ralph and his special friend Lois come to know the doctors, and their purpose. They are referred to as Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos (the names of the three Fates), and they indeed sever the lifelines of all living things, serving the purposes of Life, Death, Purpose, and Random (what the doctors explain as the four constants of existance -- trust me, it makes more sense in the book.) Clotho and Lachesis enlist the help of Lois and Ralph because the sake of all existance is teetering on the balance. Their mission is to intercept a pro-choice rally in Derry, headed by the abortion-rights activist Susan Dey (no, she does not perform with the Partridge Family or work for a law firm in Los Angeles). Atropos, the mischevious 'doctor' tries to thwart their attempts, at times taking their friends' lives as bargaining chips.
    Until this point, the novel is an exciting, fast-paced ride, but there still seems to be confusion. What is the purpose of Ralph and Lois stopping the rally. When they demand the answer from the 'good' doctors, we discover as well: they are on a mission to save The Dark Tower itself. A young boy at the rally, Patrick Danville, will later save someone who is critical to the Tower's existance, and thus Existance itself. If the Tower falls, everything falls. And here, everything falls into place.
    The final battle mirrors that of It, Ralph battling both a great supernatural evil (one which actually makes a referance to the creature It and closely mimicks It's powers) and it's human counterparts. There is aid from another supernatural being, a "Green Man" (also a reflection of It ... was not the Turtle green?). The ending is similar to that of It, this minor task fulfilled ... but at a price.
    Insomnia is an excelelnt book. Using a mythological and theological backbase, he weaves the story of Ralph Roberts in a tapestry vibrant and thrilling. King combnes old-world philosophies of Greater Purpose and Higher Powers and skillfully infuses them with such current hot-topics as domestic violence and abortion. Still, he doesn't step completely into the realm of unfamiliarity; King is not one to forget his fan base. As with the quest novels It, The Talisman, and the Dark Tower books, King closely follows a small group of people on a giant good-vs-evil epic. As with those other tales, this is one of grander battles and higherstakes, played out among the "Short-Timers" (i.e., humans). A thoroughly engaging novel, and an exiting one (specially if te reader has followed the Dark Tower books), Insomnia really is Stephen King at his best.


    Mark V. Ziesing Books 1994.
    Deluxe1250 #d and signed leather bound and slipcased
    Price: $175

    Gift 3750 slipcased
    Price: $75


    Viking 1981.

    "First published in 1994 by Viking Penguin"
    on copyright page.
    "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2" on copyright page.

    150,000 first print.
    Dust Jacket price: $27.95

    Two simultaneous dust jacket states with red and white reversed.


    New English Library 1995.
    760 pages.
    ISBN 0 450 60848 4.
    On Copyright Page: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Copyright © Stephen King, 1994.
    Illustration: Steve Crisp

    Fiction: Horror


    For Tabby ... and for Al Kooper,
    who knows the playing-field.
    No fault of mine.


    Winding the Deathwatch (I)

    Part I
    Little Bald Doctors

    Part II
    The Secret City

    Part III
    The Crimson King

    Winding the Deathwatch (II)


    You'll lose a lot of sleep.

    Ralph does. At first he starts walking up earlier. And earlier. Then the hallucinations start - the colours, shapes and strange auras. Not to mention the bald doctors who always turn up at the scene of a death.
    That's when Ralph begins to lose a lot more than sleep. When he begins to understand why his hitherto mild-mannered friend, Ed, is getting out of control - dangerously so. And why his home town is about to become the new Armageddon.
    An evil of unimaginable proportions has found a way in and Ralph has only one chance to beat it. The stakes are high - they always are when you're playing for human souls. With a Joker in the pack... a bald one with a rusty scalpel...


    Søvnløs (Denmark)
    Schlaflos (Germany)
    Nem jön szememre álom (Hungary)
    Nesanica (Croatia)
    Bezsennosc (Poland)
    Site & Content © 2006 by Desperation.dk - Design & Layout © by HT~Design