Okay, to be honest, the book gets gripping after one slogs through the first 200 pages. Before that, we spend a looong time getting to know Bobbi Anderson and Jim Gardener.
But once the book expands its narrative to include the members of the entire town of Haven, the book does not let up. The Tommyknockers
, while not my favorite King novel, is a great effort. people may complain about an anti-climactic ending or the fact that the characters seem to stumble down a path of destruction. Well, that happens in life as well. I think King's writing is at the top of its form...
I think the scene when Jim Gardener drunkenly ruins an all too polite cocktail party with a rant against the destructive powers of nuclear energy is one of the most powerful scenes in all of King's canon, and one of the most chilling without benefit of any super- or preter- natural interference. Despite all of the evil the characters in his novels have faced (indeed, Pennywise the clown makes a brief appearance in a city sewer, which is odd as this tale is to have taken place 3 years after the events in IT
... one thinks King's editors add the dates of the events of his novels to coincide with the publication dates and not to correspond with when the novels were actually written. We also encounter a minor character from the Dead Zone
, and "blink and you'll miss them" references to Firestarter
and Salem's Lot
) the novel makes it explicit that the things that men do in the name of scientific progress can be equally as terrifying as a young girl posessed of psionic abilities. True, the analogy between nuclear power and the Tommyknockers polluting the air is about as subtle as Annie Wilkes expressing discontent, but hey, it was written in the 80's, but it loses none of its power.
This is a very good book, probably one of the most down to earth science fiction/horror tales around. And that's the good thing about King... he writes wonderfully engrossing tales that are accessible to everyone. And that, to quote Martha, is a good thing.