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1998 Stephen King – Bag of Bones Audiobook read by Stephen King
That question has been asked in countless interviews and articles about the author, but the answer is easy. What scares Stephen King? Tom Clancy.
In early 1997, publishers Penguin and Putnam merged and abruptly Tom Clancy and Stephen King were beneath precisely the same roof. Viking, a subsidiary of Penguin, had been King’s publisher since The Dead Zone, their relationship running to over 30 books, but King’s celebrity was slipping.
In the old days, his books remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 35 weeks (Firestarter, It, The Stand complete variant), 32 weeks (Pet Sematary), or 28 months (sound bookld’s Sport). Stephen King – Bag of Bones Audiobook. But since 1993 they’d been slipping. Insomnia lasted 16 weeks. Desperation made it to 15. King’s earnings had plateaued at 1.2 million copies. That is not really bad, but if you are demanding progress of around $16 million those numbers do not work. 1 writer who attempted to negotiate with King in the time said, I don’t have any problem with building up a superstar author where everyone makes money. But to be forced to pay top dollar so you essentially can make no money?
Bag8Clancy sold more books and made more money than King which meant he was more important to Penguin Putnam. He had just negotiated a brand new mega-deal. The mind of the business, Phyllis Grann, had helped build Clancy’s career. King did not have the juice or the relations that Clancy did at the new firm, and thus, with Bag of Bones, he abandoned his publication of 20 decades and obtained at Scribner. Stephen King Bag of Bones Audiobook Free. He says the move rehabilitated my reputation. And he did it by writing his most old fashioned book whatsoever.
It’s easy to overlook that the amiable writer with his Aw, shucks demeanor did not become one of the planet’s best-selling writers through lack of vision, and he’s never been one to hide his grudges. Clancy sold 2.4 million copies of his 1996 book Executive Orders, along with his brand new bargain in Penguin Putnam was worth roughly $20 million each book, with additional online gaming ventures which edged the deal involving $100 million. King’s goal with Bag of Bones was clear, I wanted to knock Tom Clancy from the No. 1 spot.
So when King submitted a draft of Bag of Bones to Viking in September of 1997, the writing was on the wall. King desired $18 million to the publication, and a higher royalty rate. Viking wasn’t biting. So, while Viking still considered themselves to be in negotiations, King’s attorney sent a letter to various publishers saying, We’re calling a little set of publishers and therefore are suggesting to them that Mr. King is looking to establish another longstanding relationship, that is artistically and fiscally beneficial for all parties. Bag of Bones Audiobook Online. Many meetings were had, but maybe not with King. His attorney ran them while his writer was on a motorcycle trip across Australia.
Bag2No one could warrant $18 million at the numbers King was selling, but his attorney responded with a catchy piece of circular reasoning, saying any new publisher could be expected to do a promotion push that could raise King’s readership, so the cost was worthwhile. In the long run, King went for ego more than cash, heading into the posh literary house of Scribner, home of Ernest Hemingway and Edith Wharton, for a $2 million advance and a profit-sharing royalty of 55/45 in his favor.
If he couldn’t earn more money than Clancy, he would be more literary. But the discussions were awkwardly public and they made King look greedy. I never ought to have asked for all that cash, he later said in an interview. It had been so stupid…a bad move if I could do it all again, I’d have asked Scribner for a buck a book. Ribner went all-in Bag of Bones, both to soothe King’s ego and to get a return on their investment. Their very first printing was 1.36 million copies, they issued 9,000 ARCs (advanced reader copies) they sent bookstores a tape of King reading from BoB, and gilded it with highbrow blurbs from literary heavyweights like Amy Tan. Their press release called it a haunted romance” and did not mention horror once, touting King as an “O. Henry Award-winning author. This wasn’t just to appeal to his vanity. Scribner had hired attention teams who spent nights assessing why subscribers were leaving King. Their major finding was that female subscribers were abandoning the writer in droves since he was regarded as a horror author. Bag of Bones Audiobook Download.
Bag of Bones, with its emphasis on romance, is King’s attempt to appeal to a market where the majority of subscribers were women (who’d left another of his competitors, Anne Rice, wealthy), but it’s also unusually old fashioned. This time, forty-year-old Mike Noonan, is a reasonably successful midlist author of romantic suspense books who has been crippled by writer’s block since his wife, Jo, died four decades before. His cube is so bad that when he opens MS Word he vomits.
Bag5Noonan has been sending his pushy broker a manuscript per year from the four he is stockpiled in his safety deposit box, but now he’s out of unpublished books and he can’t write a new one, while his agent is excited about his new book (such as Bag of Bones, it’s being called a fresh leadership from his fiction) and wishes to negotiate a big-time, multi-million dollar deal on his own behalf. Needing inspiration, and suffering since he finds out that his wife was sneaking around behind his back before she expired and may have been having an affair, ”Noonan heads up to their holiday cottage, named Sara Laughs, at the unincorporated township of TR-90 at Maine. Stephen King – Bag of Bones Audiobook Free. Why does Devore desire this child so badly? Why can’t Mike write? What was Jo around before she died? Who killed Sara Tidwell? What dark secret does the city of TR-90 hide?
If it appears to be a melodramatic potboiler, that is on purpose. This book is a gothic from the true sense of this genre, revolving around issues of genealogy, child custody, pregnancy, dead wives, and restless spirits. King gives repeated shout-outs into Daphne Du Maurier’s great gothic novel Rebecca, which Scribner writer, Susan Moldow, referenced in personal notes she sent to bookstores promoting the BoB less horror but since King’s “surprising upgrade of Daphne du Maurier’s universe of festering secrets. True to the genre, the book climaxes with a huge storm, full of stunning flashes of lightning, and revolves around pictures of spectral women and bodies of water. Each of the hoary trappings of the traditional ghost story are here, from spooky weeping in the dark, to feelings of creeping terror, to soul writing (in the kind of doodles while folks talk on the phone). When ghosts appear, they are wrapped in rotting shrouds, waving their arms like the elderly ghouls of M.R. James, and at the final chapter it turns out that the publication has been a ghost story told on Christmas, in a hot room while the listener beverages scotch, a timeless M.R. James set-up.
Bag1This type of hoary melodrama wants a great deal of patience in the reader, but the book begins strong, directly in the middle of Noonan’s grief, and King retains the cliches because he really believes in his material. King’s occupation, and Noonan’s, would be to obey his subconscious and his dreams, and, as King says, once an imaginative person gets to mental problem, the line between seeming and being has a method of disappearing. Bag of Bones is about the way the slick subconscious wears thin the fabric of everyday life, filled with hunches, sudden flashes of insight, fantasies, superstitious rituals, premonitions, and rapid horrific fantasies that turn out to become jumbled visual cues. Bag of Bones Audio Book. It’s, in other words, concerning the psychological wear and tear living a life of the mind takes to a middle-aged person. As King says, Compose enough stories and every shadow on the ground looks like a footprint, each line of dirt such as a secret message. Is Sara Laughs haunted, or is Mike Noonan nuts? And if Mike Noonan, the middle-aged writer, is nuts, does that imply Stephen King, the middle-aged author, is, also? It is the old Rebecca plot engine gone maximum meta: is Maxim de Winter that a fantastic husband chased by the ghost of his deceased spouse, or is he an insane murderer?
However, King can not help throwing more puzzles about the fire. When King hits a dead end in the center of the book he has Mattie murdered in a drive-by, echoing Raymond Chandler’s old adage, When in doubt have a man come through the door with a gun from his hand.
Bag7The final result is a tight, fascinating book that seems to lose its way halfway through, and then starts grabbing ideas almost randomly until the final outcome is a gothic grown to gruesome proportions. Stephen King – Bag of Bones Audiobook. As the review from Entertainment Weekly said, Popular fiction doesn’t get any weirder than this. But no matter how bizarre it’s, King can still pull off the heavy lifting. There are scenes that feel ridiculous in retrospect (a risible one in which Noonan is chased into a pond by Max Devore at a wheelchair, then pelted with stones till he almost drowns) which are completely convincing while you’re reading them because of the immediacy of King’s writing.