August 28, 2009


Title : Insomnia
Author : Stephen King
Reading Dates : 28 Aug - 5 Sep 2009

Book Summary of Insomnia.
In 1993, 70-year old Ralph Roberts is stricken by a extremely bad case of insomnia after the death of his wife, Carolyn. As Ralph resolutely avoids the doctor whom he blames for misdiagnosing Carolyn's cancer, he continues to try one folk remedy after another without much avail. As the months pass, Ralph continues to wake earlier and earlier from his sleep. Even worst, Ralph starts to wonder if he is losing his mind when he starts to see auras and strange little bald doctors.

It is only a chance conversation with long-time neighbor Lois Chasse who has also been stricken with the same kind of insomnia and hallucinations which finally puts his mind at ease. Upon realizing that what he and Lois sees are real, Ralph also starts to have strong suspicions based on previous remarks made by 2 other neighbors of his, Edward Deepneau and Dorrance Marstellar, too have this ability. This relevation worries Ralph as Ed Deepneau has become unhinged and abusive towards his wife, Helen. Even more worrisome to Ralph is the realization that he and Lois are being manipulated like pawns in a game between 2 opposing forces. Ralph's suspicions are confirmed when he and Lois meet up with 2 of the little bald doctors.

These 2 beings explain that they are the agents of the Purpose while the third doctor Ralph saw is an agent of the Random. All of them serve a Higher Purpose, even the Random. However, the Random sought to change this somehow by using Ed, who is among a very few which belong neither to the Purpose of the Random. The 2 bald doctors whom Ralph calls Clotho and Lachesis explains that Ed has somehow been shanghaied by the forces of the Random. Through his actions, Ed will cause the deaths of those gathered for political activist Susan Day's speech at Derry's Civic Center. The true interest of the Purpose however is a young 4-year old boy, Patrick Danville who must not be allowed to die before his time. Patrick's early death would have repercussions on all levels of life. Ed as a wild card, is among the few who could cause his early death. As the agents of the Purpose, Clotho and Lachesis cannot interfere directly with Atropos, the third doctor. Clotho and Lachesis triggered Ralph and Lois' insomnia to allow them to see the world of the auras.

Ralph agrees to help Clotho and Lachesis. He even succeeds and lives a happy life for the next 5 years, marrying Lois in 1994. In 1998, Ralph dies saving Natalie Deepneau, Ed and Helen's 6-year old daughter. Nat's life actually belonged to the Random and Atropos intended to kill her for Ralph's interference. In exchange for saving her, Ralph had struck a bargain with the Higher Purpose.

Book Review of Imsomnia.
It is a mark of Mr Stephen King's extraordinary writing that he can turn a couple of golden agers into the hero and heroine of his book and not bore his readers. Insomnia starts off slowly enough even opening with a confrontation with a mad man, and the only reason to read on is that you can't help but like the main character. Ralph Roberts may be 70-something but he makes a believable and likable protagonist. Where Insomnia is concerned, the events in the book is not as important as the choices and reactions of its characters. How Ralph and Lois treats their fountain of youth and why Dorrance refuses to interfere in Long-time business are certainly interesting questions. Even the ending is about Ralph's choice. His choice not to sacrifice 1 child for 2000 lifes or sacrifice strangers for a loved one.

Links to other Stephen King books.
  • Mike Hanlon, one of the main characters of IT makes an appearance. Some of the incidents which occurred in IT such as Adrian Mellon's murder and the flood after the destruction of IT is mentioned as well.
  • Some familiar names and concepts from the Dark Tower includes the Crimson King, ka-tet, Roland and the Dark Tower.

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