For the last couple of years, I’ve been on a kick of re-reading Stephen King books. Usually I’ve stuck with the ones I liked the first time (The Shining, Carrie), or at least half-liked (It, The Stand, Pet Sematary). But a discussion on on File770, followed by this (http://www.tor.com/2013/10/09/the-great-stephen-king-reread-the-tommyknockers/) prompted me to add The Tommyknockers to the queue.
It was one in a string of weaker King books that caused him to drop off my radar for a while (until On Writing put him back on it). I was pretty sure a reread wouldn’t get me to change my mind entirely and declare The Tommyknockers a success, but I thought it might be a more interesting failure than I originally gave it credit for.
My evaluation when I read it new: “King does Lovecraft, only he’s better at doing King. Kinda boring, actually (for King). Also, ‘Tommyknockers’ is a terrible name for the monster.” When called upon more recently to explain why I didn’t like it, what came to mind was “too narrowly focused and repetitive” and “hard to connect to a protagonist who spends most of the book in a deluded haze”
The plot — spoiler alert I guess, although this book did come out in 1987 —