I'm a big King fan, and -- unless I'm dead broke or just plain dead -- will always read his new novels as soon as they come out, but all in all, I'd have to say "Lisey's Story" is not one of my favorites. It's not bad, exactly; there are way too many beautifully written passages to even consider calling the book bad.
However, I think that the book was badly in need of some editorial intervention at some point. I'm not referring to the book's length (though it IS too long, probably by about 300 pages), but rather to (1) an incredibly excessive use of silly language and (2) too many different threads of plot that don't manage to fully connect.
In terms of the silly language . . . well, "silly" is patently the wrong word for me to use. Here's the deal. The two main characters, one of whom exists only in recollection by the other, are a (formerly) married couple who have a sort of private language consisting of certain phrases ("Strap On Whenever It Seems...
At first blush, LISEY'S STORY is not your daddy's Stephen King. To be sure, there are initial hints of things that go bump, but it's not like THE SHINING, SALEM'S LOT, or even CELL. If, as King has said, MISERY was his love letter to fans, LISEY'S STORY is a love letter to his wife, written from the perspective of his death. This is not an easy concept to get your head around at first. But if you're willing to invest time and attention to what King seems to consider his penultimate work, then at the very least you will encounter a beautifully told tale that is worth your time, energy and money.
There was a point very early on when it looked to me as if LISEY'S STORY was going to be King's major attempt at non-genre fiction, and I almost stopped reading. There are two protagonists herein: Lisey Debusher Landon and her husband of a quarter-century, Scott. In the "now" of LISEY'S STORY, Scott, an award-winning author, has been deceased for two years, and Lisey has multiple...
Lisey Landon, widow of best-selling horror author Scott Landon, is finally getting around to cleaning out her late husband's possessions. While going through his writings and memorabilia, she is assailed with a flood of memories of her love for, and life with, her tortured genius husband. At the same time, Lisey's sister has a mental breakdown and a crazed madman threatens Lisey's life if she doesn't turn all of Scott's memorabilia over to him.
King is back in top form as a horror writer. This story is about as horrific, creepy, and gruesome as they come. Scott had a nasty childhood and a special power he called upon when things got tough. However, mixed in with the horror is a reflection on the wellspring of creation that a writer draws upon and a story of a strong love that outlasts even death. The title notwithstanding, this is really Scott's story rather than Lisey's. It reminded me a bit of the book "Rebecca," because it's Scott's strong presence that prevails...
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