Lisey’s Story by Stephen King


Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Horror, supernatural

Medium: Paperback

Synopsis: Marriages are full of secrets, arguments, and jokes.  No, no.  Scott doesn’t call them jokes.  He calls them bools.  Two years after his death, Lisey Landon finds herself rediscovering memories of her late author of a husband while she’s trying to sort out his unpublished works for a library.  Unfortunately for her, her sorting process is too slow for a university professor who manages to hire a hitman.  Scott, however, in his death, has managed to find a way to keep Lisey and her family safe.  But in order to get the prize, Lisey must go on a bool-hunt all while helping her mentally -ill sister, warding off this hitman, and trying not to think about Scott’s longboy, the thing with the pie-bald side that has haunted his memory, even in his death.

Review: I probably say this after each and every Stephen King novel that I read but THIS was really one of his most profound novels.  It’s a novel about marriage, secrets, sisterhood, authorship, and Strapping On When It Seems Appropriate.

I’ll also continuously praise Stephen King for his works being so diverse.  The main character of Lisey’s Story is Lisey Landon, an aging widow who sometimes helps care for her mentally-ill sixty-year-old sister.  It’s always incredible to see women taking control of their narratives in horror stories, but AGING women?  Who are at ease with the fact that they’ve been through some stuff, their body is getting wrinkly, and their hair is greying?  Love it.

There are a lot of reasons as to why I feel this is one of King’s most poignant works.  There’s a husband who helps Lisey from beyond the grave.  The husband with a hugely traumatic past who writes as a way to process the horrors he’s seen, and the horror that always seems to be watching him in reflective surfaces.  There’s doctors, policemen, university professors, and sisters.  The sisters, whose relationships are flawed, always come back in order to help one another when they truly need it.

And the timeline of this novel, god, the timeline, it’s incredible.  Lisey loses herself frequently in her memories which are both in the present and in the past.  There are memories within memories, stories within stories, all of which come together to create a flowing narrative, one that couldn’t have happened in any other way.

There’s family illness, patricide, hamburger helper, can openers, and the Boo’ya Moon.  The place where Scott drew all of his inspiration, the place where Scott remains.  But does Lisey want to visit?  Is it even possible for her to?  And if it’s night–it doesn’t matter how sweet the water is, all you can do is be quiet and hope that the Laughers don’t get you.

Overall, it was simply an incredible novel.  This is one of the Stephen King books that I’ll keep with me, close in my heart, forever.

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