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Lisey's Story by Stephen King - Book Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Lisey's Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story - Courtesy Scribner

The Bottom Line

Does Stephen King need an introduction? Is anything I say really going to persuade you to read this or not? He has his die-hard fans who have probably read this book twice by the time this review goes up; and then there are those who wouldn’t touch his books with a 9 1/2 foot pole. But I will say this about Lisey’s Story. It is mesmerizing. And more for the incredible character of Lisey Debusher Landon than the horrific spells King usually casts on his readers.


  • King throws everything into this one: drama, adventure, fantasy, horror, comedy, suspense, and even a tear here and there.

  • Some might say this is King’s most personal work ever – it’s a love memento from a master of horror.

  • Lisey is such a wonderful main character, you can’t help but feel everything she does: you’ll ache with her as she learns more about her husband’s disturbing family past; you’ll be terrorized with her as she encounters natural and supernatural demons; and you’ll seek with her as she enters the imagination of the man she loved.

  • King’s realization of the love between Lisey’s family of four sisters is as wonderfully realized as his horrific display of a father and two sons whose souls were possessed by horrific evils.
  • King gives credit to so many writers that have inspired him, it’s fun to see who he will mention next (songwriters to screenwriters to authors, Hank Williams to Peter Bogdanovich to William Faulkner).


  • This book is all over the place; even though King tosses the idea off in the author’s note, more editing could have raised the level of his writing here.

  • Despite King’s horror/fantasy leanings (and I’m sure he felt it necessary to include them in the tale), the novel works best when it’s not focused on the fantasy world of Boo’ya Moon.

  • There were moments when King’s writing reached the level of literature in Lisey’s Story (Lisey’s relationship with her sisters as well as the flashbacks to her and Scott’s past; but with a devilish smile King whips something up to remind you he wants this to be a pop novel too (not necessarily a criticism, just an observation).

  • Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago and is dealing with her 3 endearing, yet maddening sisters and how to sort through Scott’s final writings (Scott was an award-winning novelist with a mysterious past and fantastic means of creating a story).

  • As she begins to go through his study, ghosts and memories from the past flood into her mind, reminding her of who Scott truly was and the incredible gift he possessed.

  • Certain others are after Scott’s writings, reminding her of an almost fatal encounter in their past, and foreshadowing a growing danger in her future.

  • As Lisey begins to confront all of who her husband was, she is driven into his dreams and nightmares, which could either save her or be her ultimate undoing.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King - Book Review

I can see Stephen King beginning to write Lisey’s Story, sitting at his desk with a picture of his wife, looking at her with complete love and compassion--and then tearing into this novel with a devil’s disregard. In Lisey's Story, you can feel the almost sickly intense pleasure King takes in every sentence. He is writing for the pleasure and for someone he deeply loves, and it shows. Fans and critics are invited to ride this crazy train, but this novel wasn’t written for us.

To try to describe the plot would be useless--it’s composed of memory, madness and love. It’s a patchwork or an afghan –- strings and pieces put together in hopes of something beautiful. Lisey is to the reader what the afghan was to her in her story –- an anchor to the real world in one that can shift from reality to dream to nightmare.

But the "throw all caution to the wind" type of writing King uses here has its dangers. Lisey’s Story is such an impassioned work, it almost comes crashing down on itself. It can read like so many different genres at once, the reader begins to feel the insanity Lisey feels when she sees Scott’s long boy.

This novel pays homage to so many things, most of which I’m sure are between King and the woman he wrote this for.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Lisey's Love story, Member shrbyrd45

From reading Lisey's story I knew there were similarities between his life and some chararacters in book. He obviously loves his wife and sister in laws. Had negative feelings about his father and cared about his older brother. Demons emerged in his life and also his families life . Secret is how to erase, live with and cope with demons. I think there is a thin line between genius and insanity. All of us have experienced demons in our life. Mr. King uses unusual words to describe demons, escape from demons and what to do to remain sane. Amanda was suppose to be insane but had the best memory, logic and helped Lisey and Scott and the rest of the family. I think the most creative people and wealthy do not do things within the norm of society. They go outside the norm. This was the first Stephen King book I listened to. I have seen a lot of his movies.

10 out of 18 people found this helpful.

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