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Lisey's Story: A Novel [Paperback]

Stephen King
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 9 2008
Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband, Scott, two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was an award-winning, bestselling novelist and a very complicated man. Early in their relationship, before they married, Lisey had to learn from him about books and blood and bools. Later, she understood that there was a place Scott went -- a place that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed in order to live. Now it's Lisey's turn to face Scott's demons, Lisey's turn to go to Boo'ya Moon. What begins as a widow's effort to sort through the papers of her celebrated husband becomes a nearly fatal journey into the darkness he inhabited. Perhaps King's most personal and powerful novel, Lisey's Story is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love.

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From Amazon

Since his first novel was published in 1974, Stephen King has stretched the boundaries of the written word, not only bringing horror to new heights, but trying his hand at nearly every possible genre, including children's books, graphic novels, serial novels, literary fiction, nonfiction, westerns, fantasy, and even e-books (remember The Plant?). With Lisey's Story, once again King is trying something different. Lisey's Story is as much a romance as it is a supernatural thriller--but don't let us convince you. Who better to tell readers if King has written a romantic thriller than Nora Roberts? We asked Nora to read Lisey's Story and give us her take. Check out her review below. --Daphne Durham


Guest Reviewer: Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts, who also writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb, is the author of way too many bestselling books to name here (over 150!), but some of our favorites include: Angel's Fall, Born in Death, Blue Smoke, and The Reef.

Stephen King hooked me about three decades ago with that sharply faceted, blood-stained jewel, The Shining. Through the years he's bumped my gooses with kiddie vampires, tingled my spine with beloved pets gone rabid, justified my personal fear of clowns and made me think twice about my cell phone. I've always considered The Stand--a long-time favorite--a towering tour de force, and have owed its author a debt as this was the first novel I could convince my older son to read from cover to cover.

But with Lisey's Story, King has accomplished one more feat. He broke my heart.

Lisey's Story is, at its core, a love story--heart-wrenching, passionate, terrifying and tender. It is the multi-layered and expertly crafted tale of a twenty-five year marriage, and a widow's journey through grief, through discovery and--this is King, after all--through a nightmare scape of the ordinary and extraordinary. Through Lisey's mind and heart, the reader is pulled into the intimacies of her marriage to bestselling novelist Scott Landon, and through her we come to know this complicated, troubled and heroic man.

Two years after his death, Lisey sorts through her husband's papers and her own shrouded memories. Following the clues Scott left her and her own instincts, she embarks on a journey that risks both her life and her sanity. She will face Scott's demons as well as her own, traveling into the past and into Boo'ya Moon, the seductive and terrifying world he'd shown her. There lives the power to heal, and the power to destroy.

Lisey Landon is a richly wrought character of charm and complexity, of realized inner strength and redoubtable humor. As the central figure she drives the story, and the story is so vividly textured, the reader will draw in the perfumed air of Boo'ya Moon, will see the sunlight flood through the windows of the Scott's studio--or the night press against them. Her voice will be clear in your ear as you experience the fear and the wonder. If your heart doesn't hitch at the demons she faces in this world and the other, if it doesn't thrill at her courage and endurance, you're going to need to check with a cardiologist, first chance.

Lisey's Story is bright and brilliant. It's dark and desperate. While I'll always consider The Shining, my first ride on King's wild Tilt-A-Whirl, a gorgeous, bloody jewel, I found, on this latest ride, a treasure box heaped with dazzling gems.

A few of them have sharp, hungry teeth. --Nora Roberts



--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

King's latest bid for literary respectability is read by acclaimed actress Winningham, best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in Georgia. Winningham glazes King's novel in multiple coats of Southern honey, her voice shimmering with an old-fashioned glow for the tale of Lisey Landon, wife of acclaimed novelist Scott Landon, and her effort to discover the source of her husband's inspiration after his death. Winningham is a good fit for King in a less terror-filled mood, capturing the book's blend of the sentimental and the comic. The narrative is ushered in and out by the strains of Ryan Adams's "When the Stars Go Blue," and King reads his own afterword, where he details the sources of his own inspiration, carefully distancing himself and his loved ones from the characters in his book while making it clear that, like Scott Landon, he must dive deep into his subconscious and into the pool of literary history, to find inspiration.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Stephen King Nov. 2 2006
By Judy
Format:Hardcover
Lisey's Story is definitely destined to go down as one of King' top ten best books. The story, the characters and the writing are all way above the average. I was sorry to see it end. It is of the same memorable quality as King's TommyKnockers (an older Stephen King that is another favorite) and Delores Claiborne (don't be discouraged by the movie...the book is definitely worth reading). King's exceptional wit comes through in all of these books. And from other authors I would highly recommend The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Enchanted by Nancy Madore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I am an avid King fan and was very excited for 2006 because now his fans would be getting 2 books in one year Cell and Lisey's Story. Both totally different books. I really did like Lisey's Story, although I would still say that some of his older works stand out more in my mind as my favorites (The Stand, Salem's Lot). However LS is a new book for a newer time and I think it is best not to dwell too much on books of the past. The book is about Lisey Landon, the widow of a writer Scott, who was to say the least the love of her life and a man with a dark past. In going through her late husbands papers Lisey is set on a sort of scavenger hunt (a bool hunt, trust me it'll make sense eventually). The book is interesting in that it has many genre feels to it, the most obvious is that it is a love story in the sense that throughout the book you see the love that Scott and Lisey had for one another and all the little things that come with being married to someone for 25 years. Sometimes the "inside" jokes or terms that Lisey uses, ones that came from both her marriage and childhood, can get a little troublesome. Overall I really did enjoy this book and at the end I was left with a positive feeling and sense of completion. If you're a King fan you're probably going to read this anyways but I think that any reader would enjoy this book even if you aren't usually a fan of King. And besides it's not even that long of book so if you totally disagree with me you won't be too inconvenienced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Fascinates Dec 9 2006
Format:Hardcover
King has always fascinated me---the way he blends seeming truths with fiction and sci-fi, but not in the way that would turn off anyone who doesn't like science fiction. And yet he always manages to retain his style and pacing. LISEY'S STORY is probably the best thing he's done in a while, and his work is nothing to sneeze at (though I didn't care for "Cell"---sorry!). At any rate, Lisey Landon, the protagonist in LISEY'S STORY is well written and it's really her personaity that keeps the story moving, as it should. Character driven novels fascinate me (I would recommend A LONG WAY DOWN by Hornsby, or what I call the companion book to this: TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE if you're looking for other great books). The most memorable thing about this excellent read was its balance between darkness and light---something not easily accomplished by any author. King gets this just right, and you won't be disappointed. Next to THE SHINING, this is one of my favorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio books are amazing June 2 2013
By Michele
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the characterization as each of the characters were introduced and as they flowed thru the story. It is a long build up to the climax and life is sort of like that too. Highly recommend ordering it and spending the time to sit back and listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for SK fans July 18 2008
By Mo Mo
Format:Hardcover
Lisey's Story is more like classic King than we've seen in a few years. The story is gripping and keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. Although I predicted the ending much earlier on, I loved the way it ended. Loved it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kings Best Work May 1 2009
By Jamieson Villeneuve TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Stephen King.

He has a way of writing that pulls you in and, before you know it, you're deep into a story, caring for characters and waiting with anticipation to find out how everything will finish up. With a King novel though, things never go in the direction you think they will.

That's part of what makes him a great writer. He always keeps the reader guessing and still manages to shock them after writing for decades. Not every writer can stay fresh over such a long period of time. King is constantly changing, developing and trying new things. It's what sets him apart from everyone else.

His crowning achievement, in my opinion, is Lisey's Story.

Now, I know that he's not everyone's cup of tea, but Lisey's Story will satisfy even the pickiest reader. Stephen King has really written a literary love story that has little horror but lots of emotion.

Lisey Landon is a grieving widow. Her husband, prize winning novelist Scott Landon, has died and Lisey is cleaning out his office. While she goes over the pieces of paper and old manuscript pages, she is assailed with memories long forgotten of a place Scott used to tell her about: Boo'ya Moon. A place where shadows breathed and the impossible was possible.

Lisey has more to worry about than old papers and painful memories, however. There is a crazed fan, a man with no morals. He believes that there is a lost novel by Scott Landon and will do anything it takes to get his hands on it. Even if it means killing Lisey.

Although trying to fight memories that are coming to the surface, Lisey must remember everything she has forced herself to forget or she may die before her own story has finished its run.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in the Dark Forest
I found Lisey's Story to be one of Stephen King's more beautiful works, a love story rich in imagery that takes you away to another world, where adventures in the dark forest reach... Read more
Published on March 6 2012 by Ila France Porcher
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't make it past 50 pages
I wanted to like this book, but after getting 50 pages into it, I simply gave up. I read books for my own enjoyment, and if the author can't offer me anything interesting as a... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2009 by Jason Dunn
3.0 out of 5 stars Well maybe 3.5 Stars...
In general, this was a good story and I'm glad I read it, but I have to agree with the others. The first few chapters, possibly right to the middle of the book or so, were... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2009 by WP
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfyingly Stephen
I find that I either love Stephen King's books or want to throw them, but they never leave me feeling neutral, that's for sure. Read more
Published on July 25 2008 by Samantha
1.0 out of 5 stars Tempered to give up after the first few chapters...
I have not enjoyed this book so far, but on reading reviews I think I should "stick with it". Many reviewers had problems with the beginning chapters. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2007 by NJD
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a trudge
I found it difficult to become engaged in this book. There are a few stylistic quirks (like interrupting a sentence at the end of the chapter) and reprising certain scenes over... Read more
Published on July 9 2007 by lilian
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the King I was used to...
I must begin with the admission that I am a devoted King fun. However Lisey's Story is not the King I am used to reading. Read more
Published on March 12 2007 by David
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lisey's story. It was a little slow at first but it picked up. It was nice to see that Stephen King is writing again. Read more
Published on March 1 2007 by Frozen Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars That stuff that makes bad dreams
Stephen King writes horror books

That stuff that makes bad dreams

But this one goes an extra mile

Exploring other themes

Lisey knows the... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2007 by Amanda Richards
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