Book Review: Lisey’s Story

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Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness

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Title: Lisey’s Story

Author: Stephen King

Published: October 2006 by Scribner Book Company

Time it took me to read: 10/05 – 29/05

Rating: 3 out of 5

the story

Two years after the tragic death of famous writer Scott Landon, his widow Lisey finally has worked up the courage of cleaning out his workplace. Many hidden treasures are hidden here, treasures that more than one collector wants to get their hands on but Lisey has been able to keep them away from what remains of her husband’s legacy. But as she breaks ground on this project, things seem to go horribly wrong.

Scott was a troubled man, growing up with an abusive father who had taken it on himself to make sure that he and his sons regularly let out ‘the bad-gunky’ by making blood-bools to make sure they stayed sane, until one day his brother Paul is overtaken with the real bad-gunky and dies. All his life Scott has had to deal with the consequences of what happened to Paul and took to Boo’ya Moon to heal and find whatever he needed to cope with what was happening.

Now it is Lisey’s turn to take over from Scott. Danger comes from two sides as her oldest sister is taken ill and seems to have permanently vacated the premises and a dangerous southerner is threatening her to ‘hurt her where she wouldn’t let boys in middle school touch’ if she doesn’t turn in Scott’s unpublished work to certain professor.

Lisey is forced to follow the clues that Scott seemed to have laid out for her before (or after) his death to make it out of this one alive. Through flashbacks, we learn about Scott and Lisey’s marriage and that Boo’ya Moon is not just the imaginary place where Scott got his inspiration, but an actual mystical land where many dangers lie, and where Lisey has to go to save her sister, and herself.

my thoughts

Okay so here’s the thing. I love Stephen King to death, I really do. But every once in a while there’s this book where I think ‘whyyyyyy’. This especially happens when at first it seems to be a non-supernatural story that works really well, when suddenly he plomps in this magical world. This happened in Rose Madder, an amazing book about a battered woman when suddenly her abusive ex husband turns into an ox and she takes him inside of a painting where he is dealt with (sounds familiar maybe?), and it happened again with Lisey’s Story. I think that if Boo’ya Moon would have remained an imaginary place, his creative refuge maybe, I would have liked it so so so much better.

The story is really very compelling though, from the first page you just keep reading. I do have to say that it’s very confusing, you don’t really find out what is actually happening or what the plot is until you’re maybe halfway through the book. But if you keep with it, you’ll be fine. You won’t regret it. At least I didn’t.

What did annoy me a little were the many ‘Scott-isms’ that are used. A couple is fine, especially if they add to the story, but after ‘bad-gunky’, ‘SOWISA’, ‘smucking’, ‘bool’ and ‘boo’ya moon’, I thought it was enough. Scott seemed to have a different word for everything and that’s great, he’s a creative genius, but we don’t need to hear every single one multiple times.

Speaking of creative genius.. I don’t care how much they loved each other but if my boyfriend put his hand through a greenhouse window so he can bleed for me as an apology when I’m upset with him, I’m running in the opposite direction. Like seriously. What the hell, Lisey.

I did enjoy our crazy Southern friend in the story. He reminded me a little bit of the guy from Secret Window, but it turned out to be something completely different. I think if it would have been a non-supernatural stalking/crazy person story, it would have been perfect.

But of course, it remains a SK book and that means that even if I don’t agree with certain decisions he made, it is still awesome. You won’t regret reading it. 3 out of 5 stars for Lisey’s Story.

SOWISA, babyluv, Strap On Whenever It Seems Appropriate