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is threatening her to ‘hurt her where she wouldn’t let boys in middle school touch’ if she doesn’t turn in Scott’s unpublished work to certain professor.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

Book Review: The Running Man

The Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day and tread closer and closer to death. Desperate for money to pay Cathy’s medical bills, Ben enlists himself in a true reality style game show where the objective is to merely stay alive

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We start off in the living room of Ben Richards who is watching the Free-Vee. The Free-Vee is mandatory in every home even though it’s not mandatory to watch what comes on it. Usually it shows game shows where people will literally die so that their families can have money. For example, there is one show where heart patients have to run on a treadmill. One hundred dollars are earned for every minute he stays alive. Richard is watching these shows and suddenly decides that he needs to try and enter so that his wife and daughter can have the money because his daughter is sick and his wife is selling her body so that they can survive. He can’t get a job because of his temper.

He signs up and goes through a  lengthily selection process where people will get accepted or denied and selected for different game shows. Ben goes all the way to the top of the building and is selected for the show ‘The Running Man’. The rules are there are no rules. Richards has to run for a month. His family gets $100 for every hour he’s alive. If he stays alive for the full month, he gets a billion dollars. He gets extra for every cop he kills. No one has ever made it a month. Will he?

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If this book started with the sentence “It’s the year 2025, I’m poor and my little girl is dying so I’m going to enter in a TV show where they’ll kill me for money” it would be only slightly more abrupt. It happens literally in the first 3 pages with very little introduction. So, when I was reading it I was overwhelmed with a feeling of ‘eh.. okay?’.

I think it’s very easy to say ‘omg it’s SK, he is amazing and brilliant and it’s his book so it must be great!’ so I’m not going to do that. I do love SK. Christine and IT were some of the best books I have ever read but I have to admit that The Running Man is not on the list of great books I have read.

I think that it has a good set up but that it wasn’t executed in the best way that it could have been. Like I said, it was very abrupt and not at all like the elaborate writing style that we have come to expect of him. I think this abruptness continues throughout the whole book. I could definitely have been drawn out a little more. I think the part I missed the most is some more information on the world he’s living in because in some ways it’s very much the same and in some ways it’s very different. Sometimes it’s a bit confusing. Like, I didn’t realize there were flying cars until the last part of the book. Stuff like that is easy to miss.

The ending was.. okay. I predicted what would happen as soon as he arrived at the air port. There were some iffy bits in there. Wasn’t a big fan of the ending but it wasn’t horrible either.

[SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER]

In the very last part there is this same abruptness as in the beginning of the book. Like, it started with ‘I’m doing this for my kid because she’s sick and we need money’, and it ended with ‘oh but your wife and kid have been dead for nearly this whole time, sorry’. It’s like.. what? I think it was an easy out for that plot line.

Same goes for the whole story on pollution. It’s a big thing in the book and it’s very important. But then in the end, he literally says like ‘oh well.. the human race will find some way to adapt’. I get that he doesn’t actually think so and it was all part of his plan but still.. didn’t sit right with me.

[SPOILER END]

 Overall it’s not a bad book, but it’s not what I think is SK usual standard. I think it’s my least favourite book written by him. There was a lot of swearing, by the way. It usually doesn’t bother me but I wonder how much of this was actually necessary.

Concluding, I rate this book a 3 out of 5. It is a story with much potential (as we have seen from the success of The Hunger Games, among others) but I don’t think that this book has reached that potential. I would have liked this book to be longer and more elaborate. Why exactly is it mandatory to have a Free-Vee (also, I would have preferred Tee-Free)  in your home. How did that company get so much power? When and why exactly did it become legal to kill people for sport/entertainment? On the other hand, it does keep you interested and it’s very interesting to see a perspective of our present and future (the year 2012 is mentioned a couple of times) written in 1982.

I recommend this book to people who like action packed, thrilling reads with lots of fighting and violence. Interestingly enough, I liked the bit where he gets tested for which shows he will compete, in the best. What does that say about me?

Oh, and don’t watch the film. I hear it’s crap on a cracker.

DAY 19. – A favourite author

DAY 19. – A favourite author

30 day book challenge

I swear I was going to do this post yesterday but out of nowhere my mom decided that she had to make a dessert that involved warming cherries in red wine and then flambéing them with some other 40% liquor. After that, I was kinda tipsy and I thought that it wouldn’t be the best thing if I would keep writing because it would either turn out really bad or really inappropriate.

While on the subject, those who know me know that I rarely drink and never have been really drunk. And, to be honest, I don’t see why people would want to get absolutely hammered. I just can’t get past that tipsy stage when you’re just feeling dizzy and light headed. As soon as that hits I just want it to go away. I guess I’m also too practical to allow myself to be drunk. I’m always concerned with getting home and being safe and I’d not want my judgement to be clouded. Other than that, I don’t like the taste of alcohol. I rather have something to drink that I can take a few good swallows of instead of having to sip. No.. no drunkenness for me.

Anyway.. back to why we are here. I’m supposed to name my favourite author. That’s impossible. I mean, there are so many awesome books and writers, I can’t possibly choose one. Those who read my blog somewhat regularly will not be surprised by this list as I talk about them all the time. =P But these are my favourite authors:

1. J.K. Rowling 

2. Stephen King

3. Jodi Picoult

4. Jim Butcher

Yea, that’s about it. Those are the big 4. These four writers have pretty much everything that I need in the world. Apart from air and sustenance. Yea, you got your Teen angsty magic school with awesome adventures with wands. Then, there’s the ultimate mater of Horror. Next there is the one who writes about important social issues that appeal to me as a pedagogue and finally there’s the awesome fantasy/mystery writer who created Harry Dresden who saves the world at least twice a year. Need I say more?

Day 3: The longest book you’re read

DAY 3. – The longest book you’ve read.

30 day book challenge

Ehm.. I’m not really sure what is meant by this one. Do you mean the book with the most pages or do you mean the book that took me the longest to read?

If it’s supposed to be the book with the most pages.. that would probably be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I don’t really know how many pages the book actually is.. Oh wait, I’m the master of the Google machine! *insert laughter*. HP & ootP is 870 pages long. So yea.. that’s a pretty big book.

If it’s supposed to be the book that took me the longest to read.. I don’t actually know which book that is. I usually don’t take a really long time to read books but then again, I haven’t really read a lot of the classics so maybe it would take me more time  to read those than it took to read the books that I have read already. Anyway, the book that probably took me the longest time to read, I think, is either IT or Christine, both written by Stephen King. They both took me a while to read and I think this is because, if you’re not used to Stephen Kings writing, it takes a while before you really get into the story. It’s not always exciting or scary straight away. Take ‘Pet Cemetery’  for instance, 3/4 of that book was build-up and only the very last few pages of the book were really scary. So, if you’re a newbie to the world of King (as I was when I read those), it takes you a while. Especially with very big books as Christine or IT. That was the case for me anyway. Remind me to write reviews on all the Stephen Kings books that I have read so far. There are quite a few. 

Ehm.. yea.. that’s about it, I think. Short one today, I guess there’s not really much more to say about the subject.

Please leave questions, thoughts and/or remarks in the comments please. I’m dying for some bookish discussion.