Lisey’s Story by Stephen King


I only started reading Stephen King a few years ago. Until then, I was one of those deluded people who thought horror was stupid, cheesy, and not good literature. While that’s true for a lot of horror, Stephen King has taken the genre and turned it into popular fiction AND really good writing.

That said, King’s short stories are usually better than his novels. (I highly recommend Night Shift and Skeleton Crew.) Somehow he becomes too long-winded and existential when he writes long fiction. Lisey’s Story is mostly spared from this, however, because King uses short sections within chapters to break up the novel. He also keeps the reader guessing and doesn’t tell us what’s going on until he needs to. This was a little frustrating, but stick with it, readers. The plot gets stranger and stranger as it goes along. And it’s not just about a husband’s legacy and a wife’s attempt to figure out what it means; this novel is also about the relationship between sisters, between brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, and between people and their deepest fears.

Another great thing about Stephen King is his way of peppering his works with music lyrics and movie quotes. Lisey’s Story contains Hank Williams songs, The Last Picture Show, and other great country-western references. I would probably suggest listening to Ole Hank while reading this book.

Anyone who likes Stephen King would enjoy this book, but really, it’s not a horror novel. It’s a suspenseful, science-fictiony novel about family.


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