Friday, July 31, 2009

Cannonball Read #44: Lisey's Story by Stephen King

I have to hang my head and admit that I thought Stephen King might be done. I thought that after his accident his books had headed downhill and might not be coming back. I mean, Dreamcatcher was kind of terrible in my opinion. Then I read The Cell and thought that maybe things were improving. Lisey's Story made me sure.

Lisey's Story is the story of Lisa "Little Lisey" Landon, widow of famous author Scott Landon. Two years after Scott's death, Lisey begins trying to organize his papers. As she goes through his things, her past (and Scott's) begin to catch up with her. It turns out that there are dangers approaching from within and without, and Lisey will need help from her crazy older sister...and possibly from her dead husband.

It's kind of hard to elaborate on the plot much more than that, because it's such an odd book. To say much more would give away some of the surprise, and I would hate to spoil it even the slightest bit for anyone who's thinking of reading this one. I liked the character of Lisey--she had a strong voice, and seemed like a strong, likable female character. The other main character in the story is Scott, and he is also well-drawn. I thought the plot was tolerable. The main thing I loved about this was the literary gymnastics that I so revere King for. His use of words in both dialogue, narration, and description is fantastic. Some of the language can be a bit troublesome at times--sort of in the way that A Clockwork Orange can be troublesome--in that the character is kind of speaking in "couple language," the language a couple develops over many years, with special words and inside jokes. It may take the ready a chapter or so to truly adjust, but it is SO worth it.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and will most likely read it again. It's spooky, funny, and as far as I'm concerned extremely well-written.


Spender said...

For many years I avoided King's work but as Mrs. Spender is a huge fan, his books are all over the house. One day, out of boredom, I picked up The Stand and have since become a fan and staunch defender of his work. It hasn't been easy to defend, mind you - Insomnia is the most recent one that I've enjoyed - so it's nice to hear that he's getting back to form.
I'll pick this one up on your recommendation.

The Caustic Critic said...

Duma Key, which is another relatively new work, is also good and I highly recommend it as well.