I have to admit, this is the first novel of Stephen King I’ve read and I’m overwhelmed, in a good sort of way. It surprises me that I’ve managed to overlook King all this while.
Getting to the point, Lisey’s Story is the intense story of Lisey Debusher Landon, the widow of a successful writer Scott Landon. She’s unable to accept that he’s gone as she still senses him around her very strongly. She almost continues living with him, carrying on coversations, asking him for his opinion, engaging him in her everyday life. In an attempt to get her life in order, she goes through this study and sorts through unfinished stories, a fully finished novel, letter, journals et al that bring back more memories than she can handle including some that she’s blocked out. In all this her sister Amanda, cuts herself quite badly unable to handle the sorrow in her personal life. From that point on, she sets out on a ‘bool hunt’ deviced by Scott. Amidst all this, a crazy man who calls himself Zack McCool wants Scott’s unfinished work to be given to this professor at the university where he’s taught as a course starts to creep out Lisey. When he cuts Lisey up to get her to take him seriously, Scott’s past comes to haunt her. This past is definitely not pretty. It has an abusive father, a loving brother who dies, a fantasy world that’s beautiful albeit creepy. Finally, the tale unwinds to reveal how Lisey deals with a looney creep who won’t hestitate to even kill her and how Amanda, her sister is also a part of Scott’s bool hunt.
I don’t think I can classify this book as horror. Its a kind of horror fantasy. I loved this book in parts. Only in parts cos at places I was so creeped out that I had to take a break, read something mindless and come back to this. This was mainly Scott’s childhood. The events leading to the death of his brother were truly chilling.
But there were also places where I was totally blown away with the way the book flowed. I found the courtship of Scott and Lisey unexpectedly romantic. References to the Boo’ya Moon, the bad gunky, the bool, the long boy, the bell at Paul’s grave et al, sound so magical and straight out of a hyperactive imagination that it makes it all the more creepy. This was a li’l too much gore for me. The narrative is so intense and powerful that as much as you want to tear yourself away from it, the scenes flow in front of your eyes and sucks you in.
In all, it was some great writing interspersed with a li’l more creepiness than I wanted to encounter.