Book Review: Lisey’s Story

Cover: Lisey’s Story by Mark Stutzman

This is my first foray back into Stephen King-land since finishing The Dark Tower series in 2019. Well, first fictional foray. Lisey’s Story is simultaneously mind-bending, terrifying, and emotionally poignant. 

The Basics:

Title: Lisey’s Story
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Publisher: Scribner, 2006

Spoiler-Free Summary:

Lisey (rhymes with “Cici”) Landon’s husband Scott is dead. A famous author, he left behind a loft filled with articles, notes, manuscripts and memorabilia. Lisey must handle his legacy and her sister’s psychotic break while more sinister threats emerge. An unstable mad fan stalks her. An extradimensional terror calls her late husband’s ultimate source of creativity into question. If all that wasn’t enough, Lisey also wrestles with Scott’s ghost – both literal and figurative. 

Why this book might be for you:

Lisey’s Story is a gut-twisting psychological horror. The tension will have you gripping the book tightly with both hands. As solid as the scares are, the emotional resonance is better. The reader walks hand-in-hand with Lisey through her grief and her awakening. Anybody with siblings will recognize the differing relationship flavors between Lisey and her four sisters. 

Sarah Connor (C) Paramount Pictures

Lisey’s Story is the poster-child for strong female leads. Watching her struggle and overcome reminded me of classic 80’s warrior heroines like Ripley (Alien) and Sarah Connor (Terminator). 

Why this book might not be for you:

This is a very Stephen King book. As such, the reader should be prepared for a healthy serving of swearing and gratuitous gross-outs. Content aside, King has a very distinct style. The reader must be ok with navigating jarring tense shifts, parenthetical interruptions, and incomplete explanations for anything supernatural. 

In my opinion, all of these choices serve the story well, but swim at your own risk. 

Where can you find more?

I’m sure it would be impossible to miss Stephen King on the internet. In addition to his own site, The guy’s on IMDB, has a ‘best of’ profile in the New York Times, and a Goodreads profile.

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