Or, What's Keeping Me Up Past Midnight?
It’s been ages since I’ve come across a book that’s so good it’s kept me up past midnight. Past many midnights! Just to keep reading. I’m half way through Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story and I’ve been losing sleep since I picked it up.
The book is about the marriage between award-winning novelist Scott Landon and his wife Lisey. The story takes place after Scott’s death so it’s Lisey’s mind we get to explore. We learn about her troubled husband and their powerful relationship through Lisey’s memories and flashbacks.
My impression so far
I can never say enough about Stephen King’s storytelling. His style is at once casual and compelling. He trusts his readers to stay with the book as he unveils the story in baby bites, at his own pace (which I believe is part of his mastery).
As an example, I didn’t start out liking Lisey—and Lisey’s Story is obviously about her. I wasn’t clear why someone as talented and complicated as Scott Landon would be drawn to her. If the story is about their profound marriage then I needed to know what the connection was. King kept me hanging on, slowly revealing nuggets, until I grew to understand.
The cool thing is, I don’t know if I understand what Stephen King wants me to or if I’ve layered my own life experiences over his story to reach my point of view. And it doesn’t matter, does it? King trusts me (his reader) to ‘get it,’ whatever that may be. And that, my friends, is what I call good writing.
As I read Lisey’s Story, I can’t help but wonder how much of this book is autobiographical. Knowing what I do of King’s life (run—don’t walk—to buy Stephen King on Writing) makes reading Lisey’s Story more even more interesting.
At one point Scott says something to Lisey about feeling like nothing more than a jukebox, that people drop money in him and out pops a story. Wonder if Stephen King ever feels that way.
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