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Summary

Longlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband, Scott, two years ago, after a 25-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning novelist and a complex man.

Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo'ya Moon is what Scott called it ¿ a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now it's Lisey's turn to face her husband's demons. And what begins as a widow's effort to sort through her husband's effects becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness.

Perhaps Stephen King's most personal and powerful novel, to date, Lisey's Story is a beautifully textured suspense narrative about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness and the secret language of love.

If you haven't heard it already, download Stephen King's interview with Thalia Book Club.
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©2006 Stephen King (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Audio

Critic reviews

"Seriously creepy stories are more frightening heard than read. Your eye can skim the page, minimising the effect of the nasty bits, but such horrors become aqonisingly long and drawn out when narrated unabridged. Unabridged listening is the only way to do jsutice to the style and skill of such masters of the macabre as Stephen King." ( The Times)
"Stephen King at his finest...a dazzling novel." (Nicholas Sparks)
"In Lisey's Story, Stephen King makes bold, brilliant use of his satanic storytelling gift, his angelic ear for language, and above all his incomparable ability to find the epic in the ordinary." (Michael Chabon)
" Lisey's Story is bright and brilliant. It's dark and desperate. While I'll always consider The Shining, my first ride on King's wild Tilt-A-Whirl, a gorgeous, bloody jewel, I found, on this latest ride, a treasure box heaped with dazzling gems. A few of them have sharp, hungry teeth." (Nora Roberts)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    27
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philomena
  • Sidcup, Kent, United Kingdom
  • 11-12-06

Amazing

I love all (well, almost all) of Stephen King novels. This is one of his best. I felt such pity for the boyhood of Scott Langdon and for Lisey's loss of a husband, lover and friend. The insight into Scott's boyhood, adult mind and subsequent novels was brilliant. Will have to listen to it again and again and again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 29-06-10

Hard work

I persevered with this until the end because I'm stubborn and had read about other people giving up on the paper version of the book. I was expecting more, but this was Stephen King on auto-pilot. Perfectly competent. Shades of the Talisman/Territories, but without the true magic. It's a great way to while away a long, long drive, but felt a bit like hard work towards the end. Possibly for die-hard King fans and completists?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • Worth, United Kingdom
  • 13-09-08

great!

I haven't read a Stephen King book since 'Pet Sematary' more than 10 years ago. But the reviews of this book encouraged me to give it a go and I'm glad I did.

The narrator was wonderful and really brought all the charaters to life.

I listen to my books on the way to and from work and I have sometimes sat in the staff car park just to get to the end of the chapter.

Highly recommended

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nicola
  • harlow, essex, United Kingdom
  • 04-01-07

loved it!

i really enjoyed this - quite different from some of his other stories - it was totally beliveable. at first the reader annoyed me but after a short time it seemed the right choice - this story suited her. i can almost believe that there is such a place as 'Boo'ya Moon' the sadness of his brothers life and of his own plus the despair - all conveyed masterly by King. however this is still quite a dark novel as are most of his - so it wont disappoint!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carolynn
  • Peterborough, Cambs, United Kingdom
  • 06-03-07

Lisey's Story

As a huge Stephen King fan - and a 'constant reader' of his novels this was my first audio version of one of his books. I have to say that when it first started I was a little disappointed as I wasn't really sure which way it was going. However, I soon became enthralled as ever. In fact I got so enthralled - I normally have a 15 minute book slot to and from work - that I deliberately waited until going on a long car journey one weekend so that I could listen to the last section as I found that I couldn't cope with Mr Dooley's second visit in small snippets. Normally with a hard back book I'd sneak a peak at the end just to see how it turned out. No chance of that with an audio version.

Since reading the book I have found myself avoiding looking in mirrors at night - which is really rather silly..... but still....


6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Some good bits but mainly boring

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I love Stephen King but have got to say I was disappointed with Lisey's Story, I found myself drifting off frequently and had to keep rewinding because it just didn't keep my attention. To be honest I was relieved when it finished.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Very slow

I did enjoy this novel, although it takes a while to start and the whole narrative arc is quite slow. I would not recommend this to someone who is looking for a typical Stephen King novel. Still, his style and his characters make it worthwhile. It also explores some interesting themes (madness in particular). Mare Winningham's voice certainly adds to the story. I've listened to other Stephen King novels and I have to say if I had to recommend one, I'd say go for 'Bag of Bones' instead. It's not a dissimilar story to this but more compelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • West Wickham, United Kingdom
  • 20-07-10

Not vintage Stephen King but still very good

I liked this book - a very absorbing and moving tale and exemplifying Stephen King's gift for telling a story with a lot a good characters. My only minor beef is that I thought the book too long. Narration takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end the narrator held the book together for me and she does a first class job.

Not Stephen King's best, but well worth listening to nonetheless.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annette
  • farnborough, hants, United Kingdom
  • 09-05-07

Excellent

once again the master of suspense delivers. A bit slow at the start, but soon kicks in. Stephen King has the uncanny knack of making his stories believable - no matter how far fetched! Listen to this and i guarantee you'll say 'schmucking' at least once within the day!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • Swansea, United Kingdom
  • 25-01-17

Definitely King's worst

Would you try another book written by Stephen King or narrated by Mare Winningham?

Based on this book, I wouldn't read another King. Thankfully, I've read many of his other books so realise this is probably his blip rather than his regular output. Mare Winningham gives a great performance reading this book but cannot save it from being a dull story.

Has Lisey's Story put you off other books in this genre?

No. I have read other works by Stephen King and can clearly see this is the exception rather than the norm.

Which character – as performed by Mare Winningham – was your favourite?

They were all pretty dull but Winningham managed to put some life into all of them. I guess Lisey would be my favourite but her story and character left me wanting something more.

Did Lisey's Story inspire you to do anything?

After giving up twice on reading it before deciding to persevere just so I can claim I've read all his books, I guess it inspired me to read something else.

Any additional comments?

If anyone is wanting to read Stephen King's work, please leave this book as either one of the last ones or in the middle. If you read this first, you'd have avoided his other work like the plague. I'd recommend "The Stand" or "It" as a solid first book. Maybe "Skeleton Crew" or "Four Past Midnight" if you don't want to commit to a large novel or just want to try small nibbles.

Don't get me wrong, the story is solid but, compared to his other works, the characters are weak, the basic premise is a rehashing of "Rose Madder" which is significantly better and the 'married language' like replacing f**k with smuck starts off quaint but becomes tedious and annoying very quickly. More so when it's on practically every page. Do yourselves a favour and read one of his better works which, after reading this, is any of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • 14-11-12

Unfortunately not what was expected

This book gets a 2.5 rating from me. While the blurb does not lie in what the book entails, I was expecting a more conventional horror story of a woman's journey into a dark realm. I was disappointed when I realized a third of the way into the book that it is the story of a widow's journey to find closure in the years following her husband's death. While this journey is metaphorical and literal, it is not what was expected.

I found the majority of the story boring and uncompelling. Having said that, it wouldn't be a King book without it's charms. As one reads further into the book, it is clear that this is the husband, Scott's story as much as it is Lisey's. I was moved by a few moments, particularly Scott on his deathbed and his final goodbye in the form of a last manuscript written to Lisey. These moments are to be applauded because right from the very start, we know Scott is dead already. The way King makes us feel for a character that is only fleshed out through flashbacks and thoughts is quite something.

Mare Winningham's narration is fantastic. She breathes life into all the characters and does a superb job of protraying Lisey especially.

This is probably a book more for the ladies. It was ok, but not what I'm used to from King. I took a chance. It kind of fell through. Take from this review what you will. But you may enjoy it more than I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne
  • 20-10-15

Stephen King's Best

Any additional comments?

I'm not a fan of horror fiction but I appreciate good writing and Stephen King's writing prowess truly shines through in this book. The relationship between Lisey and husband Scott is romanticised but the tender moments between them are extraordinarily moving. The real tour de force of characterisation is the expose of relationships between Lisey and her sisters. The sister are three of the most real characters I've found in King's books and there's nothing romanticised about them. Oddly enough the weakest part of the story is the supposed horror sections with the 'long boy'. They're rather clunky. For me the real horror was the backstory dealing with Scott's father. I couldn't help but feel this would have been a truly stellar book if the material had been treated as a psychological thriller and the 'horror' left on the cutting room floor. That said, it's a book I re-read because it's so well written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Niall
  • 02-08-13

Turgid

What disappointed you about Lisey's Story?

Very slow pace of narrative. The story often looked like it was going to takeoff only to bumble along in the weeds again. Unlikeable charecters combined with a deathly slow pace that never goes anywhere. I find it incredible that The Green Mile, The Stand and many other great reads were written by the same man, its such a change in tempo.

Has Lisey's Story turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I still like Mr King’s work and will continue to read and listen to the stories he writes. I still prefer his earlier work though.

What does Mare Winningham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Excellent delivery. It was only her narration that kept me going through a very turgid story line.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Some quirky ideas were good.

Any additional comments?

Looking at the reviews, many people have liked this book, so as ever, every individual will need to make up their own minds. But if you like his earlier work, you may be disappointed in this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 06-03-14

Great Book narrated very well

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - I found the story very entrancing and formed an emotional connection to the main character

Have you listened to any of Mare Winningham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No
I felt Mare Winningham really added a lot to the character and felt her performance was excellent.

If you could take any character from Lisey's Story out to dinner, who would it be and why?

This is a tough one as it would be a toss up between Lisey and her husband

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storm Milton
  • 22-09-13

Stephen King never fails to deliver!

What made the experience of listening to Lisey's Story the most enjoyable?

The whole story was like none I have ever read. I loved it! The characters, as always with Kings books are totally unique.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Scott was such a brave little boy. Even to the end he still loved his father.

What does Mare Winningham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She ignited the characters! They were real separate people.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I didnt want to stop listening! Even when I finally got to the end I felt I could start again at the beginning and be just as enthralled the second time as the first. Liseys Story really is that good!