DeAnna Knippling's Reviews > Lisey's Story

Lisey's Story by Stephen King
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's review
Apr 30, 2012

it was amazing
Read in April, 2012

A reread; rather, a first read after an audio read a couple of years ago (which was excellent).

I think you have to be a fan of both "literature" and "pulp" in order to like this book.

On the literature side, King digs so deep into people's character's that the pace resembles that of a Joyce Carol Oats novel: fascinating, but slow. Lisey's just this person; her husband the famous writer is the one who ever did anything outwardly significant. But, from a literary perspective, that makes her all the more worth exploring: a person who sees herself as a person, digging through memories of her husband, who, we see, sees her as everything, a superhero.

On the pulp side, we have the writer's story, full of crazy people, monsters that take over people's bodies before you even have a chance to say goodbye, an alternate land with rules almost as bad as those in the movie Gremlins. Ghosts, myths, monsters, more.

Two of the demons from the writer's world start haunting Lisey: a human monster, and a monster who threatens to take over her sister. Can literature, when necessary, defeat pulp? It sounds silly, but with the help of a little Hamburger Helper, it can: it's almost like the message here is "when literature gets its hands dirty, it, too, can kick some mighty ass." Probably not a conscious message on King's part, but I seem to remember him talking about the divide between genre (the descendents of pulp) and literature being artificial at some point.

At any rate, I love the blending of the two sets of techniques in one novel. I just love it.
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