Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lisey's Story” as Want to Read:
Lisey's Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lisey's Story

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  68,809 ratings  ·  3,838 reviews
Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was an award-winning, bestselling novelist and a very complicated man. Early in their relationship, before they married, Lisey had to learn from him about books and blood and bools. Later, she understood that there was ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 562 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Hodder & Stoughton
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lisey's Story, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kate Cahill No, not if you want to "smuck" them for life....…moreNo, not if you want to "smuck" them for life....(less)
sara After listening to King’s author’s note at the end of the book, I would say no because he mentions all the allusions in the story but not that one.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  68,809 ratings  ·  3,838 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Lisey's Story
Nicholas Sparks
It's a "love story" done "Stephen King" style and so perfectly done that my first thought after finishing was to read the novel a second time. The characters are so genuine and universal that everyone will love them, and the story is both magical and heart-breaking at exactly the same time. ...more
Jan 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that getting to the last page was a relief. Reading this novel was like staring at a cow for five hours.

Mario the lone bookwolf
King wanted to try something new and autobiographical at the same time, it reminded me of his experiment with telling a love story in one of The Dark Tower novels, I just can´t remember which one it was.

There is not much happening and many will find it unsatisfying and boring, because this is one of the most personal novels King ever wrote. It´s a reflection of the time when he recovered after being seriously injured and thought about what might happen if he dies, what stays if he is away forev
Johann (jobis89)
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“I loved you then and I love you now and I have loved you every second in between."

This is a book about Lisey Landon, the widow of a famous author, Scott Landon. There are two main stories within the book - that of Lisey's story in the present, and that of her dead husband's life. Lisey is clearing out her husband's writing space in their home which leads to a series of events that force her to recall memories and realities about her late husband.

I loved this book. And I mean LOVED it. Initiall
Justin Tate
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King says this is the best thing he's ever written, but I doubt fans would agree. That's not to say it's a bad novel--it's not--but a symbolic romp through the mind of a literary prodigy isn't as relatable as his typical folksy horrors. It comes across egotistical and, occasionally, outright masturbatory.

There is no question that Stephen is a prodigy and I really like the concept that imagination is just a few skips away from insanity. This book seems to be his weird way of explaining wh
Kevin Kuhn
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
“She would have thought two years was enough time for the strangeness to rub off, but it wasn’t; time apparently did nothing but blunt grief’s sharpest edge so that it hacked rather than sliced.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Stephen King named “Lisey’s Story” as the best book he ever wrote. It’s a deeply personal story with a passionate marriage providing a strong anchor at its core, which King pulls from his relationship with his wife Tabitha. But, it’s also covers a wide range o
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this makes me think of all the literary critics Stephen King has had to put up with over the years. If a reader does not like his writing, that’s fine, “to each his own” as the saying goes. I’ve been on the outside looking in and in the minority opinion plenty of times, but I can usually see how someone could like a work, or even more frequently, respect the hard work that went in to creating a published book.

Some of Stephen King’s critics have been nasty, defaming not only his writing a
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like sappy Sci Fi
Shelves: summer2007
It started out fairly well. Youngish widow going through her brilliant writer husband's papers...maybe it was a thinly veiled biography of King's wife Tabitha? Maybe it would be good.
Its initial promise wore thin after about the 70th time the word "smucking" appeared. After about the 5th time the main character called her sister "Manda Bunny", the promise was not only rubbed off the book, it was replaced with a bit of sandpaper that grated directly against your nerves.
Stephen King could have do
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A major bomb. & actually strikingly pretentious as well! The search for anything salvageable in this junkyard is an impossible task. You owe it to yourself, invest your time on something better. May possibly tie for worst Stephen King novel with "Insomnia." Or "The Tommyknockers..." ...more
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Constant Readers who want to read EVERYTHING of King
Smucking smucking oh my god so much smmmmuckkking!!

Do you know what i mean, babyluv? Can you feel this smucking annoyance towards this smucking book? Sure you can. Every great artist produces a smucking turd every now and again. Smuck the smuckers who think everything has to be so smucking perfect all the smucking time.

annoyed at all the smuckings? Yeah me too. Try reading 300+ pages of that plus other made-up language that repeats itself in almost EVERY paragraph.

To be honest, the last 200 pa
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I read Lisey’s Story by Stephen King, I am reminded why I love King’s work so much. It is constantly changing, constantly evolving. Each book is a different experiment. Each book is a different tale; yet no two are the same.

King has gone beyond the horror genre with Lisey’s Story and written a, dare I say it, literary masterpiece. Its part horror, part love story, part tribute to a woman’s husband. It’s part creepshow, part romance and absolutely unclassifiable. King has written a novel that,
Stephen King has said that this is his favorite book he has written, when asked. It feels like a love letter to his wife in story form. He puts the idea forward that she is the rock in their relationship, which I can believe. There seems to be a few autobiographical similarities between Scott Landon and Stephen King: they are both famous authors, they both did drugs and drank heavily at a time in their career and they both listen to loud music while they are writing. There might be more, and I'm ...more
I've been reading a lot of "New" Stephen King lately, books that I've put off reading because I was afraid that they would not be as good as "Old" Stephen King. I wish I had not, because while "New" King is different, he is still The King.

I listened to it on audio, but kind of followed along in the book too, sort of. Mare Winningham did a good job reading, and after a while I got used to her voices, although I think that she added a bit too much to the story. She made certain characters sound t
Ashley Daviau
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is just so stunning. Every time I read it I’m absolutely blown away. It’s devastating and heart wrenching and terrifying all wrapped up in one beautiful package. King really knows how to depict grief, I could feel Lisey’s grief reaching out through the pages and punching me right in the gut and it HURT so good! That’s the first thing that makes this book so excellent to me, King really makes you feel what the characters are feeling whether it’s grief or happiness or terror. The second ...more
This book was selected for my NJ Bookclub because it has similar themes to our last read, Bag of Bones. I've previously read this one, or listened, because it was an audiobook, and so this time I read-read it.

I loved the experience of the audio - the reader is great and the audio definitely brings the story to life in different ways than the text itself does, but reading this with my very own eyeballs is rewarding in its own way. First, it's a more active, involved experience. Audio is very pas
Edward Lorn
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans
I have such a love/hate relationship with this book. For one, it's full of twice-used ideas. Everything you find inside Lisey's Story is taken part and parcel from other King novels. The idea of being haunted by a spouse and one half of the marriage being an author is Bag of Bones to a Tee. You have the lush other world just beyond ours that is wonderful during the day, and horrible after dark, via Rose Madder. Then you have the character of "Zack McCool" who is John Shooter from "Secret Window, ...more
joyce g
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A love story. A Stephen King love story. Curious what color is your pool?
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version of this book, and I got so tired of Mare Winningham reading all of the ridiculous nonsense words, that I couldn't even finish it. She was a great narrator, and I actually felt sorry for her. The story went nowhere, and it was hard to care about the characters. This is one of King's worst, IMO ...more
Joanne Harris
I always reserve a palate-cleanser for myself every time I finish reading the longlist for a literary prize, and this time, Lisey's Story was it. Compelling in spite of its slowness, and coloured with nostalgia, tenderness and loss, this is primarily a love story, with some vintage King touches thrown in (to be honest, those touches were interesting, but far less so than the love story, which was genuinely moving and new). The journeys into other worlds, the madman on the rampage, the stories of ...more
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There was a lot they didn’t tell you about death, she had discovered, and one of the biggies was how long it took the ones you loved most to die in your heart.”

Scott still speaks to Lisey, in her mind. He tells her to follow the clues, follow the bools. Her husband, a famous writer, died a few years ago. She spends nights remembering him, remembering his life, his near death, his other world.

“I think most kids have a place they go to when they’re scared or lonely or just plain bored. They call
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Stephen King has broken my heart. While he often writes of the nature of grief and loss, in no novel or short story does he do it more effectively than in Lisey’s Story: a mature and delightfully strange look into the mourning process.

Lisey Landon, widow of two years, must begin finally moving out from under the memories of her husband, famous novelist Scott Landon. It begins in his study, when she is cleaning out his papers; it ends in an inverted and mysterious version of our world.

This was m
Red Fields
Jul 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This is the first King I'm reading in about 25 years.

ETA: I don't really like it much. I had it on my TBR list since it came out. I suppose I read a good review of it somewhere. I'm almost 100 pages in and feh. Not much has happened and while I don't dislike the protagonist I find her kind of vapid and not interesting. There is way too much made up language that is DUMB. So that doesn't leave much, IMO.

I'm stopping at page 320. I am not wasting any more of my time on this. It's waaaay too long.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst King will forever be known as a horror writer, constant readers will be aware that he has attempted many other genres.
With this 2006 award winning novel is predominantly a love story, it's somewhat ironic that the supernatural elements that you'd associate with King ended up being some of the weakest parts of the story.

It's worth noting the context in which this was written, King survived a car accident in 1999 and during his stay in hospital wife Tabbath decided to redesign his studio. S
Helen (Helena/Nell)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mina Villalobos
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes King, anyone who has loved someone who passed away, anyone who liked Gerald's Game
Shelves: romance, horror
As King grows older, his books seem to turn ever more emotionally overwhelming and wistful -and this one, particularly, very sweet. Lisey's Story has a thread of fundamental wrongness going through it that keeps the suspense going -the horror side of King's narrative is strong as ever, the descriptions of the physical hardships are engrossing and captivating in a level that makes you feel terribly uncomfortable, but there's another thread of horror, a very human, everyday thread, about love and ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Not too many years ago, I embarked on a Stephen King marathon (that lasted me a good two years in itself). I did re-read quite a lot of the great man’s books (quite a few of them for first time in original language) along with completing with the ones I missed/avoided. My only other ‘rule’ though, was to not re-read the ones I had read in recent times and therefore this one was skipped then and read now for first time in English.

I’ve always been fond of this, ever since reading the Swedish tran
Olivier Delaye
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lisey’s Story is a bit of an oddball in Stephen King’s body of work (along with Gerald’s Game from what I’ve heard, although I haven’t read it myself) because of its near absence of plot and snail-like pace. However, what it lacks in plot, it makes up in characterization and introspection. So if you don’t like being inside characters’ heads for hundreds and hundreds of pages without much action going on, then this book is not for you. As for me, I find sharing Lisey’s thoughts and discovering wi ...more
Dean liapis
May 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Garbage. Stephen King has apparently lost all of his previously considerable talent. This book reads like a mismash of about 4 of his other books (most notably coming to mind, the Stand, Rose Madder and the Dark Half), and comes together like absolute crap. Booya moon is boring and uninteresting (the place is pretty much a sissyfied version of the territories from the tailsman with a character actually mentioning the territories at one point), and contains an "e
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)

This is why I idolise King.
He can take any topic throw in a crazy stalker and a celebrity author with a vivid imagination and bring to us a story that will live in us for ever.

Not many male or female authors can write from the viewpoint of the opiste sex, but King is so good, you'll believe you are reading a female author's work.

This is a must read for ever married couple out there. It truly teaches about love so strong and during that not even worlds apart can the lovers be separated,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Should I stop reading it? 129 661 Dec 15, 2020 11:26PM  
Stephen King 2021...: Boo!!! It's October my favorite month of the year! 8 19 Nov 05, 2019 04:43PM  
Stephen King Fans: Lisey’s Story MiniSeries 7 48 Aug 18, 2019 03:17AM  
Challenge Corner: Lisey's Story, by Stephen King - Starting November 8th 2018 8 7 Dec 04, 2018 09:20AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please update cover 2 15 Mar 29, 2018 05:55PM  
Stephen King Fans: Lisey's Story 164 644 Dec 11, 2017 08:04AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Blaze
  • The Regulators
  • Roadwork
  • Rage
  • Thinner
  • The Running Man
  • The Long Walk
  • Misery
  • Gwendy's Magic Feather (The Button Box, #2)
  • The Science of Stephen King: The Truth Behind Pennywise, Jack Torrance, Carrie, Cujo, and More Iconic Characters from the Master of Horror
  • Throttle
  • Full Throttle
  • Соло для Соломiї
  • 20th Century Ghosts
  • The Body
  • Heart-Shaped Box
  • Dear Laura
See similar books…
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

Related Articles

When Kristin Hannah, the bestselling author of The Nightingale, began her new historical epic centered on the Dust Bowl and the Great...
168 likes · 45 comments
“There was a lot they didn’t tell you about death, she had discovered, and one of the biggies was how long it took the ones you loved most to die in your heart.” 174 likes
“Sometimes she'd go a whole day without thinking of him or missing him. Why not? She had quite a full life, and really, he'd often been hard to deal with and hard to live with. A project, the Yankee oldtimers like her very own Dad might have said. And then sometimes a day would come, a gray one (or a sunny one) when she missed him so fiercely she felt empty, not a woman at all anymore but just a dead tree filled with cold November blow. She felt like that now, felt like hollering his name and hollering him home, and her heart turned sick with the thought of the years ahead and she wondered what good love was if it came to this, to even ten seconds of feeling like this.” 131 likes
More quotes…