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My First Time: Reading My First Stephen King Novel: Lisey's Story

Discussion in 'Lisey's Story' started by Christine62, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    It was all my sister Sylvia's fault. She was saying how she listened to audio books during her morning commute to work in San Antonio. "Okay." I said. Not really noting anything because she read ghost romances and political thrillers. Not my bag at all. I was a short form girl: poetry, short stories, short essays. I read 'em and I write 'em. I didn't have the patience for novels. The last novel I attempted was in 1997--It was Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. Now I loved her short story, "Rape Fantasies" (which isn't what you think). But Cat's Eye, I didn't get or I was impatient because about a third of the way through I stopped reading because I was mentally editing her book.
    Flash back to a few months ago, my sister Sylvia said "Oh I listened to one you will really like it's by Stephen King. "Oh no kidding" I said, now intrigued. Sylvia didn't seem like the "Stephen King type" at all to me. (I have since revised what a Stephen King type is). "Yes," she said, "it's called 11-22-63 about this guy who tries to prevent the shooting of Kennedy." I inwardly frowned. Not my kind of story at all, I thought. (I was wrong again. AWESOME STORY essay forthcoming).
    I decided to take her audio book idea and checked out a couple of titles from the library. Snore fest. I finally broke down and decided to give Mr. King a try--my very first novel was Lisey's Story.
    Being an adult and a writer I am just wired differently--I notice language first. The language in Lisey's Story jumped out at me. It knocked me over. It crawled in my brain and took up residence in the living room of my mind and lives there still but now has to make room for all the other Stephen King Novels I have read.
    One of my favorite is something that starts out as "the impressive stacks and piles of memorabilia which ran the length of the study's south wall." But the next time he mentions the stack along the wall, it becomes a "slumbering stack along the wall." Then stack that is 4 feet high and 30 feet long transforms into a "dusty booksnake" and I am amazed at his cleverness and am almost expecting it to start moving to devour her.
    It doesn't of course but her memories almost do--they come and she runs--not wanting to remember the darkest ones or even the sweetest ones because those are painful too. This is a story for me about acceptance---a willingness to accept ALL of a person the good, the bad and the ugly. Lisey saved her husband in many ways as long time loves often do and in the end he saves her from her crushing grief, from her fear of the past and from that other thing.
    Lisey's Story was the perfect novel for my first time and I am so glad that I came along to read Mr. King as an adult and as a writing because I can appreciate the layers of meaning in his prose, his language for me is an end in itself not just a means to carry the story along. Mr. King said in an interview that he hopes that people will read his books first for story but then go back a second time for the language--I kinda got that backward, I imagine I always will--I guess I'm wired that way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2013
    Paddy C, Shoe, mstay and 9 others like this.
  2. Out of Order

    Out of Order Need More Time

    So why did you pick Lisey's Story for your first?
  3. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    LOL because it was about a writer and I read it was more language oriented.
  4. Phantomking

    Phantomking Well-Known Member

    I dunno; to me this book is kinda like Gerald's Game. It's really compelling when you read it for the first time, but once you know what will happen, it's not quite as good; in my opinion anyway.
    Shoe, Neesy, blunthead and 3 others like this.
  5. BeverleyMarsh

    BeverleyMarsh Well-Known Member

    I can always read it again. Definitely my favorite and is one of the most beautiful love story I have ever read.
    Shoe, Neesy, blunthead and 3 others like this.
  6. Bevee-from-the-Levee

    Bevee-from-the-Levee Well-Known Member

    I have just started reading Lisey's Story and I'm hooked all ready..............I just know this is gonna be another 'SK Great'.
  7. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    It is an amazing book. So intense, I can't wait to read it again.
    Shoe, Neesy and king family fan like this.
  8. ghost19

    ghost19 "Have I run too far to get home?"

    It's a great one to start out on, luckily there are a whole bunch of other books you can start on after that. Enjoy!
  9. Winter

    Winter Well-Known Member

    I'm on my first reading of it too...I keep feeling like I missed something, I go back then realise its deliberately vague at times. It does make you wonder how much of the dynamic between husband and wife he has pulled from his own feelings doesnt it? Maybe none...but it makes me curious.
    Anyways I'm really enjoying it, though totally not reading it at work. Nope, not me.
    Shoe, mstay, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  10. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    I am trying to read other things but I keep coming back to Mr. King--go figure. I don't think there is any harm for a writer to read one writer exclusively for a while. Faulkner was bed bound growing up and did nothing but read all the classics...over and over. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in 1953. Likewise when Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a young man, he developed meningitis stayed in bed for a year reading nothing but Faulkner over and over and he won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in 1983. So if I read Mr. King over and over maybe in 20 years I will win something--I know I will have a lot of dark, dark pizza dreams!
  11. Winter

    Winter Well-Known Member

    Ooooo ok, now I am all but a 1/4 left to read and man-I am loving this one. This is the 2nd one in a row thats been one of those titles I skim past but hasnt called me to read (11.22.63 being the other) and have absolutely loved them! Looking forward to the ending.
    Shoe, Neesy, FlakeNoir and 2 others like this.
  12. Shoesalesman

    Shoesalesman Well-Known Member

    One of those books where the lagging parts REALLY lagged, and the great parts were REALLY great. First time I read it, got confused at around page fifty and had to start over. Overall, well worth the read... with a few bumpy parts along the way. Don't give up on it.
    Shoe, tmsibit, Neesy and 1 other person like this.
  13. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm going to have to read this one again to read through all the creepy parts about his dad and his brother--I fast forwarded them--I don't like human cruelty--and then why do I read Stephen King---the stories, the characters and mostly FOR THE LANGUAGE.
    Shoe and Neesy like this.
  14. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side


    This reminds me of Lisey's story in the fantasy parts
  15. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    I love it!
    BeverleyMarsh, Shoe and Neesy like this.
  16. Wasp27

    Wasp27 Well-Known Member

    Literally just finished reading this for the first time. WOW. Once the story got going and around the middle where Lisey is remembering everything Scott had told her about Paul... My god. King's most emotionally unsettling work of recent...the images of that poor boy and of Boo'ya Moon are the kind of thoughts that don't leave you once you've read them. Reading this reminded me of when I saw 'changeling' for the first time- I was expecting it to be a decent if not good movie (afterall it's a Clint film) and then I was totally taken aback by the darkness of it. It stayed with me after I watched it, and lisey's story has had the same effect. For me, when I think of this book I'll think mostly of King describing Paul, and grieve for that poor, poor boy and that land where it isn't safe to be after dark. Excellent, excellent story.
  17. WesleyGman

    WesleyGman Well-Known Member

    Was also one of my first SK novels. I got lost into it, and I could read it 100 times. I wish my wife would read it, this book is perfect for married people.
    Neesy and king family fan like this.
  18. MandarkC

    MandarkC Active Member

    I love reading SK's books for his language and the way he develops the characters. The books really never get hard to read if you also look at the language he uses. The 'laggy' parts are generally redeemed by the way he crafts his words, which just adds to the overall effect of the story he's telling.
    I never used to understand when people said storytellers could craft or weave a tale, but SK really succeeded in driving home exactly how a tale should be written.
    Neesy and king family fan like this.
  19. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    This one has grown on me over time. The first time I read it I couldn't decide how much I liked it. The silly language they had between the two of them kind of annoyed me at first but I got used to it. I have listened to it on Audio twice since and really have gotten to like it. Without question my favorite parts are the ones about Scott and Paul's childhood with their Dad and Scott's revelations about it throughout the book. Very haunting. I think Lisey is portrayed as a pretty realistic character.
    Neesy and BeverleyMarsh like this.
  20. Towerbent BreakSlinger

    Towerbent BreakSlinger Well-Known Member

    hi and welcome to the boards, - and if I may offer one peice of advise, Definitely read those parts, it's in them that his gift shows most clearly - the horror of it, others could maybe achieve, but to make the small family unit's odd but compelling love for one another come ringing, Blazing through that abuse and madness, perhaps even possession, took Steve. To understand that, divorced of madness and casual abuse, there existed both a deep self knowledge in which maybe some of the horrible things going on weren't as clearly cut as they at first seem, and a love, twisted as it may be, capable of sacrifice of almost anything to protect each other from the evil/madness that they cannot deny.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2016
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