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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “A kinder, gentler Stephen King”

    A kinder, gentler Stephen King

    Stephen King’s new novel “”Lisey’s Story”” has vivid and deep character development that weaves and bends through the theme of love and the idea of memory.

    The book is more heartfelt than most of King’s repertoire and focuses on a romance between a couple affected by death. Even established romance novelist Nora Roberts has praised the book for its character development and comment on relationships.

    “”Lisey’s Story”” is a softer version of “”Bag of Bones,”” King’s earlier novel about a ghost wife, but with greater opportunity for character development and fantasy.

    Lisey Landon, the protagonist of the story, is made flesh real in the novel. Her every breath is described by King in lurid detail. Her story of a lost husband and what memory can do to bring him back to life feels real.

    King brings Scott Landon, Lisey’s husband, back to life by making Lisey’s memory of him crisp and fresh. She even gets the sense that he communicates with her through her sister.

    The love that Lisey felt for her husband for the 25 years of their marriage is evident through the fragments of memory she has of them together. Most of the memories are lively, but some are horrific. The love is still instilled into all of the memories, though.

    The story has that old Stephen King feel that was missing from his recent books.

    In one scene, Lisey goes on an adventure to Boo’ya Moon, a place that Scott introduced her to, to cure herself and to recover Scott. The setting is raw with detail.

    “”He’s standing under one of the sweetheart trees now. It looks like a palm, only its trunk is shaggy, green with what looks like fur rather than moss.”” This is Lisey’s description of the place. Lisey goes to Boo’ya Moon because she feels like Scott has led her to this place, a place that she thought was only imaginary.

    Boo’ya Moon is magical, with its smell of lavender, but it is frightening at the same time. The setting, with living bodies wrapped in bags and laughing monsters waiting to prey on their next victim, makes for a good chill or two.

    “”The thing over there behind those trees is no worm, and whatever it is, it’s sentient, because she can feel it thinking. Its thoughts aren’t human, aren’t in the least comprehensible, but there is a terrible fascination in their very alienness,”” King writes about the monsters at Boo’ya Moon.

    There are different conflicts in the book that surface, like Lisey fighting against her own thoughts and also fighting other people. Lisey’s own thoughts are more powerful than the people and monsters she encounters, though. She travels to Boo’ya Moon to see Scott after his two years of death. It is her thoughts that would help Scott Landon live before his death.

    The book’s entire plot spans over a week of time, although Lisey’s memories take the reader through 25 years of her life. The book brings the idea of memory to a new level. King freezes the present time to talk about the past. When the present is then continued, the past tucks itself back in.

    “”Lisey’s Story”” might mark a small change in King’s future work. The character description that King uses is remarkable and something he should not steer away from in the future.

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