Too Much Wander, Not Enough Meat
Bear in mind, this is coming from a devout Stephen King fan. If you are looking for something from Stephen King to read and you have Lisey’s Story in one hand and another of his novels in the other. I would go with the other novel. Here’s the issue: King has been accused often of over-writing. Usually, I don’t agree with this observation. King takes his time to let stories open up all by themselves. He doesn’t force them to bloom.
Lisey’s Story, however, never bloomed, in my opinion. The novel wanders from here to there and back again with nothing to show for the journey. At over 600 pages without a compelling story, Lisey’s Story became a difficult slog. But being a true fan, I pushed through to the end. This book can’t decide what it wants to be, a supernatural thriller? A psychological thriller? One can intermix both, certainly. But I felt that King didn’t adequately set the rules in the beginning to prep readers for the novel’s outcome. It felt disjointed with plenty of, “What the? That came from left field,” throughout the story.
However, even after writing this, I am anxious to pick up more of Stephen King’s work. It is difficult to stay up to date with an author so prolific. To the author, I would say this: “Keep ‘em coming, Mr. King. They can’t all be zingers. But your batting average is always above .400.”