Lisey’s Story Review


Lisey's Story - Stephen King

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, Secret Garden” mixed with shadows of Annie Wilkes of Misery. It’s one of the only novels wherein King steals heavily from himself. He’s borrowed from numerous authors over his four-plus-decade career, but this time he’s riding the Dean Koontz train into Repeatsville. If it’s possible to plagiarize yourself, King does so in this novel. This and this alone is why I couldn’t see rating the book five stars.

With that being said, you’re unlikely to find a better written King novel. I understand why it’s King’s personal favorite. But that doesn’t mean I can ignore the blatant repetition. So what is a reviewer to do? This time around, I’m going with style over content.

King’s prose is gorgeous here, even moreso than in Bag of Bones, and that’s saying something. There are entire chapters worth quoting, and King himself will tell you that’s unlike him. He’s been honest in the past about how he sometimes awkwardly stumbles and powers through scenes with sheer dumb will, and that’s putting it nicely. Lisey’s Story, while being your typical King novel content wise, is a beautiful product conceived by a man who has spent almost half a century publicly honing his craft. It has all the staples of a terrific King novel: the horror, the unfailing heart, and the uncanny ability the author possesses of writing believable and flawed women.

My favorite part of this novel is early on, it is, truth be told, the only reason I finished the book the first time around, back when it came out in 2006. I will admit that the book is never quite as good, story wise, as it is during the scene wherein Scott is shot. Yes, the story is a struggle after that, mainly because it hops around through time like Bugs Bunny and Doctor Who’s hyperactive love child. You must pay close attention in the later chapters or risk being left in King’s dust. Still, these flashbacks and flash forwards and returns to present are touching and, at times, utterly heart rending. Scott’s death (it’s in the synopsis that he’s dead, so I don’t consider that information a spoiler) is probably the strongest-written section in the entire book.

For this reread, I decided on the audiobook narrated by Mare Winningham. If you dig audiobooks, I highly recommend you do the same. She especially excels at performing Young Scott.

In summation: Other than the final Dark Tower novels, Lisey’s Story was the best thing to come out of post-accident King. There have been other terrific novels since this one, but for a while after that van creamed him, I was concerned. I think we all were. Lisey’s Story renewed my faith in King.

Final Judgment: Rehashed hash can still get you high.

(Only three more books to go before I’m done with my rereads!)

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Happy Fourth of July (Paying it forward with some free Audible swag)


Happy Independence Day! Try not to go deaf shooting off whistlers today, because I have something for your earballs!


I don’t know much, but I know I love you guys (Booklikes, Goodreads, and WordPress users, along with anyone else who follows me across this vast expanse of internet). Moreover, I don’t have much to give, but I have an ass-load of Audible codes. 


So here’s what we’re going to do. Because everyone’s been so awesome, I’m giving back to the community. Sadly, I can only offer audiobooks. Good news is, this giveaway isn’t exclusive to books I’ve written. I’ll be sending you a code. Buy whatever you want with it. No restrictions. 


Let’s start out with ten codes. That’s a nice round number. At least half of it is (ba dump tst!).


All you have to do is comment on this post. That’s it. I will then message you with a code. If you’re in the top ten comments and don’t receive a code, please remember that this post will be shared across four different blogging platforms and I will be using timestamps to decide who the first ten commenters are. Also, if you’re commenting anywhere other than Booklikes and Goodreads, you will need to email me to receive your code, as I will have no way to contact you. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get there. 


International Audible customers: These are Audible US codes, so they will not work for you. But there is a way around that. If you are one of the top ten commenters, I will message you asking you what book you would like. I will then gift it to you. Problem solved. 


Final stipulation: I am posting this crazy early in the US because I know people will be out and about later today, grilling and boozing and attempting to have fun with explosives without blowing their tender bits off, so I’m limiting international readers (those of you already about your day) to five codes. That’s half, and half seems fair to me.


To those of you who don’t enjoy audiobooks, my apologies. Summer is notoriously slow where books sales are concerned and money is tight at the moment. Come see me after Halloween. 


Commenting starts now!


*hugs and high fives*



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A Very Special Gift from a Friend.

A little more than a week ago, I posted THIS. If you’ll read all the way to the end of that post, you’ll see that I mention only needing three more books to completely rebuild my mother’s book collection, the one we lost most of during Hurricane Opal in 1995. 


Well, today this came in the mail.



That’s a first edition from 1979. The book is in terrific condition. Probably better condition than my mother’s copy before it suffered irreparable water damage. Jessica (Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile) bought it for me. I cannot adequately express how much this means to me. Thank you, Jessica. 


*hugs and high fives*



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The Fold Review


The Fold: A Novel - Peter Clines

Before I begin my review it should be known that I pretty much hate science fiction literature. I couldn’t even finish Andy Weir’s uber-popular novel, The Martian. I hadn’t heard of Robert Heinlein until last year, and I cannot recall the last sci fi novel I actually finished. When it comes to movies, I don’t like Star Trek, and if Star Wars didn’t exist I wouldn’t be upset. That being said, I love science fiction movies with a strong horror element.Event Horizon, The Thing, and Sphere are three of my favorite films.

But this book? This book right here? This book is fucking awesome.

I started Peter Clines’s The Fold at 11pm last night. It is now 5:30am and I am finished. I’ve read mixed reviews, but I’m here to say that I found absolutely nothing wrong with it. The Fold is gargantuan fun from beginning to end. In fact this review is going to be all over the place because I don’t have any complaints. I’m just going to tell you what I liked while trying not to spoil anything for you. Because you really should go into this book knowing nothing about it. Let the joy of discovery wash over you. Or, you know, whatever.

The first thing I will mention is the attention to detail where character development is concerned. Mike, our MC, is a genius with an IQ of 180 and an eidetic memory. I’ve read about these types of people several times before but Clines delves into aspects of this character I never would have considered. How someone with a photographic memory deals with loss. What goes through their minds during sex. If other authors have tackled these ideas, I’ve not come across them. All I know is that Clines did it well. I shed a tear listening to Mike explain how everyone he’s ever lost replays perpetually in his mind because it is literally impossible for him to forget.

The insane happenings of this book was another huge plus for me. I had no idea what was coming next, and I sure as shit did not expect the second half of the book. It gets pretty fucking epic by the end. I certainly did not plan to read this in one sitting. But after the halfway mark it was impossible to put down.

Finally, the science. I loved the way Clines explained the unexplainable without really explaining anything. If you read this, you’ll understand. In the hands of a less-capable author, the how of the device would have come off as a cheat. Not here. It makes sense, and leaves just enough to the reader’s imagination.

In summation: The Fold is the perfect blend of action, what-if tech, and creature-feature. This book is definitely in the running for my favorite of 2015. All the fucking stars. Highest possible recommendation.

Final Judgment: Don’t’cha wish your sci fi was cool like me? DON’T’CHA?!

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Randomized Randomocity #163

An individual donated $100,000 for the Girl Scouts of America with the stipulation that the money could not be used to aid transgender girls. 


The GSA kindly told this person to fucketh off. Knowing that this kind of money would have made available over 500 scholarships, the GSA took to Kickstarter to replace the funds. In the past two days, they have raised over $280,000.


Fuck H8. Eat Cookies.


Indiegogo Page:


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A Bit of My Childhood Reclaimed

They have arrived. It’s a good day. No way this smile is going anywhere.



The final picture is a section of tear-away calendar I found in the back of STORMBRINGER. Someone had used it as a bookmark. Notice the date. 


The seller found these in a box in his attic. They are the First DAW printings of the Elric of Melnibone Saga and are the first time the original unaltered text was used. Michael Moorcock was unhappy with the versions Lancer published in 1972, as they were heavily edited without his approval. These are the author’s preferred editions. Honestly, I feel as if I stumbled across someone selling buried treasure. 


I loved this series growing up, and they remain some of the only fantasy novels I’ve enjoyed aside from Tolkien. I lost my copies when my storage shed flooded in 2004. Finding these books in this condition… Man, it doesn’t get much better.


Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.


*hugs and high fives*




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The Girl on the Train DNF Review

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Decline to rate. DNF @ 50 pages, but I only actually read maybe 35 pages.

I have a 15 or 50 Rule. If you’re a film, you get 15 minutes to pique my interest. If you’re a book, you get 50 pages to engage me.

Well, sports fans, I am not engaged. The book might be brilliant, but I can’t be bothered. After thirty pages of rambling and not getting anywhere, I started to skim. I rarely skim. Skimming is a sign that something is wrong.

Bad part is, there’s nothing really wrong with this book. There’s nothing really right either. There are words. The author wrote stuff. Loads of people like the words the author wrote, so I’m sure there must be a reason for all these words. The problem is that, after 35 pages read, and 15 skimmed, I see no point of continuing. So I’m not. There. Problem solved.

In summation: I guess this is so long. Farewell. Alvetersain. Good bye.

Final Judgment: Anyone wanna buy a brand new hardcover?

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