This review originally appeared in the Times Union on March 1, 2007.
“Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King. Read by Mare Winningham. Unabridged, 19 hours, 16 CDs. Simon & Schuster. $49.95.
In ancient Greek drama, deus ex machina was used when the plot got so out of control that only divine intervention could resolve it. “Lisey’s Story” is the opposite.
Lisey is the widow of a famous author still dealing with grief two years after his death. Her loneliness is convincing, as is the magical place — Boo’ya Moon — where her husband found inspiration and confronted horrors.
What bedevils the plot, though, is an insane stalker who terrorizes Lisey for her husband’s papers. This one-dimensional, inexplicable character clearly arrives for some anti-divine intervention to create chaos. King, however, eventually keeps the plot tidy and unsurprising.
Winningham does a winning job of conveying Lisey’s melancholy as well as other characters’ madness.