Book Reviews

Misery by Stephen King

MiseryTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Rating: ★★★★

The #1 national bestseller about a famous novelist held hostage by his “number one fan” and suffering a frightening case of writer’s block—that could prove fatal. One of “Stephen King’s best…genuinely scary” (USA TODAY).

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.

“Terrifying” (San Francisco Chronicle), “dazzlingly well-written” (The Indianapolis Star), and “truly gripping” (Publishers Weekly), Misery is “classic Stephen King…full of twists and turns and mounting suspense” (The Boston Globe).

Misery is a story of an author trapped in Stockholm syndrome with his #1 Fan. Author, Paul Sheldon, escaped away to focus on writing his newest piece of work when he was involved in an automobile accident. #1 Fan and former nurse, Annie Wilkes finds Sheldon after the accident and nurses him back to health. Body broken, Sheldon is held captive in an upset Wilkes’ house. His only way to stay alive is by writing Annie Wilkes’ favorite character Misery back alive after her death in the previous novel. Afraid to make the wrong, movie Sheldon is forced to do as Annie pleases or suffer the consequences.

The aspect I loved the most about the novel was that the reader was able to read Sheldon’s chapters on Misery, you know the “story inside a story”. I loved that! Compared to King’s other novels, this was a much faster read to me, quite possibly because it is more realistic than the other novels by the author that I have read.

Annie was such an interested and clever character. One second you think that Paul will get away with whatever plan he has next, and she was always a few steps ahead, but was very precise in when she would bring up Paul’s attempt at escape.

What is most interesting is that we were reading about an author. In some ways, it felt like we were inside King’s head in possibly how he “dreams up” his ideas on novels to write.

King is one of the best authors out there and it is apparent in this work. Misery takes readers into the psychological mind of King where obsession, addiction, and overcoming adversity rules. I’m so excited to watch the movie!

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