Book Review: Misery by Stephen King

Misery 2.jpgTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Series: None
Publication Date: 1987
Genres: Fiction > Horror
My Rating: ★★★★☆
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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.

Overview:

“I am in trouble here. This woman is not right.” 

The basic premise is pretty simple —  author Paul Sheldon gets into a car accident in snowy Colorado and is found by a local woman named Annie Wilkes who takes him back to her house, sets his broken bones, and gets him hooked on pain pills. The story gets a bit more complex when it becomes clear that Annie’s got more than a few bats in her attic, she’s very unhappy with Paul’s latest book, and he can’t even get out of bed…

I’ve been meaning to read this book literally for years. I saw the movie a loooong time ago, and I’m pretty sure it was my first introduction to Stephen King.  I loved it and decided to read the book but never got around to it. I guess the time was just right since I’ve been reading so much King lately, and I’m so glad I finally can check it off my TBR! Be warned, though: the book is so much more graphic than the movie.

This review contains no spoilers.

Good:

  • Annie Wilkes had the most ridiculous and hilarious vocabulary that added an unexpected level of crazy to her character. I also thought it was a nice touch that Paul slowly began to use her language the longer he stayed with her.
  • There was so much good imagery in this book; although most of it was pretty graphic. The things Annie does are horrific and demonstrate how truly mentally disturbed she really is.
  • There’s no way you won’t feel all of the terror and pain along with Paul and root for him to get out of his situation alive.  A story that can do that is a good one.
  • The references to the Overlook Hotel from The Shining were perfect!

Bad:

  • To be honest, I really can’t think of too much wrong with this book. I’m not saying it’s absolutely perfect, but I’ve read enough King at this point to know what things he does that I don’t like. This book wasn’t too long, too wordy, or too detail-oriented. This was just a really good horror story, if not super gruesome.

Final Thoughts:

I think Misery would be an awesome introduction if you’re a Stephen King newbie. Read the book and then watch the movie because it’s a good one, too.


 Which is your favorite King novel?

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