- Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date:
- 07 July 2011
- Horror and Ghost Stories
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I thought this book was outstanding. It was slow to begin with but you have to really stick with it.It's about a writer Paul Sheldon who due to very unfortunate circumstances comes across his number one fan who turns out to be a phycopath/crazy nutter.It is one of the best Stephen King books I have read to date and really got my heckles up for the fright factor.I watched the film addaption within the following few days of reading the book and I have to say that the film is no where near as good or frightening as the book.With the way they make re-makes of films these days if they were to make a re-make of Misery they could really go to town on the fright factor as the book was so gory.
Where I got the book: well, I was staying in my niece's old room while I was in England, my sister and her husband being happy empty nesters, and there it was on the shelf. A tattered mmpb with exactly the schlocky cover shown above, its pages yellowed like the teeth of a 100-year-old smoker, smelling faintly of mildew even though the room was dry and pleasant. A used bookstore buy, or a borrow? I have not read Stephen King (except for <i>On Writing</i>) since some time in the 80s when something in <i>The Stand</i> grossed me out so much that I decided to put the book down RIGHT THERE and I was done with King. So I was a little apprehensive about <i>Misery</i>; King, back in the day when I was still reading him, had a way of putting really unpleasant images in my head that stuck with me FOREVER. Was it worth it?I was pleasantly surprised. There's horror in <i>Misery</i> but really very little schlock; what we have here is a thoughtful novel about the writer's craft and the relationship between writer and reader, wrapped up in a scary story that keeps you right where King wants you, with your nose stuck in his book.The plot's pretty simple: Famed novelist Paul Sheldon has found his biggest fan by driving through a snowstorm with one drink too many inside him. He wakes up in Annie Wilkes' remote house with a smashed, broken body to find that he's Annie's prisoner, first of all because she's his biggest fan and then permanently when she finds out he's killed off his heroine, Misery, in his latest book. Oh no, says Annie, that's not right. You have to bring Misery back...Oh my goodness, I couldn't get enough of Annie Wilkes. What a great evil villainess that woman is, all the more so because King gives her the occasional glimpse of humor and likableness. After all, she's a book lover. And she actually makes Paul see the worth in writing the preposterous sagas he both lives off and despises for not being the great literature he feels he ought to write. Misery is REAL for Annie, and in this she speaks for readers everywhere who could care less about great literature, they just want a character they can love and a story they can get lost in. I got lost in the Annie-Paul relationship, a wonderfully delicate balance of power because they both have something the other wants. And the way Annie talks is beyond priceless. I <i>know</i> that woman. She's an American type (seriously, she could be found in no other country) so sharply observed that I found myself chuckling with delight.What King says about writing in this book--about <i>the gotta</i>, bringing it, finding the hole in the paper--is as interesting as his craft memoir <i>On Writing</i>. In fact, often more so. I recommend this book to all writers, and I'm going to acquire my own copy one day because I'll want to read this again. I may read <i>Carrie</i> and <i>The Shining</i> for good measure.
'Misery' is a truly frightening tale. I squirmed and sweated in solidarity with main character Paul Sheldon throughout his whole ordeal.To try and convey how effectively King can invoke pure fear in his readers, I will pose a simple question - how scary do you think drinking slightly soapy rinse water could be? Not that bad, you think? A little gross, maybe, but it's not the stuff of horror novels, you say? In the hands of King, this one little act opens your mind to the depths of Annie Wilkes terrifying madness. And it is deep. Read 'Misery' and in 20 years you may not remember a single detail from the plot, but you will never forget the true horror you felt while reading it.Highly, highly recommended.
Misery is only the second Stephen King book I've read with The Stand being the first. So I'm one of his new fans. I've had reservations about picking up his books before because I didn't think that I would really like horror stories (even though I absolutely love horror movies). So this year, as I started venturing a bit into the horror drama, I picked up a stack of his books on ebay. And since then have bought every single book I've seen in of his in used bookstores and library sales. While I was reading Misery, a lot of my family members said that I should just pick up the movie because it was so great. I've never really seen the movie version of Misery. I've seen like bits and pieces of it (the leg scene in particular), but not the whole thing. So, I liked the fact that while I was reading this, I had no idea what was going to happen, just that it would be gruesome (again because of the leg scene in the movie). The book was one hell of a ride. I find stories like this much more terrifying than the supernatural ones (though those scare the hell out of me, also) because crap like this can actually happen. I'm sure there are quite a few Annie Wilkes out there in this world, which is probably not a thought I should be dwelling on seeing as how it's 2 in the morning and everyone else in my house is asleep which is when, let's face it, most disturbing thoughts take place. I thought that King's character development was really great in Misery, although there are only two central characters in the novel, so that could have something to do with it. Annie Wilkes in particular was very well written. At first, I found myself feeling a bit sorry for her (feeling sorry for the psychopath? I know...), but as the novel progressed, my sympathy waned and I kept reading with disgust (and fascination, I'll admit it) at what she was doing to this man. It came to the point where I didn't really want to turn the page because I didn't want to see what else she was going to do. The book is pretty gory. I found myself covering my eyes while reading these parts even though the logical part of my brain was screaming at me "Alisha, it's a book, not a movie! You can close your eyes all you want, it's really not going to do a damn thing!" So, I was way into this book. I have much love for Misery. Sure, it disgusted me, terrified me, made me question my own sanity at one point, but it was entertaining. I recommend that everyone who loved the movie pick it up (unless of course, you're not that into gore. Even though, that may not even factor in considering I don't watch those torture porn horror movies, and I didn't find the gore in Misery over the top) and hopefully feel the intensity I felt reading it.
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