Misery by Stephen King

Misery

Alternate cover edition here.Paul Sheldon. He's a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest 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 his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house....

Title:Misery
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Misery Reviews

  • Kemper

    Honestly, who among us hasn’t gotten frustrated with their favorite writer and felt like holding them prisoner while forcing them to write the exact book that we want?

    Well, don’t do that because it would be

    ! What kind of twisted freaks are you people?!?

    Paul Sheldon is a best selling author who just ended his popular series of romance/adventure novels by killing off the lead character, Misery Chastain. After finishing a new novel at a Colorado resort Paul has a car accident and awakes to fi

    Honestly, who among us hasn’t gotten frustrated with their favorite writer and felt like holding them prisoner while forcing them to write the exact book that we want?

    Well, don’t do that because it would be

    ! What kind of twisted freaks are you people?!?

    Paul Sheldon is a best selling author who just ended his popular series of romance/adventure novels by killing off the lead character, Misery Chastain. After finishing a new novel at a Colorado resort Paul has a car accident and awakes to find that his legs have been shattered, but that he’s been saved by his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes.

    Unfortunately, Annie turns out to be more than just a little crazy, and when she learns that Paul killed Misery in the latest book she demands that he write a new one that brings back her favorite character. Held captive by a madwoman, Paul is almost helpless to resist the physical and psychological tortures she uses to get her way while insisting that it’s really for his own good.

    This book seems eerily prophetic of King’s career in some ways. Uncle Stevie hadn’t yet frustrated readers of his

    series with long delays between books, and yet he absolutely nailed the self-righteous fury of a fan who feels somehow cheated out of what they deserve. You gotta think that later on King worried that he had some version of Annie out there just waiting to chain him to typewriter to finish

    . He was also years away from suffering his own enormous physical trauma after being hit by a car, but he still makes you feel every agonizing moment that Paul suffers from his accident and at Annie’s hands. Like Paul, King would also have the experience of returning to writing being a matter of overcoming physical pain but also finding it to be a way to escape it.

    One of King’s biggest strengths is that he knows the power of a good story, and this plot serves him well by really letting him dig into that. Annie’s obsession with Misery is something that probably almost every reader can relate to, but what’s really interesting is how Paul’s need to tell the story becomes just as compelling as Annie’s threats. The set-up lets Uncle Stevie explore the whole notion of just why we gotta know what happens next as well as the rules that make it a satisfying resolution or a cheat.

    I could make a pretty solid argument that this is King’s best book. He was very much at the peak of his powers here, and either the simple two person structure of the story or good editing kept this at a normal novel length. That’d become a rarity in his bloated books after this, and it does feel like King at his most disciplined. In Annie Wilkes he crafted a character worthy of being included in a Villain’s Hall of Fame, and he makes good use of her as a figure who can be terrifying, sometimes tragic, and weirdly humorous at times.

    However, I’m not saying it’s my favorite King book. (Probably

    or the last

    hold that honor.) Why wouldn’t his best book be the one I enjoy most? Because he did just too good of job on making us feel Paul’s pain. Sure, this is a book about a man who suffered a terrible accident and then found himself brutalized at the hands of a psychopath so it makes perfect sense that Uncle Stevie would want us to ache along with Paul. Yet, it’s very hard to spend an entire book with a main character who is almost always at some level of agony without feeling worn down by it. It’s necessary for the plot, but it also makes it a slog at times.

    So it's definitely among King’s best, but it's also one I haven’t read it nearly as many times as some of his others because it’s simply too damn tough to get through at times. Still it’s a 5 star ride if you grit your teeth and keep reading as Paul keeps on writing.

  • Kate

    'Misery' is a gruesome story of torture with blood, guts, and a psychopath. It's a well told tale, the characters are well developed and the fact that there are only two of them never gets boring. It's a real page turner, in fact I finished it tonight after getting off the subway on the platform before I walked home. But, this book is more than just a thriller, just like King is more than just a pulp writer.

    I read an article by the ever optimistic and cheerful Harold Bloom in college about how d

    'Misery' is a gruesome story of torture with blood, guts, and a psychopath. It's a well told tale, the characters are well developed and the fact that there are only two of them never gets boring. It's a real page turner, in fact I finished it tonight after getting off the subway on the platform before I walked home. But, this book is more than just a thriller, just like King is more than just a pulp writer.

    I read an article by the ever optimistic and cheerful Harold Bloom in college about how dismayed he was that young people like Stephen King so much. All the literature crtics I've read hate King and it seems like it's just because people actually enjoy reading his work. Yeah, Bloom, I said 'work' just like I would about Tolstoy's 'work' because Stephen King as damned hard worker. Think of all the books he's churned out over the last few decades. I'd like to see Harold Bloom show enough imagination to write fiction instead of just criticizing it all the time.

    I'm actually new to Stephen King's fiction. I've read a few of the essays and articles he's written and a really great graduation speech he gave at UMaine awhile ago in which he extolled the virtues of our mutual home state, but this is only my 3rd novel by him. I like this guy, and I know why too. It's not just because he makes me scream and I have a hard time putting his books down, it's because King loves writing. He has a real and self-aware relationship with what it means to be a writer. He knows he's not Tolstoy or Faulkner, he doesn't try to write that way. He knows how to tell a good god damned story and he has a passion for it. I appreciate his self awareness as a writer and the fact that he ackowledges how difficult the whole process is while not making us feel like he's somehow superior because he's figured out how to do it.

    In 'Misery' it's almost like we get to watch King write this story. He doesn't just set us up for a crazy story and watch us discover things about his characters, it feels like he actually comes with us and makes the discoveries at the same time we do. That's what makes a good storyteller. And I don't give a damn if Bloom likes him or not.

  • Trudi

    I've been re-visiting some of my King

    this year as audiobooks and am reminded yet again that Uncle Steve is

    . No matter what asshats and embittered douchebags like "literary critic"

    say, King is one of the greatest storytellers in any language of all time, full stop. Is everything he's written pure gold? Of course not. Given the sheer size of the man's canon, that's to be expected. But even when I think King has put up something less than stellar, I always feel

    I've been re-visiting some of my King

    this year as audiobooks and am reminded yet again that Uncle Steve is

    . No matter what asshats and embittered douchebags like "literary critic"

    say, King is one of the greatest storytellers in any language of all time, full stop. Is everything he's written pure gold? Of course not. Given the sheer size of the man's canon, that's to be expected. But even when I think King has put up something less than stellar, I always feel his heart is in the right place. In other words, King -- unlike so many other bestselling authors these days -- has

    to spare. The words, the story -- they come

    always. Even after all these years, I really believe he does it for

    , not for the next bloated paycheck (*cough* James Patterson *cough* whore).

    I first read

    when I was seventeen years old. I started it about eight o'clock that evening, and finished it about four in the morning. Heart pounding, bleary eyed and afraid to open my closet door lest Annie Wilkes was waiting there for me with an axe or chainsaw raised over her head. Whenever we're excited about a book, readers will often say "OMG, I couldn't put it down!" but we probably did, at least once, to go to work, get supper, put the kids to bed, whatever. It's not meant to be a

    per se, though sometimes it is and whoah to the power of a book that can hold you in its ironclad grip with such uncompromising resolution. That will make you stay up til the wee hours of the morning even though you have work or school the next day. Or breakfast to make for a screaming brood of little ones.

    I couldn't put

    down that first time. King has penned some page-turning mothers over the years, but the story of Paul Sheldon and his number one fan Annie Wilkes has got to be the most page-turning of them all. I guess you could classify this book as psychological suspense, since there are absolutely no supernatural elements introduced here, but for me

    will remain classic horror because I really do feel like King's ultimate goal in writing it is to scare the shit out of us. And in this he succeeds brilliantly. We're trapped in that room with Paul Sheldon. The desire to escape is overwhelming. You begin to understand how an animal can chew its own leg off. And Annie Wilkes? Has there ever been a literary creation able to make you lose control of your bladder so effectively? She haunts my nightmares still.

    King not only does an amazing job examining the sometimes deranged and twisted fan/creator relationship when a mental illness is introduced, but more significantly, the beating heart of the writing life. In

    , King is able to inject a lot of what he knows and believes about the craft and all the tics and challenges that come along with it. Until he published

    ,

    was King's most passionate description of the weird and wonderful life of a fiction writer.

    I like to think one of my favorite passages is King's version of a big middle finger to the critics who have lambasted him (and likely will continue to do so into the afterlife) as a hack:

    Can he ever. Am I right, Constant Readers? Can I get a witness?

    When I listened to

    a few months back, I argued that it shared a lot more similarities to

    than to the book it's always paired with

    . In my review for Gerald's Game I write: "what King is really doing is looking at the human body under brutalizing physical duress... at the body

    and what humans are genetically hardwired to do to survive and go on living another day."

    Like Jessie Burlingame in Gerald's Game, Paul Sheldon is a miserable animal caught in a trap. While Paul has the indomitable Annie Wilkes to contend with, Jessie has her own problems, but it all adds up to the same thing in the end: "In telling Jessie's story King uncovers all the nitty-gritty minutia of human physical suffering and the desperation of one woman's attempt to end it. How far is any one person willing to go to keep on taking his or her next breath? Stephen King knows

    . Just ask Paul Sheldon or Ray Garraty. Or the castaway in

    -- him most of all. King also knows that the human body has an amazing capacity for trauma. It can withstand a lot -- so much so that the mind often breaks first."

    Yes it does.

    I'm going to end this review the same way I ended my review for Gerald's Game, with a quote from

    made in the Stephen King Fans forum here on Goodreads. I keep coming back to this quote because I think it really captures what is so deeply disturbing and terrifying about both these novels. And what makes them

    once begun. Each go:

  • Stepheny

    My whole life people have had a hard time handling my

    personality. I don’t ever just like things- I’m either completely enamored with it or not all that interested. It’s just how I was made. My obsession with Harry Potter is seen as “excessive” and I’m constantly made fun of for my fondness of it. I get asked “aren’t you a little old for that” almost regularly and I have given up trying to respond because I really don’t feel it necessary to explain myself to anyone.

    I am als

    My whole life people have had a hard time handling my

    personality. I don’t ever just like things- I’m either completely enamored with it or not all that interested. It’s just how I was made. My obsession with Harry Potter is seen as “excessive” and I’m constantly made fun of for my fondness of it. I get asked “aren’t you a little old for that” almost regularly and I have given up trying to respond because I really don’t feel it necessary to explain myself to anyone.

    I am also ridiculed for my obsession with Stephen King. I find his writing to be nothing short of amazing and people who aren't fans of his just think he writes “that horror and gore crap”. Surely a serious reader can’t be a King fan. According to a lot of people I know it works the same way when flipped around- a King fan cannot be a serious reader. Well, I will tell you I am both. I am a King fan

    and a serious reader.

    But, I’m not always a serious reviewer.

    For you all I have compiled a list. This list is my defense:

    1.) I would never harm Stephen King in any way, shape or form. Not intentionally anyway- I may accidentally harm him by tripping over my own feet in a rush to get to him and crash into him causing him to fall through a window. Or I might tackle him from behind in an attempt to hug him fiercely. I might even bite him just to see if he’s real. BUT I would not hurt him.

    2.) I have never killed anyone. (I think legally I am required to say that…)

    3.)I don’t have an unlimited supply of any type of narcotic. I have a cousin who’s a doctor, but he’s of the Straight and Narrow variety.

    4.) I don’t have…..

    lapses in my thoughts.

    5.) I understand the severity of an addiction and understand fully that King has struggled with it in his past, therefore I wouldn't get him hooked on a painkiller to make him completely dependent on me.

    6.) I wouldn’t want to have Stephen King in my home. Don’t get me wrong, I have a beautiful home, but his house is way fucking cooler. I mean- gargoyles on a wrought iron gate that looks like a spiderweb?! HOW fucking awesome.

    7.) Being that I want to be in his house so bad, I would just like to sneak in a back window and hide in a cupboard and live in his house without him knowing for as long as possible. I’d sneak a shower in his shower, smell his clothes, lie on his side of the bed, lick his typewriter…you know those kinds of things.

    8.) I want to be friends with Stephen King- not make him fear for his life. I think if he were to meet me he’d be completely charmed by my glowing personality and welcome me as one of his own by saying: “Welcome to the family, kid!” or something along those lines.

    9.) I’d order take-out instead of making him eat all that soup in the event that he

    in my home. We could eat Chinese food while watching old horror flicks together. BFFFL.

    10.) My final point- my name is Stepheny, not Annie, so I can’t be her.

    All around this was a great read- you should totally check it out.

    And for the record, Stephen King, you have

    to be afraid of.

    Signed,

    Your Number 1 Fan.

  • Will M.

    *I just watched the movie and I can safely say that the book was 100x more enjoyable for me. I didn't like the changes that they did, but the cast was spot on. Couldn't ask for a better Paul and Annie.

    -------------

    After the two month hiatus from Stephen King, I promised myself that I'm not going to let the fact that he's my favorite author, affect my rating of whatever book of his I'm reading next. I think I've proven myself before by giving Wizard and Glass a 2-star rating, even if it was damn

    *I just watched the movie and I can safely say that the book was 100x more enjoyable for me. I didn't like the changes that they did, but the cast was spot on. Couldn't ask for a better Paul and Annie.

    -------------

    After the two month hiatus from Stephen King, I promised myself that I'm not going to let the fact that he's my favorite author, affect my rating of whatever book of his I'm reading next. I think I've proven myself before by giving Wizard and Glass a 2-star rating, even if it was damn hard. I'm very straightforward when it comes to wasted time because of reading a horrible book. Misery is not one of those books. Misery is one of those I'd recommend it to everybody I know kind of books.

    I'm not going to dwell much on the summary, because it sucks when spoilers ruin one's book experience. I've had a few encounters with spoilers, and honestly that's the real reason why I haven't read Stephen King's "It" yet. I already know the secret/mystery to it, but I'm getting a first edition hardbound copy of it though, so I'm reading it soon. Anyway, back to Misery. To keep it short, it's all about Paul Sheldon, the writer, being held captive of the crazy psycho Annie. She's obsessed with him, but that's not the only reason why she did those crazy things. She's just normally cock-a-doodie in the head.

    Just like most of the King novels I've read, the main epitome of greatness lies on the characters. King has the gift of creating characters that would leave a mark. They're just so well developed that you'd learn to love them one way or another. Paul was quite similar to Louis Creed from Pet Sematary. His writer characters are quite similar in a few manners but they still have great qualities of their own. Paul exuded a genuine personality in this novel. It was hard not to like him because his panicky behavior right from the first ten chapters already made me like him a lot. Right till the end, he remained true to his character. Annie on the other hand was completely terrifying. I love psychological thrillers, but Stephen King managed to incorporate a huge amount of horror in the genre. Annie was not just scary, but she gave me a phobia. A phobia of crazy psychos capable of doing what she did in the novel. I liked her, despite all the craziness, because she delivered what she was supposed to in the first place. In the psycho thriller genre, the crazier and scarier the better. King can write anything he wants.

    Aside from the characters, I really liked the violence. Annie didn't hold back, she did crazy gut wrenching things. I've read and seen worse of course, but the things she did were still quite scary. Because it seems to fit the situation well, and hopefully you guys reading this used to watch spongebob, all I can say is "MY LEEEEEG".

    5/5 stars. Like I said in the first part of my review, I was not biased when I rated this a 5. This novel deserves no less. It was amazing and I can't believe I've only read this now. I'm highly recommending this, but be warned that you might lose a few nights sleep. Pet Sematary was still a bit scarier that this, but Misery gave a different kind of scare because it didn't have that supernatural element that I knew was not going to happen in Sematary. Misery felt real because there might be an Annie waiting to kidnap me like that. King can give you different kinds of scare, and all of them are equally terrifying. One of those King novels I plan on reading again in the future.

  • Dan Schwent

    To celebrate completing a novel, writer Paul Sheldon goes on a champagne-fueled drive in the Rocky mountains. He winds up in a near fatal car crash, but never fear. He's rescued by Annie Wilkes, his #1 fan...

    I watched the film version of Misery in those antediluvian days before Goodreads, hell, before the Internet, and decided to finally read the novel when it showed up on my BookGorilla email one day. It was $2.99 very well spent.

    Misery is a tale of obsession, addiction, and obsession. I wrote

    To celebrate completing a novel, writer Paul Sheldon goes on a champagne-fueled drive in the Rocky mountains. He winds up in a near fatal car crash, but never fear. He's rescued by Annie Wilkes, his #1 fan...

    I watched the film version of Misery in those antediluvian days before Goodreads, hell, before the Internet, and decided to finally read the novel when it showed up on my BookGorilla email one day. It was $2.99 very well spent.

    Misery is a tale of obsession, addiction, and obsession. I wrote "obsession" twice but it's a such a big theme I thought it was justified. Annie Wilkes is obsessed with her favorite series of books starring Misery Chastain, written by that dirty birdie Paul Sheldon. Paul is obsessed with finishing the book Annie has demanded of him and probably addicted to writing. Also to codeine.

    I've said it before but I'll say it again. If Stephen King wasn't addicted to scaring the bodily fluids out of people, he'd be a literary writer of some renown. The guy can flat out write. Just because he cranks out a best seller more often than most of us go to the dentist doesn't mean he's the real deal.

    The scariest horror stories are the ones that could actually happen and Misery is one of those. Who among us hasn't had visions of being held captive when driving through a remote locale? Annie is so much more than the scene-chewing maniac she could have been. She has dimension and believes she's in the right, which is the mark of a great villain. Her background is very fleshed out and my heart sank as I learned her past along with Paul. How the hell was he going to escape that monster?

    Paul's journey is painful, both to him and to the reader, thanks to King's skill. I had to make sure my foot was still attached a couple times. Annie puts him through hell and he finally gives her a taste of her own medicine but the ending is far from happily ever after.

    As is usually the case, the book was a notch better than the movie. I've been easy with the 5's this year but I'll give this one a cockadoodie 5 out of 5 stars just the same.

  • AMEERA

    4.75

    i can tell this my favourite book of Stephen king so far

  • Flor

    Horrorosamente GENIAL.!! 😱😱😱

    Directo a la lista de mis libros favoritos .!!

    Me ha encantado y a la vez me ha hecho sufrir de miedo, angustia y tensión desde el primer capítulo hasta el último.

    Tuve pesadillas dos noches seguidas...

    Estoy convencida de que los libros que generan tantos sentimientos en el lector merecen muchas estrellas.!!

    Me gustó mucho el guiño que hace el autor a “El resplandor”.

    Stephen describe tan bien a los dos personajes de esta novela, que por momentos me olvidaba que estaba

    Horrorosamente GENIAL.!! 😱😱😱

    Directo a la lista de mis libros favoritos .!!

    Me ha encantado y a la vez me ha hecho sufrir de miedo, angustia y tensión desde el primer capítulo hasta el último.

    Tuve pesadillas dos noches seguidas...

    Estoy convencida de que los libros que generan tantos sentimientos en el lector merecen muchas estrellas.!!

    Me gustó mucho el guiño que hace el autor a “El resplandor”.

    Stephen describe tan bien a los dos personajes de esta novela, que por momentos me olvidaba que estaba leyendo y me sentía igual de atrapada que Paul en la habitación de huéspedes.

    En cuanto a la villana, Annie Wilkes ha despertado en mi un odio infinito y va a ser muy difícil que la olvide.

    Espero que si no lo han leído se animen y que lo disfruten tanto como yo .!

    Saludos.!!

  • Nayra.Hassan

    و لماذا لم نخطف د.تامر ابراهيم ليكمل لنا ثلاثية "الذي لم يمت"؟ فالاعوام تمر و تمر

    و لماذا لم نخطف د.احمد خالد توفيق لنعيد رفعت اسماعيل للحياة؟.. .فقد كان يؤنسنا حقا

    و لماذا لم يخطفوا ارثر كونان دويل ليعيد شرلوك هولمز للحياة؟ فهو من قتله لمزاجه الخاص😈لاننا عاقلين طبعا

    منذ ان افاق بول شيلدون على انفاس تقتحم جهازه التنفسي قسرا برائحة الفانيليا و الشيكولاته ..أدرك ان احلى ايامه قد مضت إلى غير رجعة ..فهل من الممكن ان تعيش بسلام بعد ان قابلت" انى ويلكوكس "؟

    فلتتامل جيدا تلك الممرضة الممتلئة البشوشة و

    و لماذا لم نخطف د.تامر ابراهيم ليكمل لنا ثلاثية "الذي لم يمت"؟ فالاعوام تمر و تمر

    و لماذا لم نخطف د.احمد خالد توفيق لنعيد رفعت اسماعيل للحياة؟.. .فقد كان يؤنسنا حقا

    و لماذا لم يخطفوا ارثر كونان دويل ليعيد شرلوك هولمز للحياة؟ فهو من قتله لمزاجه الخاص😈لاننا عاقلين طبعا

    منذ ان افاق بول شيلدون على انفاس تقتحم جهازه التنفسي قسرا برائحة الفانيليا و الشيكولاته ..أدرك ان احلى ايامه قد مضت إلى غير رجعة ..فهل من الممكن ان تعيش بسلام بعد ان قابلت" انى ويلكوكس "؟

    فلتتامل جيدا تلك الممرضة الممتلئة البشوشة و ركز في لون السائل الذي تحقنك به ..فقد تكون حقنتك الأخيرة 💉

    ميزرى هي رعب دفين لدى كل مؤلف شهير تغريه الاجزاء المتعددة..احذر فقد تودي بك إلى حتفك ..ستصبح كلمة: اكتب هي كابوسك المقيم

    ستظل اني ويلكوكس اغرب بطلات كينج و تتربع مع مهرج"الشيء"على القمة فهي : المعجبة رقم واحد. .لقب ساحر لولا اصرارها المرعب على أن يعيد كاتبها بطلتها المفضلة للحياة

    .و لو بخطفه و احتجازه و تكسير ساقه مرارا🙈 و ما خفي أكثر بكثير..

    من السهل ان يتحول هذا النمط من الروايات ثنائية الشخصيات إلى مسرحية مملة و لكن ليس هذه المرة

    ..جاءت الرواية كمطاردات مرعبة لن تنشر ابدا لتوم و جيري🐱🐀ا

    ابي رجل علم رزين لا يهوى السينما و لكن يكفي "فيلم ميزري "فخرا انه الفيلم الوحيد الذي تابعه بحماس تفاعلى لم يتكرر ابدا. .و هو بالفعل في جودة الرواية

  • Craig

    What a cockadoodie ride! Now don't be a dirty bird and listen....haha😂😂

    For me this book is synonymous with the movie to the point of that i wonder if i have actually read it or have i just watched the movie too many times (most recent viewing was last week!!).

    The book itself is in my opinion one King's better reads, there is little of his infamous "waffle" and it has a very satisfying ending. Parallels will be drawn with the movie of course and while the movie is a classic in it's own right the

    What a cockadoodie ride! Now don't be a dirty bird and listen....haha😂😂

    For me this book is synonymous with the movie to the point of that i wonder if i have actually read it or have i just watched the movie too many times (most recent viewing was last week!!).

    The book itself is in my opinion one King's better reads, there is little of his infamous "waffle" and it has a very satisfying ending. Parallels will be drawn with the movie of course and while the movie is a classic in it's own right the book offers so much more. The main characters have many more insights into their own individual psychosis, especially with Annie who while being more cruel and unhinged offers the reader to i guess sympathize a little with her. You can see how she suffers and in a sense see what she is trying to do but ultimately that temper frays and things get....rather messy!

    Some nice touches are how some "classic" scenes are different in the book, in a way more violent than what was shown on screen. There is also some awesome content that should have been in the movie.

    Like i mentioned, the ending was quite satisfying indeed!! After all of the suffering, humiliation and cruelty you are as eager as Paul to, well, kick some ass as shown in the spoiler tag....WARNING, BOOK / MOVIE SPOILER....

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