Author: Stephen King
Page Count: 369 pages
Rating: 5 / ✨✨✨✨✨
Novelist Paul Sheldon has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. Annie Wilkes, Sheldon’s number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident.
The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.
“I am your number one fan.”
Going into this, I knew the baseline to the story due to having seen the movie as a kid, but I didn’t remember it very well and had never read the book, although it’d been on my TBR for ages. I absolutely love Kathy Bates, and plan to rewatch it again soon since I finished the book!
After deciding to read a new King book every month starting with the month after my last birthday, I pushed this up on my list and set out to read it with the #kingbuddyreads group on Instagram. And what a wild ride!
Annie Wilkes is absolutely bananas. She’s a delusional, paranoid, violent psychotic and is completely unpredictable. Having the ‘evil’ in the book be an actual person rather than a paranormal entity always scares me a bit more. People have the ability to do some really messed up things, even without the help of the supernatural, and MISERY is a prime example of that. Annie’s character brought on conflicting senses of empathy and disgust while I was reading, as I felt both hatred/fear of her, and very sad for her. What a miserable life she leads!
This book caused me to cringe and even gasp out loud at different points. The pain that Paul Sheldon endures is incredible, and his determination and perseverance throughout the abuse he experiences is shocking. From emotional torment to physical, I felt so bad for him.
Another note on the book: some people mentioned disliking the book-within-a-book format, but I enjoyed the in-book Misery as much as the rest of the story. The fact that this book is about a writer and his biggest fan’s obsession with him, and his most popular work, wouldn’t really be complete – to me – if I didn’t get to experience a taste of that work — even if it’s unlike the rest of the series, admittedly, and written under extreme duress. 😛
Definitely 5 stars from me! I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone – or maybe anyone not especially squeamish, yikes!