* Prices may differ from that shown
I am a fan of Stephen King, with Misery being one of my favourite books that he has written. It's also been adapted into a movie, which is one of his book's best adaptations in my opinion, as some have been done awfully.
Misery can be found in Waterstones for around £7 and Amazon for around £2 preowned. It's centred at adults, mainly due to his style of writing and the subjects in the novel.
The plot focuses around Paul Sheldon who is a bestselling author who for a long time has written books for a female audience with the main character, Misery. Little does he know that his No 1 fan Annie Wilkes will find him after a car accident in a snow storm which sends him off the road in a deserted area. She takes him back to her house, where he must now write to save himself, but will he be able to?
From the minute you start reading the book, you are immediately sucked into the world that King creates and it keeps you interested and wanting to find out more about Paul and what will become of him.
There are only two characters throughout the novel really, Annie and Paul. While I didn't really feel all that attached to Paul at the beginning, throughout I really did and kept wishing he'd escape. Annie was completely believable as a physcopathic number 1 fan, and you couldn't help but dislike her from the start as it just seems like something is off about her!
His descriptions are perfectly used throughout Misery, as he manages to convey the true atmosphere of the locations as such isolated areas that you really feel for Paul and the area that he has now become stranded in. The way he manages to set these locations really keeps you on the edge of your seat, as you just forever want him to escape and keeps you in a perpetual state of wanting him to break out of it.
The most squeamish thing in the books had to be the way King portrayed the pain that Paul feels at the hands of Annie Wilkes. He manages to make you just wince with a few sentences and throughout what seemed the whole book, I couldn't help but go ouch in my mind with every movement Paul made as he made it seem so painful and realistic you could just imagine it happening to yourself.
It was an extremely tense novel throughout which I loved. It kept you constantly guessing what would happen to Paul, and that you never really knew what was going to happen to him which just made me kept wanting to read. In fact, this is what made me finish it in 2 days straight!
After reading this, I would definitely read it again as it is one of my favourites by King. Probably because it is so realistic and seems like something that could actually happen.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of both thriller and horror. Thriller as it really does keep you guessing about what's going to happen next, and horror because it is ridiculously squeamish when talking about the things that happen Paul. This really is one of King's best work and I think everyone should read this.
Why Misery - how would a title like that appeal to me?
I have seen the movie some many moons ago and knew that - even though the title sounds pretty gloomy - the concept was original and clever. The movie had been very thought provoking at the time so I hoped that the book would unveil more insight and of course be an entertaining read.
Although I am very familiar with the name of the author and movies based on his books I have never considered reading any of his work. I felt like I had missed out on something special and intended putting it right. Stephen King is an accomplished writer - I was really interested to see how his books were crafted. I looked forward to the experience.
Paul Sheldon is a best selling author and his books about his leading lady who is named Misery are desired by many female fans. Many claim to be his No 1 fan - some going to great lengths to prove this. Having ended the saga of Misery satisfactorily Paul has now completed two years work on his new project - of which he is very proud. A drunken drive see's him head off towards a deserted area that is soon to be hit by a snow storm - he has told no one of his plans. Out of control Paul's car comes off the road and to a deadly halt. An unfortunate set of circumstances mean that Paul is rescued by a woman who considers herself to be his No 1 fan - you would think that he would be in safe hands then when Miss Annie Wilkes announces herself to him - think again! Situated in a lonely location Miss Annie Wilkes has her 'pet writer' and no one will hear him scream. 'Paul Sheldon used to write for a living - now he is writing for his life'.....
My first experience with Stephen King
And my goodness what better place to begin - I was comfortable with King's style immediately. The prose is exactly how I like it. You gain a feel for the environment and location without overuse of description and I felt that with that approach the isolation was more powerfully portrayed - it is genius.
I am first introduced to Paul - I didn't feel like I had any connection with him straight off and to be honest he wasn't an appealing character but I was drawn to the fact that he was a writer and was very interested in his experience and style - this, I think, gave me a glimpse into the mind of Mr King and how he creates his work. I didn't really get to know the depths and inner workings of Paul until he was pushed to his limits by the psychotic demands of his warder - Annie. He is under the influence of medication to ease the pain of his crushed legs - his mind is often ruled by the ebb and flow of his constant pain. I did warm to him and of course felt for him in his awful situation - what differed from the movie was all of the internal dialogue which was just brilliant. King's description of what the pain felt like was believable and the clever use of childhood memories mixed with his current situation was inspiring. Bit by bit Paul is stripped of any masculinity and courage as he realises the nature of the woman who has held him captive - eventually he admits to himself that he is fearful.
Annie initially came across as a very jolly and helpful soul - I say initially as it soon becomes apparent that she has a deeply depressive and psychotic illness. It will come of no surprise that I didn't warm to Annie - though there were odd moments in the prose where she displayed almost childlike warmth and vulnerability and even Paul had a fleeting second of compassion for her at these rare intervals. The character was completely believable and a frightening thought - Paul likened her moods to the cycle of the moon and I thought that was very fitting.
One thing that has stayed in my mind is the story writing rationale of Paul Sheldon - he doesn't have any plot lines. He works with 'what if' and goes from there. Also he understands something that he refers to as 'gotta' and that relates to the reader carrying on turning those pages because they 'gotta' know what happens. This made sense to me and I really liked the references to writing and getting into an authors mind. As Annie has demanded that Paul recommence the Misery saga there are chapters of the said prose included throughout the book - this adds to the climax beautifully and is highly significant and cross referenced. I was not sure about the inclusion of the Misery novel at first as I thought that it may be too much effort to be remembering two stories at once - however - I rather enjoyed the tales of Misery and found myself getting into the extra prose easily and it was not excessive. I think that it works well and is an important element to the structure of the book.
As the story progresses I was introduced to more of the environment and this consisted of the finer details that you would notice if you were restricted to the use of one room - held prisoner. Cracks on the ceiling, pictures and a calendar are his companions - along with an ancient typewriter with missing letters that seemingly mocks him with its surreal grin.
I know when a book is good as I have read it in no time at all - I cannot resist picking it up and continuing on the journey. I had the 'gotta' factor for sure. The chapters were really accessible and that makes it even easier to fly through the book as you will pick it up at every opportunity to read a short chapter - and the rest! This is a page turner if ever there was one - and not just because the heat turns up in the latter end of the book - each and every page was a pleasure to read and held my interest. Importantly, King gets on with the story and keeps descriptive passages to an appropriate - need to know - length. This story absolutely works because of this in my opinion.
Speaking of the final stages of the book - did it satisfy me? I can happily report that it did. Even though I have seen the film and have distant memories of what took place I was still racing through the pages to see what happened. As with most books - that have been adapted for movies - this one holds much more than you get in the film (from what I can remember the film was great). The thoughts going on in Paul's mind allows you into the full horrific scenario. The description of Annie's mood changes are very effective - I could easily imagine how it would feel to be in her presence. Terrifying. You don't know from one moment to the next what she will be capable of doing - Paul see's her as a bulk of solid mass with unmoving eyes, similar to those on a picture that appear to watch you wherever you move. The atmosphere throughout the book slowly builds to a dramatic ending which held me captive. This was a masterfully crafted piece of work and I feel privileged to have read it.
Amazon currently £6.79
Amazon Marketplace from £2.99
If you are looking for an exhilarating read that is beautifully crafted then you won't be disappointed with this one. There are some grisly events that made me wince - very well described and built up masterfully to convey the utmost terror within the reader. Suspense is around every corner. The mind of Paul Sheldon is presented exquisitely and realistically - very believable in the situation that he is in. Miss Annie Wilkes is portrayed with precision and knowledge of her condition - accurate and frighteningly real. Both these protagonists were developed to a stage were I felt like I knew them and understood them. I warmed to Paul and had empathy for him - his traits were admirable to the end. Annie was never going to be someone who I would warm to but a part of me did sympathise with her when she showed her vulnerability - this was rarely so I'd run a mile! I can tell you that I found Annie unnerving - job well done. The climax to this tale is heart pounding stuff - suspense and 'what if' was always hammering at the door - the conclusion was very satisfactory. All ends tied up - a very neat piece of work. Excellent!
Thanks for reading
Also published on Ciao
Misery is an extremely clever novel, written by the extremely bizarre Stephen King. King is not an author whose books I would choose to read, but I was loaned this one on the recommendation that I should read it because I would like it. Misery is a character in a story within the novel. Stephen King has written a whole book, 369 pages predominately about two characters, which is quite a feat.
The blurb on the back of this book is very enticing and gives nothing away. Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon has just killer her - with relief, with joy. Misery made him rich: she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.
Paul Sheldon is of course an author, the author of Misery, a fictional character who has paid his wages for many years, but who he deemed to be a necessity to subsidise his real writing. Paul is in a place where Misery is now dead and he can move on in his writing career to something more interesting and something new. This novel starts with him finishing his newest effort Fast Cars the best yet. When he takes his only manuscript on a celebratory road trip, crashes his car and mangles his legs.
He is rescued by Annie Wilkes, former nurse with a tendency to kill. Also Misery's (and Paul Sheldon's) No.1 fan. Paul wakes from his comatose states in the company of Annie and after a while realises the severity of his condition. Unable to feel anything other than pain in the lower half of his body he understands that he will now have to rely on Annie for everything. Paul becomes dependent on tablets Novril and Annie happily administers them to control his pain, using them as a tool to bribe him or punish him if he doesn't do as he is told.
The situation he finds himself in leads him to do two things he initially struggles with the most. Burning his Fast Cars manuscript and writing another Misery novel, having felt Annie's wrath when she realised her idol Misery had been killed off in the last volume. He has to bring her back...
As the months pass, Paul learns survival skills to keep him alive as Annie rides the waves of psychosis and depression, from deliriously hysterical to manically depressive to a point where she knows she needs to take herself away and recover where there is nobody to harm. Paul regains strength as he writes his novel and his brain goes into overtime deciding how he is going to save himself from the crazy nurse.
I am still undecided as to how I feel about Stephen Kings' style of writing. I applaud him for continuing such a detailed novel with only two key characters, I was also impressed by the way he included the text of Misery's Return within his writing. However there wasn't enough of Misery's Return to hold my interest, nor was the storyline particularly enthralling.
King also breaks his novel into parts and chapters. The chapters are numbers but some had just a single sentence. What's the point? Many also started halfway down a page and I prefer a new chapter to start on a new page. This maybe a personal preference, but it is definitely my preferred style of dividing the content of a book into manageable pieces.
The text is all written in a size 8 font, which is quite hard on the eyes if you like reading for long periods of time. However the text for Misery's Return is written in a different typed text and later is a script style text when Paul starts writing in longhand.
This helps identify the two different stories, it also changes to identify between the story and Paul's mind. We listen to conversations' between Paul and his thoughts throughout the novel and these are written in Italics and often in a conversational format, also like he is arguing with himself. Towards the end I started to consider whether he was in-fact delusional and that he had envisioned the entire situation due to a decline in his mental health, so good is the writing.
Mental Health is the key theme which runs all the way through this novel. With it coming out in different ways for both of the key characters. Whilst Annie is clearly psychotic, Paul's health declines slowly throughout the year he is in Annie's care, but he can still make clear and rational decisions and still identify when he is in a crisis situation.
Only a small part at the beginning and the end of the book look at Paul's life outside of Annie Wilkes, but this is all the novel needs. We learn so much about Paul Sheldon and Annie, throughout the main section of the book that the rest seems irrelevant.
I would fully recommend trying this book if you like reading Thrillers. If you haven't read a Stephen King book before that may be no bad thing. I haven't seen the film based on this novel and having seen the cast (which includes Kathy Bates) I'm not sure it will appeal to me as much.
If you are squeamish this won't be for you.
Amazon sell this book used from 1p which is a bargain, from new it will cost approximately £3.99 on Amazon, so it would be worth checking out your local charity shops which stock books for your copy :)
There is something about Stephen Kings writing that always makes me feel that he has experienced the things he writes about, or at least has first hand information from the person who has. Misery is no different and I think that there is something even more horrific about this book, as the real evil is human unlike in many of his other books. I have always liked the way he makes both characters seem to be in touch with each other even though they have a difficult relationship.
Paul Sheldon is an author who not only writes best-selling books about a character called Misery, but is a creature of habit and always writes in the same Lodge. For once he breaks with his routine and drives home a different way, and ends up crashing during a snow storm. He thinks he has fallen on his feet when he is rescued by a former nurse Annie Wilkes but she is not the Florence Nightingale he first thought.
Due to her irrational behaviour he realises that he needs to get away as soon as possible but he is too weak and has to agree to some of her demands regarding writing a new novel. The more he finds out about Annie the more afraid he becomes and Stephen King manages to make the character both rational on the face of things but capable of some horrific acts.
This is a book that could go either way and it is impossible to tell if Paul will escape with his life or be forced to live as a prisoner and risk death as a result of one of Annie's irrational outbursts. I found it hard to read in places as there was a little too much description, and if you have seen the film you will know the main scene I am referring to.
I wonder how much of the character of Paul is based on Stephen himself as there must be similarities between some of his popular characters and Misery. I find it is made even better by the mixture of emotional and physical grief that Paul has to withstand and it is so well written that there are times when I felt I was reading a news review not a novel.
This is a book that I have read a few times, and even after seeing the film I read it again and I believe that it stands up well to the film. It must be difficult to write a full book that concentrates mostly on just a couple of characters.
On Amazon you can get this book for £4.88 and is printed by Hodder. It has 384 pages of total suspense and if you are thinking of ordering the book here is the number you need - ISBN-10: 1444720716
Misery is Stephen King at his very best. Gripping, disturbing, page turning goodness. I've read a lot of Stephen King. A lof of that has been tosh with some truly bizarre stories that defy any reasoning or plotting whatsoever. Misery does not fall into this category.
Paul Sheldon is a writer and a successful one at that but he decides he has had enough and kills off his lead character. A fresh start, something new. Following a car accident, he is rescued by his number one fan Annie. Rather than take him to a hospital, Annie decides to care for him herself, after all it's not often your favourite author falls into your lap. Stumbling across his manuscript for his latest story she is livid to discover what he has done. Confined to a wheelchair, he is forced to rewrite his work of art into a story that satisfies Annie. A psychopathic, unbalance piece of work, she is not the sort who doesn't get what she wants. So follows Sheldon's desperate attempt to escape his captor before its too late.
King grips his audience from page one, dragging them along for one hell of a ride. Annie is transformed seamlessly from caring to psychotic. This is one of my favourite Stephen King novels of all time and is one that I could read again and again.
If you have already watched the film and don't think its worth buying the book, think again as although the film is a brilliant piece of work in itself the book is even better. King's powers of gory description are second to none and he had me cringing in my seat as I read the torture that unfolded from within the walls of Annie's house. King has an imagination that is both out of the ordinary and electrifying. King deserves his title of the master of horror and this is definitely a good introductory book to his works.
STEPHEN KING - MISERY (BOOK)
I recently decided to read the book Misery by Stephen King, I have always wanted to try one of his books as I love horrors and thrillers.
The book is basically about a famous author (Paul Sheldon) who writes storeys about a woman called 'Misery' after finishing his last ever Misery Book he decided to write something a little different so he wrote a novel called 'Fast Cars' to celebrate finishing this latest novel Paul polishes off a bottle of champagne, after drinking a full bottle of champagne he decides to take a trip in his car. Unfortunately for Paul a big storm combined with the champagne makes him lose control of his car and crash.
When Paul eventually wakes he finds himself in a strange room and in lots of pain, he discovers he has been rescued by a woman called Annie Wilkes who claims she is Pauls biggest fan. Annie used to be a nurse and explains to Paul that he has shattered all the bones in his legs, Paul thinks that Annie is going to get him to a hospital as soon as possible THINK AGAIN!
As Pauls biggest fan Annie tells Paul she wasn't happy that in the last ever 'Misery' book he killed off Misery so she wants him to write yet another book just for her on 'Miserys Return'.
Paul agrees to this as long as Annie lets him go once it has finished, to this Annie agrees, but unbeknown to Paul Annie's physiological state is something to be questioned.
Through months of gruesome torture, pain and drug addiction which Paul has to endure will he ever be able to complete the book and escape Annie's clutches and could 'Misery's Return' be the best novel of Paul's career yet!
I thought all in all the book wasn't really my cup of tea, the storey in general was good but it tended to get a little off track and confusing in places.
Sometimes it was difficult to decipher whether you were in the imagination of the character Paul, the book he was writing for Annie or whether you where in reality with Paul and Annie, it tended to drift a little which like I say got a little confusing.
On the plus side Stephen King really knows how to turn your stomach with some of the torture parts being really detailed and gruesome, he also really gets you involved in the characters sometimes feeling sorry for Annie but most times hating her with a passion, you also feel for Paul stuck in this impossible situation dreading the next time Annie enters his room not knowing what mood she will be in and what horrendous thing she is going to do next.
All in all I did enjoy reading this book although like I say it does go off the plot in places which put me off slightly, but the storey itself was quite exciting I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what happened to both Paul and Annie.
I probably wouldn't rush to go out and buy more of his books, but this doesn't mean I wouldn't read any again if someone lent me one. I think Stephen King is a good author and for those who like gruesome torture, pain and suspense then this is worth reading.
Stephen Kings 'Misery' was published in 1987.
Misery is based on two main characters; a famous author and a nurse with a chilling history. Set in a small town the book concentrates on the interaction between the two characters. If you are a Stephen King fan you will know the plot draws you in with its comparisons to normal everyday lives, then get you gripped with its haunting and horror storylines. Just when you think things can't get any worse they invevitably do. This book was written some time ago but is still relevant and readable today. The book was made into a film adaptation starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, if you have already seen the film, the book is still very much worth reading and it doesn't disappoint. It will make you gasp outloud. The characters are believable. The descriptions of the house and surrounding area really set the scene and help you picture it. This is my favourite Stephen King book a must read for thriller/horror fans.
To be honest this is the first novel that I have read by Stephen King. I have seen quite a few films that are based on his novels, so I thought I would give one a go in the end I decided on Misery.
When the author Paul Sheldon decided to kill off Misery Chastain in his latest published novel, he had no idea what the terrible consequences of his actions would be. He wants to be rid of Misery and concentrate on what he believes are better stories so after finishing a draft of a new novel called "Fast Cars" Paul decides to head to California.
However on the way there, his car crashes and he wakes up in a strange place and discovers that his rescuer Annie Wilkes pulled him from his wrecked car and brought him to her remote and isolated home. She has put his legs in splints to try and set his mangled legs. He soon discovers that Annie was a nurse and has provided him with pain relieving drugs. Paul is informed straight away by Annie Wilkes that she is his number one fan and when she buys a copy of the last novel in the Misery Chastain series and discovers what he has done to Misery she doesn't like it one bit.
Paul is then put in a horrible situation, he has to write a new novel and bring Misery back to life otherwise he will have to face Annie's wrath.
Misery makes me feel slightly claustrophobic as if you are trapped in that room, unable to move just like Paul Sheldon. Stephen King moves the plot along nicely but still manages to give a good descriptive story all the while drawing the reader further into Paul's nightmare.
Some of the things that happen in the book are pretty brutal and made me cringe but it adds to the story. It definitely makes the reader more fearful of what Annie Wilkes is capable of. I wouldn't class it as an outright horror it is definitely a psychological horror though.
The descriptions of both Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes in the book are clear, concise and you quickly build up a mental image of each character. Without a doubt the true star of the book has to be Annie's character. Stephen King manages to bring her so easily to life. How the character is so clearly unbalanced, even when she is being friendly the reader fears she will snap any second and turn on Paul. As soon as she enters the room you tense up just as Paul's character does. You never know what she will do next which makes the book even more engrossing to read.
The book was released in 1987 and a film of the novel was released in 1990 starring Kathy Bates and James Caan.
Classic King. This is a genuinely scary book. It might stop you trusting the kindness of strangers.
A successful young writer is happy, he has finally killed the women who has been plaguing him for years, Misery. She is a character from a series of books that he is now sick of. Having killed her off in his latest book, he has just completed another, non-Misery book. Fast Cars.
It is ironic that he is then involved in a car accident.
Lying on the side of the road, and angel appears, a nurse, who takes him back to her house to take care of him.
At first things seem well, it takes time for him to realize that he is a prisoner. And when his prison guard finds he has killed her favorite character, she gets mad.
When she gets mad, it is time to be scared.
Totally believable plot, horrifying, scary. A great read, but it might be a read for a sunny day, not for a dark night!
For 1987's Misery, Stephen King took the basic horror-fiction formula that he had been tuning for just over a decade, and mixed it up a little. The result is a story that takes place mostly in one bare room, with two main characters contrasting in the roles of good and evil. Paul Sheldon is a succesful author, made famous by his romantic novels that star Misery Chastain. Popular as the series may be, Paul has become increasingly unhappy with the trashy style and character, and so decides to kill off the aptly-named Misery in her final book. Finally free of Misery and able to concentrate on more satisfying, serious works of fiction, Paul is rather pleased with himself, and decides to embark on a drunken drive. Spontaneously, he decides to head North towards Colarado. Things go wrong though; a mixture of excessive alcohol intake and snow on the road cause him to crash heavily. Paul awakens sometime later in a bed. His legs are badly mangled, but things appear to be looking up: he is still alive after all and is being looked after by ex-nurse and 'number 1 fan', Annie Wilkes. Initially, Annie shows herself to be a kind, sweetly-manned woman dedicated to getting Paul on the road to recovery. She talks eagerly about his latest Misery novel, and regularly gives him pain killing drugs. The bad news for Paul is that he has already made his biggest mistake. Annie is no ordinary 'number one fan' - she is absolutely obsessed with Misery Chastain, and is none to happy when she discovers that Paul has murdered her idol... Paul becomes more of a prisoner than patient. Trapped in the plain bedroom thanks to his mashed legs, he is forced to resurrect Misery for one last outing - 'Misery Returns'; to be written exclusively for Annie. It soon becomes apparent that it's the only thing keeping him alive. For a 370 page horror novel to take place almost entirely in one sparse, featureless room and stil
l prove totally enthralling requires something rather special, and in Misery's case, it's the characters. Annie steals the show without a doubt; a supremely nasty creation, she can range from the angellic to the sadistic in the blink of an eye. The sound of Annie stomping towards Paul's room strikes genuine fear into the readers heart, as it is always difficult to gauge her violent mood swings. And when she's bad, she's very, very bad! Annie can be truly brutal to Paul at times - causing him great physical pain with a variety of instruments, keeping back his drugs, and treating him with the respect of a naughty dog (drinking soapy water out of a bucket for instance). Her attitude is really strange too, as she doesn't appear to take any pleasure out of doing these things - she feels they are more part of her duty. King has succeeded in creating one the most dislikable characters I have ever come across - you really, really want her to die horribly by the end! Paul, whom which the story is narrated by in the first-person, is very much the victim who you quickly find yourself routing for. He tries a number of painful escape attempts when he is given a wheelchair, and some nail-biting moments where he frantically attempts to return to his bed before Annie appears. The stricken author has plenty of time to plan his final novel, to be knocked up on an old typewriter with a missing 'N' key, and in a stroke of genious, actual extracts of the story make up parts of Misery (although it's a pain to read with all the handwritten N's!). A story within a story - I thought this was a really clever touch, although it bares little importance to the outing come of Misery. Interestingly, Stephen King has claimed he dreamt the characters up one day and he feels that each is a different side of himself. Which, judging by Annie's state of mind, is rather worrying! Inevitably, like with most Stephen K
ing novels, things drag on a little bit from time to time and there are a lot of Paul's thoughts and emotions to wade through. Misery is certainly scary at times, but more memorable for it's rather graphic violence. Most importantly though, it manages to create far more powerful emotions within the reader than any other book I can remember. It's grim stuff and certainly isn't for kids. Nor is it for the faint of heart; I'll warn you now, it gets pretty distasteful at times and though it leans more towards the psychological side of horror, that hasn't stopped Stephen King having some fun with poor old Paul! Overall, Misery is one of King's more impressive works of fiction. Obviously, if you like your stories with a bit of pace to them and can't stand Stephen King, then you should look elsewhere. If, however, you enjoy this kind of read, then it won't take you long to become completely engrossed, it's a real-page turner and thoroughly well conceived.
As a Stephen King fan, I have read most of his works to date, but I would recomend 'Misery' as his best. I can honestly say I found every page of this book compelling, and I believe anyone who likes to read horror/fiction will agree. This book really does take you into the minds of the characters, with very dark results indeed. Focusing on the two main characters throughout, King explores the relationship between a sucessfull writer, and his 'number one fan'. When the writer is badly injured in a car crash he is fortunate enough to be discovered by his fan, or at least he thinks he's fortunate until the treatment begins. The friction between the character's is almost tangible as King details the subsequent events. If you are a horror fan, this is simply a must.
We all here at DooYoo have had individual writers blocks. Sometimes this lasts for a few minutes but some time the frustration and despair lasts for hours or even possibly days. It's not just the plot a writer must think about but also how the characters will react in different situations or even simply just what to write about. Now imagine that you are trapped in a cabin far away from the rules and regulations of civilization and your world-renowned imagination and creativity is the only thing that can save you, but with a mental creative block, and your life at risk; the stakes are high and the frustration skyrockets. The plot is as follows and it sets the scene for a wonderfully written book, attractive and structured to intrigue and invigorate the imagination. The main character is Paul Sheldon, a writer that has recently killed of his most famous character Misery Chastain in his latest novel. He is tired of writing about the heroine and decides to take a vacation in order to replenish and stimulate his creative spirits. Unfortunately the unsuspecting Paul Sheldon is involved in a car accident on the snowy dunes of America. He consequently breaks his leg and finds himself being nursed supposedly to health by a woman named Annie Wilkes. She claims to be his number one fan, but instead she has sinister ideas in mind for the injured writer. On the surface Annie seems to be a caring nurse and devoted fan, feeding her hero and bathing him, basically performing tasks to keep Paul Sheldon in good health. As the story develops and the characters mature we see that Annie has an alternative motive for her seemingly good intentions. Stephen King ingeniously provides the reader with several clues throughout the novel to help them uncover the fantastic character that is Annie Wilkes. For example it is noted that in his meals Annie has been drugging the unsuspecting writer with a drug described as Novril. Annie is de
pendant on the imaginary character that is Misery Chastain. After being relieved of her duties as a nurse because of her murderous ways, Annie suppresses her psychotic behaviour by nursing it away with the power of reading. Over the last few years Misery Chastain and Annie Wilkes have formed a strong relationship especially in the mind of Annie. Shocked and devastated by the death of her hero Annie now has the perfect opportunity to manipulate Paul physically force him to write Misery Chastain back to life. Of course with the task at hand the odds were against him; a broken leg, arm, drugged on Novril, a type writer with the crucial letter 'n' missing, a mental block, fear and terror in his heart and the daunting task of creatively bringing back a character convincingly enough to secure his future safety. The writing style of Misery is unique; third person creates a brilliant effect for the novel. Moments of intense fast paced and inclusive action can be carried out fast and with smooth execution, intriguing the reader and attracting them more and more into the web of deceit that Stephen King has modified to perfection. Throughout the story, we see life through the eyes of a drugged up, writer with a mental block fearing for his life. We realise his complex mind and how his once love affair with a famous character such as Misery Chastain can turn into a battle of hatred and untamed fury. We also see Paul's observation of Annie's mental deterioration. As time passes and Annie becomes more and more dependent of the success of Misery to keep her sane, she ultimately reaches a higher level of insanity; periodically lashing out on the disabled and terrified Paul Sheldon, prolonging his illness and inducing further periods of madness and frustration for both characters. The writing styles in Misery are unique and work immensely to create the tension and strong relationship between the two characters. A relationship that only a w
riter and his greatest fan can appreciate. Bound by circumstance, insanity and their shared love for Misery Paul and Annie reside in the remote cabin, both thinking and plotting the demise of each other. Annie true and full in her actions, a short tempered butch woman with a fierce paranoia; Paul a weak, disabled writer, drugged on Novril, weary and hateful of his carer. Through the Novel we see how Annie actually enters the mind of Paul, the character you are reading about, through Misery. She believes she can anticipate his every move through the behaviour of Misery and her world. For the most part this is true, it is only when Paul disassociates himself with this world he has created in his psyche can he truly overcome the mind of a possessed madwoman. There is a downfall to this classic novel. Sometimes, 'Misery' the actually novel the story is based upon is quoted extensively, this can become frustrating at time with the token 'n' missing, but nevertheless it is essential in providing the character with depth and dynamics. To appreciate this exciting and chilling novel, the reader must first accept the world that King has created. Abandoning any once necessary disbelief, one must fully emerge themselves in this twisted world filled with the potion of promise. Imagine you are Paul Sheldon, helpless in a cabin far away from civilization, drugged against your will; your mind still and hard. The door swings open, you lay in your solitude bed, tired and anxious, Annie smiles at you. Her face glistening, her smile crooked and eyes besieged with a profound evil. Fear is in you now.
I must say right from the start that I am normally a huge fan of Stephen King. Perhaps that is why I hate this book so much! To be honest, the first time I read it I was thoroughly disappointed, and several re-reads since have not improved my opinion of this particular work of King's. I only read it more than once because I was abroad and it was the only English book I had with me at the time! The plot itself doesn't sound too bad when you describe it...at a push that is! A famous writer is travelling when his car goes off the road in terrible weather conditions in the middle of nowhere. He is rescued by the solitary woman who lives nearby, who also happens not only to be a huge fan of his, but also a qualified nurse. She takes him home with her, and patches him up, all whilst he is unconscious. Here the plot, er, thickens, as it turns out that she is a bit of a psycho who is really annoyed that Paul Sheldon (the writer) has killed off her favourite character in his latest book, and insists that he write a new one bringing her back to life. Being a psycho, all sorts of mad things are done to him to coerce him into writing the new book and staying with her...I won't describe them here as this would probably take away the small amount of enjoyment you might get should you read this book! Perhaps the most ridiculous part of this book isn't the fact of the amazing coincidences that bring these two characters together, but the fact that at the end the 'villain' of the piece just won't die, despite being on the receiving end of a number of different normally fatal blows...although she does EVENTUALLY kick the bucket, and the end of the book is not a long haul from this point (hurrah!) There are many reasons why I didn't really like this book, first of all was that for a lot of it it is horribly predictable; secondly the characters never seem to get any flesh on their bones to me, remaining bland and superf
icial throughout...I certainly couldn't have cared less what happened to either of them! Also the book is extremely slow moving, with little but the vain hope that there is something better to come to keep you turning the pages. To me this book is Stephen King at his worst. If you have never read a King book before, don't start with this one as it may put you off for life, and if you have, prepare to be disappointed by this book. If you really must read it, get it from a library...just don't spend your hard earned cash on it!
Misery is a very well-done book of S.King because you can view the point of view of a writer. In fact the protagonist is the writer Paul Sheldon who has become famous with some books of the heroine Misery. Bored of his creature, He makes her die in his last book. What a big mistake! He has an accident and is found by a mad and obsessed women who is also a Misery's fan. She takes him to her home and, after reading the death of Misery, she forces him to write a sequel "The return of Misery". The book is really frightening. Imagine: you're alone, you can't move your legs, you're completely at mercy of a mad, ugly and fanatic woman, nobody can hear your cries when your "nurse" begins cutting your limbs. Scaring, isn't it? Annie, Misery's first fan, is like a divine judge who establishes what is good and what is bad and applies his law. The victim of this divine justice is the poor Paul Sheldon who, like a kafkian hero, is completely impotent. The reader can assist directly at the making of the book (which in my opinion is a bit stupid) while Sheldon writes it in a status of incoscience.
I have recently re-read Misery, after the movie version of it recenty became something of a cult film amongst myself and my friends. The characterisation of Annie Wilkes, the 'star' of the book is just brilliant, the way in which King creates this truly believeable - yet totally unbelieveable character is inspiring. The book tells the tale of Paul Sheldon, a writer who retreats to the countryside to complete his latest novel, crashes his car, and is 'rescued' by psychopath Wilkes, his 'greatest fan', who keeps him bedridden through tablets, and increasingly displays her freaky nature. I particularly enjoy Wilkes' use of insults throught the text, she employs phrases such as 'you dirty old bird!' and 'you poo!' to convey her feelings. Misery is a brilliant read, particularly if read with a sense of humour!