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Misery by Stephen King

Misery (edition 1998)

by Stephen King

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8,857114340 (3.95)201
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1998), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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Misery by Stephen King


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Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
This is how I got hooked on King. It's a tight novel, no wasted words. It's frankly horrific, his situation and what she does to him. If you are claustrophobic or squeamish then this is the book for you. Almost as good as The Shining... almost. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 22, 2015 |
King draws a love-hate relationship from me, and he tends to evoke both a numbing rage and blissful joy at every plot juncture. Misery's fantastic. It doesn't get drowned out with the 'King-isms' that tend to crowd his plots with cockadoodie savant children, classic rock-quotin' writers, insane endings, and hallucinated comedic relief, with jokes so unfunny and drawn-out their inclusion is the scariest part.

Misery dips into this, but it's contained enough and focused enough to keep cool. It's a story of a man and a woman, set mostly in one room. The lady holds complete power over this man, and the extent of her strength is well-developed and frightening. Really frightening.

Paul's your textbook King hero, a self-deprecating model of the writer at work. He might be a little too good of an imitation, and the ending left me with a couple memorable observations:

Paul writes as King writes. Misery features synopses and chapters from Paul's work. Paul's work-in-progress is treated as a masterpiece of melodrama, and...it's...just weird. Paul makes frequent allusions to H. Rider Haggard, and one guesses this fiction-within-a-fiction is supposed to riff off of those high adventures in Africa. But the supernatural Queen Bee is more It's alien spider than King Solomon's Mines' Gagool. Weird.

Paul's drug addiction is sometimes as eerie as his relationship to Annie Wilkes. King had a well-known drug problem in the '80s, giving the descriptions an extra, terrible autobiographical layer to Paul's characterization. There comes a point where his addiction stops adding plot and starts adding pages--dangerous ground, yeah?

After getting an earful from Paul on the proper denouement, I believe we actually spent half of ours knocked out on drugs by choice. Ain't a major letdown, but it certainly could have been much, much more interesting if Misery's narrative force didn't lock itself in a bathroom and down a box of Novril before a hasty The End.

Does the real-life context of addiction add to the novel and its discomfort, or detract? I'm conflicted. I can at least say I liked it. King's good when things're as simple as a man, a woman, and a room. Real good. ( )
  rickyrickyricky | Oct 31, 2015 |
  Bookman1954 | Oct 23, 2015 |
"Cockadoodie", "dirty birdie", and "oogy" - words you definitely don't want to hear if you are author Paul Sheldon! But he is hearing them, and his number one fan has him all to herself, poor fellow. Annie Wilkes is one of the craziest, scariest captors in literature, in my opinion, and she's got ahold of Paul, and won't let go. I really enjoyed this read, though I was not a fan of the excerpts from "Misery's Return", and would skip them if/when I reread this book. But I encourage everyone to be a good Do-Bee, and read this book! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Sep 28, 2015 |
Annie Wilkes, one of the best villains ever written! She is evil incarnate, and the most terrifying hostess ever. Grab a copy and read about one mans biggest fan! One of my favorites by the master himself! You won't regret delving into this twisted tale! ( )
  bearlyr | Sep 9, 2015 |
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When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche
Writing does not cause misery, it is born of misery.

-- Montaigne
It's no good. I've been trying to sleep for the last half-hour, and I can't. Writing here is a sort of drug. It's the only thing I look forward to. This afternoon I read what I wrote. . . . And it seemed vivid. I know it seems vivid because my imagination fills in all the bits another person wouldn't understand. I mean, it's vanity. But it seems a sort of magic. . . . And I just can't live in this resent. I would go mad if I did.

-- John Fowles

The Collector
"You will be visited by a tall, dark stranger," the gipsy woman told Misery, and Misery, startled, realized two things at once: this was no gipsy, and the two of them were no longer alone in the tent. She could smell Gwendolyn Chastain's perfume in the moment before the madwoman's hands closed around her throat.

"In fact," the gipsy who was not a gipsy observed, "I think she is here now."

Misery tried to scream, but she could no longer even breathe.

-- Misery's Child
"It always look data way, Boss Ian," Hezekia said, "No matter how you look at her, she seem like she be lookin' at you. I doan know if it be true, but the Bourkas, dey say even when you get behin' her, the godess, she seem to be lookin' at you."

"But she is, after all, only a piece of stone, Ian remonstrated.

"Yes, Boss Ian," Hezekia agreed. "Dat what give her powah.

-- Misery's Return
This is for Stephanie and Jim Leonard, who know why. Boy, do they.
First words
umber whunn

yerrnnn umber whunnnn


These sounds: even in the haze.
"I'm your number-one fan!"
Then he would look at the blank screen of his word processor for awhile. What fun. Paul Sheldon's fifteen-thousand-dollar paperweight.
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Book description
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. Now Annie wants Paul to write his greatest work-just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an ax. And if they don't work, she can get really nasty... (0-451-15355-3)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451169522, Mass Market Paperback)

In Misery (1987), as in The Shining (1977), a writer is trapped in an evil house during a Colorado winter. Each novel bristles with claustrophobia, stinging insects, and the threat of a lethal explosion. Each is about a writer faced with the dominating monster of his unpredictable muse.

Paul Sheldon, the hero of Misery, sees himself as a caged parrot who must return to Africa in order to be free. Thus, in the novel within a novel, the romance novel that his mad captor-nurse, Annie Wilkes, forces him to write, he goes to Africa--a mysterious continent that evokes for him the frightening, implacable solidity of a woman's (Annie's) body. The manuscript fragments he produces tell of a great Bee Goddess, an African queen reminiscent of H. Rider Haggard's She.

He hates her, he fears her, he wants to kill her; but all the same he needs her power. Annie Wilkes literally breathes life into him.

Misery touches on several large themes: the state of possession by an evil being, the idea that art is an act in which the artist willingly becomes captive, the tortured condition of being a writer, and the fears attendant to becoming a "brand-name" bestselling author with legions of zealous fans. And yet it's a tight, highly resonant echo chamber of a book--one of King's shortest, and best novels ever. --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:27 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After a car crash, writer Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan. She brought him home, splinted his mangled legs, and all he had to do in return was write a very special book, one all about her favourite character. Because if he didn't, if he was bad, she would be cross - very cross.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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