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Misery by Stephen King

Misery (edition 1998)

by Stephen King

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8,664112351 (3.95)198
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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The Short of It:

Annie Wilkes is Paul Sheldon’s #1 fan and when she finds her favorite author on the side of the road, injured in a car crash, she takes him home to “nurse” his wounds.

The Rest of It:

It’s King! And this one is a doozy. I’d forgotten the ending even though I’ve read it twice before and seen the movie so reading this book for the third time was like reading it for the first time.

Why did I read it again? Because another blogger hosted a read along for it (#MiseryRAL).

I am a total sucker for read alongs involving Uncle Stevie. As long as my eyes are not scratched up by a hair brush, I will say yes. That’s all I’m saying about that. So when Care asked, I of course said yes.

The book. Wow. I had forgotten how intense the story is but I was quickly reminded just a few pages in. I won’t go into details because if you haven’t read it, you really must. Basically, Annie is nuts and when she finds Paul Sheldon on the side of the road, injured and needing help, she steps in and takes it a little too far.

Annie Wilkes is quite the character and King takes great pleasure in sharing all her cockadoodie mannerisms and oogie hygiene habits. Those words are sprinkled throughout the book, numerous times and every time I heard them, I got chills up my back. They are SO Annie.

And Paul, not as helpless as you think but still, what a predicament to be in. Trapped, injured and having to rely on Annie?? Oh my word. Yes, a tough situation to say the very least.

On the gore chart, this one is a little intense. But on the supernatural front, there is nothing really to speak of. What makes this story scary is that it could actually happen.

What’s neat about the book is that there is a story within a story. Paul is writing a book while held captive and King spends a good chunk of time fleshing that story out. Almost to the point where one blogger wanted to read the rest of THAT story! No? Yes!

Overall, this was just too much fun to read as a group. Every time we came across a little gem, we’d hop on Twitter to comment. If you want to check out the comments, search for #MiseryRAL. I guarantee you will want to join in on the next King read along after reading some of those tweets.

To sum this up, I enjoyed the book more this time around than the first two times. I must have been very young when I read it before because I really didn’t remember too many of the details. So glad I decided to read it again.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Jun 18, 2015 |
The story is never slow but there are moments where King is so good at building suspense that it makes other parts almost feel slow. Annie Wilkes is an interesting antagonist because of the way she encourages her captor to write and seems friendly, but does some really insane and awful things. ( )
  SebastianHagelstein | Jun 7, 2015 |
I originally read this book back in High school, my first experience reading King. I loved this book when I first read it & it's remained one of my favorites these past 20 years. Recently I've gotten into reading all the classic and newer King books that I hadn't read before. I had forgotten how much I loved his books, he's such an amazing storyteller! I was curious to see if Misery would still hold up as my all time favorite King after recently reading so many so I decided to re-read it. Surprisingly, it still scared the cheap out of me even though I knew what was coming LOL gotta say, it's still my favorite although now The Shining is a close second ;) ( )
  jenladuca | May 22, 2015 |
Stephen King and I have a tradition to spend every Halloween together. Okay, maybe that's just on my half.

After: Nail-biting scary but I couldn't put it down. As Annie Wilkes herself might have said: Well, Steve, I've got to hand it to you--it was cockadoodie good. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Misery was the second Stephen King book I ever read. This was very shortly after Dolores Claiborne. I came across Misery much the same way I did Dolores Claiborne - through my mother's subscription to the Stephen King Book Club. The big difference here was, my mother knew about me reading Misery. She had already read the novel (her buddy Andrita had loaned her the book when it first came out in 1987), and figured I was of an age (fourteen) where I wouldn't be too terribly scarred by the events of the book. There's nothing sexual about Misery, and for the most part, very little foul language. The violence is rather extreme, but we all know that bad words and intercourse are much worse than chopping people up, right? Anyway, back in the days before the interwebs, the Stephen King Book Club worked like this. They would start your membership by sending you King's newest novel. After that, they'd start sending you his old books in order of publication until a new book came out, and then they would send you the new one. After that, back to the old books. By the time Dolores Claiborne came out, Mom was all the way up to Misery. (By the way, I'm chronicling this nonsense because I will probably forget all this shit in a few years. I don't plan on rereading this man's entire library again before I shuffle off this mortal coil, and I would like to have these reviews to look back upon later in life. My apologies if I'm boring you to death. Where was I...)

Misery is one of my favorite King novels because it deals with writing and the writing process. And, next to The Shining, it's one of the best denouements he's ever written. I read the book long before I ever saw the movie, and, truth be told, I hated the movie for a long time. Kathy Bates's performance is exceptional, but the differences in the book and the film pissed me off. I didn't like the old sheriff character, and I missed the Lawnboy scene.

Now here's where shit gets interesting. The book takes place in Sidewinder, Colorado, which is the town nearest the site of the fire-gutted Overlook Hotel. Obvious connection is obvious, right? Well what about the mention of the Beam? Anyone catch that? Here's the exact quote: "And unless his assessment of Annie Wilkes was totally off the beam, that meant she had something even worse in store." Well, there you have it, sports fans. Even Misery comes back to the Dark Tower.

In summation: I've come to appreciate the movie for the well-made film that it is, but the book, as per usual, is still leagues better. It's a darker, bloodier creature than its cinematic sister, and that's probably the reason I like it more. No denying it, I'm a gorehound at heart. That hobbling scene, friends and neighbors... *shivers*

( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:51 -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)

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