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Misery by Stephen King

Misery (edition 1998)

by Stephen King

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8,737112346 (3.95)200
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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"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 |
I’ve been meaning to read Misery for years and just never seemed to get around to it. A couple weeks ago I randomly found a copy at the thrift store and I’m so glad I did. I’m a huge Stephen King fan and Misery was such a great read—I couldn’t put it down until I was done. It was gruesome and horrifying and I loved it so much. ( )
  Serenity_Tigerlily | Aug 27, 2015 |
Through Paul and Annie, Mr. King illustrates the true definition of fear. Miriam-Webster defines fear as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. This is exactly what Annie causes Paul and the reader. Even before she makes her first major move against Paul, the ancient, ingrained flight-or fight reflexes kick into gear because there is anticipation that something unpleasant is going to happen. Part of this is because it is a Stephen King novel, but the other part of it is Annie herself. At first glance, there is nothing that should indicate that all is not right in Annie’s world, but readers glean that understanding immediately through the minutest of clues, the kind that most readers will never register reading. It is a brilliant bit of writing that allows Mr. King to set the tone so thoroughly with a few innocuous words.

At the same time as Mr. King is establishing the sense of terror that permeates the entire novel, he brings readers a story within a story. In this case, it isn’t just any story. His secondary story is a bodice-ripper of the best kind. The difference in genres and storytelling are not something most authors can pull off, but Mr. King makes it worse. These scenes involving Misery are so trite and inane that they provide the perfect foil for the real-life horror story that has become Paul’s life. They also provide some much-needed levity as Paul’s situation grows more desperate.

In Misery, Stephen King gives audiences what is probably one of his best villains ever. Paul Sheldon sums it up best when he describes Annie Wilkes as a force of nature because that is exactly what she is. Actually, to call Annie insane is to do her character a disservice, for she is more than insane; Annie Wilkes is batshit crazy. Her love for Paul is increasingly odd and downright frightening, as is her rationale for her actions. She acts in no logical fashion, even as her actions themselves are horrifyingly exacting and precise. What truly drives the reader’s horror, however, is not her actions but the possibility of them. Annie is not much of a physical presence in Paul’s life but the suggestion of her appearance is enough to alter all of Paul’s decisions. While Annie performs some terrible deeds in her scenes, it is the idea of what she is yet capable of doing that strikes terror into reader’s hearts. For this reason, Misery will rank as one of Mr. King’s all-time best novels.
1 vote jmchshannon | Jun 28, 2015 |
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 |
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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)

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