Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Misery by Stephen King

Misery (edition 1987)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,185124325 (3.95)205
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Unabridged Audiobook (1992), Audio CD
Collections:Your library

Work details

Misery by Stephen King


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 205 mentions

English (118)  Danish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
Stephen King never disappoints. Misery is, of course, a horrifying tale of a writer trapped and tortured by a lunatic. But, it is also much more...it is a semi-autobiographical tale about King himself. The struggles he faces as a writer, including crazy fans, the pressures of producing more novels, and the battles of drug addiction are all alluded to in this crazy tale. He is one of the true masters of horror, and this also includes discussing his own personal horrors with us as well. ( )
  rsplenda477 | May 15, 2016 |
After reading ‘The Stand’ while I was still in school I became a huge fan of Stephen King, and read most of his subsequent books up to ‘Thinner’ (published under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman). I am not really sure why I stopped reading him then. Perhaps I become less enamoured of fiction involving the supernatural in general. I had also been a keen reader of science fiction up until my early twenties, though that was another genre I largely left behind.

In the last couple of years I have rediscovered Stephen King through his excellent books ‘Mr Mercedes’ and ‘Finders Keepers’, both of which feature Bill Hodges and his posse, and are straight crime novels. The latter of those featured an over enthusiastic literary fan, and the reviews offered a lot of comparisons to King’s ‘Misery’, published almost thirty years earlier.

‘Misery’ is a great book, utterly gripping from the outset, and while the villain of the work is a larger than life character, everything is grounded in the real world. No intrusions from the supernatural, though the horror is still there in the shape of a twisted character driven by obsession and psychosis. The plot is fairly simple but completely captivating.

Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon has just completed his latest novel and celebrates by drinking rather too much champagne and then, ignoring warnings of an impending snowstorm, attempting to drive through the Rockies. The storm takes hold and he skids off the road. Fortunately, he does not hit anyone else, but, less fortunately, he is badly injured in the crash and passes out in the wreckage of his car. The next thing he knows he is in bed with horrific injuries to his legs. His rescuer is former nurse Annie Wilkes who, it turns out, is a huge fan of Sheldon’s books, particularly those featuring his character Misery Chastain, an adventuress in Victorian England. The series of novels featuring Misery has been immensely successful, far outselling Sheldon’s other books. He had, however, come to hate the character, seeing her as a millstone preventing him from the proper exercise of his literary skill, and in the most recent volume he had succeeded in killing her off. As it happens, Annie Wilkes has only just started reading that latest book.

Sheldon is unsure why Annie Wilkes has not taken him to hospital, and gradually comes to realise that she has only the most tenuous hold on sanity. This becomes apparent as her disgust at the fate that Sheldon directed towards Misery Chastian, which provokes a dreadful rage which she takes out on Sheldon, withholding the painkillers that she had, thitherto, been dispensing to him. Annie’s fragile grasp on reason becomes increasingly evident, and Sheldon is pitched into a dreadful ordeal as he tries to placate her while wondering how (or even if) he can escape.

The book treats a lot of serious issues: mental health, obsession, the art of writing and addiction. Sheldon offers all sorts of insights, presumably channelling King himself, into how he develops a plot, fleshes out characters and constructs a book. He also shows great self-awareness as to his own qualities, and the frustration that his ‘potboilers’ featuring Misery consistently outsell his other, more serious’ works.

The book was published in 1987 around the time, as I understand, that King’s family stage a major intervention to address his own addictions (alcohol, various prescription medicines and other illegal drugs). Sheldon proves an interesting vehicle for analysis of these problems – he had already been a drinker and smoker, and owing to the circumstances of his imprisonment by Annie Wiles he can feel himself becoming addicted to the powerful painkiller that she feeds him.

The novel is a great success. King maintains the tension throughout, and there is a frightening plausibility about the whole story. I just feel rather sad that I didn’t read it nearly thirty years ago when it first came out. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Apr 22, 2016 |
and another half star. A bit too gory for me but a book that will keep you tense throughout and it has a perfect ending. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
and another half star. A bit too gory for me but a book that will keep you tense throughout and it has a perfect ending. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
A classic Stephen King novel. We have all seen the movie but the book is so much more. One of the first horror novels I had ever read in my youth and I got hooked. Highly recommended to all horror novel lovers. ( )
  lacey.tucker | Mar 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
464 avail.
77 wanted
8 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.95)
0.5 5
1 29
1.5 13
2 103
2.5 30
3 529
3.5 111
4 1080
4.5 94
5 787


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,851,557 books! | Top bar: Always visible