Misery by Stephen King
Published by Signet
From the publisher:
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…
I read this for the Misery Read-along (#MiseryRAL) because I was looking to read another King novel after being pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Mr. Mercedes. I’m thinking I’ll need to keep reading King, because I see how good he is at the creep factor, but I didn’t love this book anywhere near as much as my first experience with his work.
Paul Sheldon was not a character I liked. At all. Sure, I felt bad for the guy, and a part of me hoped he would end up okay after all of this, but for some reason I didn’t connect with his character so I couldn’t quite care about him at the level I probably should have. He just seemed like kind of an asshole before Annie came into his life – the snippets he told the reader about his life showed me that he wasn’t the kind of guy I’d want to befriend – so I don’t know, I didn’t quite get there with him.
Annie was batshit crazy and the best part of the book for me, by far. Her insanity was at a whole other level, and King definitely kept me on my toes with her behavior. I never knew what she would do next, but I was sure it would be more terrible than the last thing she did. Just the fact that I knew she was in the same house as Paul kept that ominous feeling going throughout the book and I loved feeling like maybe something crazy will happen, or maybe she’ll just give Paul some more medicine and go to sleep. It was an emotional roller coaster in the best way.
Some of the things that happened were a little much for me with the gross factor (tractor!) but I expected that and was able to handle it. Also, it took me quite a while to get into the book – I felt the first half was pretty slow, especially given the high expectation I had for King’s stuff to pull me in. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story within the story thing (and based on what I read of that story I didn’t find Paul Sheldon to be all that talented of an author, which annoyed me).
But those things aside, I can see King’s talent and I appreciate what he did with Misery. The creep (oogy?) factor was totally there and the way he crafted this character of Annie was pretty incredible. Not my favorite King (of the only two I’ve read, haha), but I’ll keep reading more for sure.
3 thoughts on “Misery by Stephen King”
The story within the story didn’t do much for me, either. But I appreciated all of the stuff about the writing process. I thought the ending of this book was spot on.
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I’m glad you will keep reading King books; he certainly has plenty to share. I rec 11/22/63 – it’s one of my favorites (now that I’ve read more King books than any other author ever. And that is in the last 5 years?! I’m still dumbfounded about this.) Great review. I am finding myself saying ‘dirty bird’ often.