Misery Chastain is dead. Paul Sheldon has just killed her - with relief, with joy. Misery has made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wants to get on to some real writing.That's when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn't hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.
The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul's Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul had done to Misery, she doesn't like it. She doesn't like it at all.
Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now he's writing to stay alive.
Not being exactly an avid reader of horror books, I've never read any of Stephen King's books (I know... I should dip my head in shame), however having watched the movie 'Misery' quite a few times since I was a teenager, I've always wanted to read the actual story as told by the king of horror himself. Having watched the movie again last week, I decided now was the time to do it.
Bestselling author Paul Sheldon is driving at night in a blizzard when he suddenly loses control of his car and ends up upside down and unconscious. Annie Wilkes, an ex nurse, happens to be driving through there when she spots the car and stops to help. She drags Paul out of the car's wreck, but instead of calling the ambulance, she takes him to her home. There she installs him in her guestroom, puts IV drips in his arm and fills him with loads of meds and tries to restore some shape back to his badly broken legs. On gaining consciousness, Paul finds himself in this strange bedroom with this strange woman looking at him. Annie tells him that she's his number-one fan and that she has read all of his books numerous times. She practically knows the Misery series of books he's written by heart. She tells him that once the storm is over, she would phone for help or take him to hospital.
However, with the passing of days, Paul realises that Annie is not right in the head and that she has no intention of letting him go. No one knows where Paul is and so no one can come to his rescue. Paul finds himself in a terrible painful nightmare at the mercy of this crazy woman. A nightmare that involves him, or more properly his badly broken body, Annie Wilkes and Misery, the main character of his bestselling novels. What does Annie want from him? What are her intentions? Where is this house? Will he ever get out of there alive and in one piece?
Being probably one of the last persons on earth to not have read this book, I'm sure this review won't be much regarded or have any effect on anyone. However, for those few who haven't yet read it, I can say that the movie does actually justice to the book, however the book goes much deeper into the rotten psyche of Annie Wilkes and is a lot more gruesome, scary and bloody than the story we see on TV.
I am so happy to have finally tasted the writing of this great author. As I was expecting, it's brilliant and flawless, vividly describing every minute detail of the story and putting the reader right there, in the midst of horror. The plot is highly suspenseful and claustrophobic throughout, keeping the reader on their toes and gnawing at their nails. The Annie Wilkes in the movie is a sweet little lamb when compared to the horrid monster in the book. She's a complete psycho, unhinged and deranged with a dark terrible past at her back, a being you surely won't want to be in the same room with, let alone at the mercy of. Poor, poor Paul! I felt terrible for him and frightened as much as he was. Can't bear to think of my favourite bestselling authors to be in such a situation!
At times I thought the story was maybe a bit long-winded, but not to such an extent as to annoy the reader. I also found myself switching back and forth from reading chapters on what's happening in Annie's house to reading chapters from 'Misery's Return', the story of the book Paul is writing while imprisoned there, and this could possibly be a bit confusing to some or irritating even, however this doesn't happen throughout the whole book.
Having said that, I really enjoyed being terrorised by Annie Wilkes (thankfully I wasn't the one tied to the bed!) and I will certainly attempt to read more books by Stephen King now... not sure I'll have the guts to read IT though!! Great book. Highly recommended!
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers.
His recent work includes The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Mr Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best novel) and Sleeping Beauties co-written with his son Owen King. Stephen King has been described by the Guardian as 'one of the greatest storytellers of our time', by the Mirror as a 'genius' and by The Sunday Times as 'one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel.' His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures in 2017. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.