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This was my first Stephen King novel. I must admit that it will not be my last. After seeing the film, I picked up the book and was startled to see how the story is even more detailed and gruesome and frightening than the film. The humor in the film was necessary for audience sales. The book is more true to life and detailed in human feeling and experience. King has an uncanny way of getting you into the heads of the characters and their emotions. I was terrified by Annie Wilkes and petrified for Paul Sheldon. It is not a light-hearted book and will have you trapped throughout. The imagery is visceral and the writing crisp. Be ready to be terrified and entertained.
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on March 23, 2017
I purchased Misery to study Mr. King's writing technique, after being charmed, enlightened, and encouraged by his On Writing. My plan was to study rather than read, but I was pulled in and only sometimes would I remember to reflect on the craft. Sometimes the scenes crept slowly and the voice felt pretentious, but only because the protagonist was a drugged writer-so it was appropriate to character. Tools (Chekhov's Guns) are masterfully weaved into scenes and I was delighted to find those elements coming into play to solve his problem at the end. This also shows what a character needs and wants at the beginning of the story, and what he'll give up to get what he wants in the end. It was a great example of Show, Don't Tell with character development, which I've been trying to work on in my own writing.
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Misery, the first fiction I read by King or Stevie as I like to call him, that is in fact the nickname he calls himself in one of the best books I ever read: On Writing. Misery was intense. I could not put it down and if this says something about King's connection with his "constant reader" then I am hooked. It was also my first horror book and I have to say, for horror, I laughed a whole lot more than necessary perhaps at all the dark comedy and horror happening to Paul Sheldon, the lead character. The book can be confusing in that there's a novel within the novel as he re-writes Misery's Return for Annie Wilkes and for the most part, I was concerned only with the Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes novel. The story is intense, there's a lot of gory stuff, but I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I thought I would. I see so much of Steve King in Paul Sheldon, not only because I read his semi-bio/semi-writing book, but because he said so himself about Misery. At times, I was even consuming Paul Sheldon the fictional character with Steven King the actual character, since both are best-selling authors with a dark sense of humor and a crazy obsessive relationship with their craft. One thing is for sure: You will never ever forget Annie Wilkes. Or good old Paul Sheldon for that matter and what's better than reading stuff that will stick with you for a long while?

This is a book that will make you lose sleep and focus, give you laughs and giggles but the kind that you would have when someone else is going through a funny sort of hell, and of course, a good taste of Stephen King, the master of fiction himself. (Well, him and George R.R. Martin!)
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on June 1, 2016
This is one of the best books I've ever read. I loved the movie so I thought I'd try the book. I'm glad I read the book after watching the movie because the movie simply does not compare. The viewpoint is told from Paul Sheldon, an unfortunate writer who finds himself "rescued" by one Annie Wilks. From the very start, Annie is disliked. Paul's perception paints her in a very dim and sallow light and all of the redeeming characteristics Kathy Bates brought to the character are absent. The violence is unbelievably heart-wrenching. King has this incredible way of building the tension before unleashing an onslaught of nightmares into your psyche. But the violence is necessary as it, too, flavors each morsel King has prepared. Just take it in. You'll be happy you did.
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on March 19, 2015
My review is for both the movie and the novel. This is my second reading of this creepy tale about a famous writer and his "number one fan." If you've seen the movie starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, then you know some of the horrors that Paul Sheldon faces while being held captive at a remote location in Colorado after an almost fatal car accident. But the novel, and this is true more often than not, offers so much more than the movie possibly can. There's a scene in the film where Annie Wilkes performs an operation on Paul called "hobbling." She takes a short block of wood and a sledgehammer and...well, you know. And if you don't, I'm not going to spoil the surprise here. But for those that have seen the movie, it's even worse than what's depicted on film, if you can imagine that. King is the best in the business when it comes to characterization and slowly building suspense. As ruthless as Annie Wilkes is, Stephen has this odd way of making the reader sympathize with Paul's tormenter, just a little, mind you. I guess that's true because Annie seems so real, not just a paper-thin character thrown on paper for our amusement. While reading the book, I could picture Kathy Bates's face and hear her voice, and it added a lot to the overall enjoyment of the book. And don't forget that in 1990, Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her stellar performance. One thing I love about reading Stephen King novels is how complex and intertwined his fictional world of characters is and you never know what reference will be randomly thrown in that literally brings a huge smile to your face. For instance, here's some dialogue from Annie Wilkes: "It was a famous old hotel called the Overlook. It burned down ten years ago. The caretaker burned it down. He was crazy. Everybody in town said so. But never mind; he’s dead." If you're a huge King fan then you immediately know she's referring to Jack Torrence in THE SHINING. And speaking of crazy, that's the pot calling the kettle black, right?
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on May 12, 2016
This book is NOT for the faint of heart. Anyone who knows Stephen King knows that the movies sometimes don't do his books justice. I have nothing bad to say on the big-screen adaptation of this book; but the book itself, is excruciatingly more gruesome and its charters are even MORE complex. If your heart sorrowed over the poor guy's fate in the movie, it'll be splattered on the ground and exploded into smithereens well before you're done with the guy in this actual tale of the worst case scenario of....The Number One Fan. There's a couple of sexual references and plenty of language including heavy profanation of God's Name (it's Stephen King....so...); if you can get past that, this is what made King what he is today.
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on January 21, 2018
I'm only writing this to say the audio version was great with Lindsay Crouse doing her best job channeling Kathy Bates. When I stopped to think about the comparison of the voices, I thought it distracting but really, it was an excellent performance and I mostly loved it. I never tried to read King before and have been curious but too busy lately and this was a new thing for me. When I realized I was missing some chunks of it due to driving or other distractions, I popped open to the page in my Kindle and was blown away to see the story within the story was typed as described with the typewriter missing letters and so forth. Amazing! The script literally captures the madness of the situation to the degree that I want to re-read it over as I feel I missed a lot of the experience. This experience was well above what my expectations. The whole harrowing depiction of Annie's psychoses is incredibly believable and compelling.
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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2014
While I enjoyed Pet Semetary more than this work, Stephen King does place you into what it would be like to be trapped by a lunatic. In this case, fiction author Paul Sheldon has a bad accident near the town of Sidewinder, Colorado (yes the same town as The Shining). He is taken in by a former nurse named Annie Wilkes who is also is his #1 fan. Wilkes has read all of Sheldon's books. From here the story turns downward. Wilkes is insane. She is not helping Sheldon to recover but is keeping him as her own pet author. The clock is ticking for both Sheldon and Wilkes.

Many have seen the movie but the book is darker and Wilkes is more insane than Cathy Bates portrayed in the movie. Overall, this is a good work. The language (as typical with King) was rough but the gore was not as bad as some of his other works have been.
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on August 23, 2013
Amazing (to me). We watched "Misery" the other night, and it had been such a long time since we had seen it, but it has so many quotable lines! Kathy Bates was just about perfect in the role. But I had this nagging feeling that this movie was NOT as true to the book as I thought. I had read the book when it first came out. There are a lot of things left out of the movie that were in the book, and I wonder how the movie audience would have reacted had they seen them. So I read the book again, and here goes.
Annie Wilkes is a HECK of a lot meaner, crazier, and all those terrible things. She is a sadist, and I would imagine the term would be "serial killer", since she admits to..........well, I can't spoil this for those who have not read it.
I was wondering why the movie made Annie even the least BIT likeable, and then I realized what a huge turn off it would have been for movie audiences to see her as written. Tough to take. The "Incidental" characters in the book (fleeting as they may be), made more sense than a sheriff and his wife looking for such a well known writer, and for that long. I also remembered the ending of the book and the ending of the movie as different, but both were excellent. I like the book ending the best. When it comes to writing stream of consciousness thoughts, no one does it better than Stephen King. This book is so descriptive, and also, while Paul Sheldon is living in a place pretty close to HELL, King manages to make me laugh. I forgot how long Sheldon was in Annie's "care". A LONG time, and what an ordeal. I'll just warn readers that what happens to Paul in the book is much worse than what we see in the movie.
While I enjoyed reading part of the fictional "Misery's return", the one Annie forces Paul to write, there are parts of it I just flipped through as they seemed rather nonsensical. Like Misery in Africa and the bee sting and all. Other than that? I actually could not put this book down and stayed up until 3 AM reading it. And I RARELY RARELY EVER read fiction. So that's another thing..........getting hooked on a work of fiction. When Stephen King is good, as he is here, there is no one better. Highly recommend.
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on July 3, 2016
I thought the premise was interesting and it was one of King's more insightful books as far as character development and plot. It was nice to see him venture outside the supernatural horror field and deal with real world horror for a change. Still, I found some of the story superficial. It would have been interesting to learn more about Paul's and Annie's histories. Other than bad weather, what brought these two people to this climactic meeting? It is a must read for any King fan and does not rely so much on his tried and true formula of evil comes to town, evil almost destroys everything, good triumphs.
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