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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
King's new novel, about a writer held hostage by his self-proclaimed "number-one fan," is unadulteratedly terrifying. Paul Sheldon, a writer of historical romances, is in a car accident; rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, he slowly realizes that salvation can be worse than death. Sheldon has killed off Misery Chastain, the popular protagonist of his Misery series and Annie, who has a murderous past, wants her back. Keeping the paralyzed Sheldon prisoner, she forces him to revive the character in a continuation of the series, and she reads each page as it comes out of the typewriter; there is a joyously Dickensian novel within a novel here, and it appears in faded typescript. Studded among the frightening moments are sparkling reflections on the writer and his audience, on the difficulties, joys and responsibilities of being a storyteller, on the nature of the muse, on the differences between "serious" and "popular" writing. Sheldon is a revealingly autobiographical figure; Annie is not merely a monster but is subtly and often touchingly portrayed, allowing hostage and keeper a believable, if twisted, relationship. The best parts of this novel demand that we take King seriously as a writer with a deeply felt understanding of human psychology. One million first printing; $400,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book is so much better than the movie. I always read the books first and this was no different. A fantastic read for all ages.Published 5 months ago by Janet Stewart
This is a fantastic book, certainly one of the best I've read from SK. It follows Paul Sheldon, a quick-witted author of romance novels about a ditzy heroine, as he is... Read morePublished 13 months ago by AP
I really enjoyed this one. It felt so realistic, which made it feel very creepy.
The protagonist, Paul, is an author that ends up in the care of a crazy fan/ex-nurse... Read more
I can't believe anyone found this novel boring! If anything most books have a little flat spot in the middle and this one just keeps getting better and more chilling as you go! Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2011 by Poetkitty
Stephen King at his best. Movie was great as well but book is better...goes into more detail. More terrifying than some other stories because it is something that could happen to... Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2010 by Halifax Mary
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Images stayed with me long after I finished reading it.Published on May 4 2009 by Peter Rorlick
In the book Misery there is a lady who has a depression disorder. She is a retired nurse. She got into a lot of trouble with the law. Read morePublished on April 19 2004
Misery couldn't be better, if you know what I mean. This novel is a loosely based purging of Stephen King's thoughts about his fans, and he weaves a novel out of that that is... Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by Will Culp