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Misery Mass Market Paperback – Jun 3 1988

4.6 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Open market ed edition (June 3 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451169522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451169525
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 177 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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

From Publishers Weekly

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
A co-worker a long time ago begged me to read the book. She was a big mystery novel fan and was crazy about Stephen King. I said, "why bother" the movie was great, suspenful and Kathy Bates was Annie Wilkes as far as I was concern and besides, I didn't really like reading mystery novels. I found them boring and overly meticulous with the details. Then I saw the movie again on television and remembered how that co-worker said that after reading the book, you'll be dissapointed with the movie. So, I made the monumental effort to read this book. I couldn't put it down. And yes, the movie adaptation paled in comparisson. So much detail was left out from the book. And although Kathy Bates, was great in the movie, King's Annie Wilkes is a hell-of-a-lot scarier. And the way she died in the movie is sooo sanitized. How very dissappointing that the movie makers bowed out and chose a more cleaner, neater death for this "number one fan." King is very skillful in bringing out the fears and weaknesses of the main character Paul Sheldon. In the movie, James Caan portrayed a bravier character, but the book clearly shows that Paul Sheldon all but lost hope in seeing another day, except for who he is, a writer, and a writer must see the book to its fruitition, just like just readers must find out what happens at the end. I love this analogy and it makes the story more palpable, more real. I have to admit that the book is so much better than the movie. I have gained a lot of appreciation for Stephen King. I can see why he has so much appeal to the masses. He knows how to tell a story. You feel like a kid sitting around a campfire, while a skillful grown-up spins a really scary story. To that co-worker, yes you're right, the book is better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Award winning author, Stephen King, stuns his audience of readers with yet another magnificent display if imagination in his novel Misery. Stephen King had his book published in 1988 and it was, 2 years later, made into an Academy Award Winning movie. Stephen King's stunning and vivid descriptions of Paul Sheldon's 'misery' and his psychotic captor, Anne Wilkes, make this book one of his most popular.
The novel begins as Paul Sheldon, a best selling novelist, is involved in a terrible car accident, which leaves him very badly injured. His smashed up car is discovered by a woman by the name of Annie Wilkes. As Sheldon awakes from his unconscious state, he finds himself in the small guest bedroom of Wilkes's house with his legs shattered and badly splinted. He quickly becomes aware that his new caretaker is more than just his "number one fan" but is also a mentally disturbed woman who seeks to keep him prisoner in her home.
Stephen King wrote this novel to grip his audience and throw them into a life different from that of which they live and hand them the experience of being trapped with a person of an unstable mind. His dark and cruel humor leaps off the pages in his horrifying descriptions that can almost be felt. Through his vivid descriptions of Sheldon's mind and disquiet towards Annie, it seems almost as though he himself were experiencing them. Also, unlike many books that I have read, the setting is told descriptively so to create a detailed picture in your mind, but is also not so descriptive and boring as to "put you to sleep".
King's style never ceases to amaze his readers, especially when he combines two stories into one. In the novel, Paul is made to write a new episode in his books, just for Annie, which brings back to life the main character of his series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The main problem with this book is that you just don't care about the fates of the characters. Sure, you've got all the wham-bam gruesome action, some well-described scenes of torture, but even during these sequences where your interest should be at it's high-point, the mind tends to drift, to imagine alternate scenerios, to develop a better telling of the story itself. Every dead-end page after every drudging leaf of cheap, sanitized paper it goes on and on and on and who the hell cares in the end? Stephen King has never been a great writer, just a man with a fertile imagination and enough ability to get by with a fully created world. But, when the story lacks depth or incident--like Misery--then all that scamming and lying to conning for prestige is gone and you're left with a hack churning out yet another volume of garbage.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unlike many books which are difficult to begin, difficult to read, and an utter struggle to finish, King brings fiction new legs to run on. While I was enduring a drought of reading, I picked up Misery, and I wasn't able to put it down until I found out what happened to Paul Sheldon.
King's writing abilities are under-rated, and his adept ability to weave a story should not go unrecognized. Misery is no exception; the novel provides an interesting story and interesting characters that are real. Unlike many stories, novels, and books, the reader can relate to both protagonist and antagonist - a skill only a few have mastered. King knows what scares people, and insane radicals like Annie Wilkes are definitely frightening when you find yourself in their care.
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