Misery: A Novel
Misery is a famous novel by prolific writer Stephen King. It tells the tale of Paul Sheldon, a writer best known for his popular books series Misery. In his last book of the series the main character Misery dies while giving birth. While travelling his car breaks down in a snow storm and Sheldon has a terrible accident. He gets badly injured, but is saved by a hefty woman who pulls him from under his car wreck. Annie is nurse knows how to take care of a wounded man. Annie is a big fan of the Misery books and asks Sheldon if she can read his latest manuscript while he recovers. When Annie reads that her beloved Misery is about to die, she is furious and she requires Sheldon to write an alternative ending to the book in which Misery continues to live. Very soon, it becomes clear that Sheldon is the prisoner of Annie and that she doesn't recoil from torture if he doesn't do exactly what she wants. That is the beginning of a cat and mouse game between the writer and his guardian.
Misery is a very exciting book and an accomplished psychological thriller. All the action takes place in a small confined space which creates an oppressive atmosphere. King is best known for his horror books. If you are interested in those some recommendations in that genre from Books To Read include The Stand, Salem's Lot, The Shining and It.
Bestselling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health—his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery, and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel—his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house...and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants....
Book reviewIn 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