KING - MISERY
MISERY - STEPHEN KING
This book is without doubt the one that I have read and re-read most.
Every time I pick it up I get a tingle of anticipation nibbling at my
fingers, as they know they're going to have some fun turning the pages
to get to the next bit.
Inspired by a deranged fan breaking into his house in Maine and holding his wife hostage after he thought King had stolen one of his manuscripts, the author introduces us to car crash victim / author Paul Sheldon and his 'kindly nurse' Annie Wilkes.
Now before I go on, I'd just like to
say that those of you who are thinking 'Oh yeah, I saw the Kathy
Bates film' then shame on you! No film can do the book justice.
An audience is spoon-fed the visuals for a kick off and no single reader
imagines the scenes of a book the same as another. True, no filmgoer
sees the same film either BUT books and films should be taken on separate
merits and will be here.
Anyway, back to Annie. She's
mad. Dangerously deranged, off her chump, whacko. In total, she's a
brick short of a load and Paul is in a whole world of trouble, after
thinking at first that she's saved his life.
Realising that Paul has had the effrontery
to kill off her favourite literary character, Misery Chastain, - whom
Annie also thinks might just be real - so that Paul might write a new
book filed with profanity and the 'S' word, Annie gets a bit miffed
and insists that Paul resurrect Misery in a book just for her.
Naturally the nurse is the self appointed
Editor In Chief and she uses a lot more than a red pencil to make her
amendments and corrections. Simple stuff like an axe and a blowtorch
dot the 'i's and cross the 't's, get the picture?
Why do I like this book so much? Well
mainly because of the number of central characters of which there are
just two in total, Paul and Annie. The manner in which King manages
to keep the suspense going - of which there is plenty, believe me -
just between the two is incredible. His prose keep the pages spinning
with true style, the story is deep without being stuffy and recognisable
without being dull.
It's a book that underlines the perils of fame. Remember,
was inspires by King's experience - sort of - and he doesn't hold back
on his worst fears. What if the guy in his Kitchen had been armed? What
if he'd taken his family out of his house? What if his wife had been
hurt or even killed? Such thoughts came around to being put down on
paper and with such force, that the reader quickly becomes ensnared
in what is being said, without realising it almost.
The bad point of the book is the fact that King
decided to write the story that Paul is writing for Annie and has placed
it inside the book that we are reading - including the dropped letters,
created (or not created) by the old Royal typewriter he is forced to
use. This is a mistake. It takes the reader out of one world and into
another, for no reason that's apparent other than for demonstrating
that Sheldon is an author who writes a bit like Stephen King.
Other than that it can be safely said that this is
Stephen King at his terrifying best. Misery crackles and ripples
with electricity at every paragraph and insists that the next page is
desperate to be read. Though it also has to be said that it does lack
the style of, say, The Stand, Misery is King's best novel of
the multitude that he has produced, of which I have read most.
Order this book online - Linghams
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Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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