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Misery written by 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.
Misery has everything; thrills, spills, shocks, romance (sort of) and laughs (yes, even amidst the carnage, you'll find a time for an open chuckle or two). All of which come thick and fast.

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.
Happy Reading,
Chris !!

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers



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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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