By Stephen King
(Signet Book, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780451169525, 352pp.)
The Short of It:
Annie Wilkes is Paul Sheldon’s #1 fan and when she finds her favorite author on the side of the road, injured in a car crash, she takes him home to “nurse” his wounds.
The Rest of It:
It’s King! And this one is a doozy. I’d forgotten the ending even though I’ve read it twice before and seen the movie so reading this book for the third time was like reading it for the first time.
Why did I read it again? This.
I am a total sucker for read alongs involving Uncle Stevie. As long as my eyes are not scratched up by a hair brush, I will say yes. That’s all I’m saying about that. So when Care asked, I of course said yes.
The book. Wow. I had forgotten how intense the story is but I was quickly reminded just a few pages in. I won’t go into details because if you haven’t read it, you really must. Basically, Annie is nuts and when she finds Paul Sheldon on the side of the road, injured and needing help, she steps in and takes it a little too far.
Annie Wilkes is quite the character and King takes great pleasure in sharing all her cockadoodie mannerisms and oogie hygiene habits. Those words are sprinkled throughout the book, numerous times and every time I heard them, I got chills up my back. They are SO Annie.
And Paul, not as helpless as you think but still, what a predicament to be in. Trapped, injured and having to rely on Annie?? Oh my word. Yes, a tough situation to say the very least.
On the gore chart, this one is a little intense. But on the supernatural front, there is nothing really to speak of. What makes this story scary is that it could actually happen.
What’s neat about the book is that there is a story within a story. Paul is writing a book while held captive and King spends a good chunk of time fleshing that story out. Almost to the point where one blogger wanted to read the rest of THAT story! No? Yes!
Overall, this was just too much fun to read as a group. Every time we came across a little gem, we’d hop on Twitter to comment. If you want to check out the comments, search for #MiseryRAL. I guarantee you will want to join in on the next King read along after reading some of those tweets.
To sum this up, I enjoyed the book more this time around than the first two times. I must have been very young when I read it before because I really didn’t remember too many of the details. So glad I decided to read it again.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
35 thoughts on “Review: Misery”
I read SO MUCH Stephen King back in the day. Not sure why I’ve been so reluctant to revisit his novels… I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I was just telling another blogger that revisiting them is a crap shoot. I did not love The Stand when I reread it years later, but other books, like Misery, I love even more now. I really can’t figure it out. I felt the same way about IT. I read it and enjoyed it when young, but when I reread it later I was like… wow (in a good way).
I’m scared to read this.
I wont lie. There is a good long part in this novel that is a bit hard to stomach. The story is so good though.
You summed it up wonderfully! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The readalong was/is a blast, but more importantly, the story is just so fantastic! I think it might be one of my favorites of his. It definitely ranks up there among his best novels IMO.
It’s weird. I loved The Stand to pieces when I read it in my 20s but when I reread it in my 40s, I did not love it so much. Misery, I didn’t love so much when I was younger. But man, it was so good this time around. I sure enjoy revisiting these classics.
I laughed out loud at the hairbrush comment. I bet you find some new readers scratching their heads on that one.
Scratching my cornea with that round bristled brush was the REAL horror story. STILL not right from that. Going to the specialist on 7/31, the soonest they could get me in. I was a teary-eyed mess and blinking like mad so that is probably one of the few things to keep me away form a King read along.
Wow! Sounds like you fun rereading this one. It is such a great story. I thought the film was pretty great as well. Your enthusiasm makes me want to reread it. I have to admit that I have never reread any King books. I think because there are so many that I have yet to read, I figure its best to read those instead. Although, I have always been tempted to reread The Stand (which I love!). Anyhow, let me know what you think of Finders Keepers – such a good read!
The rereads have been hit and miss for me. Didn’t care for Carrie the second time around, or The Stand or really, The Shining either. But some of the others I loved even more, like IT, Pet Sematary, and Misery.
I adore Stephen King, but I haven’t read this one because I really dislike gore. (I know that sentence contradicts itself). My favorites of his are The Stand and 11/23/63 (I think that’s the date…) and I’m trying to work up the nerve to read “It.” This one I may pass on … but it’s good to hear your thoughts!
You made me nostalgic now, Ti. I shall read it again soon 🙂 Stephen King is a force of nature!
You know what I really love about King? He just seems to have fun telling the story. He has fun with the characters and I can totally see him at his desk laughing over something the character does or says. I haven’t loved every single book he’s written but I’ve enjoyed the ride and will continue to do so for as long as he lets me.
Oh the movie is a doozy. Fun scary. Creepy and well done. When I see it flicking — I always have to stop and watch. James Caan and Kathy Bates were great adversaries! Isn’t King’s latest book also about a crazed fan? hmm trying to recall
Yes!! The new book is about a fan as well. I just got the book! I hope to start it after this production week wraps.
I always think that some of King’s scariest stuff (this one included) are the ones that deal with real people’s scary instead of the supernatural. Don’t get me wrong, Pennywise scared me to death, but Annie is scary in such a real way! Yay for Care and her awesome readalongs.
I agree. I think IT passed the test because it played against all of our own childhood fears.
I’ve only read this once and enjoyed it, but I’ve seen the movie at least 10 times and never grown tired of Kathy Bate’s performance.
Bates and Caan are so good in the movie.
I haven’t read this one in a long while. I wish I had more time to read this one with everyone, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
I can’t believe I haven’t been in the mood for this and have basically missed almost all of the readalong. Sigh.
I am catching up on email but did you ever finish Misery?
I suppose it terribly rude and inconsiderate of me to suggest the watchalong for tomorrow or Wednesday… right? yep
I would go with what the majority wants. After production week, my focus is cleaning the house, laundry and filling the fridge again. I won’t be somewhat human until next week, plus I have to order the movie from Netflix but pick what the others can do and don’t worry about me 😉
This was definitely a fun readalong! I loved all of the songs and the content on twitter…and of course that button that Jenni Elyse made from the Misery book cover. BEST PART.
Annie is one of my favorite King characters now (or at least favorite villain), though Paul fell completely flat for me. I guess some of that was the point, but I kept wanting this to be written in first person (Paul’s perspective).
Paul was in such a drug induced state for most of the book that I think it would have a totally different feel if it were written from his perspective. It WAS fun, wasn’t it. I just love to talk about King with others. It’s just too much fun. I am trying to figure out a good time to get his new book read.
The movie version of Annie isn’t at all as I had pictured her from the book! I didn’t pace myself well for the readalong — went too fast at first and then got too far behind — but I’m glad I joined in the readalong. Not sure about doing the watchalong, though…:)
I read the book ages ago and then of course saw the movie when it first came out and I thought it was pretty spot on. At least, that is how I envisioned Annie in my head. I remember me wanting to see her in a nurse’s uniform, like World According to Garp (LOL) but other than that, the mannerisms and the voice and personality were pretty close to what my mind had cooked up. I wonder how King felt about it. The movies that I felt were pretty good… he didn’t like so who knows.
I guess I thought Annie was older and bigger!
I felt the same way… read the book before, but enjoyed it much more this time around!
These King-alongs are fun no matter what the book is. I guess the next one is supposed to be Salem’s Lot. Possibly in October.
I’m not sure I would have picked this one up without the readalong – I need a little kick in the butt to read something that will scare me. But so much fun!
The readers who join these King Alongs are just too much fun. Seriously.
Loved, LOVED this story! Stephen King. The BEST!