Misery was the first Stephen King novel I read. Before I begin with the review of this book, let me say how I feel about Stephen Kingin general. I’ve mostly seen the movie versions of his novels. I’ve read bits and parts of his stories, his writing to me seems interesting and twisted, one that I’d love to pick up on a weekend and scare the living daylights out of myself. So what about Misery?
Misery revolves around Paul Sheldon, the author of a best-selling series of Misery Chastain. Having finished his of Fast Cars, a , he decides to go to by road from . On his way, his car gets caught in blizzard and he loses consciousness in the struggle. He wakes up to find himself rescued by Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who lives nearby. There she nurses him to health and claims herself to be his number one fan. Throughout all this, she never takes him to the hospital, but keeps him in her house, sedated with painkillers.surrounding the heroine character
She reads his latest manuscript and disapproves of it. She buys the latest copy of the Misery series, where she’s shocked to find that Paul Sheldon has killed off Misery. Enraged, she demands that he burn his new manuscript and continue the Misery series by bringing her back from death. And what she does to Paul Sheldon to get her wishes fulfilled is what this novel is all about. And it is gruesome and awful.
There are scenes so vividly described that they would make you cringe, would make your skin crawl. I so hated Annie Wilkes, I kept imagining ways for her to die in the same cruel manner that she would make Sheldon suffer. And I felt angry at Sheldon for making stupid decisions like taking the car to LA. I was so engrossed in hating Annie that I never really looked at King’s writing. I was so put off by the book that I swore never to read Stephen King; I was so disgusted by Annie Wilkes the character that I washed my hands clean of Stephen King novels.
I guess the fact that the book succeeded in evoking such strong emotions in me should be a mark of merit for this book. And it does hold true, the book will affect you strongly. Some books are for pleasant reading and some are for giving your mind a ruddy good wake-up call. This one is of the latter kind.
Now whenever I come across a Stephen King novel, I read the description hungrily, look at the cover and its pages and its numerous good reviews longingly and put it in my basket of books. Then I think of Misery and I quietly replace it on its shelf.
I know I’m missing out on too much. But you know how first experiences are..
You can also read the review here.