Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.
That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.
The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.
This is by far my favourite King novel!
Misery is a quick and engaging read. But content wise, it is so deep, well-researched and of course, gruesome. King sets a very high bar for the “psychological horror” genre through Misery. From Paul Sheldon’s character (a famous novelist who is kidnapped by his number one fan), we can see his addiction towards drugs (painkillers), his passion towards writing, his mentality when he was trapped by himself and his trauma after the incident. From Annie Wilkes (an ex nurse who is a number one fan of Paul Sheldon), we can see that she suffers from personality disorder, her fury, her mood swings and most importantly, her rage, is super terrifying.
There are a few very very disturbing and brutal scenes in this book. King made these scenes so graphic by just using words. Annie’s character really made me feel so uncomfortable and disturbed, which is a huge success for an author to be able to create such a character which allows readers to fully immersed into its characterization. Throughout the book, King also shared some of his writing tips through Paul’s character when he was forced to write a book specially for Annie. King also used the “story within a story” technique in this book which I think is part of the character development of Paul Sheldon (perhaps to showcase his writing skills). My favourite, would be the last few pages of the book where King is able to describe Paul’s PTSD so well with just a few paragraphs.
For sure, a solid 10/10 star read!