Sunday Spotlight | Misery by Stephen King

This post written by Vy at Ice Queen, Yous Queen.

Maybe I don’t read enough Stephen King. Maybe I haven’t read the right Stephen King novels. But I don’t like Stephen King. And Misery was no exception. Classified “psychological horror”, it follows the imprisonment of famous author Paul Sheldon, who is kidnapped by his “number one fan” horrifying ex-nurse Annie Wilkes. However, when Annie finds that Paul has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain, to end the unsatisfying cheap romance novel arc, and has written his lifelong dream story about a vulgar car thief, Annie seeks to force him to write Misery back to life.

I found this novel quite unsatisfying, but it is most definitely redeemable because no matter how infuriatingly pointless and slow the progression of the plot seems, the reader is riveted and in suspense, and horrified of Annie Wilkes (she showed up in one of my dreams when I stayed up to read and I was up the rest of the night), so the book does accomplish its purpose, and for that reason could be of interest to some readers. It is astonishingly difficult to read Paul’s adventures without sitting on the edge of your seat. Besides, if you can stick it out until the final few chapters, the plot hurtles on toward a spectacular climax.

Another positive note about Misery, there are plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and the ultimate climax comes very late into the book, but it’s hard to be bored with this novel. There really isn’t anything mundane about a terrifyingly clever nurse whose weapon of choice is drugs and axes.

So in conclusion, I’m not a fan of Misery. But I can see where the love for this book would stem from. Some critics claim Annie Wilkes is Stephen King’s most terrifying creation yet, and I can see it. True horror writing is derived from fear of the natural, not the supernatural. I’d give this book an overall strong 6.5/10, but as far as the character development of Annie WIlkes, I can’t complain at all. She’s a horror goddess. As a closing note, this book was published in 1988 and the movie debuted in 1990, but I wouldn’t know anything about it, I haven’t seen it. And a lot of the graphic horror is better left to the imagination.


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