Book Review

MISERY by Stephen King

Rating: 4.5 / 5

MISERY by Stephen King was the January pick for the #constantreadersbookclub on Instagram. This was a reread for me, so I picked up the audio from the library.

MISERY is I think one of the better known Stephen King stories, especially with the movie with Kathy Bates in the titular role. In the wake of a car accident, famed author Paul Sheldon wakes up in tremendous pain with his body badly broken. The woman standing over him is his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes. It turns out Annie is a former nurse which might seem like a lucky break, but it turns out it is her mind that is broken. She is enraged that Paul killed off her favorite character in his latest book and she’s determined that he will use his recovery time under her thumb rectifying the situation. By controlling his pain meds, food and water, Paul doesn’t have much choice but comply.

This is a story that really sticks to you. For a King book, it is one that has an extra element of horror in that it has a sense of reality about it. This is something that is a stretch of the imagination, but not outside of the realm of possibility. The sense of claustrophobia and isolation with Paul being stuck in a wheelchair in a single room with no opportunity to escape really comes through the writing.

This is not a story for the gore adverse. The body horror is strong in this one as Annie loses her cool (does she have cool to lose?) on more than one occasion. There are a lot of elements thrown in for shock factor, but they don’t seem to be there purely for show.

Though we are receiving the story through Paul’s POV, Annie is the character who really stands out. She is horrible in so many ways, but so compelling to read about. We get bits of her past over time as she clues Paul in to more about herself and as Paul begins to branch out and try to find things he can use against her.

I am glad that I decided to reread this one with the buddy read group this month! This is a book with a lot of cringe-worthy moments and an entertaining read overall!

Reading Challenge Categories:

#AroundtheYearin52Books – a book that fits a prompt suggestion that didn’t make the final list

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