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Misery [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 May 2007
After a car crash, writer Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She brings him home, splints his mangled legs, and all he has to do in return is write a very special book, one all about her favourite character. Because if he doesn't, if he is bad, she will be cross - very cross.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (31 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9707802405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340951439
  • ASIN: 0340951435
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Misery, as in The Shining, a writer is trapped in an evil house during a Colorado winter. Each novel bristles with claustrophobia, stinging insects, and the threat of a lethal explosion. Each is about a writer faced with the dominating monster of his unpredictable muse.

Paul Sheldon, the hero of Misery, sees himself as a caged parrot who must return to Africa in order to be free. Thus, in the novel within a novel, the romance novel that his mad captor-nurse, Annie Wilkes, forces him to write, he goes to Africa--a mysterious continent that evokes for him the frightening, implacable solidity of a woman's (Annie's) body. The manuscript fragments he produces tell of a great Bee Goddess, an African queen reminiscent of H. Rider Haggard's She.

He hates her, he fears her, he wants to kill her; but all the same he needs her power. Annie Wilkes literally breathes life into him.

Misery touches on several large themes: the state of possession by an evil being, the idea that art is an act in which the artist willingly becomes captive, the tortured condition of being a writer, and the fears attendant to becoming a "brand-name" best selling author with legions of zealous fans. And yet it's a tight, highly resonant echo chamber of a book--one of King's shortest, and best novels ever. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (Sunday Times)

One of the great storytellers of our time (Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 20 May 2009
By L. Wood
I got this book out of the library for my boyfriend and ended up being stuck on the bus in traffic with it in my bag so decided to give it a go myself - wow! Almost from the first page I was completely drawn into the story and barely spoke to anyone for the next couple of days until I finished it.

I've never been a big King fan having only previously read Carrie but I really enjoyed this. It had me absolutely terrified in places and by the end I was a nervous wreck. King has paced this novel superbly, every time I started to relax, even slightly, there would be another edge of your seat incident. The climax of the novel was fantastic, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest.

Annie is a terrifying character with her unpredictable mood swings and strange moral beliefs. I also liked the way that despite his hatred of her Paul found himself becoming so dependant on her and having to learn how to manage her moods. the relationship between them was the centre of the book and it was fascinating how it developed.

I would highly recommend this book
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! 22 Jan 2005
this book was a brilliant read. It kept me up all night reading it. It absolutely blew me away with the writing of Stephen King as this was the first book i had read by him and definetly wont be the last. I must say this is probably the best book i have read in a while bear in mind i am only 15!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST books I've ever read 21 Dec 2001
I just love Annie Wilkes! She is one of King's most fascinating, original, crazy and witty characters ever to come from the invention of his mind. From the first page this is powerful stuff, starting with a car crash and then King gives himself the challenge of a one-roomed story. Hard task? Of course, but he succeeded perfectly.
The book is more gruesome than the film, which makes Annie seem more monstrous (although who could ever forget Kathy Bates' perfect, disturbing and sheer brilliant performance of Annie in the film - she really brought another dimension to the character and deserved the oscar she so rightly won). At the time I read this, I had split my leg open and my shin was tied together with 20 thick stitches! Bad book to read when you're in that position!! But I really related to the pain and empathy of Sheldon even more when I was like that.
King captures the claustrophobia of both Annie and Paul (his incarceration and his mind)and punches you slap bang in the face with it so you pay attention. Also, parts of Paul's manuscript are to be read as they are relevant to his state of mind.
Along with The Dead Zone, this is my prefered King book - unforgettable and chilling, like the film adaption, which is one of my favourite films ever. And not one cheesey monster in sight! I've never read a better psychological thriller than this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensely captivating; classic King 10 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Stephen King is known as the master of horror, and in 'Misery', he more than lives up to this title. This book has no monsters, no demons, no ghouls; only Annie Wilkes, and she is infinitely worse than any supernatural creation as she terrorises protagonist Paul Sheldon as he lies crippled in her back bedroom. 'Misery' is not only a novel, and not only a book about how to write a novel, but it is a touchstone for any writer - this book is rich in metaphor of the trials of creating a book that someone, anyone, will want to read, and it is impossible for anyone who has known the pain of writing, and wanting to write, not to identify with Sheldon.
I have read most of King's books, and this is, without a doubt, the best of the lot. The film starring James Caan and Kathy Bates (who won an Oscar for her role) is brilliant, but this is even better. I bought it several years ago, and have read it over and over, because the twists and turns always surprise. Well done to the author for a book honed to perfection.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Wilkes is a "cockadoodie" psycho! 16 Aug 2007
By Max
This books is one of the best I have ever read. I'm a huge fan of King, and I've read about 25 of his novels so far, but I have to say this is one of my favourites...

I read this over a period of two nights, and I literally couldn't put it down. The suspense in this book is unbelievable, and it has several shocking scenes.

The movie, in my opinion, is one of the best adaptations of any of King's books, and having seen the film long before reading the book, I thought the book would be spoiled by this... but it wasn't. There are loads of little differences in the book, and of course there are more scenes than the film, because obviously you can never fit a whole book into a movie. And there are several surprises for those that have seen the film before reading the novel, because some of the scenes you see in the film, and expect to read in the book are different, and better, and more shocking and gruesome.

After reading Misery, I have to say that Kathy Bates really deserved her oscar for playing Annie Wilkes in the movie, becasue she literally became the character. The Paul Sheldon of the novel took on his own appearance in my mind, but Kathy Bates was firmly stuck in my head as the evil nurse Annie Wilkes.

I can't praise this novel enough. In a hundred years I'm sure this will be seen as an all-time classic. King's writing is admirable, and his technique of keeping you glued to the pages is amazing and enviable.

As a final note, I think that watching the film first and thinking i knew what to expect and what was coming as i flew through the pages of the book set me up for a lot of surprises.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Misery
Absolutely brilliant, would read again and also definitely recommended to others!
Published 29 days ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars A present for my mother who commented it was a ...
A present for my mother who commented it was a very frightening book, much more so than the film version. A really enjoyable if scary read.
Published 1 month ago by Andrew W Skillen
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This was a really good movie, starring Kathy Bates, who is Annie down to a tee, and you can see Kathy's face as you read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joy
5.0 out of 5 stars Love his writing.
I have read this book several times since it was first published but the two hard copies I had bought over the years were lent to friends and not returned. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Helen Lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick it up!
If you like the movie you're gonna love this. It's rich portrayal of helplessness and crazy, immerses you into a world of Annie the goddess.
Published 3 months ago by Guro sigurdsen
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I love this book, this is the 2nd time I have read it.
I lost my first copy hence the re order.
Published 3 months ago by Mike Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, King at his best
This book really gets in your head. Annie is an amazing character and the plots twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat always.
Published 4 months ago by Heather Iveson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book if you're a King fan
I loved this book. I knew the premise of it but had never read it or seen the film. The characters are brilliantly brought to life through King's writing style and the suspense is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by R. Worrod
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
One of the best books I have ever read! Stephen King is a phenomenal writer, I would definitely recommend it to others (:
Published 5 months ago by Rachael Young
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the year.
I have always been apprehensive of reading SK books, but wow this one really knocked my socks off. Writing about a man stuck in a room with an obsessed fan you would think where is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by brian murphy
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