MISERY is one of those novels that made me want to hug myself in enjoyment. With its cleverly ingenious humor that somehow mixes so well with its occasionally gruesome violence, this is a novel that made me wish I had written myself! I bought and read this book 12 years ago, and have recently unearthed it from a box that had been stored in my garage since I moved into my new home three years ago. This brought back some great memories, and I'd like to share them with you.
Narrated in first-person by Paul Sheldon, a famous writer of cheesy romance novels (starring a heroine named Misery Chastain) who crashes his car in the middle of the snowiest winter in the middle of Colorado and is rescued by local nurse Annie Wilkes, who happens to be, as she immediately lets him know as soon as he comes to, his "Number One Fan." She also happens to be, as he soon finds out, obsessed and dangerously crazy. Her care of him soon becomes a prison, one from which he knows he must escape, someway and somehow. It will prove to be difficult, as he is bedridden with two badly broken legs. When crazy Annie reads Paul's latest installment of the Misery series and finds out, to her horror, that he killed off her beloved heroine, all hell breaks loose. When she finds out that he did this to finally exit the romance-novel arena, and was working on a more street-savvy book starring a troubled teenage boy, she makes him start on a book entitled "Misery's Return." As distasteful as this is to him, he is not in a position to argue his way out of it, knowing that Annie holds all the cards and has him completely at her mercy. After all, it's hard to argue with a big, strong woman who carries an axe, and who, by the way, saved your life.
MISERY is a taut thriller that understands its two main characters, the introverted and reserved Paul Sheldon and yes, even Annie Wilkes in all her irrationality. King loves her even as he simultaneously (and hilariously) makes fun of her quirky speech, which he dubs "the Annie Wilkes Lexicon." MISERY is a real page-turner (I read the entire 250-page book in one day) that is full of suspense and dark humor. I love it in all its ooginess, and if you haven't read it yet, then you'd just better do it now, you dirty bird!
MOST RECOMMENDED; AGES 17 & UP