Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 369
I’d had Misery on my bookshelf for a good six months before I read it – I never know what to expect from Stephen King, because he’s occasionally hit and miss, but I knew the basic idea behind the novel and found it promising, and I also wanted to watch the film. I guess I just held back because I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype.
Still, when I started reading it I discovered I shouldn’t have worried – Misery is a cracking thriller novel and although it’s not without its flaws, it’s well worth reading if you can find the time. It does drag for the first thirty pages, but once you get in to it you can’t wait to see what happens next, and therein lies the main problem that I could see – it’s a slow novel, with a large proportion of it dedicated to building up the tension before the next catastrophe happens, and while that’s fine in its way, I’d personally prefer more action in fewer pages.
The book itself follows author Paul Sheldon as he’s ‘rescued’ by an obsessed fan called Annie Wilkes, who turns out to have sinister intentions – she keeps Paul in lockdown and behaves increasingly erratically as she forces him to resurrect his long-dead character, a woman called Misery who’s the titular character of the series which Annie is obsessed with.
Now, I won’t go in to too much detail about what Annie does, because that’s kind of the point of the novel, but King writes with addictive conviction which really helps you to envision Paul’s unfortunate situation, and you become familiar with the nagging panic that the character must feel every time he hears Annie’s footsteps outside his door.
The ending was a little bit of an anti-climax, but that’s okay – in the end, it’s the sort of novel that’s all about the journey and not the destination, and so I can just about deal with that. I just can’t wait to see whether the movie lives up to the hype of the novel – the book itself certainly set a precedent!