Saturday, 24 March 2012

68/111 - Misery by Stephen King

I've read Misery a couple of times before, but I decided to read it again since I'm going to be giving it out for World Book Night next month. It's funny how every time you read something it becomes something slightly different, or at least it does for me. I guess most people don't tend to read books more than once, however that's very much what I like to do with Stephen King books, because by the time I've reached the end of his whole catalogue, I can pretty much start again without remembering much. For example, I've read the whole of the Dark Tower series, and a new one comes out next month, and ideally I would probably read them all again before reading this next one. When I was reading the Dark Tower series a couple of years ago, I absolutely burned through them - absolutely loved them. It took me a little while to get started, but I got there in the end.

ANYWAY. This is about Misery.

I feel like everyone should know the story of Misery because it's such an awesome book, and one of the few Stephen King films whose film actually does it justice. Paul Sheldon is the author of the hugely popular bodice-ripping series of books starring Misery Chastain, however he's tired of writing these in place of 'real' literature, and so decides to kill her off.

On his way home from completing this manuscript, his car gets caught out in a snow storm and he crashes. His next memory is of huge pain, and finally coming round in the room he'll be trapped in for the next six months or so. His nurse is the unstable Annie Wilkes, and she is his number one fan. As you would expect with a Stephen King book, things take a dark turn fairly swiftly, and once Annie finds out that Paul has killed off he favourite character, she commissions him to write a new book, just for her...

For me, this is a really good example of a love for something taken to its most extreme point, and you see it less and less nowadays with books, but things like Harry Potter and Twilight still cause this kind of mania in the fans. I kind of like this, because it shows that people are still able to get excited about books (even if they are books I wouldn't necessarily enjoy) and this doesn't happen often enough for my liking.

The rest of the book feels like a book about pain, very much in a physical sense with all the tortures that Annie unleashes on Paul, but also mental pain and determination, and how far you'll go and how much you'll endure to stay alive. Stephen King gets across Annie's madness perfectly and convincingly, and she reminds me a little of my crazy neighbour next door, but with more of a nasty streak.

Great book, and I'm looking forward to giving it out and hearing back from people on how they found it.

Next: One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

No comments:

Post a Comment