Before I actually get down to writing this review I’d like to apologise for the rubbish picture quality and ask that you blame the flash on my phone rather than me!
As you can see, I’ve been reading “Misery” by Stephen King. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you have probably been able to infer that I’m not a fan of King, however I decided to give “Misery” a chance due to a recommendation from my Mum. Neither of us are King fans, but I have to say that I agree with her opinion on “Misery”- a great thriller! I’m not sure the nature of the novel lends itself to being “enjoyed” in the convential manner when one considers its storyline, but I did find myself becoming emersed in the story line extremely quickly. This was probably helped by the fact the film adaptation of “Misery” is one of my favourite movies.
Throughout the book I thought that Paul Sheldon, the main character, was simply your average character in a popular novel who was likeable but had no particular affect upon me. The character who best showcases the book’s strengths is Annie Wilkes, the psychopath who imprisons Sheldon. I can’t remember the last time a character in a novel unnerved me so much! At times I could bearly bring myself to turn the page and thus see what she would do next, especially during the infamous “Hobbling” scene.
She was a great character to read about, as my feelings toward her varied from fear to actual pity when King had her show a more vulnerable human side. In a bizarre way, Annie was actually thrilling to read about as one wondered what she would do next amid her drug crazed stupors. As Sheldon and Annie are the only prominent characters in the story King must be congratulated for his ability to sustain the suspense using so few characters- authors with a simple story line often begin to bore the reader after a while.
As I noted before whilst reading “The Green Mile”, which has become my favourite book in the space of just a few months, King deviates from his usual bland narrative every now and then. “Misery” was another example of King genuinely writing well. There were few errors, and the “tricks” he used ensured the story flowed brilliantly. By “tricks”, I am referring to the way he repeated certain words and phrases every time trouble was approaching in order to build suspense. The way the book was written made it easy for me to become caught up and involved in the plot.
When viewing the book as a whole I have just one criticism. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I feel it may have quite limited appeal to some. For example, anyone who is squeamish would struggle to read the book. The hobbling in particular was hard to read; and that’s coming from someone who enjoyed “Red Dragon”! If you’re squeamish in any way, shape or form then this isn’t the novel for you. That being said, I have no real problem with blood and gore. The only thing missing from the book was Kathy Bates’ amazing performance as seen in the film, although anyone who hasn’t seen the movie will not compare “book Annie” with “movie Annie”. Personally, I had grown sick of explaining how I generally dislike Stephen King eventhough he wrote my favourite novel, so it will be nice to say I have found another exception to my general feelings toward King’s work!