Book Review: Misery by Stephen King

RATING: 3.5/5

I really don’t think this book needs any kind of fancy introduction.  Most people know at least a little bit about Misery, even if it is from the popular Kathy Bates film of the same name.


I loved this book, I read the first 100 pages in paperback and then listened to the rest of it on audible during a long train journey and I have learned a very important lesson.  Stephen King novels are AMAZING on audiobook, and I enjoyed it so much more once I started listening to it.


I have read a couple of his novels by now, and this one was by far my favourite.  The suspense in this story in incredible.  You genuinely empathise with Paul, or unfortunate protagonist, every time he does something wrong, you are on tender-hooks to find out what kind of punishment Annie will cook up for him this time.  I felt for him every time he was forced to degrade himself, or to beg her for his life.  And that she got him hooked on pain medication, just so she could withhold it as a form of punishment was heart-wrenching.

Annie Wilkes was genuinely one of the most unsettling characters I have ever read.  And slowly watching her mental state get worse and worse thought the story is terrifying, you know that there is a big climax coming, but because of the intricacies of her personality, her ability to always have a plan B, C and D, you aren’t sure if it will be in Paul’s favour or not.  And for a long while in the final third of the book, I was sure that she was going to get the better of him.  And the reveal that she had always known that he was sneaking out of his room, and going through her things was a heart stopper because you knew she was going to come up with some horrid comeuppance.

I did like the ending, it was a realistic vision of what would happen to someone who went through that kind of ordeal.  There were very obvious signs of PTSD and of substance abuse, as opposed to just wrapping it up with, he was rescued and lived happily ever after, which is what happens at the end of a lot of books of this type.  And to not have this book end this way, to end somewhat ambiguously, made it a lot better.

I have not yet watched the film, but intend to do it sometime soon while the book is still fresh in my mind, and then may do a side by side comparison of the two.


Until the next time,

Speak soon,


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