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Misery by Stephen King

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“I’m your #1 fan!”
Sounds like a compliment from an adoring fan, doesn’t it? Well Annie Wilkes is more fanatical stalker than adoring fan. When Paul Sheldon, a famous romance writer, is taken in by her after a devastating car accident, he finds out Annie is more than just a fan. Stephen King weaves a horrific tale of obsession and insanity in his best-selling novel Misery. The main character is a writer like Mr. King himself. He discovers that even romance novels can be very powerful to the reader; maybe too powerful for a reader like Annie Wilkes. Has Stephen King experienced a situation like this or is Misery just another terrifying story from the world famous horror writer of some of the scariest stories ever written? Carrie, The Stand, The Shining, Cell are just a few of the many stories Stephen King has written that were read by millions. Many of his novels have also become movies. He is a master in the Horror genre.
Misery is both the name of the heroine and the experience of the author in Mr. King’s novel. Annie, a former nurse who lives alone in the woods of Colorado, is a huge fan of the Misery series written by Paul Sheldon. She is so wrapped up in what happens to Misery that she can hardly wait until the next novel in the series is published to see what happens to her. Annie lives through the tales of Misery. She has no family or friends except for the characters in Paul’s books. Throughout this novel, this is Annie’s justification for doing the things she does to Paul while he is bedridden at her home. No one knows where the famous author is. He is dependent on Annie for medical care and survival. She reads the manuscript Paul has just finished for the latest installment of the Misery series entitled Fast Cars.
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Unhappy with Misery’s death in the manuscript and what she considers excessive violence and bad language she forces Paul to rewrite the story the way she wants it to end. In agony from severe injuries like a broken leg, Paul realizes that Annie is crazy and that he must escape soon or be killed. Whenever Paul doesn’t cooperate Annie inflicts pain on him. Paul decides he must make her believe he wants to make the changes in the book so he can get away.
Misery is scary and suspenseful. There are really only two characters, not counting the characters in Paul’s book, but they are such interesting, well thought out characters that they fill the novel. How much of Stephen King is in the character of Paul Sheldon? Hopefully there is no part of Annie Wilkes in any of the nurses I run across. Two strangers, thrown together under horrible circumstances, linked by a romance novel and on a terrifying collision course. Makes for an enjoyable, if sometimes scary, read. I would recommend Misery to people who enjoy Stephen King books and his style of writing.





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