By Stephen King,

Book cover of Misery

Book description

In the exciting build-up to publication of Stephen King's new mainstream novel, LISEY'S STORY, enjoy this world-famous classic novel on audio.

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Why read it?

8 authors picked Misery as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I realize this book isn’t one of King’s supernatural thrillers like Kujo or The Shining, both of which petrified my middle-school self into turning the pages late, late into the night. But Misery is the best of King’s work because this “super-psychological” thriller pits two antithetical forces against one another.

The police interview setup seems a straightforward approach to story-telling, but it turns into a deeply emotion, personal journey for Paul, the book’s hero. We learn in subsequent pages that Paul’s “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, refuses to allow Paul to continue on a journey of self-aggrandizement...to the point…

Many of us know Misery’s story from the excellent film adaptation starring Kathy Bates, but the book is even better, drawing out writer Paul Sheldon’s withdrawal from the world, in excruciating interiority. His tormentor, Annie Wilkes, his “biggest fan” is an amazing creation.

For me, it’s her blankness, the way she sometimes just zones out and separates from reality, along with her incredible neediness, that makes her not just an amazing metaphor for addiction and the process of creation, but the kind of character who'll haunt your nightmares.

Annie Wilkes just beat another King creation, Carrie’s mother, Margaret White,…

From Abigail's list on terrifying female villains.

Stephen King inspired some of my own writing. I am particularly blown away by how he can take something that seems so harmless, like a writer meeting his number one fan, and turn it into something insidious and terrifying. The villains in his novels are also very real and they have a vulnerable side that can almost make you feel sorry for them. That’s just great writing.

I first read this novel a long time ago, my freshman year in high school. I read it during English class, hiding Misery inside the class copy of The Catcher In the Rye during “class reading time,” because Stephen King was so much more interesting to me than J.D. Salinger. I love how trapped the main character is (the author Paul Sheldon) in Misery, and I knew that I wanted to create that same feeling with my narrator Cielo—her being trapped in a ruined neighborhood with flooding all around. King creates tension in every single scene, propelling the reader…

First one would ask, why read horror? Why do you want to be scared? What makes horror entertaining for me is being scared when I know I’m in a safe place. I read this book before going to bed each night. I would tuck myself in and pop on my bed lamp. Whilst my lovely wife would be reading a fantasy novel or playing Farmville, I would read the terror of Paul Sheldon’s ordeal. He was in bed, terrified, and so was I! Whenever I turned the light off and settled in, I could here the winds outside, and every…

Misery was one of the first ever horror books I read and now that I’m an author I totally understand why Stephen King wrote it. This is a little different to traditional horror. No monsters or ghouls or masked murderers chasing a cheerleader through a forest at night with a huge knife. Just a sweet nurse who saves an author's life and just so happens to be his number one fan, and of course a very disturbed individual who decides to keep him captive. Broken legs does make it difficult to run, right? The feeling of hopelessness and being trapped…

From John's list on madness, fear, and the unknown.

My favourite Stephen King novels feature a writer and his intentions pitted against some malevolent force: a literary fiction writer versus his horror-writer alter ego in The Dark Half; Jack Torrance hoping to write a play in a haunted hotel in The Shining; and Paul Sheldon who has written his final romance novel, killing off his heroine in the process, and must now face the wrath of his ‘number one fan’ in Misery. It’s a great horror story, an oppressive nightmare, and the character of Annie Wilkes is awesome, but King has also written eloquently about how…

From Alison's list on in which things take a nasty turn.

On the surface Misery is a clever thriller, something the film adaptation captured. But what makes the book brilliant is how it engages head on with the act of writing itself and the challenges of trying to satisfy yourself and your audience simultaneously. It is ultimately a portrait of an artist slowly learning he can’t escape his own limitations and slowly discovering a kind of acceptance and even exultance in that. That it takes some of King’s most personal writing and wraps in up in the trappings of an unpredictable one-sitting page turner might be the novel’s true genius.

From Gabriel's list on thought provoking thrillers.

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