I just finished reading Misery: A Novel by Stephen King, and I wanted to share my thoughts.
The dope was coming in heavier and heavier waves, and now he just wished she would shut up and go away. She had already doped him enough to tell the truth—he was afraid he would have to pay the consequences in time. But first he wanted to sleep.
“How many times did you go out?”
“I told you—”
“How many times?” Her voice was rising. “Tell the truth!”
“I am! Three times!”
“How many times, God damn it?”
In spite of the cruiser-load of dope she’d shot into him, Paul began to be frightened.
Best-selling author Paul Sheldon suffers a near-fatal car accident but is rescued by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes. Although becoming his nurse and tending to his wounds, Wilkes also becomes his captor. She’s enraged at Sheldon for killing off her favorite character in his Misery novels, and she wants him to bring her back to life. Doing so won’t be an easy task for Sheldon, seeing as how his captor’s violent mood swings and outbursts keep him distracted—and in pain.
As a fan of the film, I figured reading the book would be just as enjoyable. And I was right.
Misery: A Novel is a page-turner, with suspense that intensifies from the start to its final act. Stephen King’s writing, which is very unique, kept me intrigued but frustrated in a good way. He feeds the plot to you at a distant pace, but putting the book down still doesn’t cross your mind. And his attention to detail with the main characters, particularly Annie Wilkes—whose psychosis was mild in the film compared to the book—, adds more depth to the dialogue between the two.
My only issue was that, at times, it seemed like the narrative was unnecessarily drawn out. Since the story takes place in one location, it’s understandable why more weight was put on tone and scenic descriptions. But there were several times throughout my read where I openly said, “get to the point,” particularly during King’s Misery compilations.
Like many book-to-film adaptations, there were noticeable changes made. So I’d recommend checking out both.
Until Next Time…