ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



May 2016



Misery by Stephen King

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

So this was awesome. I’d seen the movie (or at least parts of it) many years ago. There’s one scene that I recall being especially brutal; in the book it’s worse. I was walking while reading it (it’s a thing I do), and when I got to one part in the book I actually stopped and physically had to stifle a gag. I can’t recall the last time that happened. And I’ve seen all the Saw films.

The premise of the book is that Paul is a writer who has been in a very serious car accident. He happens to be rescued by Annie Wilkes, who is his “number one fan.” She also happens to be super mentally unhinged. Stephen King does an interesting job in trying to make Annie more than just a horrifying evil person. I mean, she is. She’s awful. She’s brutal. But she’s also clearly very ill. I don’t ever feel sorry for her, but from my perspective she isn’t just a cartoon character.

One challenge of reading a book after I’ve seen a movie is that I cannot unsee the actors chosen to play the parts. So for better or worse, Paul was James Caan and Annie was Kathy Bates. And that was pretty great casting.

There were times when I felt that the book should have been close to the end, but it kept going. It worked, but I do think it also could have ended sooner. I’m obviously not in a position to question the writing choices of Mr. King, but these 340 pages maybe could have been like 275. But whatever, it was still a great read and a book I had a hard time putting down to do things like sleep and eat.

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