To Read or Not to Read?

Misery by Stephen King

As part of the reading challenge I’m participating in this year I had to read a book that was published the year I was born. That led to some research since obviously I don’t have a running mental inventory of books published in 1987. But with the internet and a few typed words I found it. Misery written by Stephen King and first published in 1987.

I just barely remember watching the movie (leading me to believe I must have watched it waay earlier in life than I maybe should have) and figured I may as well try the book.

And now, after finishing it, I feel a little crazy. Which is actually a good thing because it means I was pulled into the lives of the characters who, by the end of the book, were both crazy.

So, here’s a little background information for those unfamiliar with the book or movie.

Misery is about a writer named Paul Sheldon and his “number one fan” Annie Wilkes. When Paul is injured in a car accident and Annie happens upon his car she decides to bring him home with her instead of to a hospital. Things are odd and creepy but not necessarily horrifying until Annie reads Paul’s latest published book about her favorite character, a character named Misery, and finds out that Paul wrote an ending where Misery died.

From there on out the story definitely falls into the horror/thriller category as Paul, and the reader, learn that Annie isn’t just a little off…she’s downright crazy. The lives of at least a dozen or so people were ended by her hand before the start of the book. And as she slowly starts to fall off the deep end again she takes Paul with her.

As a writer, hopefully one that will be fairy famous some day, I found this tale especially chilling. And I kind of identified with Paul’s extremely vivid imagination because I’m always making up stories myself. But it made for tough reading when you were never sure if Paul was dreaming/imagining a scenario until several long paragraphs or pages later.

In the end I’m glad I read it, I certainly could have picked something worse, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea because Paul’s thoughts were just so disjointed/long winded. It made for tough reading and kind of took away from the horror since he was so out of it when most of the key scenes happened.

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