Saturday, August 15, 2009


Personally, I'm not a huge fan of horror novels or movies, mainly because sometimes they don't scare me enough. Having said that, I've read Rosemary's Baby, Carrie, The Shining and Misery while I've watched Jaws, Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Anyway, back to the Misery review.

Paul Sheldon is an author that's best known for his Victoria-era romance novels about the lead Misery Chastain. Having finished the manuscript for his new novel Fast Cars, he decides to drive to Los Angeles (after polishing off a bottle of champange), unaware that he's going to be driving in the biggest snowstrom of the year. As a result, he loses control of the car and crashes. He's rescued by Annie Wilkes, a woman who claims that she's his "number one fan". She takes care of Paul in her house rather than taking him to a hospital, since she used to be a nurse. Annie comes across Paul's manuscript and hates it after she reads it. She later forces Paul to burn it. After reading the newest Misery novel, Annie is put into a fit of rage after finding out that Misery's dead at the end of the book. She leaves Paul bedridden and alone in the house for 51 hours, nearly killing Paul. When she returns, she orders him to write a new Misery book just for her with a typewriter with the most-used keys falling out. She leaves him again to buy paper for him, but this time he's in a wheelchair so he can move around the house. He comes across a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings associated with Annie's dark past, making Paul realize he's in more trouble than he thought.

One of the most infamous scenes, in my opinion, from the book is the hobbling scene. It seems interesting because for the movie the producers made the scene tamer than what's in the book (probably to not get a notorious NC-17 rating). In the book, Annie cuts off Paul's left foot; in the movie, Annie breaks Paul's ankles with a sledgehammer.

Misery isn't Stephen King's greatest work, but it gets up there with The Shining.

My Rating: ****

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