Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Even as a Stephen King fan, I had never heard of this book until I had started watching the Hulu series, Castle Rock. Where season two is where we learn about “Annie’s past.”
Paul Sheldon, author of a bestselling series of historical romances, wakes up one winter day in a strange place, a secluded farmhouse in Colorado. He wakes up to unspeakable pain (a dislocated pelvis, a crushed knee, two shattered legs) and to a bizarre greeting from the woman who has saved his life: "I'm your number one fan!"
Even as a Stephen King fan, I had never heard of this book until I had started watching the Hulu series, Castle Rock. Where season two is where we learn about “Annie’s past.” I had never even heard of the movie Misery. I had gone into this book doubting that the past I learned in Castle Rock was truly connected to Annie’s past in Misery. Though just shortly after starting, I was beginning to recognize behavioral straits and phrases of Annie’s character that was portrayed in the series. Including her saying “dirty bird.”
I’ll admit just a few pages in, I was sincerely creeped out. The whole start of the book is extremely unsettling. Especially with Annie’s obsession with Paul’s most successful book series of Misery Chastain. Where I can see the name of the book came from.
I will say though, this book truly scared me. After the second night reading, I went to bed about half an hour after I read another like fifty or so pages. I purposely played some mobile games and scrolled on Instagram to calm my mind. Let’s just say it didn’t help... I ended having a nightmare which woke me up at 2:45am and what was that nightmare you ask? You can probably guess. Yes, it was Misery related. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep right away so I wrote down my nightmare as part of my notes in my book journal.
I couldn’t remember most of it. I just remember how I was feeling, which was exactly how Paul was feeling - scared and drugged. I think that’s why I don’t remember much of what happened because I was “drugged” in the nightmare. I usually am able to remember vividly all my nightmares. I can recall a major nightmare I had two years ago. The last thing I remember was an ax swinging down onto my face, then I woke up. For those that have read Misery already, I hadn’t even gotten to the ax scene yet. I knew there was one, but I had no idea what happened in this scene.
This nightmare proves that Stephen King is literally the horror king - no pun intended. Throughout the entire book, while I was reading, I constantly had this unsettling feeling. Reading about Paul’s experiences, how helpless he was. It’s this fear of Annie that stayed deep in my subconscious causing me to have that nightmare. Because I distracted myself with games and social media, I went to sleep no longer thinking about Misery. But Annie was still there.
Throughout the entire book, while I was reading, I constantly had this unsettling feeling.
My best friend told me I need to stop reading Stephen King before bed. Yes, this has happened before. Sometimes I’m so unnerved by what I’ve read I couldn’t even go to sleep. This happened with It and Pet Semetary. I never learn.
This book does feel like a slow trudge through mud. However, this didn’t bother me as it usually does. Although it was a bit of a slower read. Taking me a little longer than I was hoping to finish this book. I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. For me, I think it felt slower because of Paul’s mental state. He was heavily drugged throughout the majority of this book, which gave this book that slow mud-like trudge.
I didn’t love this book as I have with other Stephen King books, but as I mentioned earlier I did enjoy this one. This book was definitely a unique experience, we get a front-row seat to the mind of a hostage who was kidnapped by a psychotic nurse. I couldn’t help but feel bad for Paul, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This book was definitely a unique experience, we get a front-row seat to the mind of a hostage who was kidnapped by a psychotic nurse.
Compared to what I saw with Annie’s character in Castle Rock. This was a very different story and almost a completely different character. Though I wasn’t bothered to learn everything I knew was a lie. It was fun to learn about Annie is a whole new light.
Overall, this is truly a great horror novel. It gave me everything I love in a horror novel. It made me feel unnerved by its events. The characters snuck into my subconscious when I least expected it. Meaning, it gave me a nightmare. Even though the story was a little slower for my usual tastes, that didn’t bother me. It actually helped me enjoy the story better. Anyone who enjoys horror or psychological thrillers will enjoy Misery. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.