stephen king misery cover

Misery – Book Review

Misery by author Stephen King

Misery is a Stephen King classic that is also a classic movie starring Kathy Bates. I had watched the movie years ago but am lucky that I didn’t remember too many of the details before reading the book. It is easy to see why this novel is praised as one of King’s best.

The book is about an author named Paul who has spent his career churning out typical detective style airport novels. He’s been quite successful but no longer holds any respect for himself or his writing. He turns to drinking and gets in car accident where he is “rescued” by a local stranger named Annie. Annie has no intentions of taking him to a hospital for care, she is going to keep her favorite author all to herself.

She can’t even believe her good fortune that this man has crashed into her life!

His legs were completely shattered in the accident. He wakes up to find that he is under a lot of pain medication and that it is clear his legs have not been properly set or attended to. The rest of the book follows Paul as he attempts to navigate Annie’s waves of psychosis and hopefully make it out of her home in one piece.

King masterfully builds intensity in Misery. It’s honestly a book that could actually be considered scary! That is incredibly rare in my opinion. Books can be creepy, or gross, maybe even unsettling, but not often scary. Paul has his flaws but we can recognize his willingness to change so we have hope that he will be able to escape to correct his behavior in the future. We can see ourselves in him and want him to survive, at any cost. I think this relatability helps to make it scarier than average.

Caring about the character creates delightful tension throughout the entire book. Misery has a strong pace that I have to think is in part thanks to its manageable page count. Many King books look bloated without even having to read the first page, Misery is reasonable at just about 300 pages. Brevity is lost on many authors, King in particular. I’ve found myself favoring his shorter books like The Mist.

I’m looking forward to rewawtching the movie now. If I’m remembering it correctly I believe it’s less gorey than the book. But I know Kathy Bates’ performance is bound to hold up.

Definitely check this one out, I’m actually starting to warm up to King now. Followers of my blog may know that I’ve been a long time hold out. I couldn’t honestly tell you why at this point, I suppose there is a reason he’s so popular.

5/5 legs 🦵🦵🦵🦵🦵

in order to keep me up to my ears in books please consider using the following affiliate links to purchase this product. it’s at no extra cost to you and would really help me out, thank you and happy reading!

What are the differences between Misery the book and the movie?

Misery the Book

  • The book provides more backstory for the characters to better understand their motivations
  • The book goes into more detail about the novel within the novel starring Misery Chastain
  • The book is extremely violent and gorey
  • The book contains flashbacks to provide more depth to Paul
  • Told in first person the reader of Misery gains insight to Paul’s inner thoughts

Misery the Movie

  • The film adaptation changes character descriptions in order to cast the best actors, Kathy Bates is highly regarded in this role
  • The run time is kept short at 1 hour and 47 minutes so it stays in the current timeline with less background and fewer flashbacks
  • Although the Misery movie is rated R they still toned down the gore to appeal to a wider audience


How long is Misery the book?

310 pages

Who wrote Misery?

Stephen King

How does the Misery book end?

Paul convinces Annie that he’s finally fallen for her and wants to write a book to her exact specifications. All the while he plots how to escape. He finally manages to kill Annie while sustaining many injuries himself. He’s rescued by a local Sheriff’s departments and ends his story recovering in the hospital.

I love comic books, nonfiction, and everything in between! Come discuss your favorites!