Review: Misery

Home | What I'm doing | Advanced Diploma of Art (Professional Writing) | My Work | Bibliography | Reviews | Contact Me



Originally released by Viking Publishers in 1987

Novelist Paul Sheldon has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. Annie Wilkes, Sheldon's number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident. The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.

I read this back in the early 90's originally and thought it was pretty good back then. I then caught it on DVD and really enjoyed it. It was suggested to me, that since I started writing, I should read it again.

I went out and bought the DVD and the book. I watched the movie and again enjoyed it but then settled down to read the book. At first I found it a little difficult, the passages seemed repetitive and not really driving the story forward. I was hard pressed to get through the opening scenes.

However it's worth persevering as Misery takes hold of our Mr Sheldon. The book allows us to be in the moment so much more than the movie. The insights into the process of writing alone is something all aspiring writers should learn but the ability to put suspense on paper, to twist a plot subtly to keep the reader on edge and to deliver a series of impacts that build to an unforgettable end is simply brilliant