Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

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Misery by Stephen King

Plot: Paul Sheldon is a famous writer who created the popular 'Misery' series, and has just killed off the main character, Misery Chastain. He has just finished writing a new novel called 'Fast Cars' and is heading to New York to get the manuscript printed when his car crashes in Colorado. He is pulled from the wreckage with both of his legs shattered by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She took him to her home and nursed him to health. But Annie Wilkes is slightly crazy, and when she read the new 'Misery' novel she demanded that Paul had to bring her back to life in another book. Consequently, Paul himself starts to go insane over time.
When Annie disappears Paul sneaks out of his room on the wheelchair which he is now confined to and steals some of the painkillers that Annie has got him addicted to. Annie used to be a nurse, and Paul finds out that she used to go from hospital to hospital all over the United States, killing her patients. When Annie finds out that Paul has been sneaking out of his room while she is away she severs his foot with an axe and also his left thumb.
A young policeman is called to Annie's house carrying out a search because of Paul's absence. Paul calls for him to save him, but Annie sees this and savagely and brutally murders him. Two other policemen are called to Annie's house about the first missing policeman, and when they leave Paul kills Annie and he is rescued by the police when they return the next day.

Setting: The story is set near the small town of Sidewinder, Colorado in the mid 1980's.

Characterisation: The two main characters in the story are Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes. Paul is introduced through his narrative thoughts when he is semi-conscious at the start of the story. Annie is introduced mainly through dialogue at the beginning of the novel, but her character continues to deepen as the story progresses with more narration and dialogue. The two characters conflict towards each other because Paul wants to escape and go home but Annie wants him to stay, and also because their two different characters are so contrasting to each other. All the characters, including the minor characters, are portrayed mostly by Paul's thoughts and perceptions of them.

Why did I enjoy the book: I enjoyed the book because the scenarios are very well described so the reader can clearly imagine the events in their mind.

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The way it is written is unusual, because there is definitely more thoughts and narration than dialogue between the characters. The way the thoughts are processed is also unusual and unique to Stephen King's style of writing, so that sometimes a particular word of phrase will interrupt a description as though it were a sudden thought that the character has.
The actual storyline is very interesting, with lots of twists and turns throughout the story. The story is very gory and gruesome, but you have to understand the gore to be able to fully experience the scenario being described. Occasionally the story will be interrupted my a chapter or two from the new book that Paul is writing for Annie, which contrasts to the actual storyline and makes the plot even more interesting because the reader gets a preview of what Paul is writing in this new book for Annie.
All in all, it is a very unusual way of writing which definitely makes the story more interesting.

How did the author keep my interest: The book stays interesting for the reader to read because of the unusual form of narration that Stephen King adopts.
The point of view of Paul's character makes the story interesting because the description does not revolve around the dialogue side of descriptions.
The theme is horror, which I wouldn't normally read because the storyline can get complicated, but Stephen King's horror stories are very easy to follow because of the extent of description used, including the word choice which portrays the current situations very well, and also ties in to the previous issues that have already happened in the book so there are no loose ends at any time.
The characterisation helps the reader to understand the situation because they become familiar to what the character is like in different situations.
The structure used is a good way for the reader to be able to read and enjoy the story because of the use of chapters which means that the reader can finish a chapter when they get tired of reading. The book is also split into four parts, each one specifying a different period of time or a different event.
The extent of the imagery used makes the book a lot more interesting to read because there is so much description that the reader can imagine the scene in their mind's eye.

What did I learn from reading this book: From reading this book I now know that you should never drink and drive in the snow because you could get picked up by a crazy woman and be tortured for half a year. I also learned about different styles of writing and different ways to portray thoughts and feelings other than through simple dialogue when writing a fictional piece of writing.
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