Misery by Stephen King


11 Critic Reviews

The best parts of this novel demand that we take King seriously as a writer with a deeply felt understanding of human psychology.
-Publishers Weekly


The #1 national bestseller about a famous novelist held hostage by his “number one fan” and suffering a frightening case of writer’s block—that could prove fatal. One of “Stephen King’s best…genuinely scary” (USA TODAY).

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.

“Terrifying” (San Francisco Chronicle), “dazzlingly well-written” (The Indianapolis Star), and “truly gripping” (Publishers Weekly), Misery is “classic Stephen King...full of twists and turns and mounting suspense” (The Boston Globe).

About Stephen King

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Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. Joe Hill is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and writes an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. He makes lots of noise on Twitter under the handle @joe_hill.
Published January 1, 2016 by Scribner. 356 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Misery
All: 11 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

on Jan 08 2016

The best parts of this novel demand that we take King seriously as a writer with a deeply felt understanding of human psychology.

Read Full Review of Misery | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly


Reviewed by James Smythe on Jul 30 2013

It's one of the best exercises in tension and restraint that I have ever encountered...It might just be King's finest novel: an example of the power that his words can have. Every character in the book feels it, and so do you as a reader. This is a book that every reader, King fan or not, should read.

Read Full Review of Misery | See more reviews from Guardian


Reviewed by Christina Durner on Nov 04 2011

This reviewer believes Misery to be one of those rare novels that is much scarier than the film adaptation. Again, King proves himself to be one of the greatest writers of all time through his ability to connect with readers in a way that stirs their compassion and fears.

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We Love This Book

Reviewed by Keith B Walters on Apr 17 2011

... I would still highly recommend that Misery is read and re-read, as it's one of the Master of Horror's most satisfying novels.

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Teen Ink

Reviewed by Avidreaderandwriter on Jul 16 2015

This book is a book full of intense physiological threads that lead far back. It is packed with gore that will make you want to vomit, and I promise it will keep you turning the pages, and never want to put the book down. I give this book a thumb and half up, and four stars. Bravo Stephen, you have finished yet another horrific tale.

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The Literary Omnivore

Reviewed by The Literary Omnivore on Sep 01 2010

Misery is a masterful piece of work by Stephen King–the tension makes you sweat, there’s beauty and paranoia in the writing, and our hero and our villain are equally well-developed. And on top of it all, King reveals he can write frivolously addicting historical fiction just as well as his usual fare. A great introduction to King.

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Shelf Love

Above average
Reviewed by Teresa on Sep 09 2010

Well, even as a fan, I was astonished by how intense Misery was. I had seen the movie several years ago, so I knew the basic plot, but King’s writing tore into me...Well, let me tell you, this was probably the scariest and most gruesome King book I’ve read...It felt all too real.

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Above average
Reviewed by Lorianna on Jul 23 2015

Stephen King knows how to scare the daylights out of you, be that with ghosts, walking dead, or crazy nurses. Annie Wilkes, the killer nurse who keeps a scrap book of newspaper clips about her victims, starts out as maybe a little strange...Just as frightening as a blow torch and an axe in her hands. I must say I actually liked the book.

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The Book Lover's Boudoir

Reviewed by pamelascott30 on Jul 01 2013

Misery is one of King’s best novels and a great example of him in his prime....The plot is not original but King executes it in a very unique way. The characters are all believable and well-written. King’s writing it in top form. Misery is another example of just how great King can be. It’s one of my favourite novels of all time.

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Caught Between the Pages

Reviewed by Kayla on Mar 10 2010

Then, surprisingly, once I got into the book I couldn’t put it down! It was creeping me out, but I needed to know what was going to happen next. There were so many twists and turns, I couldn’t predict how anything was going to turn out. I loved how Annie was so crazy!

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DeFlip Side

Above average
on May 08 2011

But I took a shot on Misery and it was like coming home. Here was the King who had given me It and Pet Sematary and The Shining...Filled with the horror, gore and compelling characters that were once King’s trademarks, Misery deserves to be counted among his best works.

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Reader Rating for Misery

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Mirka Mendez 24 Jan 2014

Thrilling! really good book. It traps you and you will want to continue reading, it is intense and suspense makes it great.

Mirka Mendez

Mirka Mendez 24 Jan 2014

Liked the book