Book Review

Misery: Film VS. Book



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.

My Review

First of all, holy crap Annie Wilkes is so much scarier in the books and that lady was pretty scary already in the movie! [Another case of me seeing the film first!]

Being Stephen King, it wouldn’t be one of his novels if I weren’t slightly too terrified to read it. I had this on my shelf for two years, intending to read it and yet never quite working up the courage to read it.

He is definitely great at suspense, at least this was the case for me in this book, I wasn’t sure he could keep my attention with the book being 370 pages long. My only other King novel was Cujo and that is a very short book in comparison.

While Annie. was terrifying, it wasn’t because she was ‘spooky’ it was because she was sly and cruel and man what a dangerous combination. The things that Paul had to do were definitely shudder worthy at times and the things that happened to him could have made me turn a little green but that also meant that I loved that it was creepy enough to elicit these reactions!

Even better was the fact that you couldn’t help but root for Paul even though he was in someways a bit unlikeable. I mean no one deserves that kind of treatment, she tortured him, forced an addiction on him, and of course held him hostage.

You wanted to Paul get out of there but man it didn’t look good, and that is what kept me on the edge of my seat. I needed him to get out, I needed to know how he could possibly even get out in the state he was in.

Paul was put in a situation that maybe his heroine Misery would be put in, and he was forced to write and what she did to his other novel, oh man, I hurt for him at that part.

Any time I thought the story might drag, well, King had another thing to whip out his pocket and shock me lol it was impressive.

The ending was a surprise to me in a few ways and I really liked it, it was more fitting to this story that had built up so much tension but it did give me a mini heart attack lol.

4 Cups of coffee from me! Now onto the film!

The Film


This is yet another case of me watching the movie first, this shall come as no surprise at this point I’m sure lol.

As I said in the review above, Annie Wilkes is already scary in the movies. Of course this was a pretty great acting cast as well so I think that helped a lot in bringing this from pages to screen.

The tension is not quite as ‘taut’ in the movie, and I’m glad that they left out some of the gorier things from the book, I think it would have been too much for me to watch otherwise lol.

The ‘wonderful’ or worst part is that you have no idea how Paul could get out of this, that he’s in pretty much this helpless situation forced. to write. I did enjoy the interactions between Paul and Annie on screen, the actors did a great job with how they ‘fed’ of one another and brought King’s words to life.

There was less law enforcement involved not that they were a major part in the book but I think taking them out made everything seem somehow a little improbable.

Also! Biggest thing is that this ending was ‘cleaner’ than in the books and could appreciate their choice in doing this.

The differences:

  • Annie Wilkes was not as sly in the movie, it took the edge off her.
  • Paul was a bit more likeable in the movie!
  • The way that Paul leaves/escapes/is rescued from the situation is more believable in the book
  • Less gore in the movie
  • Tension is slightly less in the film than the book
  • Paul’s endgame is different but I can’t say anything because of spoilers
  • law enforcement involvement was way different
  • Paul was on his own more in the book but it had more time for that

Final Verdict

The book is definitely better, but the movie was still fun!

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

4 replies on “Misery: Film VS. Book”

Ooooh, I love your reviews, Haley! You’re also very brave. I don’t think I’d have the courage to go through the same scary story twice o.O I’ve also been avoiding heavy horror, as you well know. Can’t WAIT to see what you tackle next (whispers Practical Magic)

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