Kate's Reviews > Misery

Misery by Stephen King
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 05, 2007

it was amazing
Read in November, 2007

'Misery' is a gruesome story of torture with blood, guts, and a psychopath. It's a well told tale, the characters are well developed and the fact that there are only two of them never gets boring. It's a real page turner, in fact I finished it tonight after getting off the subway on the platform before I walked home. But, this book is more than just a thriller, just like King is more than just a pulp writer.

I read an article by the ever optimistic and cheerful Harold Bloom in college about how dismayed he was that young people like Stephen King so much. All the literature crtics I've read hate King and it seems like it's just because people actually enjoy reading his work. Yeah, Bloom, I said 'work' just like I would about Tolstoy's 'work' because Stephen King as damned hard worker. Think of all the books he's churned out over the last few decades. I'd like to see Harold Bloom show enough imagination to write fiction instead of just criticizing it all the time.

I'm actually new to Stephen King's fiction. I've read a few of the essays and articles he's written and a really great graduation speech he gave at UMaine awhile ago in which he extolled the virtues of our mutual home state, but this is only my 3rd novel by him. I like this guy, and I know why too. It's not just because he makes me scream and I have a hard time putting his books down, it's because King loves writing. He has a real and self-aware relationship with what it means to be a writer. He knows he's not Tolstoy or Faulkner, he doesn't try to write that way. He knows how to tell a good god damned story and he has a passion for it. I appreciate his self awareness as a writer and the fact that he ackowledges how difficult the whole process is while not making us feel like he's somehow superior because he's figured out how to do it.

In 'Misery' it's almost like we get to watch King write this story. He doesn't just set us up for a crazy story and watch us discover things about his characters, it feels like he actually comes with us and makes the discoveries at the same time we do. That's what makes a good storyteller. And I don't give a damn if Bloom likes him or not.
205 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Misery.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah do you recomend it to a 12-13 year old or do you think it is a little bit mature?

Kate It's definitely a bit mature. But it depends on the kid, I think. I work with kids and most of the kids I know probably wouldn't be able to handle it, but a mature reader not prone to nightmares would probably like it. My husband used to sneakily read Stephen King novels against his mother's wishes at the library, and he turned out alright! I think if you're not totally sure, you should take a look at it yourself first and see if you think the kid in question can handle the blood. There's quite a bit of swearing too I think...

Hope that helps!

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah thank you that sure does

message 4: by H (new)

H I really don't understand why some people hate him and his books so much.

His writing may be informal but it's still better than those writers that use fancy words that flow less and are boring. I've read The Green Mile and utterly loved it, and I can't wait to read his other books.

and oh, great review by the way~

message 5: by Yambem (new)

Yambem i dont know whether you are giving a review to the book or the author.

Ashlee Telschow ^^ Yea, I agree with Yambem. I was looking at peoples reviews of the book, but it seems more like you are just writing about the author. I didn't care for this book but I do like your review. How did you feel about the actual STORY though?

message 7: by Melina (new) - added it

Melina You just made me pick up the book. I was going to read something else by him (I was thinking maybe Cujo or something) but my mind has made up: my next Stephen King novel will be Misery.

message 8: by Jrosenberg (new)

Jrosenberg its a little long...

Stefanie Nicholas You should read 'on writing', you'll fall in love with King!

message 10: by Aprilmayb (new) - added it

Aprilmayb Buchschacher ^^This. I could not put "On Writing" down. I fell in love with his humanity.

Tudor What you said at the end - I totally agree with that! I actually agree with all that you said, but for a long time I've felt the thing you described in the end and didn't know how to put it into words.
What I love most about Stephen King is the way he tells the story - I feel as if the guy is standing next to me and telling me what has happened to him yesterday. I don't feel like I'm reading something he made up 20-30 years ago. That's why I can stay all day and read his books and never get tired or bored - it is as if I am talking to a friend.
And I don't care about what the critics say. I like him, and so do A LOT of people. That ought to count for something. The opinion of millions against the opinion of a couple.

message 12: by Chili (new)

Chili Mili Its damn boring
Thats just my opinion no offence!

message 13: by Param (new) - added it

Param Kalra An insightful review! it inspires to read.

message 14: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Hennessy Absolutely spot on. Loved your review.

Giovani I read this when I was 13, and wasn't overly disturbed or frightened. Probably just the lawnmower scene and the hobbling.

message 16: by AARON (new)

AARON I really appreciated the opportunity to read your review of Misery. For me, what makes King so good is he writes about characters who could be your neighbours, in other words everyday people and draws them into some kind of horror. In that way we can relate to the characters and emphasise with them.

back to top