Misery by Stephen King

Posted by Backyard Urban Gardening on Sunday, December 31, 2006

My latest reading assignment is Stephen King's Misery. I saw the movie while in college, but I don't remember much about it except that it starred Kathy Bates and James Cann. I need to watch it again.

The book really has only two main characters, Annie Wilkes, a former nurse; and Paul Sheldon, a fiction writer. I have not read many Stephen King books, but I've really enjoyed Misery.

King has intertwined a lot of information about how writers approach the writing process into the storyline. He talks about the "gotta" factor in a book that makes the reader "gotta" read just "20 more minutes" and if the book is really good, he explains that readers will sacrifice almost anything to continue reading the story to find out what happens to their favorite characters.

I've noticed the "gotta" factor at work first hand. In most books, I start out reading slowly at first for the first several chapters. It's a chore to get through the first few chapters to learn about the background for the story's main characters and what makes them unique.

While reading Misery I really picked up the pace after about 180 pages, which is roughly half way through. By that point in the book I began to postulate on the eventual outcome of the story. I've stayed up until past midnight the last two evenings speeding toward the climax ending.

Although I'm sure I'll be wrong, guessing what's going to happen versus what really happens is half the fun.


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