Flashback Friday: Misery

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight — and you’re invited to join in!

Here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:


Misery by Stephen King

(first published 1978)

From Goodreads:

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.

I was thinking about Stephen King this week. Because, why not? He’s everywhere! Last week, I happened to catch him on The Colbert Report. This week, I received my copy of his newest book, Joyland. I have Doctor Sleep on preorder for the fall. And I just set my DVR to record Under The Dome for the next several weeks. See what I mean? He’s everywhere!

For Flashback Friday, I thought I’d go back to the late 1970s for the super creepy but not at all paranormal thriller Misery — about fandom gone horribly, horribly wrong. Do you think Stephen King was worrying about his legions of devoted fans when he wrote this? I loved the psychological terror of this book, in which an author is forced to do endless rewrites to please his public — as represented in this case by one psycho lady with an axe. Whoa. Just thinking about it gives me the chills. It may be time to dig up a copy and reread Misery. There’s nothing more satisfyingly scary than a really scary Stephen King book.

A brief housekeeping note: Flashback Friday and other weekly features at Bookshelf Fantasies will be on a wee break next week. (Woo hoo, it’s vacation time!) Check back in two weeks for the next Flashback Friday!

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love (please mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the Flashback Friday host!) and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!

8 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Misery

  1. We’ve been thinking about Stephen King too this week. My oldest stepson (aged 16) was looking for something new to read. Hubby and I feel he’s old enough for his first KIng…just trying to work out which one to start him with…maybe Pet Semetary or Christine or even Cujo?

    • Wow, those are all great choices! Or even Salem’s Lot, if you you think he’d be up for really scary vampires (as opposed to the sparkly kind). I think I probably read Carrie and the ones you mention when I was about that age. Kind of cute — it’s like a rite of passage, “his first King”. Love it.

  2. Do you know that I’ve only read 1 title by Stephen King? *blushes* (and they said that wasn’t even the best one in the Gunslinger series) But your post & some of Rory’s titles from previous TTTs now have me thinking that I should pick up a few of his thriller titles 😉 Thanks for sharing this!

    Btw, was this title adapted into a movie at any point? The premise sounds familiar…

    My Friday Book Memes

    • Oh yes, Misery was a movie! Kathy Bates played Annie Wilkes, and even though I read the book before seeing the movie, I can’t think of the book now without picturing her. Amazing. James Caan played the male lead, I think. I would definitely recommend reading more King! Either the early stuff that like Carrie or The Shining, or some of the more recent books that, to me, are masterpieces: Under The Dome or 11/22/63.

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