The book was certainly a success. Most where gripped from the word go, although a few of us agreed the starting of the book was a bit ambigious and should have started with the car crash. However, one book club member cleverly pointed out that the start of the novel represented the hazy state in which the main character was feeling; groggy from the recent car crash and the medication that he was being force fed.
The nurse/psycho was incredibly true to life and obviously loved the control and the power trip it gave her to have him as a patient. We did wonder at one point if she had masterminded the car crash as she was such a fan, but others thought it was just fate and that if he hadn’t been the famous author, she would have just killed him immediately.
The suspense of the novel had most of us on the edge of our seats. I think most of us where in that wheelchair with him, willing him to escape or get back to the room before his kidnapper returned. We did question why he didn’t escape when he had the chance, but someone pointed out that writing the book seemingly took him over and the rule of common sense that he probably wouldn’t get very far in his condition and with the extreme weather. I compared it to 9/11 where people had to choose between dying in the buildings or leaping from an open window. The main character had the choice that he could stay and bide his time in the hope that he could kill his kidnapper before she killed him or escape outside and hope that someone would find him before he died from the extreme weather conditions.
Another book club member compared the story to one of the Arabian Nights where the captive was kept alive purely by the cliff hangers that appeared in their stories and in some ways, Misery was incredibly similar.
Once he did escape, the psychological impact stayed with him for the rest of his life and he was forever tormented by her memory.
We all applauded Stephen King that he could write a book whose genre was one that none of us particular choose to read but left us with a feeling that it was incredibly well written and perhaps may tempt us to try some more horror books in the future.