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Misery

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Lindsay Crouse
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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best seller about a famous novelist held hostage in a remote location by his “number one fan.” One of “Stephen King’s best…genuinely scary” (USA Today).

Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such a change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health - his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. 

Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel - his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house...and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants... 

“King at his best...a winner!” (The New York Times)

“Unadulteratedly terrifying...frightening.” (Publishers Weekly

“Classic King...full of twists and turns and mounting suspense.” (The Boston Globe

©1987 Stephen King, Tabitha King, and Arthur B. Greene (P)1992 Penguin Highbridge Audio

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 32 Best Audiobooks: The Definitive List

Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. With such an extensive portfolio, choosing one audiobook can be daunting. We’ve compiled a list of the 32 best Stephen King audiobooks to make the choice easier. Whether you’re looking to get stuck into one of his creepy, classic stories or a sci-fi novella, you’ll find a title on this list that will get your heart racing.

What listeners say about Misery

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Voice-over

Lindsay Crouse reads this book fantastically. I like that this story isn't supernatural the way most Stephen King can be and I am confident in saying it's my favorite King horror story. I am really here for that voice-over though. This was really well done.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, great narrator.

Like the title says. A classic from King, and a welcome early departure from the supernatural that makes it all the eerier. An absolutely fantastic narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Heart-stopping Suspense

Stephen King is an unbelievably prolific author. To be certain, the plots in most of his books aren't particularly clever - but that "drawback" allows him to publish 1-2 engrossing novels/year.
King is absolutely capable of complex plots (see 'The Stand' or 'It'), but the beauty of his writing is that he can weave even a superficial idea into an incredibly captivating read. 'Misery' is no different. The plot is: "A mentally unstable woman kidnaps her favorite author".. Yep. That about covers it.

Fortunately, King flexes his literary muscles in this book. His characters are shockingly realistic, dialogue is true-to-life, and descriptions are incredibly - almost uncomfortably - vivid. In this book, frumpy Colorado recluse Annie Wilkes completely terrorizes author Paul Sheldon after finding him at the scene of a remote car accident. She keeps him locked in a bedroom and forces him to write a sequel for her - while getting him addicted to painkillers, letting the world think he's dead, and violently punishing him for any little resistance to her psychopathic will.
Don't read this book expecting vampires, hidden horrific monsters, or psychic powers. What you will get is a top-notch psychological thriller with occasional shocking violence and a mortifying sense of helplessness in the face of insanity
..and it's undeniably affecting. I occasionally felt nauseous reading this book.. out of sheer dread.

The performance from Lindsay Crouse adds to the visceral impression I got from this book..  it's outstanding. Her diction, timbre, cadence, pacing, and especially tone are nearly perfect for the text. Her voice-acting, however, is the pièce-de-resistance: her interpretation of Annie Wilkes ("you dirty-birdie..You Dirty-Birdie! YOU DIRTY!! BIRDIE!!") is *terrifying*.
Less fortunately, Simon & Schuster Audio insert oddly-timed musical bits when scenes or character POVs change. I understand the producers trying to be helpful, but it gives the impression that they don’t trust the listener to catch up.

Despite the unusual editorial decisions, this is a quality audiobook. The novel is easily Top-5 in the King catalogue, the performance of the characters is unsurpassed, and the production values in the recording are commendable. I give this iteration of 'Misery' 9.5 stars out of 10. Do Not hesitate to spend the Credit on this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Shocking and Amazingly written

what a fantastic, and all around great and thrilling story. definitely keeps you on your toes

1 person found this helpful

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Top 5 King Story

So I loved this book and think it's a must listen. That being said I didn't love the audio ques either. I also didn't care for one of the sub-plots but the main story is so good that it's still 5 stars

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully crafted and narrated

While many can be fans of Kathy Bates amazing performance via film, the real psychopathic qualities of Annie Wilkes shines in written form. Lindsay Crouse does a fantastic job of differentiating Annie from her narration of Paul’s POV. The way she narrated her made my skin crawl so easily at points because I could imagine it so well, like I was Paul and Annie was right in front of me.

When I first started it, I honestly did not know how this was going to stay interesting for over 12 hours but man King sure knows how to just put a story together so well. I began to crave to know Paul’s every movement, thought and feeling, I wanted to see Annie from his eyes and feel the almost (albeit VERY twisted) romantic connection he had to endure to save his own life. The climax had me holding my breath because I honestly have never seen the movie and had no idea what Paul was going to do. So glad I picked this one up and I’m sure you will be too.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing performance!

this book's narrator was absolutely incredible, her commitment was above and beyond, absolutely fantastic work

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Misery is great company afterall

so many ups and downs in this book that it had my head swimming and Stephen King does it again. absolutely loved it, fell into the hole in the paper and didn't want to leave.

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One of Kings best and beautifully read

One of SK scariest stories and narrated amazingly. Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes are both riveting and well told characters. The isolation, helplessness and medical horror is truly so scary

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Fell in love

Thank you Lindsay for this amazing narration, I was on the edge of my seat during the whole book. I can’t accept the fact that I’m done with it, I need more!

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  • Whitney
  • 2016-05-06

Great job

The narrator did a great job with the voicing. There is a really subtle nod to Kathy Bates performance of the character. Love it!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Jon
  • 2016-05-05

Edge of your seat disturbing

This was a great story. I really enjoyed it. This really lived up to the hype of the old king.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Seree
  • 2016-03-18

Amazing

Lindsay Crouse was superb. Stephen King was absolutely amazing. This guy can write anything. Kudos!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Samuel
  • 2017-12-16

Slow start, but great book

The book is great. However, the narration is almost monotone. The voices are not good and don't have much effort put into them. The sad thing is that it could have been great because the dialogue is so outstanding. BEWARE: This book has creepy music that is played during the entire novel. It is so annoying and was a huge mistake by who ever made that decision. Finally, I have one more problem with the narrator. She didn't not say the chapter numbers. That is a pet peeve of mine, but it is also important. It creates flow. Her flow was so bad because of this. She would just keep going right into the next chapter. I am still happy with the audiobook, but it was a let down in some aspects.

18 people found this helpful

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  • aaburgre
  • 2017-11-08

Don’t be fooled by good narration reviews.

The book itself is excellent, but the narration is horrible. It is so flat, and there is no life. Random music also plays during the reading and it sucks you out of the story. I wish there was a different narration for this novel.

17 people found this helpful

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  • tommydkat
  • 2016-09-30

Misery loves company

Here is another one of Stephen Kings novels that I had seen the movie before eve reading the book.... all I can say is, justice was served by both filmmakers with respect to the authors vision.
The narrator did very well in Annie to life and while at the same time voicing Paul. Trying something. There are some confusing parts in the book where the interplay of the book "Misery's Return"' was voiced, or conversations in Paul's own mined were hard to decipher, however the narrator separated these words parts perfectly with haunting music.
One thing I did differently from all other audio books I have listened to in the past, was I read along as I had a copy of the hard copy book that I had Unsuccessfully been able to get through before... with the narration in the background, often at double speed and often at 1.25, this made the audiobook much more enjoyable and rewarding.
Great book, great narration, I am glad this one is off my list after nearly 25 or so years after trying to initially read it... glad I kept the hardcover copy

17 people found this helpful

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  • Deucenberg
  • 2018-06-29

Why the cheesy music?

I love this book and it was read great but the music was annoying and unnecessary

16 people found this helpful

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  • Breezybealle
  • 2017-02-10

Worst Narration ever

I actually took a chance on this because of raving reviews of how wonderfully narrated the book was. I understand that everyone has different opinions, but I couldn't make it past chapter 3. And I also understand that there are only two characters, but there was absolutely no change in voice from one to the next. There was no performance at all, it was simply read. It was reminiscent of the talk-back apps they have out, very monotonous, single tone, steady pace from one sentence to the next. Maybe it was the story itself (which relies heavily on dialogue) boring me to tears, but I was trying too hard to concentrate on who was talking that I couldn't get into it. If that's your cup of tea, then by all means, listen on. But for me, it ruined the entire experience.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ss
  • 2019-11-17

Take. The. Music. Out.

My goodness. Be a good doobie now and take that awful off putting harpsichord out

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • brian
  • 2016-05-10

A great work of King.

If you could sum up Misery in three words, what would they be?

Excellent thriller. Amazing.

What did you like best about this story?

The overall plotline.

What about Lindsay Crouse’s performance did you like?

er voices for Annie was excellent.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Afraid I can't think of one, since there's already been a film version of it.

Any additional comments?

A must-have for fans of Stephen Kng.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 2017-03-18

A great read!

My first intro to Stephen King was "The Shining", which is such an uncontested classic that, although Misery is also one of his better known novels, I was worried that Misery might not live up to it.

However, given that I finished this audiobook in less than 72 hours, I'm more than prepared to say I was wrong! The story is pretty gripping, almost from the start. At places I found it a little overly descriptive, but King certainly cannot be faulted for his amazing ability to create a very detailed image of the plot and the characters in your mind. And his horror is always subtle - chilling, but also very stylish and not too forced.

I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that I would definitely recommend this to any horror fans out there - definitely one of my favourites, and FAR superior to the cinematic version. The actress narrating the story also did a fantastic job voicing Annie Wilkes - it really added to my appreciation of her character!

All in all, 100% glad I downloaded it!