Misery Art
Works / Novels


Misery Art


June 1987

Available Format(s)

Hardcover / Paperback / Movie / DVD


Viking Press

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.

From the Flap

Stephen King is arguably the most popular novelist in the history of American fiction. He owes his fans a love letter. Misery is it.

Paul Sheldon, author of a bestselling series of historical romances, wakes up one winter day in a strange place, a secluded farmhouse in Colorado. He wakes up to unspeakable pain (a dislocated pelvis, a crushed knee, two shattered legs) and to a bizarre greeting from the woman who has saved his life: "I'm your number one fan!"

Annie Wilkes is a huge ex-nurse, handy with controlled substances and other instruments of abuse, including an axe and a blowtorch. A dangerous psychotic with a Romper Room sense of good and bad, fair and unfair, Annie Wilkes may be Stephen King's most terrifying creation. It's not fair, for example, that her favorite character in the world, Misery Chastain, has been killed by her creator, as Annie discovers when Paul's latest novel comes out in paperback. And it's not good that her favorite writer has been a Don't-Bee and written a different kind of novel, a nasty novel, the novel he has always wanted to write, the only copy of which now lies in Annie's angry hands.

Because she wants Paul Sheldon to be a Do-Bee, she buys him a typewriter and a ream of paper and tells him to bring Misery back to life. Wheelchair-bound, drug-dependent, locked in his room, Paul doesn't have much choice. He's an entertainer held captive by his audience. A writer in serious trouble. But writers have weapons too . . .


The inspiration for Misery was a short story by Evelyn Waugh called "The Man Who Loved Dickens." It came to me as I dozed off while on a New York-to-London Concorde flight. Waugh's short story was about a man in South America held prisoner by a chief who falls in love with the stories of Charles Dickens and makes the man read them to him. I wondered what it would be like if Dickens himself was held captive.


Hide List Show List
Pet Pig of Annie's
Worked for Eustice public works department
Cross-eyed cat of Paul Sheldon
Character in the Misery novels. Ian's Irish Setter
Character in the Misery Novels.
Character in the Misery Novels. Mare of Geoffrey
Pet pig of Anne Wilkes
Peter Gunn
Cat owned by Anne Wilkes and Andrea Saint James
?, Daniel
Boy in day camp with Paul Sheldon
Alliburton, Geoffrey
Character in Paul Sheldon's novels.
Beaulifant, Hester (Queenie)
Patient whom Annie may have killed
Bell, Bryce
Paul Sheldon's agent
Berryman, Crysilda
Maiden name of Crysilda Wilkes
Billford, Dr.
Character in the Misery Novels.
Bollinger, Mrs.
Works in the bank that Annie uses
Bonasaro, Tony
Character in the Sheldon draft of the novel "Fast Cars".
Bookings, Dr.
Character in the Misery Novels.
Calthorpe, Lady
Character in the Misery Novels.
Carmichael, Ian
Character in the Misery Novels. Husband of Misery
Carmichael, Misery
Married name of Misery Chastain
Carmichael, Sean
Character in the Misery Novels.
Carmichael, Thomas
Character in the Misery Novels. Son of Misery and Ian
Chastain, Gwendoline
Mentioned in the rambling at the end of the book
Chastain, Misery
Character in the Misery Novels.
Christopher, Girl
Baby girl that Annie may have killed
Colter, ?
Character in the Misery Novels.
Corrigan, Careless
Character in a game Paul Sheldon played in Camp
Cranthorpe, Mr.
Character in the Misery Novels.
Dartmonger, Nancy
Owner of the store Used News
Desmond, Eddie
Character in Paul Sheldon's next book
Dugan, Ralph
Ex-husband of Annie.
Evelyn-Hyde, Charlotte
Character in the Misery Novels.
Faverey, Mr.
Had something to do with the Sandpipers "Misery room"
Ford, Angela
Divorced from John
Ford, John
Divorced from Angela
Fossington, Albert (Bertie)
Character in the Misery Novels.
Fowles, John
Frawley, Kirsten
Divorced from Stanley
Frawley, Stanley
Divorced from Kirsten
Freeling, Nicholas
Writer who created the detective Van der Valk
Fromsley, Duncan
Character in the Misery Novels.
Gonyar, Ernest
Patient whom Annie may have killed
Gray, Lieutenant
Character in the Fast Cars.
Hale, Christopher
Book reviewer for New York Times
Harvey, Paul
Mentioned by Paul Sheldon
Haversham, Billy
Put heaters in the roof of Annie's barn to melt off the snow
Heidzig, Baron
Character in the Misery Novels. Killed by the Bourkas tribe in Africa
Humbuggy, Officer
Name thought of by Paul Sheldon
Kaspbrak, Mrs.
Lived across the road from a 12-year-old Paul Sheldon
Kinsolving, Tamara
Police spokeswoman in Denver about the maternity deaths
Krenmitz, Adrain
Father of Allison, Frederic, Laurene and Paul.
Krenmitz, Alison
3-year-old daughter of Adrian and Jessica.
Krenmitz, Frederic
6-year-old son of Adrian and Jessica.
Krenmitz, Jessica
Mother of Allison, Frederic, Laurene and Paul.
Krenmitz, Laurene
8 month old daughter of Adrian and Jessica.
Krenmitz, Paul
8-year-old son of Adrian and Jessica.
Kushner, Duane
Young state cop
Leith, Michael
Wrote newspaper article about maternity deaths in Boulder Hospital
M'Chibi, Chief
Character in the Misery Novels
Maugham, W. Somerset
McKibbon, Mr.
Put the fake bullet hole in the Sandpipers "Misery room"
McKnight, Trooper (Goliath)
Saved Paul Sheldon
McLaren, Danna
Divorced from Lee
McLaren, Lee
Divorced from Danna
Merrill, Charlie
Paul Sheldon's editor
Mulvaney, Mrs.
Neighbor of Paul Sheldon's mother
O'Whunn, Michael
Centralia fire chief.
Patterson, Old Man
Character in the Misery Novels.
Pomeroy, Andrew
Mutilated man found in bush. Killed by Annie Wilkes
Ramage, Bill
Husband of Mrs Ramage.
Ramage, Mrs.
Character in the Misery Novels. Housekeeper of Ian and Misery
Roberts, Glenna
Reporter for KTKA.
Roberts, Tony
Worked in Feed Store in Sidewinder
Rothberg, Laura D.
Patient whom Annie may have killed
Roydman, ?
Closest neighbors to the Wilkes house.
Roydman, ?
Character in the Misery Novels.
Ruddman, Gary
Friend of Paul Sheldon in the Boulder Library
Saint James, Andrea
Nursing student who lived with Annie.
Sandpiper, Roman D.
III, Husband of Virginia
Sandpiper, Virginia
Woman who created a room in her house that looked like Misery's parlor
Sheldon, Mrs.
Mother of Paul
Sheldon, Paul
Writer trapped by his "number one fan".
Sheldon, Roger
Father of Paul
Shinebone, Dr. (Shinny)
Character in the Misery novels.
Simeaux, Paulette
Patient whom Annie may have killed
Soames, Mrs.
Character in the Misery novels.
Thalman, Irving
Died in the fire that killed the Krenmitz family
Torrance, John Daniel (Jack)
Not mentioned by name, but he was the one who was the caretaker that supposedly caused the Overlook Hotel to burn down. Described by Annie Wilkes.
Twyford, Tom
Ex-cop who helped Paul with manuscript for "Fast Cars".
Van der Valk
Fictional detective created by Nicholas Freeling
Webster, Daniel
Made-up name from Paul Sheldon
Wickersham, Mad Jack
Character in the Misery Novels.
Wicks, Trooper (David)
Saved Paul Sheldon
Wilkes, Annie Marie
The psychotic nurse who saved Paul Sheldon after a car accident. Kept him as a prisoner.
Wilkes, Carl
Father of Annie.
Wilkes, Crysilda
Mother of Annie.
Wilkes, Paul Emery
Brother of Annie.
Wilson, Edmund
Wrote essay on Poetry
Yoder, Chuckie
Worked at the Liquor store in Sidewinder
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