A taut, gripping thriller, Misery is arguably Stephen King’s greatest novel. Award-winning illustrator Edward Kinsella's deeply haunting artwork and striking binding design make this the ultimate collector's edition.
‘This is a book that every reader, King fan or not, should read’
Two weeks after a near-fatal car crash, author Paul Sheldon regains consciousness in a stranger’s guest room, his legs shattered and useless. As the intense pain ebbs and flows, rare moments of lucidity lead to the chilling realisation that his rescuer is also his jailer. Annie Wilkes might be Paul’s ‘number one fan’, but she is incensed that he has killed the heroine Misery Chastain in his latest novel. Fate has given Annie a chance to bring her favourite character back to life, and Paul won’t be leaving Annie’s remote farmstead alive until he complies. Misery sees Stephen King at the height of his writing powers in a novel that explores the psyche of an author suffering extreme torment. Edward Kinsella illustrated the best-selling Folio edition of The Shining and he again immerses himself in King’s narrative to create a terrifying and compelling set of illustrations, as well as a binding design that defines the novel: the antique Royal typewriter that is both Paul Sheldon’s entrapment and his only hope of liberty.
Black & white illustrated title-page spread and 8 colour illustrations
10″ x 6¾″
A recipient of six Society of Illustrators medals and three awards from Spectrum, Edward Kinsella is a highly sought-after illustrator whose stunning work for The Shining was lauded by readers. Kinsella brings his insight into King’s characters back to the drawing board for this new edition of Misery. He captures Annie’s psychotic gaze, Paul’s desperation and the novel’s bleak themes, while picking out small details that make King’s narrative so compelling, like the calendar that never moves past February. Kinsella’s illustrations continue in the foreboding black-and-white title page and his binding image of the Royal typewriter with its missing key. The typewriter font used by Royal is distinct and it has been researched and reproduced for the endpapers, which depict the first pages of Paul’s new novel, the absent letter ‘n’ handwritten into the words.
‘I’m your number one fan’
As Annie slides prescription painkillers into his parched mouth, Paul tries to piece together events and King drip-feeds the reader sickening details of his entrapment by a psychotic super fan. In a narrative that is slick and perfectly paced, the master of horror switches genre to craft what is one of the tensest and most terrifying psychological thrillers ever written. Annie alternates between protective carer and twisted torturer, while bed-bound Paul grapples with shame, helplessness and drug addiction, the pills now a narcotic fix as much as pain relief. Like an intimate stage play, most of the story is set in one room, making it claustrophobic and compelling, as Paul begins a new novel for Annie that he hopes will secure his survival. When adapting the novel, screenwriter William Goldman stayed true to King’s vision, and the 1990 film earned Kathy Bates an Academy Award for her unnerving interpretation of Annie Wilkes. Covering fandom, obsession, psychosis and the writer’s inner turmoil, this is a must-read contemporary novel for King fans, and anyone who doesn’t yet know it.
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, in 1947. He graduated with a BA in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, and taught high-school English in Hampden, Maine, before becoming a full-time writer in 1974, following the publication of his first book, Carrie. He is the author of more than 50 novels, all of them worldwide best-sellers, including Salem’s Lot (1975), Pet Semetary (1983) and Misery (1987). He has also written six works of non-fiction and nearly 200 short stories. Many of his books and novellas have been turned into celebrated films, and have earned him Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards and British Fantasy Society Awards. In 2003 the National Book Foundation awarded King the Medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters, and in 2015 he received a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts for his contribution to literature.
Edward Kinsella was born in St Louis, Missouri. He graduated with honours from Ringling School of Art and Design in 2006, and his work has since been commissioned by a variety of prestigious magazines and publishers. He has also shown his fine art and illustration in a number of gallery exhibitions. His accolades include gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and a Gold Award from Spectrum. Kinsella has previously illustrated the Folio editions of The Shining (2016) and East of Eden (2017).
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