Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Misery by Stephen King (1987)

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Horror, Thriller

“I am in trouble here. This woman is not right”

Stephen_King_Misery_cover

Misery is the story of novelist Paul Sheldon, who nearly dies in a car crash and Annie Wilkes, the woman who saves his life.  Misery is also the name of a popular heroine in Sheldon’s Victorian romance novels.  Paul awakens from his coma to find himself crippled and under the care of Annie, a former nurse who has read all of his Misery novels and professes to be his number one fan.  As time passes by under Annie’s care, Paul begins to realise to his horror that his carer is in fact his captor and she is severely unstable.  Annie loses her temper when she reads Sheldon’s belligerent new novel about car theft.  She flies into a morbid rage when she finds that he has decided to kill off Misery, ending her romantic saga.  Eventually she forces him into writing a new novel to bring back her beloved Misery from the dead.  Paul co-operates with her, hoping that when he is recuperated enough he can formulate an escape plan.  But he soon learns the consequences of betraying his number one fan.

Although I have seen most of the Stephen King movie adaptations I must confess that Misery was the first of his novels I have actually read.  I’m glad I finally did because I have become an instant fan.  Don’t get me wrong, this book may require some work before you begin to enjoy it but the rewards come very quickly.  Paul’s fevered dreams of agony do not make for easy reading at the beginning of the book.  The chunks of Sheldon’s fictional manuscript for “Misery’s Return” were not exactly easy for me either but I’m glad King put them in there because it really helps with the realism of Paul’s plight.

Those of you who have watched the 1990 movie you will be familiar with the basic concept and the characters but I recommend you take the time to read this novel because it really takes you much deeper into the horror of this unnerving situation.  Sheldon’s abuse at the hands of Annie Wilkes takes on a much darker tone and I certainly found myself wondering if he was ever going to make it through to the end of the book!  Obviously a popular novelist like Stephen King requires no approval from me but if you have yet to read Misery it is worth picking up a copy either second hand or on Kindle.  After all, who knows?  You may even become his next number one fan…

Official Site:

http://www.stephenking.com

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“Dramatic from start to finish”

Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion follows the traumatic struggle of James Cody, a firefighter whose daring attempt to be a hero costs him his job when things go horribly wrong.  Discredited and depressed he returns to his home town to recover but he has not finished paying for his reckless act of bravery yet.  When a vindictive killer begins targeting the people he cares for James finds himself not only fighting to clear his name but also fighting for his life.

This book is dramatic right from the start.  The opening scene is so tense you can almost feel the heat of the blazing inferno.  All the action scenes are reasonably well described throughout the story.  It is also obvious too that a fair amount of good solid research has been done by the author before writing this novella. I wouldn’t want to say the story is completely airtight but there are no gaping holes that defy the laws of physics, logic or legality that I have picked up on.

The characters are reasonably well rounded and understandable figures.  Cody himself is a sympathetic protagonist who you genuinely feel for.  He is a man who has tried to do good things and been punished unjustly.  The supporting characters are generally identifiable, not overly complex but easy to fit into the scenario and believable enough.  Cody’s nemesis is a masterly written villain that you will just love to hate, full of self-righteous fury and totally ruthless.

I am impressed with the comfortable writing style that keeps you flowing quickly throughout the novel.  There were unfortunately a few minor typos in the edition I read – an unfortunate but understandable by-product of publishing your own work on Kindle.

All in all I would not call Spontaneous Combustion a masterpiece but it is a good solid read and dramatic from start to finish.  The novella is certainly worth its meagre Kindle price and I’d like to buy more work by Larry LaVoie in the future.

But it here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004GEB7UI/ref=docs-os-doi_0

Follow The Author:

http://www.larrylavoieauthor.com/