By Stephen King, 1987
I finally took time to read the novel Misery. I have always been a huge fan of the film adaptation released in 1990. Knowing that King’s stories always include more punch in the written work than in the film work, I expected this story to be much more intense, creepy and suspenseful in novel format. I was not disappointed on that aspect.
The story is incredibly simple yet entirely multi-faceted and layered in psychopathology, fear, loneliness, helplessness, desperation and motivation. Paul Sheldon, the main character, endures much more abuse, torture and torment from the antagonist character of Annie Wilkes. While Kathy Bates did an excellent job of playing Wilkes in the film, the book character is much more intimidating and unnerving.
The movie follows fairly close to what is written in the book but the amount of pain and fear inflicted on Paul and the various ways this torment is unleashed upon him is unsurpassed by the film. Annie is much more unstable, much angrier and a whole lot more demented than she seems to be in the film. The book allows us to experience of the little things that she does that help inflict terror upon Paul. The various strange, cold, blank expressions on her face at inappropriate times. The random and seemingly unprovoked repeated outbursts and fits of anger. The underlying inferiority complex that obviously plagues this woman day in and day out ironically countered with her apparent feeling of superiority over almost all others.
There were a number of times during reading this that I got chills or caught myself reading with my mouth hanging open in surprise or outright shock. The detail King always seems to employ is beautifully demonstrated in this novel. He expertly captivates and transports his audience directly to the little room in Annie’s house where Paul is victimized daily, giving us a front row seat to the carnage and even putting us right in the midst of it when he wants to. Fantastically gruesome and spectacularly creepy writing sparks the best, and rather disturbing, horror images in the mind of the reader.
I would say there are only two things I wasn’t thrilled with concerning the novel. First would be the ending. I like the film ending better. I’m not going to tell you the differences in the two because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it. The second would be that, in the novel, King includes portions of the book Annie is having him write. For me this inclusion didn’t add anything to the story really and it probably wouldn’t take anything away from the plot if these excerpts were removed. It almost feels like filler material. I can understand why King put it in there. It is part of the story. But the content of the forced novel has only a small bearing on the entire plot of the real book we are reading. A much smaller influence than portrayed in the movie.
Still, I know any King fan would love this book. And those that have a stronger type stomach will also love this book. But if graphic gore and violence upsets you, this is not the novel for you. I have to say though, it’s one of my favorite Stephen King novels that I’ve read so far.
I am so excited to finally be able to get this review posted! I have been waiting for the tour date to hit, anxious to tell you all about this book.
I usually don’t care much for the paranormal type horror. Whether it be movies, books or comics, it’s just never been my thing. However, every once in a while, I come across a paranormal horror story in one form or another that really does the trick.
This is one of those books.
As always, before I really dive into the few particulars I’m willing to share, I want to give you the blurb that made me want to sign up to read this when my awesome teammates at Blackthorn Book Tours sent it to me.
So here it is:
Pride and greed infect the soul, anchoring the dead to Gallagher Hotel.
When Chris, a master thief, and Riley, a contract waitress, get mysterious invites to an exclusive party at the haunted Gallagher Hotel, they discover that there is more at play than simple celebrations.
Hidden truths are revealed, and all hell breaks loose. But the “party” has just begun.
Now, Chris and Riley face their demons as they fight to survive a hellish nightmare full of spoiled secrets, carnage, and vengeful spirits lost to the hotel dating back to the turn of the 20th century.
Will they survive the night? Or will their souls be devoured by the most haunted building in Michigan?
Not bad right? Sounds like it has potential doesn’t it?
The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel was a fantastic read. It’s a great story about a group of people at what is rumored to be the most haunted hotel in Michigan. We really stay centered on mostly one character, Riley, although there are five guests or so at the hotel total.
Riley is a contract server, kind of like catering. She’s an independent gal with a boyfriend who is madly in love with her and already planning their future together. Although she cares for him deeply, she kind of already has plans of her own. She is a young woman struggling to make ends meet and takes the request of this event at the hotel because she believes it will be an easy night of easy money. She quickly finds out that things aren’t going to be as easy as she had hoped.
As soon as all of the invited guests arrive tensions immediately begin to brew. So many different personalities just forced together for a night in a strange place, a haunted hotel and some very oddball hosts makes for the perfect recipe for trouble. All of the guests that Riley has been hired to serve for the evening seem to have this disgusting sense of entitlement. The kind of entitlement that makes the average person cringe with loathing and abhorrence. This makes the job much less pleasant for Riley than anticipated.
Also, she soon starts experiencing some very strange things. Peculiar things begin to happen inside and outside of the hotel. Before Riley even knows what is going on, dead bodies start to turn up in guest rooms. She not only has to figure out what is going on, but she also has to figure out who she can trust. More importantly, she must figure out how to stay alive herself.
Some parts of this book reminded me of the general idea behind the movie Final Destination in which the characters had to figure out ways to cheat death. This novel takes that kind of idea and mixes it together with Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Once that is combined really well it’s as if the author threw in a spoonful of the movie CLUE just for good measure. It’s a lot to put together, but this author was an expert with her literary loom and wove us a tapestry of suspense, horror, truth, lies, present, past and paranormal. A very tall order, in my opinion, but extremely well executed in the finished product, a novel that is sure to be a hit with any horror or suspense story lover. ANY paranormal horror lover should be jumping at this novel as well.
Yes, there is horror in this novel. There’s horror and gore, creepy ghostly secrets, blood and death, and just a dash of levity. I always enjoy when an author adds a little comedy into the mix. It makes for a much more entertaining read.
I also enjoyed the ending. It was like the last act in a thrilling and suspenseful play. It was truly an excellent conclusion.
This was a fascinatingly chilling and exciting novel to read. It was a true page turner for me, easy to read, easy to get through and very difficult to put down. The best part, for me, was the diversity of the characters. To me this adds a certain realism to the story and gives it a much more interesting angle.
My only complaint would be that the Part II section seemed to have quite a few words missing. It seems that the writer’s mind was going faster than their hands could type, which is something I completely understand. The words missing are not “key” words. It is obvious from the context that these are small more or less transition words and such, so it’s not that big of a deal really. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for spell/grammar check to catch those sometimes. However, I do want to stress that, as a reviewer, I often get pre-corrected versions of manuscripts, before they are proofed and edited and completely published. Remember guys, I’ve had this book for a while before I get to post my review, months in fact. This is something that is usually fixed in the final copy. So, don’t fret. Some might feel like this novel is a bit long, but it moves so fast it really didn’t bother me as much as it might have if the book was bad.
I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of ghost stories and haunted tales, but also the regular horror lovers. I promise this novel does in fact fit in that category as well.
And if you aren’t convinced yet…here’s the first chapter, FREE.
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About the Author:
K.T. Rose is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a suspenseful short story series titled Trinity of Horror, an erotic thriller novel titled When We Swing, and A Dark Web Horror Series. She also writes supernatural and paranormal horror novels and short stories.
· Webpage: https://kyrobooks.com/
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyrobooks/
· Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/K-T-Rose/e/B01N4T91M2
· Twitter: @kyrobooks
· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6480089.K_T_Rose
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Haunting-Gallagher-Hotel-Supernatural-Horror-ebook/dp/B08BZSQKB4
· Genre: Paranormal Horror
· Print length: c.300 pages
· Suitable for young adults? No
· Trigger warnings: Graphic violence
· Amazon star rating: 4