There was a time in my life when I read everything Stephen King wrote, and Misery was one of my favorites. (Can anyone forget Kathy Bates’ performance in the movie version? She took crazy to a sort of likable level.)
This new book, Misery Loves Company, by Rene Gutteridge is like Misery but flip flopped. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review through the Tyndale Blog Network.) Instead of the author being kidnapped by his biggest fan, the roles are reversed. Juliet is a grieving widow and blogger who calls herself Patrick Reagan’s biggest fan. But she hasn’t been thrilled with his last three books, and she tells the blogging world what she honestly thinks about his latest offering. The same day, she wakes up in a secluded cabin with no memory of how she got there and she finds herself face-to-face with her favorite author, who is also grieving the loss of his wife three years earlier. As Juliet tries to figure out why she’s there and whether Reagan means her any harm, her husband’s partner on the police force begins searching for her. What finally brings them all together is shocking and life-altering.
Some might call this an unoriginal work because it feeds off of King’s original idea, but I found it clever and engaging. Gutteridge retains elements of the original story without the gore. (For example, you know the part in Misery where the author’s feet get chopped off so he can’t escape? Well, Gutteridge gives Juliet a serious case of frostbite so her feet are rendered useless.)
It’s still a thrilling, and a bit terrifying, read. It’s risky to take on a similar story from a master like King, but it paid off for Gutteridge.
Click here for a sample chapter.