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Trivia / Misery

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The novel

  • Completely Different Title:
    • The book is known as Sie (meaning She) in German, presumably in imitation of It. Also apt as Paul compares Annie to an African idol in H. Rider Haggard's novel She (published as Sie in Germany).
    • In Brazil, it was the more indicative Louca Obsessão ("Mad Obsession"). Portugal went for The Foreign Subtitle (Misery - The Final Chapter) as did Italy in a way (Misery must not die).
  • Creator Breakdown: Stephen King confirmed that the story is about his battle with substance abuse and that Annie is a representation of his dependency on drugs and what it did to his body, making him feel alone and separated from everything while hobbling any attempts he made at escape.
  • Creator's Favorite: Annie Wilkes is Stephen King's favorite written character because she was always surprising to write, with unexpected depth and sympathy.
  • Life Imitates Art: Two rather uncomfortable examples.
    • In 1991, Beverley Allitt, an English nurse, committed four murders in a children's ward. The fact that she looks a bit like Annie makes it even scarier.
    • Annie breaking Paul's legs gets even more horrifying given then—13-year-old Thad Phillip's 1995 ordeal at the hands of Joe Clark—kidnapped and held prisoner for 43 hours while Clark broke the bones in his legs. Phillips finally escaped by throwing himself down the stairs and dragging himself to a phone, by which point he was within two hours of death from internal bleeding. He survived, but needed numerous surgeries and walks with a limp to this day. note 
  • Orphaned Reference: At one point, Paul and Annie have a conversation where it's established that Annie knows how to bind books. This may seem random, but it was originally meant to foreshadow the planned original ending where Annie uses Paul's skin to bind the completed manuscript of Misery's Return.
  • Referenced by...: In the Prudence Penderhaus novel 17 Marigold Lane, Prudence is sneaking through the Shoosters' house, trying to find where Cassius is being held, when she remembers that Annie Wilkes had a secret cellar door. Sure enough, the Shoosters also have a hidden door in the wall that leads to the Creepy Basement where Cassius is.
  • Shout-Out: To King's The Shining. Though never mentioned by name, Annie makes a clear reference to the Overlook Hotel and Jack Torrance, stating that one of her victims was in Colorado to make sketches of the ruins of an old hotel that had been burned down by the caretaker, who had gone insane.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In his book "On Writing" King admits that when he first started writing Misery, he expected that it would end with Annie murdering Paul and using his skin to bind the completed manuscript of Misery's Return and feeding his remains to her pig. This was also because he'd envisioned it as a short story or novella; as it bloomed into a full novel he decided there was no way people could accept spending all that time with someone going through hell and then not seeing him finally come out on top. note 
    • King originally was going to title the book, "The Annie Wilkes Edition".
    • Misery was to be published under King's penname of Richard Bachman, but the Bachman persona was publicly outed before the book could be published. King felt that Misery might have been the book that made Bachman into a bestseller in his own right, which was part of King's reasoning for creating the Bachman name to begin with.

The film