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Paul Sheldon

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James Caan as Paul Sheldon in the 1990 film.

Paul Sheldon is the main protagonist of "Misery". He is the author of the Misery Chastain novel series.

In the 1990 film, Sheldon was played by James Caan.


Like most of Stephen King's protagonist, Paul is a writer. Having just finished the first draft of his latest novel, as with the completion of all his manuscripts, he celebrates by sparking up and drinking some bubbly.

While on his way back home, Paul crashes his car into a snow bank only to be "saved" by Annie Wilkes. Back at her farm house, he learns he has been harmed very badly by the crash, the worse in his legs, and will have to stay bedridden for the next few weeks.

After a few days, Paul begins to realize that Annie is dangerously obsessed with him and that threatens to kill him. He was trying to escape from her the whole time but was hard because he was sitting on a wheel chair from the car accident. After a battle with Annie, he wins and is finally rescued.

Months later, his agent tries to talk him into writing a nonfiction account of his experience, as he wanted him to write something more serious the whole time. Unfortunately, the experience with Annie left him with writer's block. His most recent work being about a child with a still-scented pet skunk in a cart.


Misery series


  • Fast Cars (novel & film, Lost, untitled in film)
  • The Higher Education of J. Philip Stone (film only)


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