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Gerald's Game

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Stephen King cranks up the suspense in a different kind of bedtime story. A game of seduction between a husband and wife goes horribly awry when the husband dies. But the nightmare has just begun...


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Stephen King cranks up the suspense in a different kind of bedtime story. A game of seduction between a husband and wife goes horribly awry when the husband dies. But the nightmare has just begun...

30 review for Gerald's Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    I've re-read Gerald's Game several times since its 1992 publication, and have just finished listening to it as an audiobook. Here's what I know for sure: 1) this story has lost none of its power over me, despite the fact I know everything that's going to happen (quite an impressive feat for a largely plot-driven suspense piece) 2) it is without question, one of King's most underrated, overlooked novels. As of this writing its Goodreads rating is 3.26. Keeping it company in the basement is the mu I've re-read Gerald's Game several times since its 1992 publication, and have just finished listening to it as an audiobook. Here's what I know for sure: 1) this story has lost none of its power over me, despite the fact I know everything that's going to happen (quite an impressive feat for a largely plot-driven suspense piece) 2) it is without question, one of King's most underrated, overlooked novels. As of this writing its Goodreads rating is 3.26. Keeping it company in the basement is the much maligned Tommyknockers (incidentally another favorite of mine) and From a Buick 8 (also 3.26 but as this is my least favorite King novel I tend to agree with that number). 3) finally, if you aren't already a raving fan of this book I'm not going to change your mind. That's fair. We can't all love the same thing, especially when it comes to books. What I hope I can do is capture just a smidge (like lightning in a bottle) the reasons why -- if you haven't yet -- you must give this book a chance. For a lot of Constant Readers, Gerald's Game will always be linked to its sister novel -- Dolores Claiborne -- as both books were released the same year and King meant them to be companion novels to one another. Their narratives are cleverly linked by a solar eclipse. As a literary device it is an interesting one, but for me it isn't what makes these novels so special or spectacular. In fact, you could remove that connection and neither novel would suffer from its absence. No, what makes each novel memorable is the writing, the characterization and most of all, King's sheer balls to the wall commitment to the delivery of the story and its outcome. As companion novels, there are some notable similarities; namely, the exploration of female abuse at the hands of male aggressors. There are painful descriptions of domestic battery and sexual molestation. King bravely (and quite successfully I would argue) enters the terrain of victim humiliation, degradation, and the lingering psychological effects such acts guarantee. In many ways, these are King's most feminist novels and I don't think it a coincidence that Gerald's Game is dedicated to his wife Tabitha and her five sisters. Yet for me, this isn't what defines Gerald's Game which I would argue has much more in common with Misery, King's Bachman novel The Long Walk, and his short story "Survivor Type". I say this because in all of these what King is really doing is looking at the human body under brutalizing physical duress... at the body in extremis and what humans are genetically hardwired to do to survive and go on living another day. Excruciating physical peril undeniably comes with a psychological component and no one writes that better than King using his own heady and addictive brew of storytelling. Jessie Burlingame -- our "damsel" in distress -- is facing certain death. She is trapped, chained in handcuffs to the bed she shares with her husband Gerald in their summer house on the lake. But it's not summer. It's fall, and the lake is empty. Everyone has gone home. There is no one to hear her scream or beg for release. One of the reasons I love Gerald's Game so much is the "solve the puzzle" locked room mystery of it. It's like one of those brain teasers (you know the one about the melted icicle?) In this case, you have one woman handcuffed to a bed. How do you get her out of them (playing fair, no tricks, no deus ex machina). How will she suffer? What demands will be placed on her body, on her mind? This is where King shines. (view spoiler)[One of my favorite scenes from the entire novel is Jessie's quest for the glass of water resting on the bed's headboard. It is agonizing suspense I almost couldn't stand it. Sheer mastery of the craft I tell you. It would have had Hitchcock foaming at the mouth to film it. (hide spoiler)] In telling Jessie's story King uncovers all the nitty-gritty minutia of human physical suffering and the desperation of one woman's attempt to end it. How far is any one person willing to go to keep on taking his or her next breath? Stephen King knows pretty damn far. Just ask Paul Sheldon or Ray Garraty. Or the castaway in "Survivor Type" -- him most of all. King also knows that the human body has an amazing capacity for trauma. It can withstand a lot -- so much so that the mind often breaks first. King being King, it's not just enough to have Jessie at the mercy of handcuffs she can't merely wiggle out of. No, King being King, he introduces several other elements to the story to amp up the suspense and terror. Some may argue the story didn't need these elements (one element in particular), but I say Bravo! (view spoiler)[Our first introduction to the "Space Cowboy" -- There was a man in the room -- nearly caused me to faint from pure shock. I was in those handcuffs too, you see, in the dark, thirsty, exhausted and in pain. The sudden realization that I may not be alone after all, that there may be someone lurking in a dark shadow of the room watching me.... shiver. I love how long King is able to prolong the suspense over this creature's existence -- is it or is it not a figment of Jessie's overtaxed imagination? I went back and forth several times during the last part of the novel, until finally the big reveal and I was satisfied, more than satisfied actually. The fact that he turned out to be real after all made my skin crawl. (hide spoiler)] On the Stephen King Fans discussion forum here on Goodreads, a wonderful comment was made that really sums up the intensity of this novel for me, and its overwhelming, lingering appeal: [Gerald's Game] goes straight to the oldest, reptilian part of the human brain: fight or flight -- but here, flight's out of the question. This is true horror -- helplessness. This novel is burned into my brain as if I've lived it. That's unforgettable storytelling and something you don't want to miss. Trust me. You do trust me, don't you?

  2. 4 out of 5

    PirateSteve

    The regularity in which Stephen King writes 3 plus, 4 and 5 star books is staggering. What surprised me with Gerald's Game is after all these years Mr.King chose this book to spit in the face of horror. This book commences with a solid, voyeuristic 4 star plot. We move into the middle of the book like a hungry dog looking for it's next meal. Sniffing around for clues of what may happen next and how we would react. 3 plus/4 star writing pulls us into the story until it's no longer voyeuristic. It The regularity in which Stephen King writes 3 plus, 4 and 5 star books is staggering. What surprised me with Gerald's Game is after all these years Mr.King chose this book to spit in the face of horror. This book commences with a solid, voyeuristic 4 star plot. We move into the middle of the book like a hungry dog looking for it's next meal. Sniffing around for clues of what may happen next and how we would react. 3 plus/4 star writing pulls us into the story until it's no longer voyeuristic. It's the next moment in our own reality. Just when I thought it was over, the final few chapters of this book takes the plot up a notch and I'm not going to give you the slightest of clues. 5 stars for becoming my all time favorite Stephen King novel..

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”This wasn’t the smile, though. This was the grin--a version of it he seemed to save just for these sessions. She had an idea that to Gerald, who was on the inside of it, the grin felt wolfish. Piratical, maybe. From her angle, however, lying here with her arms raised above her head and nothing on but a pair of bikini panties, it only looked stupid, No...retarded. He was, after all, no devil-may-care adventurer like the ones in the mens’ magazines over which he had spent the furious ejaculations ”This wasn’t the smile, though. This was the grin--a version of it he seemed to save just for these sessions. She had an idea that to Gerald, who was on the inside of it, the grin felt wolfish. Piratical, maybe. From her angle, however, lying here with her arms raised above her head and nothing on but a pair of bikini panties, it only looked stupid, No...retarded. He was, after all, no devil-may-care adventurer like the ones in the mens’ magazines over which he had spent the furious ejaculations of his lonely, overweight puberty; he was an attorney with a pink, too-large face spreading below a widow’s peak which was narrowing relentlessly toward total baldness. Just an attorney with a hard-on poking the front of his undershorts out of shape. And only moderately out of shape at that.” Poor Gerald, unfortunately he is merely a plot device and his moments on center stage are destined to be fleeting. He has recently discovered this new sexual kink that puts the fire back in the dragon. It changes everything and soon it becomes apparent that he can’t raise the flag anymore unless he handcuffs his wife Jessie to a bed. He wants and needs her to be absolutely submissive. Jessie is complicit. She feels okay with it; maybe even feels a little excited about that horny glint in Gerald’s eye, and it adds to the excitement that they decided to run up to the summer house in the fall when no one is there. Gerald didn’t skimp on the equipment, oh no, he bought the real McCoy, not toys, but police issue handcuffs. It adds to his pleasure knowing she is completely helpless, well not totally helpless. Now maybe there is something extra stimulating for Gerald to lock his wife to a bed knowing that they are in the middle of nowhere, knowing that no one can hear a thing. He has a look in his eye that makes Jessie think that he is prepared to take the GAME too far. She asks to be released. He likes this new twist. A rape fantasy is blooming before his eyes. He isn’t going to release her. Jessie kicks him. Her aim is excellent and those legs belong to someone who used to be athletic. She catches him in the gonads and in the stomach. Gerald exits stage left, but though his lines are finished his corpse still has a role to play. Jessie is in a pickle. ”Those are real handcuffs you’re wearing, not the cute little bondage numbers with the padding inside the wristlets and a hidden escape-lever you can push if someone gets carried away and starts going a little too far. You’re for-real locked up, and you don’t happen to be either fakir from the Mysterious East, capable of twisting your body up like a pretzel, or an escape artist like Harry Houdini or David Copperfield. I’m just telling it the way I see it, okay? And the way I see it, you’re toast.” I don’t know if Jessie is technically schizophrenic because sometimes voices in our heads can be good guiding forces and not necessarily debilitating. A traumatic event like being handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere might bring out all kinds of voices in my head. I would hope that Jimmy Stewart’s voice would show up. Wouldn’t that be great hearing him say ‘now just calm down Jeff we are going to get through this.’ Jessie’s voices, old friends it seems, are sometimes very encouraging and sometimes depressively pragmatic about the situation. Jessie, an old hand at sorting out the voices, vacillates between thinking about how she can live and thinking about exactly how she will die as the voices wage a war in her head. The keys, yes the keys are way over there on the dresser. She gets a cramp. It was only a matter of time. ”A fresh cramp sank long, bitter teeth into her left armpit, and she pulled her cracked lips back in a grimace. It was like having your heart poked with the tines of a barbecue fork. Then the muscles just below her breasts tightened and the bundle of nerves in her solar plexus seemed to ignite like a pile of dry sticks. This pain was new, and it was enormous--far beyond anything she had experienced thus far. It bent her backward like a greenwood stick, her torso twisting from side to side, knees snapping open and shut. Her hair flew in clots and clumps. She tried to scream and couldn’t. For a moment she was sure this was it, the end of the line. One final convulsion, as powerful as six sticks of dynamite planted in a granite ledge, and out you go, Jessie; cashier’s on your right. But this one passed, too.” Does anyone truly understand fear better than Stephen King. Let’s ratchet it up a bit. Entered through the pet door stage right is the stray dog formerly known as Prince. He is a demented version of the dog that was once loved and coddled by a girl. He is beyond hungry on the verge of starvation. Yeah it gets a bit gruesome. Being tied up with death staring you in the face will probably lead most anyone to a few moments of reflection. Jessie thinks about her father and the stain he left on her life. Even as an adult looking back the situations that occurred are baffling. The manipulations and the secrets are still wiggling in her subconscious never to be completely still or properly categorized like a mounted butterfly or a file marked DONE. It is an ongoing evaluation. She sees someone...in the room. Hallucination or real? Something that genetically monstrous can’t be real...can it? One of the things I like about Stephen King is he usually gives nods to other writers or artists or musicians reminding me that he is beyond just a pop culture...well...King. If you want to go to heaven Let me tell you how to do it, You gotta grease your feet With a little mutton suet. You just slide out of the devil’s hand And ooze on over to the Promised Land; Take it easy, Go greasy. A bit of Woody Guthrie...oh so appropriate...as it turns out to the situation. I was caught up in this book and blew through pages like Speedy Gonzales. By the end I felt that King added too many elements which detracted from the overall believability of the situation for me. True terror comes from me being totally sold on all the twists and turns. Despite those misgivings I still really enjoyed the book and he convinced me most emphatically that I don’t need two pair of police issue handcuffs to spice up my love life. *Shudder*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    King likes to demonstrate that he is the pimp grandmaster of using one single setting to show us how it has to be done. Including childhood trauma, how far one might go to survive, married life and how it can develop, and switching between the terror of the seemingly hopeless situation and flashbacks to the mystery of what happened when the protagonist was a girl and how those events influenced the current happenings. The situation of being, just, alone in a remote area or helpless or bound or ne King likes to demonstrate that he is the pimp grandmaster of using one single setting to show us how it has to be done. Including childhood trauma, how far one might go to survive, married life and how it can develop, and switching between the terror of the seemingly hopeless situation and flashbacks to the mystery of what happened when the protagonist was a girl and how those events influenced the current happenings. The situation of being, just, alone in a remote area or helpless or bound or next to the dead body of a loved one, is frightening enough, but all at once together where nobody hears you scream, except of the definitively wrong people, is truly a bad situation. Hunger, thirst, nature, evil forces, all together united against one single, brave woman. A very similar setting to his novel misery, except that there is no personified danger in the form of an axe crazy woman. The introspections, omg, how King slips inside the minds of his protagonists, how the reader is shattered by each new little twist, each deterioration of the already precarious situation, how realistic and credible the characters think and feel, how less actually happens and how suspenseful and intriguing the few plot twists seem in retrospection. (view spoiler)[ The killer at the end is just described on a few pages, but the intensity and concreteness are immense. Also realizing that such a hardcore sick freak was standing there, lurking and stalking around, gives a giant finale goosebump. (hide spoiler)] Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "Some nightmares never completely ended." Jessie and Gerald Burlingame head to their holiday home by the lake in Maine for an afternoon of... certain activities. However, things quickly take a turn when Gerald drops dead from a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed. Jessie is left to face all of her worst fears, as the voices in her head take over... As someone who has a relatively short attention span, the premise of one character trapped in one location for almost the entirety of th "Some nightmares never completely ended." Jessie and Gerald Burlingame head to their holiday home by the lake in Maine for an afternoon of... certain activities. However, things quickly take a turn when Gerald drops dead from a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed. Jessie is left to face all of her worst fears, as the voices in her head take over... As someone who has a relatively short attention span, the premise of one character trapped in one location for almost the entirety of the novel didn't necessarily excite me, I really thought I'd struggle. However, I have to commend King for writing such a tense, nail-biting, exhausting, unputdownable story. This book played on my mind, it gave me nightmares; for the first time since Pet Sematary, my blood actually ran cold whilst reading a book. I really loved this book, as I finished it I even thought "This is now one of my top Kings"... but in hindsight, it might just edge into the top 10. Gerald's Game is not for everyone, some people might actually find it boring and some might get upset at the difficult themes that are described in explicit detail, such as sexual abuse. It's an uncomfortable read for sure, but I almost feel like you need to go through that in order to fully understand Jessie. It's extremely gory at times too, which for a hardened horror fan like myself, is something I actually really enjoy, but I know not everyone will feel the same way. It's strange, because although I loved this book, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everyone. My favourite aspect of this book was Jessie, who has shot right up the list to becoming one of my favourite King characters. She is brave, she is strong, she is resilient. What she went through during her childhood is quite simply one of the most horrific things I've ever read about, in any novel. I loved her references to how she was no longer going to be under the control of any man, following what she suffered at the hands of her father, as well as how she was treated during her marriage. Jessie is AWESOME. I was rooting for her the whole way and am literally in awe of her survival instincts. Me, I would have just lay there and accepted death, for sure. King does such a great job in presenting her character development throughout the novel. A lot of people on instagram were eager for my opinions on the ending of Gerald's Game and here it is...I thought it was brilliant. It actually makes Jessie's experience more terrifying for me. I won't go into too much more detail as I don't want to spoil for anyone, but it was horrifyingly amazing and I'm a big fan. So, yeah, it's awkward to really love a book and yet still feel slightly apprehensive about recommending it to people! But if it sounds like the kind of book you'd enjoy - go for it! I honestly thought I wouldn't be a fan and I've been proven wrong. Now I get to watch the adaptation on Netflix and I'm really looking forward to it, I'm sure I'll have some opinions on that soon too. Do you even need to ask? - 5 stars out of 5 from me!

  6. 5 out of 5

    ALet

    ★★★/ 5 I equally liked and equally disliked this book. The story itself was not bad, but the particular things didn’t work for me. This book showed troubled marriage and how the past can affect people. I had this problem that I couldn’t get attached to the characters and that brought out me of the story a lot. It was a quick read, but not very fascinating. It is horror novel and it at times actually was scary, but from my point of view, the real horror is making the story feel realistic and thing ★★★/ 5 I equally liked and equally disliked this book. The story itself was not bad, but the particular things didn’t work for me. This book showed troubled marriage and how the past can affect people. I had this problem that I couldn’t get attached to the characters and that brought out me of the story a lot. It was a quick read, but not very fascinating. It is horror novel and it at times actually was scary, but from my point of view, the real horror is making the story feel realistic and things that happen towards the end of the book didn’t feel realistic, more it felt stretched. It was interesting read with some shocking twists and points, but it wasn’t exactly for me or my taste.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    Sometimes it takes heart to write about a thing, doesn't it? To let that thing out of the room way in the back of your mind and put it up there on the screen. This was, without a doubt, the most fucked up book I've ever read. So of course I loved it. For some reason, I went into this book thinking I'm not going to like it. Jessie, our main character, is handcuffed to a bed and can't move. Doesn't sound that much exciting, right? Well, wrong. I thought that the whole novel would be about Jessie tryi Sometimes it takes heart to write about a thing, doesn't it? To let that thing out of the room way in the back of your mind and put it up there on the screen. This was, without a doubt, the most fucked up book I've ever read. So of course I loved it. For some reason, I went into this book thinking I'm not going to like it. Jessie, our main character, is handcuffed to a bed and can't move. Doesn't sound that much exciting, right? Well, wrong. I thought that the whole novel would be about Jessie trying to escape, and that it would just drag and be boring. But, boy, was I wrong! This book was anything but boring. And I wouldn't call this book scary, but it is creepy and disturbing. I felt like I was in the room with her, and that really freaked me out. Also, Jessie (our main character, as I said before) definitely isn't one of the most likable character, at least at the start. But, as the story progressed, I started liking her more and more, and hoping she would save herself somehow. But this book definitely isn't for everyone. There are scenes that actually made me sick, and I had to put the book down, and take a few breaths. And somewhere in the middle, I thought that the story would take a turn and become something supernatural, but thank God it didn't. I loved the whole ending, and I wouldn't change a thing. It wrapped the story up perfectly. If you like King, give this book a chance. It is different than his other works, but in my opinion, it is just as good.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stepheny

    This book and I have a long history. When I was 9 or so, my mother gave me permission to read books from the “adult section” of the library. She gave me a note to hand to the librarian and all. So, after summer rec, I went into the library and decided I was ready to read some Stephen King. My sister read his books and she said they were better than the RL Stine ones. I had already gone through all the goosebumps and RL Stine “teen books”(don’t know if they are called anything special) and was re This book and I have a long history. When I was 9 or so, my mother gave me permission to read books from the “adult section” of the library. She gave me a note to hand to the librarian and all. So, after summer rec, I went into the library and decided I was ready to read some Stephen King. My sister read his books and she said they were better than the RL Stine ones. I had already gone through all the goosebumps and RL Stine “teen books”(don’t know if they are called anything special) and was ready to move onto the good stuff. Well, I didn’t know which King book to start out on, so I grabbed the one I saw first. It was a hard cover, a nice thick book with a set of handcuffs on the cover. I sauntered up to the counter and handed the librarian, my card, my book and my permission slip signed by my mother who worked across the street. I got checked out, and walked the steep hill back to my aunt’s house ready to dig into this book on a hot summer afternoon.(I like to think that the librarian had no idea what the book was about, and even with my permission slip would have stopped me HAD she known what it was about, though I don't know for sure.) What a surprise I was in for. I didn’t get very far in before coming across a line mentioning someone’s fist being inserted in places I didn’t know a whole lot about. I looked around the room making sure no one else read the line I just did, closed the book and headed back down to the library where I turned the book in explaining to the librarian that I wasn’t quite as ready for Stephen King as I thought I was. Fast forward to now. I decided I had better read this book before it gets completely destroyed in Hollywood. I’ve had it on my kindle for a while and finally made the decision to read it. I was off to a slow start because of the release of Mr. Mercedes and then later, the release of Four. If I had to describe this book in one word it would be brutal. It was absolutely one of the most fear-inducing books I have ever read. It made my skin crawl, my heart ache, my stomach knot, my hands shake. I was scared in every way imaginable and my heart broke for Jessie and all that she had been through in her life. There were parts of this book that I struggled even to get through. The sequence where you learn what happened to her on the day of the eclipse was the most disturbing thing to read. The secret that she was so ashamed of, the burden that was placed on her at such a young age just hurt my heart. As if being handcuffed to a bedpost isn’t bad enough, Jessie has to see her dead husband and all that his corpse attracts. The mind doesn’t crack as quickly as we would think it would, or in Jessie’s case, as quickly as she needs it to. She wants the sweet escape that insanity would bring her. Instead she is forced to recall the worst moments of her life, hear voices in her head and see a walking nightmare of a man standing in the corner of the room while she lies there like a piece of meat on display in a case. But wait, is that a man? Or a shadow? Is she hallucinating? Maybe she’s delusional from the lack of food and water….is that a footprint? What I can tell you is that this book had me scared beyond comprehension. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom; I almost envied Jessie’s shackles. I slept with a flashlight on the nightstand the whole time I read this. (No, that’s not a joke). I was absolutely terrified. Though it took me a long time to finish it and it seemed that I would never finish it, I did love this book. It’s weird though. I feel like reading this book was so similar to Jessie being handcuffed to the bed. The time seemed to drag on forever and I felt like it would never end as she certainly felt. I definitely recommend this book, but beware, it’s a brutal read. Might I suggest you read it in broad daylight in a wide open space with lots of people around you? Just in case…

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I'm revising my previous estimation of this book up one star. I'm gonna be a little spoilery. :) Why? The re-read was actually rather satisfying. Yes, it's a novel about survival and all the kinds of crap that men make women do to satisfy themselves, but it's also a rather moving novel about keeping (or losing) one's sanity in the face of all those expectations. Never mind the sheer horror of being handcuffed to a bed without hope of being saved because your lover just keeled over, or watching a d I'm revising my previous estimation of this book up one star. I'm gonna be a little spoilery. :) Why? The re-read was actually rather satisfying. Yes, it's a novel about survival and all the kinds of crap that men make women do to satisfy themselves, but it's also a rather moving novel about keeping (or losing) one's sanity in the face of all those expectations. Never mind the sheer horror of being handcuffed to a bed without hope of being saved because your lover just keeled over, or watching a dog eat your husband as you go thirsty. It's a lot more than just that. It's memories and other humiliations and the struggle to find oneself through one hell of an ordeal. Plus, I kinda like the fact that we're dealing with a very Poe-ish or Aristotelian art-ethic here. It's very focused in time and place, forcing us to go down deep into the subconscious. I can't help but appreciate that more now than when I was younger. *shrug* Either way, I also enjoyed the almost tacked-on feel of the extended denouement. It really gave a sense of reflection and of shoring up her defenses after having them all stripped away, both literally and figuratively. I felt the power of the positive reversal. Now, I should say that I'm revising this from my three stars to four based mainly on the fact that the novel is good on its own, but when I chose to give it three (from memory), I did so based on my enjoyment in comparison with the rest of Stephen King's works. It isn't his strongest novel by far, but it was still quite enjoyable. I think I'm going to really enjoy the movie in a few days. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leo .

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A kinky sex game. A heart attack. Handcuffed to a bed. A serial killer on the loose. Scary! Just watched the new film on Netflix... It is quite good.🐯👍

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I hate this fucking book. I have a few King books that I truly hate. Dolores Claiborne is my most hated. I had a signed first edition of that book. Any other I would have treasured. This one I sold. I hated that book! Gerald's game is my second. King is my favorite author. He owns an 8 foot tall bookshelf of hard and soft backs from forever ago! But, sometimes I think He stinks! Not a biggie! Some of the books I hate are loved by many! "Weirdos!" I mostly love big book Stephen King. I thought of I hate this fucking book. I have a few King books that I truly hate. Dolores Claiborne is my most hated. I had a signed first edition of that book. Any other I would have treasured. This one I sold. I hated that book! Gerald's game is my second. King is my favorite author. He owns an 8 foot tall bookshelf of hard and soft backs from forever ago! But, sometimes I think He stinks! Not a biggie! Some of the books I hate are loved by many! "Weirdos!" I mostly love big book Stephen King. I thought of saying older S.K., But that would be wrong. His Mercedes trilogy was awesome. I'm happy he wrote it, and I'm so glad that I was lucky enough to read all of it! Sleeping Beauties,.with his son Owen! I'll admit that was about the most satisfied I've been in a very long time!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    DNF 33% Trust me, I really tried. (I chose to watch the movie instead, which is actually great! So if you find yourself stuck like me, tune in to Netflix and save some time)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ People who know me are aware that I’m not much of a re-reader. Sure I’ve read Harry Potter a few times, but it’s not a general practice. When I saw Gerald’s Game was a new Netflix original, I thought I should give it another go. I assumed my mediocre rating was due to the fact that I read this back when I was a wee little high schooler and perhaps my delicate psyche wasn’t equipped to deal with it. About halfway through my second go ‘r Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ People who know me are aware that I’m not much of a re-reader. Sure I’ve read Harry Potter a few times, but it’s not a general practice. When I saw Gerald’s Game was a new Netflix original, I thought I should give it another go. I assumed my mediocre rating was due to the fact that I read this back when I was a wee little high schooler and perhaps my delicate psyche wasn’t equipped to deal with it. About halfway through my second go ‘round I realized . . . . Things might get spoily from here on, so consider yourself warned. The story here is of Jessie and her husband Gerald. Gerald has made big plans to spice up the off-season weekend the two are spending at their lake house . . . . When Jessie decides she’s just not into Gerald’s latest game, he refuses to take no for an answer and Jessie takes matters into her own hands – or feet, as the case may be – and Gerald? Well . . . . “Gerald died before he ever had a chance to climb into the saddle, but he fucked me good and proper just the same.” Leaving Jessie . . . . You’d think being handcuffed to a bed with no one for miles around to hear your screams for help would be bad enough, but since this is Uncle Stevie readers also get to enjoy a visit from the neighborhood stray, as well as Jessie dealing with the demons of what happened during a summer long since past . . . . Not to mention potential things that go bump in the night . . . . Here’s the part where I explain how I had the same (but kinda different) “meh” reaction the second time around. Dear trolls, please remember . . . . I’m actually going to steal a line from my buddy Dan’s Cujo review because it sums things up perfectly . . . . “Basically, it's a fantastic short story wrapped in a soap opera I couldn't give two shits about.” The main plot point of Gerald’s Game is the perfect form of terror for me. I don’t care how a person is trapped – a burning building, a sinking ship, inside a car with a 200 pound rabid St. Bernard trying to murder them, or handcuffed to a bed – the mere idea of not being able to escape gets my heart beating like a rabbit. Some things I didn’t notice when I read this as a kid that I did this time, were that: (1) Jessie wasn’t trapped all that long – I get the initial panic and whatnot, but she really wasn’t going to die if she didn’t get that glass of water right away; (2) was the whole “de-gloving” necessary; or (3) was any of this feasible???? I can’t say I’m curious enough to volunteer to be chained to my bed, but all of the ins and outs of the action seemed pretty far-fetched now that I’m a grown up. As a kid I remember the big reveal of the eclipse being sooooo horrible. Since I’ve been partaking in viewing/reading the “fake news” for a couple of decades now I agree with Jessie’s sentiment . . . “Let’s face it, Jessie thought. I got off with barely a scratch compared to what could have happened . . . what does happen every day . . . I wasn’t the first daughter to ever find a wet spot on the back of her underpants. That’s not to say it was right, or even excusable; it’s just to say that it’s over, and it could have been a lot worse.” Please don’t jump my ass about this because I do realize that every person is different and (thank God) I have nothing personally to compare with Jessie’s experience. But would her mind truly have fractured into as many pieces as it did from this one (disgusting) instance???? And finally, let’s talk about this guy . . . . . I know this worked for some and it was “genius” and blahblahblah, but for me it was another case of no one having the balls to tells King to STFU every once in a while and leave something on the cutting room floor. Good lord, not everything you throw at the wall actually sticks, bro. If Goodreads had half stars I’d bump this one to 2.5 because it was totally average. There’s even a positive here with the hat-tip to Delores Claiborne during the eclipse because I realized THAT is a story that probably deserves another read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Whilst I have read a number of Stephen King books, mostly as a teenager, I was drawn to Gerald’s Game, due to the recent Netflix adaptation. Normally I would prefer to read the novel before the on screen adaptation, but in this case, I watched the screen version first. I enjoyed it immensely and as a result, I was keen to get my hands on the book. I always feel the book provides more depth and goes that one step further than the screen version. Basically, Ger *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Whilst I have read a number of Stephen King books, mostly as a teenager, I was drawn to Gerald’s Game, due to the recent Netflix adaptation. Normally I would prefer to read the novel before the on screen adaptation, but in this case, I watched the screen version first. I enjoyed it immensely and as a result, I was keen to get my hands on the book. I always feel the book provides more depth and goes that one step further than the screen version. Basically, Gerald’s Game is a one person narrative. It revolves around a couple, Gerald and Jessie, who in attempt to reconnect and spice up their sex life, take a trip to their remote holiday cabin and introduce handcuffs to the mix. When Gerald handcuffs Jessie to the bed and begins to act out a fantasy scenario, Jessie gets panicked and this triggers Gerald’s accidental death. What follows is a 28 hour nightmare, as Jessie remains chained to the bed and tries to work out how she can escape and survive this ordeal. With a dead husband, a remote location and stray dog with a penchant for human flesh roaming inside the house, Jessie’s nightmare begins. Then the voices start, the voices of her subconscious and her past coming back to haunt her. Can Jessie escape Gerald’s game?gerald's game film small Boy this was a dark psychological mind twist! Gerald’s Game delivered much more than I expected, it was a deeply confronting character based study and one unsettling book. King’s skill at building and sustaining tension is high from the moment we step into the book, to the close. The atmosphere King portrays in this novel is one of foreboding, despair and ultimately survival. The situation in which King places his main protagonist Jessie, is frighteningly real. The terror in this book comes from the way in which King plonks his reader into the situation at hand. As a result, the reader feels like a bystander in Jessie’s creepy terror room, being handcuffed and physically trapped – with no away out. There is an intense sense of reality that follows Gerald’s Game. For those who turn to King for the horror and gore factor, Gerald’s Game will more than satisfy. Jessie’s attempts at escape and the mysterious presence of a figure known as the ‘bag of bones’ adds a further sense of terror to Jessie’s unfolding nightmare. The key insertion of the stray dog that enjoys a feast or two on Gerald’s body made me avert my eyes from the pages of this novel more than once and recoil in disgust. King’s descriptions ensure that all this plays out very visually in your mind. The horror moments and situations of gore are where King’s writing seems to stand out, it is like he relishes in these aspects of the novel. The timeline of this book is tight, it covers a 28 hour time period, over which Jessie is trapped. It is a plodding style pace, but this suits the tone of the novel. What also made this book a winner for me was the inclusion of flashbacks. Due to the subject matter, it could be confronting for some, but I appreciated how much depth this provided to Jessie’s character. King does go into detail surrounding Jessie’s past which was marred by an incident of sexual abuse and incest. It is graphic and detailed, but it was in line with the story. Characterisation is solid in this novel. King successfully embodies the mind of his main protagonist Jessie very well. Throughout the progression of the novel, we get a firm insight into Jessie’s back story from the trauma of her past through King’s lengthy flashbacks and her present psyche. The novel is titled Gerald’s Game but Gerald is not the main character, he is pivotal to the events that occur and he still crops up in Jessie’s handcuff ordeal in the form of a haunting voice. King also spends time developing his non human characters, such as the stray dog that flits in and out of the story. He also includes the figure of ‘bag of bones’, who for me delivered the book’s true scare factor. Jessie’s family also rounds off the character list and her dad in particular is described in detail. Many of these characters delivered some shock surprises and interesting angles in the book. King definitely had me pleading to find out if Jessie would survive her ordeal. Gerald’s Game was a real page turner and renewed my appreciation for King’s novels, as his more recent ones haven’t quite hit the mark for me. Some readers have remarked on the ending of Gerald’s Game being quite the anti climax, but I thought it was perfect Stephen King. Gerald’s Game was an entertaining puzzle style read and a great psychological study based novel. Be prepared to be taken to some dark places in this novel if you choose to read it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was so hard to finish. However if King had written this book with the whole "space cowboy"-corpse molester-freak angle it would have been sooooo much scarier. I honestly thought Jessie was imagining a man in her home as she was chained up and it turns out a real man was there! If this had been the whole story... Her locked up with this man here and there and she doesn't know if he is real or not... It would have been so much better. Not King's finest... Glad it's over. Would not recomm This book was so hard to finish. However if King had written this book with the whole "space cowboy"-corpse molester-freak angle it would have been sooooo much scarier. I honestly thought Jessie was imagining a man in her home as she was chained up and it turns out a real man was there! If this had been the whole story... Her locked up with this man here and there and she doesn't know if he is real or not... It would have been so much better. Not King's finest... Glad it's over. Would not recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    eatsleepreadreview

    3 Stars Why didn’t I like this book like other Stephen King books hmm….. I suppose one of the main problems was that I couldn’t relate to the characters as I’m only 24 – I didn’t feel connected to these characters in anyway and found myself not really caring about what was going to happen to them. "Some nightmares never completely ended." I read this quickly but I didn’t find it that exciting and I think I kept hoping for more – towards the end it did feel a little disappointing. It’s not like me 3 Stars Why didn’t I like this book like other Stephen King books hmm….. I suppose one of the main problems was that I couldn’t relate to the characters as I’m only 24 – I didn’t feel connected to these characters in anyway and found myself not really caring about what was going to happen to them. "Some nightmares never completely ended." I read this quickly but I didn’t find it that exciting and I think I kept hoping for more – towards the end it did feel a little disappointing. It’s not like me to criticise the KING but this was only good for me and not great – still well written and enjoyable but not as shocking or satisfying as other King books. I think this is my least favourite Stephen King book to date (I haven’t read them all yet! I’m slacking!). I wouldn’t recommend this book as there is so many better King books unless you have to read them all then GO FOR IT!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bill Khaemba

    UPDATE: The adaptation was phenomenal!!! Captured the tone of the book, well acted & absolutely unsettling “If anyone ever asks you what panic is, now you can tell them: an emotional blank spot that leaves you feeling as if you've been sucking on a mouthful of pennies.” I still believe that this is one of King’s best and most terrifying books ever. He managed to put the characters and the reader in one of the scariest situation, even after re-reading this I still hold my UPDATE: The adaptation was phenomenal!!! Captured the tone of the book, well acted & absolutely unsettling “If anyone ever asks you what panic is, now you can tell them: an emotional blank spot that leaves you feeling as if you've been sucking on a mouthful of pennies.” I still believe that this is one of King’s best and most terrifying books ever. He managed to put the characters and the reader in one of the scariest situation, even after re-reading this I still hold my breath and anxious throughout. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] This Gif scares the shit out of me!![/caption] Jessie & Gerald decide to venture back to their cabin by the lake to sort of spice up their marriage. Gerald sort of has other plans to elevate their sexual fantasy and it involves handcuffing Jessie to the bed. Jessie is intrigued but it soon turns into one dark twisted situation that will bring back demons from the past and shadows will become alive. ( It is best not to read the synopsis and just experience it but be warned a lot of trigger warnings )   It was one of those ( how can this get any worse situations ), it was bloody, gruesome and it made me wonder how King can put himself through such a book because this requires some balls of steel . I was flinching the whole time and the vivid description of the horror that can happen to one human being both physical & psychological is just disturbing, to say the least. His characterization shines that he even gives animals and inanimate objects so much life. “men were not so much gifted with penises as cursed with them.” This book isn’t for the faint-hearted some subject matter that is explored will leave the reader shocked. Also this book kind of crosses paths with another of his well-known and amazing book Dolores Claiborne but it’s more terrifying. I would highly recommend it especially for Halloween or just for the shock factor. P.S. It's so good that it has been optioned for a Netflix movie and the casting has already been set ( SEE HERE )

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    ”...but when a person is alone in the dark, all bets are off. Men and women alone in the dark are like open doors, Jessie, and if they call out or scream for help, who knows what dread things may answer?” “Alone in the dark” is the key phrase up there. If there was a thing I remembered from the first time I read Gerald's Game, besides Jessie being handcuffed to the bed, it was the sun going down on her day. Night is coming. The thing that makes this book good, scary even, is realizing ”...but when a person is alone in the dark, all bets are off. Men and women alone in the dark are like open doors, Jessie, and if they call out or scream for help, who knows what dread things may answer?” “Alone in the dark” is the key phrase up there. If there was a thing I remembered from the first time I read Gerald's Game, besides Jessie being handcuffed to the bed, it was the sun going down on her day. Night is coming. The thing that makes this book good, scary even, is realizing early in that Jessie's probably not going anywhere, and therefore you aren't either. It's just the room, her predicament, and her fears – which become ours. I'm not scared of the dark. I was as a kid. That's different though. But there were moments while reading Gerald's Game the first time, that I was scared again. Scared for Jessie - i.e. me. The second time around was different of course. I knew what lay ahead this time, yet surprisingly there was still a little fear inside, because I had forgotten the order of things – and forgetting makes for new experiences. This time around though, it wasn't the boogeyman I enjoyed most, it was Jessie's past. Locked to the bed, there is only the present, the coming dark, and her past. No other characters here really. So it's her past that will speak. Jessie's working through the one thing she's suppressed and avoided all her life, the reason she has pushed away anyone who has gotten too close. That little girl of eleven is talking to her now, and they are helping one another. I found that this is where the heart of the book lay. Her weakness is also her strength.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    Games are meant to be fun, but the one Gerald has concocted for himself and Jessie turns out to be a real bad scene.  Jessie is not having a good time, and it isn't going to matter much to Gerald one way or another.  The voices in Jessie's head are complicating things, advising, criticizing, chastising.  She is caught short, reliving an eclipse, dreading the dark.  With her very sanity at sake, Jessie does what must be done to free herself. Games are meant to be fun, but the one Gerald has concocted for himself and Jessie turns out to be a real bad scene.  Jessie is not having a good time, and it isn't going to matter much to Gerald one way or another.  The voices in Jessie's head are complicating things, advising, criticizing, chastising.  She is caught short, reliving an eclipse, dreading the dark.  With her very sanity at sake, Jessie does what must be done to free herself.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Niezgoda

    UTTERLY PAINFULLLLLLL Y’all this was PAINFUL. I’m talking like having to sit on the tarmac for 3 hours with no AC in the middle of desert summer heat and the flight attendant won’t let you get up to pee!! Yes this book is HAVING TO HOLD YOUR PEE FOR 3 HOURS BAD. AND YES. I AM BOLDING A LOT. BECAUSE... EMOTIONSSSSS! Now Gerald’s Game isn’t my first rodeo with Stephen King... I am well aware of this man’s affinity for descriptions. BUT I KID YOU NOT... he spent 12 pages describing a sample size cont UTTERLY PAINFULLLLLLL Y’all this was PAINFUL. I’m talking like having to sit on the tarmac for 3 hours with no AC in the middle of desert summer heat and the flight attendant won’t let you get up to pee!! Yes this book is HAVING TO HOLD YOUR PEE FOR 3 HOURS BAD. AND YES. I AM BOLDING A LOT. BECAUSE... EMOTIONSSSSS! Now Gerald’s Game isn’t my first rodeo with Stephen King... I am well aware of this man’s affinity for descriptions. BUT I KID YOU NOT... he spent 12 pages describing a sample size container of Nivea hand cream. Nope, sorry, can’t deal. But it didn’t start off irritating... I mean it was gruesome, but interesting. Wife and husband are getting kinky. There’s bondage involved... but he dies of a heart attack mid “playtime” and she’s still handcuffed to the bed with no key. (This was also before you could ask Siri or Alexa to call for help. That’s right Gen Zers ... there was a time when robots couldn’t save us!) Anyway, Jessie (main character) starts freaking out and having a psychotic break down - rehashing a lot of trauma. And that’s where it got cringy. LIKE BAD CRINGY. Like why did you go there cringy. Like I had to physically stop reading because HARD PASS NOT OKAY. There are just some plot “twists” that should never be fictionalized. Because they are just too horrific. Ooph. And above all the book was down right circular. Because Jessie is devolving, everything she thinks is redundant, and at some point you’re gonna go “OMG MOVE ON!” Here’s the deal: SK had an opportunity here to make a profound statement about childhood traumas. That they do significantly impact an adult even decades after the fact. But alas, he did NOT seize that and offered up a piss poor ending that added sooooo much salt to the wound. So bah. Eh, ew, nope! This gets 2 gracious stars from me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    This is only a second book I've read, written by the incredible author Stephen King. And I now fully understand why he's so successful, why so many of his books got picked for movies. The way he describes things, situations, feelings, people… it's the way every author should do it. It's so detailed, so real you can almost smell it, feel it, feel the fear, the horror, the pain. There were parts in this book, that were so disgusting, wrong, awful that I had to take breaks reading it. It was too re This is only a second book I've read, written by the incredible author Stephen King. And I now fully understand why he's so successful, why so many of his books got picked for movies. The way he describes things, situations, feelings, people… it's the way every author should do it. It's so detailed, so real you can almost smell it, feel it, feel the fear, the horror, the pain. There were parts in this book, that were so disgusting, wrong, awful that I had to take breaks reading it. It was too real, I couldn't handle it. This happened two times. The first time was when I read about the thing that happened to her long ago. That thing also shows what kind of mental marks can stay on a victim afterwards. How this really hurts them in so many ways and you can't run away from it. Oh, it's just so wrong. The second time it happened, when I read about the thing she had to do, to rescue herself from this situation she was in. Honestly, I almost threw up. I was constantly moving in my chair nervously, I said ''Oh, noooo,'' out loud..it was just too disgusting. This was so raw. And this is exactly what a book should do for you. It should portray things you read about so real for you, that you feel like you're there, like you see it happening, like it's happening to you. And this is why I love to read. Books open a new world for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    4.5 Gerald's Game really took me by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting, I knew it was essentially a one-character novel where a woman handcuffed to the bed has to deal with the external pressures of getting finding a way to get out of her situation, but it also dealt with the internal issues and memories she has been repressing for decades. So right up front, one of the only things that I didn't like about the story was the ending. It seemed to stretch out in an unnecessary way and expla 4.5 Gerald's Game really took me by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting, I knew it was essentially a one-character novel where a woman handcuffed to the bed has to deal with the external pressures of getting finding a way to get out of her situation, but it also dealt with the internal issues and memories she has been repressing for decades. So right up front, one of the only things that I didn't like about the story was the ending. It seemed to stretch out in an unnecessary way and explain things that I, as the reader, didn't think really needed an explanation. It was very close to being a five star book from me if it hadn't been for those last couple of chapters. There were so many things this book did right. The body horror elements in here actually made me a feel a little dizzy. I loved the dream sequences and the voices in Jessie's head that represent different parts of her. I thought King did a great job with the traumatic event she went through as a child. We have hints of it and the beginning and pretty much know what happened, but when Jessie's really gets into what happened and bringing in her new adult perspective to the situation. It's such a painful memory, and it's presented in such a way where all of her reactions made sense to me. How she was manipulated into feeling the way she did and that it was something she couldn't tell anyone. This was a fantastic story and really gave me everything I wanted out of a character study. Highly recommend it! TW: sexual abuse of a child, marital rape

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was a hard one to rate. I'm going with 3 stars but I don't know if it deserves 3 stars. My feelings about this book were all over the place. At the beginning of the book I was bored and uninterested but about 100 pages in I became completely addicted but towards the end the story lost steam again. So I'm giving Gerald's Game 3 stars but I don't feel great about it. Gerald's Game is probably one of the most polarizing Stephen King novels I've ever read. The reviews are all over the place, wh This was a hard one to rate. I'm going with 3 stars but I don't know if it deserves 3 stars. My feelings about this book were all over the place. At the beginning of the book I was bored and uninterested but about 100 pages in I became completely addicted but towards the end the story lost steam again. So I'm giving Gerald's Game 3 stars but I don't feel great about it. Gerald's Game is probably one of the most polarizing Stephen King novels I've ever read. The reviews are all over the place, which after reading makes sense because I too felt all over the place reading it. Gerald's Game is without giving too much away about a woman who's sex game with her husband goes horribly awry. In order to tell you what Gerald's Game is really about I'd have to hide this whole review as one big spoiler. What I will say is imagine being force to think about your most deeply buried secrets with no way to suppress them. No rec because I still don't know how I feel about it. A Book For All Seasons: Find a book with a name in its title Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Read a book from the bottom of your TBR pile

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    YIKES! This is one scary, creepy and unsettling book! Also sometimes disturbing, this horror story has many angles and surprises all the way to the unexpected ending. Quite a page-turner.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    If you were to take a room full of Stephen King fans, hose them down, and ask them what they consider to be the worst Stephen King novel, many if not most of them would probably pick Gerald's Game. And I can see why, though this book about a woman who is handcuffed to her bed (kinky sex game and all that) when her husband dies of a heart attack has its moments. Jessie Burlingame, the book's ensnared heroine, spends almost the whole time handcuffed to a bed. Geralyn says she once tried to read the If you were to take a room full of Stephen King fans, hose them down, and ask them what they consider to be the worst Stephen King novel, many if not most of them would probably pick Gerald's Game. And I can see why, though this book about a woman who is handcuffed to her bed (kinky sex game and all that) when her husband dies of a heart attack has its moments. Jessie Burlingame, the book's ensnared heroine, spends almost the whole time handcuffed to a bed. Geralyn says she once tried to read the book, but decided to quit when she peeked ahead a few hundred pages and found that Jessie was still handcuffed and still hadn't left the bed, much less the room the story starts in. Indeed, King moves things along at the rate of a peppy glacier, making generous use of flashbacks to explore Jessie's shall we say "problems." The funny thing is that I listened to this on audiobook, a good chunk of it while sitting in Mandy's nursery and rocking her to sleep. I would often drift off myself, awaking to find that half an hour had passed while I dozed in the glider with headphones on, but I wouldn't need to rewind the audiobook because next to nothing had happened. King is obviously in page count padding mode throughout this entire book. Such padding isn't unusual for him, but here it's so egregious as to butt up against ridiculous. The other major facet of this book to criticize is the sharp left turn King takes in the last quarter of the volume, wrapping things up by narrating a letter from Jessie to an old college roommate. This chunk of the novel is completely incongruous with the part that precedes it, to the point where it seems like a separate story tacked on to --you guessed it-- pad out the page count. I'm not sure why King decided to take this route, but it totally didn't work for me. That all said, there are some genuinely creepy and horrible scenes in Gerald's Game --the kind that make its place in the "Horror" section of the bookstore appropriate. At one point late in the still night while chained to the bed Jessie wakes up to find some tall, silent figure standing in the corner. She's scared out of her mind (almost literally) and tries to plead with the figure, but it just stands there, watching her. I think most of us have woken up in the middle of the night to see some assembly of shadows that we mistake for an intruder, and even when our rational mind identifies it for what it is --a piece of furniture, a coat hanging from a peg, whatever-- another part of our mind refuses to believe it. What made this scene particularly effective for me was that I was sitting in Mandy's nursery with the lights completely out when I listened to it, and I could look in the corner and almost see what King was describing. For me, this scene even rivaled his penultimate scary scene: the lady in the bathtub from The Shining. And then don't even get me started about how Jessie makes her final, desperate attempt at escaping the handcuffs. I was literally squirming the whole time I listened to that. I thought I was going to have to fast forward. So on balance, while there's a few genuinely effective scenes in this whole affair, its super slow pacing and bizarre change of structure towards the end make it hard for me to recommend to anyone not trying to assemble a complete Stephen King library. There's lots to choose from that's better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    If you are into handcuffs and sex you'll love and then immediately hate this book. I guarantee that after reading this book you will never willingly use real handcuffs again. Leave it to King to ruin another favorite pasttime. If you are into handcuffs and sex you'll love and then immediately hate this book. I guarantee that after reading this book you will never willingly use real handcuffs again. Leave it to King to ruin another favorite pasttime.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    WARNING: Here, there be language. If naughty words offend you, putter on past. GERALD'S GAME is best if you know nothing about it. If you plan to read it, skip this review. It is also the only King novel that I'm sure will never see film. And I kind of like that about it. Stephen King took a huge chance with GERALD'S GAME. First off, this is a three-hundred-plus page novel about a woman handcuffed to a bed. Even in a master storyteller's hands, a tale like this can become tedious. The novel do WARNING: Here, there be language. If naughty words offend you, putter on past. GERALD'S GAME is best if you know nothing about it. If you plan to read it, skip this review. It is also the only King novel that I'm sure will never see film. And I kind of like that about it. Stephen King took a huge chance with GERALD'S GAME. First off, this is a three-hundred-plus page novel about a woman handcuffed to a bed. Even in a master storyteller's hands, a tale like this can become tedious. The novel does suffer from a metric fuck-ton of repetition, which is the only reason this wasn't a five star read for me. I first read this novel the year it was released, when it came in the mail through my mother's book club subscription. I was young, probably twelve or thirteen, and most of the sex stuff was lost on me because I didn't understand what was going on. Nowadays, I'm a thirty-three-year-old boy, and the sex stuff was about as interesting to me as changing a shitty diaper. So why did I enjoy this book? Three reasons. The dog, the de-gloving, and the corpse-fucker. Intrigued? Good. Read the book. Appalled? Skip this book. This is one of those books that a great many readers will hate. It hops through the years of this woman's life like a broken time machine. There is no rhyme or reason to when these flashbacks occur. This isn't an every-other-chapter, past/present/past/present, type of deal. You'll be plodding along in the present and then all of a sudden you're in the past. If that sounds annoying, skip this book. I didn't mind it. King's vulgarisms even caught this foul-mouthed sonuvabitch off guard. More than once, the phrase "A woman is just a life support system for a cunt," was used in one form or another. And I'm talking more than ten times. A sanitary napkin is even referred to as a cunt-diaper. Not in dialogue, mind you, but in the narrative. If you're turned off by that, you know what which book not to read. Then you have the tie-in with one of my favorite King novels, DOLORES CLAIBORNE. Both novels were published in the same year and have similar themes (child molestation and the after effects). Oddly enough, the main character's recollection of an event that happens to her during an eclipse of the sun in 1963 runs parallel to Dolores pushing her husband down the well. I thought this was cool, but I'm biased. There's no reason why the MC has this connection with Dolores. None whatsoever. I'm actually shocked this stayed in the book after editing. Then again, most readers will tell you Stephen King hasn't had a good editor since the original, chopped up version of THE STAND. Be forewarned. I'm an odd duck. I have strange tastes, and will completely ignore huge plot problems if I find the overall story palatable. In other words, if I find the subject enjoyable, anything the author says goes. It can happen because they said it could happen, that sort of thing. In this book, the three things I listed above were well worth all the repetition, time jumps, and plot holes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This, along with Lisey's Story, is my least favourite SK's novel. The story pretty much consists of Jesse being handcuffed to a bed after her husband drops dead. First comes the hunger and thirst then the hallucinations and the feeling of someone watching her. It's very hard to have a story with pretty much one character but this in no way grabbed me or held my attention. There are some pretty nasty themes in the book so its not for the faint hearted. It did drag a bit towards the end and felt it This, along with Lisey's Story, is my least favourite SK's novel. The story pretty much consists of Jesse being handcuffed to a bed after her husband drops dead. First comes the hunger and thirst then the hallucinations and the feeling of someone watching her. It's very hard to have a story with pretty much one character but this in no way grabbed me or held my attention. There are some pretty nasty themes in the book so its not for the faint hearted. It did drag a bit towards the end and felt it should have ended sooner than it did 2/5.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Not one of my favorites, but next in line to read for my goal of King stories in order of release. Not completely bad but King has written much better stories.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    A psychological thriller from Stephen King published 1992. A disturbing 4 stars. How much tension can be produced with one character on a bed in one room? The short answer to that question is ‘if you’re Stephen King heaps’. Jessie and Gerald have been married for twenty years and to say that their sex life has become routine would be an understatement. Well for Gerald that’s the case anyway and it’s time to spice it up a little. Gerald has a plan, so he phones Jessie from work to go with him to thei A psychological thriller from Stephen King published 1992. A disturbing 4 stars. How much tension can be produced with one character on a bed in one room? The short answer to that question is ‘if you’re Stephen King heaps’. Jessie and Gerald have been married for twenty years and to say that their sex life has become routine would be an understatement. Well for Gerald that’s the case anyway and it’s time to spice it up a little. Gerald has a plan, so he phones Jessie from work to go with him to their summer house for a little spicy sex. It’s out of season so there will be no one around to interrupt their little adventure. Gerald’s plan involves Jessie being handcuffed to the bed whilst Gerald has his way with her. At first Jessie agrees but lying almost naked and handcuffed to their bed she decides that the whole thing is just too demeaning and tells Gerald enough if enough and she want this game to stop. Gerald thinking this is all part of Jessie’s role playing carries on regardless. In her frustration at Gerald’s inability to understand her sincerity Jessie kicks out at Gerald and connects with his nuts and his chest. Gerald falls to the floor gasping for breath and turning very pale. After screaming at Gerald for half an hour and getting no answer Jessie come to the realisation that Gerald could be dead. So here we are, Jessie is sure Gerald is dead, she is naked and hand cuffed to the bed and there’s not a sole around for miles. Time for a little introspection. Jessie has never felt so destitute and vulnerable than she does right here right now. Inside Jessie’s head there is a reservoir of horrible experiences that even she refuses to give voice to let alone share them with anybody else. But against her wishes voices start to invade Jessie’s thoughts and a life time of suppressed emotional trauma comes tumbling out of Jessie’s head. Apart from confronting all her past demons Jessie’s need to escape the inescapable will have you finding any excuse to turn just one more page. So much tension from so few characters it’s quite the feat and is simply S.K at his best.

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