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Gerald's Game

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  86,780 ratings  ·  1,850 reviews
A different kind of bedtime story from Stephen King, as a game of seduction between a husband and wife ends in death. But the nightmare has only just begun...

On a warm weekday in October, in the lovely summer home of Gerald and Jessie Burlingame, a game is about to begin. It's a game to be played between husband and wife, and a game that has Jessie being innocently handcuf
Mass Market Paperback, 445 pages
Published July 1st 1993 by Signet (first published January 1st 1992)
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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
Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 17, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Trudi
Shelves: horror
”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 ...more
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 ...more
Jeff Veesenmeyer
Mar 28, 2007 Jeff Veesenmeyer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
This isn't a ground-breaking book. I can't tell you what about it I loved. It's gory, it's graphic, it's disturbing. It totally appealed to my sense of horror and fear. In fact... now that I think about it, this book may be part of the reason that I developed an OCD where I had to check all the doors and windows every night and was convinced when I'd wake up in the middle of the night that there was someone in the house... But hey, if a book can weave its way into your head like that, it has to ...more
Mar 25, 2007 Ali rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
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. ...more
I hated this book the first time I read it, and hated it more the second time because I actually understood why I hated it.
It is SO overwrought and drawn out. Every second of the main character's struggle is described in extreme detail; her inability to think clearly, the way she freaks out about every single little thing, the way her tiniest little motions are described in aching, unrealistic detail as she over-thinks the whole ordeal... this makes the book nigh unreadable. It's extremely frust
3.5 Stars

Being a lifelong King fan has its ups and downs, for sure, but it always makes things interesting. Like the time that this book was confiscated by a "concerned teacher" when I brought it to school with me. I think I was somewhere around 14 or 15ish, and had already been reading King for 5-6 years by that point. But she didn't care - this teacher didn't think Stephen King was appropriate reading material, that he wrote trash, and that I was better off reading, I dunno, Milton or somethin
Angel Gelique
Trapped photo: trapped depression-1.jpg

Jessie and Gerald have planned a trip to their summer house on the lake, even though it's October. Gerald has one thing on his agenda: Playing his games. This time, his games include a set of steel handcuffs. Jessie has agreed to the "fun." But once handcuffed to the bed posts, she starts having second thoughts. She tells Gerald to release her. At first it seems as though he may comply. But then he completely disregards her pleas. Angry, Jessie believes that he is feigning ignorance--that he kn
One of those can I have my time back please novels. The only book by King I absolutely HATED!!!
Morgue Anne
Apr 17, 2007 Morgue Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Stephen King Fan
I'm not easily scared, but parts of this book actually had me check my closet! A creepy recounting of a mythical woman who finds herself handcuffed to a bed in the same room as her dead husband. Amazing tale of survival and the terrifying thoughts that cross our mind in our darkest hours. If you're a fan of Stephen King, then you'll love this one. Deffinitly one of his finer works.
Aj the Ravenous Reader
I know Stephen King is a legendary author especially when we're talking about the horror genre. I know for a fact that many horror movies were adapted from his well written novels but I definitely would not want to see a movie adaptation of this one. This book is just gross. The images used are just nauseating. Perhaps Stephen King deserves credit for being able to create for his readers super vivid imagery, you can just see how horrible it is in the reader's faces. This is why, I tagged this as ...more
This was my 3rd read of Gerald's Game... Read it back in 1992 when it was published and then listened to unabridged audiobook back in 1994 when my husband and I took a road trip -- with Maine being one of our destinations.... It was as I remembered... A bit different than standard SK... A big psychological element... A bizarre premise to start out the story... a creepy villain.... I know that this one has mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed --- although not my favorite SK!!!
Wayne Barrett
I have commonly heard this book being referred to as 'disturbing' and now that I have read it I wholeheartedly agree.
It is disturbing, but for a story in which nearly the entire plot is focused on one person in one room, there are a lot of layers to Geralds Game. Our victim, Jessie, faces a physical nightmare that is compounded by psychological nightmares that stem from repressed memories of past abuse. It's bad enough that she has to overcome her restraints, those wrapped around her wrists and
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Lindsay Crouse – Good narration.



The research for this story must have been really, really, interesting! I wish I’d been there. I wonder if he took photos…home movies maybe???

Dolores Claiborne and Gerald’s Game were written in tandem, and were intended to be a two-volume set called In the Path of the Eclipse.

The first time I read this book, I completely missed the connection to Dolores Claibourne, so I was interested to read it again. Unfortunately, it just didn’t
That is definitely the most horrific King novel I've read. I need a hot shower, a cold glass of water(or 5), and to never, ever turn the lights out again. 5 seriously disturbing stars!
This is only a second book I read, written by the incredible author Stephen King. And I now fully understand why is he 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 ...more
Jun 29, 2007 Lindsay rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: King fans, horror fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 does
Oh I hated, hated, hated this stupid book. See, I figured, he's such a heavyweight, I really ought to give him a try, right? So I asked my then-roommate, who loved him, to give me something that wouldn't make me piss myself in terror (having seen like six seconds of the movie Pet Semetary as a child and nearly losing my mind from nightmares). I think she thought that this would be a good one since it doesn't have ghosts or possessed people or whatever. But good grief, normal-scary is sooooo much ...more
Adam Light
I've read all of Stephen King's books, some of them more than twice, except this one - until now. I bought this the first day it was on the shelf, so many years ago, but I just never read it. I don't know how I let it go for so long.
Now, I can finally say I read it, and I'm very happy I did.
Gerald's Game is truly one of King's most underrated books.
Horrifying on so many levels.
Oct 23, 2012 Traci rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone with a strong stomach
Recommended to Traci by: a jerk
Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of a million pairs of legs slamming closed, a million "not tonight, honey, I have a headache"s, as men everywhere stare at their newly purchased, shiny handcuffs and their newly purchased, no holes in the waistband or crotch Jockey shorts, realizing with a sinking feeling that no, they will not be having any sex ever again, thank you very much, Mr. King.

Okay, maybe not. But I suppose it's a possibility--I mean, I know people who can't walk past storm drain
First of all, I don't like reviews that just re-write the synopsis, so I'm not going to tell you what happens in this book. Secondly, I will touch on a few things. Thirdly, I think the people that actually enjoy this book have to be just about if not more demented on a level that Stephen King is on. For someone to find this novel truly terrorizing, you have to be scared of real things and not fake things such as killer clowns that turn into ginormous spiders, or a haunted mansion that makes you ...more
Peter Meredith
Stream of consciousness: So far, I wouldn't recommend it. The main character's voice is jarringly unfeminine. It's not that she's butch or a tom boy, it's just that if a few words were substituted, the reader would easily believe the character is a man. Also it's over written. As an example, the main character is chained to a bed and she spends 11 pages trying to get a glass of water from a shelf. I didn't really care after awhile (note: I'm only 92 pages in and it might get better. Fingers cros ...more
Jack Dixon
Excellent, terrifying story and quite the nail-biter, edge of your seat. I loved the main character in all her flaws and rooted for her all the way. I wanted to cry, applaud and then cheer after reading. More more more, Mr. King!
Art Griswold
From the reviews already posted and things I've read from other sites, this is the most polarizing book King has ever written.
To some it is their favorite, they love it so much they shout from the rooftops for it to be made into a movie.
To others it is a piece of crap pushed out after a runny chili dinner by a man simply stealing our money.

Ugh, I cannot imagine a movie I would avoid more than this. Ninety minutes of a woman cuffed to a bed? No thanks. It reads as a bad porn gone even badder. Fro
Having forgotten the book I was actually reading when I went to work one day a couple of weeks ago, my co-worker tossed this one at me. I made it through maybe 150 pages before tossing it aside in disgust and boredom. For one thing, the book begins with a pretty awful scene of near-rape (I can take any amount of gore one tosses at me, but I don't do rape scenes well) and then hints at other instances of molestation and rape in the main character Jessie's past. It just seemed a little voyeuristic ...more
OK - so I am not a huge Stephen King reader... I have enjoyed a couple of TV mini-series and movies in the past, but his brand of horror is not generally my thing. I don't even remember HOW I got this book as the copy I have doesn't even contain a synopsis so I wouldn't have picked it up myself, but somehow it found its way to my book shelf and I read it. Even though, based on the other reviews, it seems like Stephen King fans weren't particularly impressed with this book - I really liked it.

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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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