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Gerald's Game

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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  78,927 ratings  ·  1,675 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...
Kindle Edition, 436 pages
Published (first published 1992)
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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
...more
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
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.
Alissa
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
Ali
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
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
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Stephanie
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
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Susan
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.
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 ...more
Neja
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
Lindsay
Jun 29, 2007 Lindsay rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, horror fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
oriana
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
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.
Paige
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
Traci
Oct 23, 2012 Traci rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
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
...more
Natalie
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
Trudy
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.

The
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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
Kelley
Oh Stephen, you had me at, well, you didn't really have me with this book. One of the things that I've always enjoyed, and found the scariest, of King stories is the possibility that a woman could find herself handcuffed to a bed, at the summer house, in the off season, and the hubby keels over dead. What are all the things that could possibly happen?

The story opens with Jessie and Gerald skipping out for a romantic day at their summer house on the lake. Things are going great (not really) until
...more
Natacha Martins
O livro é tão somente isto: medo, medo e mais medo. É angustiante ler as fases pelas quais Jessie vai passando: a esperança seguida de um medo, racional ou irracional, as alucinações, as dores, o desespero, bem como todos os traumas passados que Jessie julgava esquecidos e que vai ser "obrigada" a recordar.
O livro é muito bom eu, pelo menos, gostei imenso. Na minha óptica, os livros do Stephen King podem ser divididos em dois tipos: os de terror psicológico, que mexem com a nossa psique e com as
...more
Spencer Cox
“Gerald's Game” is a nasty little book that is much smarter than its joyfully lurid premise would lead one to believe. Trying to save their failing marriage with a little touch of kink, our heroine's life is imperiled when her husband's sudden, fatal heart attack leaves her handcuffed to a bed wearing only a tiny pair of lace panties. The brilliance of King is to use this scenario to explore the mechanics of abuse, which he seems to understand at a deep level. Every single character – even a pas ...more
L.G. Estrella
I can understand the appeal of this book. The situation it describes is certainly creepy enough: a woman handcuffed when an attempt add a little spice to the bedroom goes awry. Many of the resulting events do have King's trademark creepiness, but I found myself unable to really enjoy this book the way I have so many of his others. For one, it feels too long. There is also an inordinate amount of attention paid to minor details (understandable since the main character is handcuffed, but still, no ...more
Emma Darcy
Warning- Spoilers

Ok, so I'm torn about this. I really was not comfortable with the descriptions of molestation- which often strayed to inappropriately sexy instead of creepy. Does that make sense? When you're writing about incest and molestation, maybe don't seem like you're enjoying it so much. You're not writing a letter to Penthouse. It's the same feeling I get in almost all of King's work because there's always something- the extra detail that crosses the line. The little girl in the yellow
...more
Rishika S.
The first thing that anyone reading this review should know is that I'm a scaredy cat. I can't watch horror films and although I have thoroughly enjoyed the few psychological thrillers that I've read, they've always given me nightmares for a while after. So clearly, having heard all that is said about Stephen King's specific brand of horror, I had to stay away. I had made an attempt to read Bag of Bones, but got too scared to continue past the first ten percent. That being said, I'd always assum ...more
Jenn
The story is one of King's most compelling: Jessie Burlingame's husband Gerald enjoys kinky sex games with his wife. Actually, he probably depends on them. When the Burlingames try out their handcuff game down in the house by deserted Kashwakamack Lake, Jessie decides she's had enough. She experiences a flash from her childhood (another game she didn't like), and kicks out, rebelling both against her husband and her past. Gerald suffers a fatal heart attack, falling to the floor. And Jessie is s ...more
Jacob
Jacob Thielemier
Doctor Baltz
Pre-AP English 10
9 November 2008
Gerald’s Game by Stephen King
In the book Gerald’s Game by Stephen King the setting makes the book. What I mean by this is that if the story would have taken place in a city or more populated place the story could not have happened. But since the setting is in a house on the wrong side of the lake where the house is the only structure in more than 3 miles, it sets up a great place for this novel to take place. There is no one within mile
...more
Rebecca
May 29, 2008 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy a good scare
Recommended to Rebecca by: No one in particular
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Cici-lee
This is one of my favorite books I've ever read! I've read so many books in my day that I forget most stories I read but this book in particular is one I always remember and will always be one of the most twisted,awesome favorite stories of mine. For one the fact this women is chained to the bed while her dead husband lays on the ground below her, the handcuff keys are on the other side of the room and their is a black dog that keeps coming in and ripping her husbands limbs and face off each tim ...more
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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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