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Gerald's Game

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  102,471 Ratings  ·  2,282 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 May 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 liked it  ·  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
Sep 23, 2015 Mario rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Mandy Crider
Jun 01, 2016 Mandy Crider rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 07, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, read-2013
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.
Oh my gosh. So good! I bought this book for a quarter--and it was the best darn quarter I ever spent! What would be a pretty boring subject to work with in most writer's hands, is a true page turner in King's. It's full of psychological and physical tension the whole way through (with some majorly gross scenes, and creepy ones that make you want to sleep with your light on!).

The majority of the book (about 3/4) is just one woman, chained to a bed after her husband dies playing a sex game she de
Mar 25, 2007 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 06, 2008 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jeff Veesenmeyer
Mar 28, 2007 Jeff Veesenmeyer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2007 Alissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Bill Khaemba

“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"]cemetaryThis Gif scares the shit out of me!![/caption]

Oct 20, 2016 PirateSteve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The regularity in which Stephen King writes 3 plus and 4 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
Nov 30, 2008 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2016 orsodimondo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Lo spunto è interessante, promette bene: purtroppo non mantiene affatto.
Si tratta di un'idea da racconto, non dovrebbe andare oltre poche decine di pagine.


Invece King la tira in lungo e in largo, e questa edizione italiana peggiora tutto: 300 pagine fitte fitte rendono la lettura una fatica, la traduzione è abborracciata, la copertina orrenda.

Immagino che la scelta di dilatare oltre misura una storia come questa sia dovuta a ragioni commerciali, il romanzo s
Nov 07, 2008 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of those can I have my time back please novels. The only book by King I absolutely HATED!!!
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
Feb 18, 2016 Jaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another one of those King novels that thwart the expectations of its premise and reputation. I was surprised how rich and dynamic this story was, even though there is only one character who is chained to a bedpost all alone in a remote cabin. Well maybe not all alone. On the floor beside her is her dead husband, and then there are of course her Thoughts, that take the form of some very distinct and real (and well-meaning?) Voices in her head, and add to that a disturbing Unresolved Past that she ...more
Morgue Anne
Apr 17, 2007 Morgue Anne rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Wayne Barrett
Jan 13, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, stephen-king, 2015
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
Oct 31, 2016 Neja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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 ...more
Bill Khaemba

Women alone in the dark are like open doors... and if they cry out for help, who knows what dread things may answer

I honestly don't know what i expected going into this novel, but Goddamn!!! Stephen King did it again. Goosebumps, looking over my shoulder, always in a well lit room and jolly I was scared shitless. Sometimes I thought if continuing with the book was good idea, for my own mental health and when a book does that to you,
Mar 21, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jan 28, 2015 Kirstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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!
Aug 06, 2015 C.W. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing - one of Stephen King's strong suits is giving an in-depth look into the mind and life of a specific individual, which he does in this - but just really drawn out and unnecessary at a lot of times. Certain parts were just too much. The last 1/4 of this seemed to come completely from left field and was just really out of place. He should've ended it right before that part started. Honestly probably still would've gotten three stars, though. Well written I think, and well narrated, bu ...more
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
Thomas Strömquist
Number 29 in my long-term project that is still a re-read, but will actually this year come to encompass books that I haven't read before. My greatest surprise this far - I actually entertained thoughts about skipping this (my very loose thoughts about how this marathon would be performed included skipping the ones that I read not too long ago). However, this was published in 1992 and I read it some time between that and, say, 1995. I really couldn't claim that 20+ years was that recent, so I de ...more
Janie Johnson
Oct 13, 2015 Janie Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I decided to read this book for the season and I had not read it yet so I thought it would be good book to read for spook season. I am glad that I finally got to this one though because finally I found a book that creeped me out sufficiently enough.

In this book we have Jessie and her husband who get away to their cabin in a pretty remote part of Maine for some kinky play time. Jessie finds herself handcuffed to the bed and before things take off in a way she is not comfortable her husband dies l
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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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“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.” 50 likes
“Listening to it was like having a mud-slimed piece of silk drawn lightly back and forth across her face.” 7 likes
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