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Gerald's Game

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  140,788 ratings  ·  4,459 reviews

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...

Hardcover, 332 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Smithmark Publishers (first published May 1992)
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Louise Phillipson Well if she'd worked it out on page 10, we wouldn't have had much of a story, would we???…moreWell if she'd worked it out on page 10, we wouldn't have had much of a story, would we???(less)
István Regös Because it's not a typical Stephen King-horror story. It's very hard to read and it's very good. People don't want to invest that much energy into a s…moreBecause it's not a typical Stephen King-horror story. It's very hard to read and it's very good. People don't want to invest that much energy into a so called "horror" novel. It's well worth reading it. it's challenging but takes you on a journey like no other book.(less)

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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  140,788 ratings  ·  4,459 reviews

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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
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: king-stephen
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
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"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
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★★/ 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
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own, own-read
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-shelf, horror
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
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Leo .
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
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)
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: standalones, owned
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
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
”...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
Stephanie (That's What She Read)

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
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Natasha Niezgoda
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror


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!!




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
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
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, thriller
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.
Mar 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Edward Lorn
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, stephen-king
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.
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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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