Gerald's Game

( 205 )

Overview

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...

In his most compelling book ever, Stephen King has written a psychological masterpiece that delves even further into the dark side of life . . . and death. We're placed within the psyche of Jessie, a young woman trapped in what begins as a game with her husband, and quickly ...

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Gerald's Game

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Overview

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...

In his most compelling book ever, Stephen King has written a psychological masterpiece that delves even further into the dark side of life . . . and death. We're placed within the psyche of Jessie, a young woman trapped in what begins as a game with her husband, and quickly turns into a deadly nightmare.

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Gerald's Game is a work of psychological terror, except for one significant detail, and whether this detail is actually an exception becomes an important part of the story. Oddly enough, it is on balance optimistic about human nature, if not very kind to the male sex. But it should be read by very bright light, with friendly people nearby. And with no hungry dogs around.
New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While this is one of the best-written stories King has ever published, it will offend many through sheer bad taste. Jessie and Gerald Burlingame have been married for 20 years. Kinky sex is Gerald's game; lately he has taken to handcuffing his wife to the bedposts. During one such session, via a series of bizarre circumstances, Jessie accidentally kills her husband, and for the next 28 hours she is trapped. King effectively uses this tragicomic conceit to take us deep into the mind of ``Goodwife Burlingame.''sic For the first third of the book he is at the top of his form, creating in Jessie one of his most intense character studies. Then, Jessie's ruminations lead her to remember a long-repressed episode of incest that is startling not because it becomes a central element of the plot, but because the details of the sexual relationship between father and daughter are salaciously -- and lengthily -- described. The gory stuff -- how Jessie escapes her handcuffs, for example -- is prime King, but this is subsumed in the book's general tastelessness. A lame wrap-up to what might have been a thrilling short story only further compromises the enjoyment readers might have found in this surprisingly exploitative work.
New York Times Book Review
Harrowing psychological terror.
Newsweek
Cunningly orchestrated...kept us up half the night, we couldn't put it down.
USA Today
One of his best.
Kirkus Reviews
King takes it over the top, way over the top, in an exquisitely horrifying frightfest about a woman forced to face her deepest fears—and then some.

Jessie Burlingame, 39, is getting plenty tired of being handcuffed to the bed of her Maine summerhouse by her attorney-husband, Gerald, so that he can play his silly sex games. So when Gerald refuses to uncuff her, she kicks him in the family jewels, accidentally smashing them to kingdom come—and the terror begins. Each hand cuffed to a bedpost, the keys out of reach, Jessie howls for help—and is answered by a feral dog that proceeds to chow down on Gerald's face in lavishly described, muscle-shredding detail.

As the long hours pass, cramps bite like iron jaws into Jessie's own flesh; but they're nothing compared to the thirst raging through her. Can she somehow reach the glass of water on the shelf above her head? It takes the most tightly controlled writing King's ever done to find out, but soon even the thirst pales beside the guilt-gargoyles that Jessie's mind begins to throw up, all pointing at the sun-eclipsed day so long ago when she became much more to Daddy than just his little girl. The minutes tick by, each an agony—and King's just warming up. Night falls: What's that shadow in the corner? The one with the smirking face of Death? And how can Jessie, growing into a heartbreakingly brave heroine, escape? She tugs and tugs at her wrists but can't slip them past the cuffs. Is there a hot, sticky lubricant at hand? He's not really going to describe that, is he? But, with a ferocious gleam in his eye, King does, out-splatterpunking everyone else on the planet in a tour de force that—even given some overindulgent psychologizing, awfully strong echoes of Cujo and Misery, and a long, peculiar anticlimax—is his most wrenching novel to date. This one is really scary.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451176462
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/10/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 94,080
  • Product dimensions: 4.47 (w) x 6.99 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King

Stephen King, the world's bestselling novelist, was educated at the University of Maine at Orono. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, and their children in Bangor, Maine.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 205 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(69)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(18)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 206 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 12, 2010

    Engrossing!

    Super scary and disturbing novel! This book starts out with a husband and wife at their cabin in a remote location. What started as sexy fun and games quickly turns terrifying. I was mad at King about the how the issue of the stray dog was resolved; he didn't do anything wrong! Anyway, this book truly scared me...after reading it one night I woke up in the early hours to use the bathroom and I was so spooked I made my German Shepherd come to the bathroom with me! I couldn't believe the ending; King really surprised me with this one! I would also recommend: The Stand, The Dark Tower Series (especially Wizard and Glass), Needful Things, and The Eye of The Dragon. You may also like the novels of Dean Koontz, especially the older ones (Whispers, Watchers, Night Chills, Phantoms, and Cold Fire).

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ready for the Game of your Life

    Without spoiling anything from the story, and making this long, I can only say this is a book that makes me question the mind of the author. Simply to think all of this up and put it down in writing is absolutely scary. Partially from what happens before the Main Character and her Father, the way her entire ordeal is handled, and I guess just every aspect of it.

    I have always been aware that Stephen King is an amazing writer. Now I am starting to realize just how creative he can be. You'll feel chained up in the room with her.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    King's Game

    This is the kind of Stephen King novel I absolutely love. Gerald's Game is a story of psychological horror, with the merest hint of something supernatural (or not) only at the very periphery of the story. At the heart of this story, however, are the very real horrors of this world, particularly the ones from our past that continue to haunt us in very real (albeit unconscious ways). This book stands alongside Cujo, Misery, and the early Bachman books to name but a few. This is where Stephan King excels. He knows what scares us, and this one is truly frightening.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    The best Stephen King book I have ever read

    This book is terrifying, and what makes it so great is you will never guess the ending. I highly recommend!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Wow.

    The mind of stephen king is so complex. I have no idea how he could of come up with the plot of this novel..but its one of the best books ive ever read. Psychological thriller? Yyyyeahhh. Amazing. Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Too long and drawn out

    Although this book had its interesting moments,it was certainly too long and drawn out to keep my interest.
    The events of the novel seemed somewhat dragged out.It was easy to lose interest with the book because King went into agonizing detail about everything.
    The entire plot is soooo repetitive.I would not recommend this book at all to ANYONE!!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome!

    Not much to say except this is an amazing story on how one's own imagination can scare the crap out of them. :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2001

    Plodding, difficult and ultimately terrifying!!

    I never knew, until 'Gerald's Game', that a book could actually make me scream. The plodding narrative is gruelling, the suspense is almost physically painful and near the end, after she escapes, I screamed. Anyone who has read it remembers the yellow mustard. When I put 'Gerald's Game' aside, I didn't quite know how to feel about what I had just experienced. Did I enjoy reading it? NO!! It was exhausting, boring and horrendously scary at the same time. You don't curl up under a cozy blanket with this book; you curl up in the fetal position and pray that it ends soon. Was I glad I read it? Yes. I thought the ending made up for everything. Would I ever read it again? I can't. I was so disturbed by this book I brought it to a used bookstore the NEXT day, refusing to put my friends and family through what I had just been through. Now THAT is what horror fiction should do to you. Thanks Mr. King!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    The book friggen blew

    I would give it a no star review if i could..i love stephen king but this sucked... its complete junk first 37 pages are discribing a penis and then the woman kicks her husband in the balls and it somehow kills him... it's all babble and makes no sense...im pretty sure stephen king is losing his touch ...i made it 40 pages in and said FORGET IT!!!!! i have better luck with free books i cant believe i paid for this crap

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Did not like

    I love King but this novel bored me to tears.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Wowowowow

    Thid book is really good but very twisted.... i love stephen king

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Crazy King

    Crazy, twisted, gut-wrenching - you'll be clutching the book in one hand and half-covering your eyes with the other. If you enjoy sick rides this one's for you!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Eh...

    This was the first King book I did not care for. I did finish it though, so it wasn't too bad. Its just one I would not read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2011

    disappointed

    A long time fan, but I could not get through to the end

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

    Very inappropriate!

    This book has MANY inappropriate moments, NOT made for under 15 or so...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gerald's Game: An Achievment of Simplicity and Detail

    Stephen King's Gerald's Game, is a masterpiece of simple plot development, finetuning the detail of the enviroment that surrounds its main character Jessica.
    Only with Stephen King's writing style can you get 343 pages of drama and horror facing the main charcter who is trapped on a bed for two days. It is brilliant how he is able to work and devlop the character of Jessica. We read her everythought, we feel her pain, we feel her terror, as well as her trauma we get to know the important people that have effected her lives for the better or worse. Yet the plot was very simple with only a few twists and turns but full of detail.
    I would recommend this book for people with a strong stomach, someone at least over 16, and writers who would like to learn how to devlop characters in novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    scenario is extremely creepy!

    Gerald's Game is a pretty terrifying book. Not necessarily in the way many of his books are though. It's a different kind of terror, more of a claustrophobia I guess.

    It starts with a middle aged married couple, Jessie and Gerald, at their cabin in the woods. They are getting a little kinky, with Jessie handcuffed to the bed, when Gerald has his heart attack and drops dead on the floor. That's when the terror starts.

    This book really made me cringe. Just reading the blurb, before I even started reading the book, I think I cringed. It's a horrifying scenario to imagine! The book flashes between Jessie trying to escape the cuffs and Jessie as a little girl, during the solar eclipse, when something happens to her that she has never gotten over. And if being handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere isn't scary enough for you, King wrote in a little nighttime visitor that would give anybody goosebumps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Terrifying!

    This was the scariest book I have ever read! I finished it in two days because I could not put it down. There is a description of a "figure" in this story that is horrifying! I was wincing at some moments in the story, rooting for Jessie to survive. It is gruesome at points, but really adds to the terror that this novel is. Do not read at night!!! The only down part was I thought the ending left some unanswered questions that I would like to know the answers to!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Game

    When I started reading this book ill admit that I got a little bored and almost put it down. But the more and more I read the more interesting the story got. I was thinking to myself "How can a book be this long when a woman is only handcuffed to the bed!?" but there was so much more to it than that. This woman has voices in her head, she has a past during the "Solar Eclipse" and that evil man that comes at night. Right on. It scared me when it got to that part. Good ending, great plot good novel. All Stephan King readers should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    A little to sexual.

    I read this book thinking it was going to be like Misery, but boy was I wrong. I read the first few pages and I almost puked!! I almost considered not reading the rest of it. But as I kept reading it, I saw that it was a pretty good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 206 Customer Reviews

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