Gerald's Game

Gerald's Game

3.8 207
by Stephen King

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Alone in their bedroom, Jessie and Gerald Burlingame
are playing a game of trust and controll. But when her husband
takes the game too far by handcuffing her to a bedpost, Jessie
lashes out--with deadly results. But now she is trapped, with
no way to escape the deathly quiet of the room. Over the next
twenty-eight hours, Jessie will come…  See more details below


Alone in their bedroom, Jessie and Gerald Burlingame
are playing a game of trust and controll. But when her husband
takes the game too far by handcuffing her to a bedpost, Jessie
lashes out--with deadly results. But now she is trapped, with
no way to escape the deathly quiet of the room. Over the next
twenty-eight hours, Jessie will come face-to-face with her most
terrifying nightmares that exist in the last place she would
ever look...her mind!

Praise for GERALD'S GAME: * "Harrowing psychological terror."--
New York Times * "Cunningly orchestrated...kept us up half the
night, we couldn't put it down."--Newsweek * "One of his best."-
-USA Today

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.
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

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.23(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Gerald's Game (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 207 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
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).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Sean_Patrick_R More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is terrifying, and what makes it so great is you will never guess the ending. I highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. It was wonderfully scary. I felt as tho I was as bound up as she was. It was really psychologically frightening. Mr King and his imagination continue to astonish me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thid book is really good but very twisted.... i love stephen king
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
EssencePress More than 1 year ago
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.
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
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.
PiccoultFan More than 1 year ago
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!
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an unbelievable read. The simple story line unfolds to a hair-raising tale. Notice the connection between Gerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne. Both feature an unforgettable solar eclipse connection. Highly recommended!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've ever seen The Sixth Sense, then you know the sound in the movie where the woman in the robe passes by the bathroom when the boy is peeing. There were a few times when I heard that sound in my mind as I read this book--a few lines that just shut out all else and let in terror. I cannot tell you enough how compelling this book is. I thought, 'Over 400 pages about a woman handcuffed to a bed?' But it's so psychologically horrifying, and I have read many of SK's works but I stand when I say, this is his scariest I've come across in my 'constant reading.' Take my advice: read this book during the day with a glass of water at hand. Oh it's wonderful. Perfect. And completely petrifying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The novel Gerald's Game is probably King's weirdest novel of all time. To me it was OK till it get suspenseful at the end. Jessie is a girl who had horrible childhood thanks to the dad! One day she hears a click on her left hand, which was a pair of handcuffs thanks to the loving husband Gerald. She then kills him by accident and now a dog is inside her room eating him. If that's bad, then it gets worst after believing to see guy in her house. Next thing she must escape or she will be dead! This is King's weirdest novel of all time. Everything goes weird story, so if you want to read then go ahead. My opinion is go ahead read it if you want to! On a note I actualy give this book a 3 1/2 out of 5. Read it if you want to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most Terror filled novels I have ever read. This kept me up at night(with ALL the lights on!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book! It was original and really interesting. I understood how Jessie felt after the memories from the eclipse came back to her. It had suspense and some parts even disturbed me. I love books like that. This is definitely one of my favorite books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Stephen King has written better books, Gerald's Game is chillingly eerie. King does a great job of placing you right in the middle of the book and making you feel what the character, Jessie, is feeling. A lousy ending kept this from getting a perfect score. In spite of this AND the fact that King has written better, I say give it a chance and see what you think. You can't take an online book reviewer's word for it; you just have to read it yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i could not put this book down when picked it up it was great relly scary espesely in some parts i loved it
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the idea for the book's plot: a husband handcuffs his wife to a bed, he dies, and she is left handcuffed to the bed. This seemed to be the best opportunity for King to really show off his ingenius, however frightening, imagination. Yet, the book (in my humble opinion) pooped out after a couple of chapters. Instead of being terrified and horrified, I find myself skipping through endless pages of the woman's internal dialogue and continuous flashbacks. I got as close to finishing the book as I could before I finally put it down and moved on to another book. This is not King's best. And I think he is by far the best of the best in his genre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I pride myself on not being frightened by many things, this was not one of them! I am still jumping at noises and (mostly) shadows after reading this a week ago. Bravo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah. I had fell asleep. Im geting ready for school and wil probaly be able to post somwthing from a computer tommorow. Until then, I love you endlessly babe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago