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Gerald's Game - Stephen King

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      17.10.2012 01:09
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      Won't appeal to all of King's followers but for those who do read it, it could surprise them!

      Having read many of King's other novels, I read the blurb of this one and I have to admit that it didn't sound very appealing: husband and wife get kinky, man snuffs it, woman is trapped handcuffed to the bed and the rest of the story focuses on her efforts to escape. Big deal. But when I finally decided to give it a go I was very surprised... What I like about this novel is that it is disturbing on so many levels. Firstly, there is the obvious, primal fear which we all have of being trapped with no means to escape. Many of the reviews I have read have said that this aspect of the book was overly descriptive and boring however I really liked it; it built suspense and with each of Jessie's failed attempts to free herself of the handcuffs, the reader wants more and more for her to get out. Secondly, there is the slow sort of unraveling of Jessie's mind as all of the voices in her head battle against each other - some being helpful and others far from it. In there also are the flashbacks to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and the shame which she has carried for so long. The abuse part of the book was one of my least favourite parts of the book and many readers might find it distressing (distasteful, even), but it is yet another example of how the book is disturbing. The other deeply horrifying aspect to the novel, which pretty much every single review I read had failed to mentioned, is the presence of the character Raymond Andrew Joubert (aka the Space Cowboy), a serial killer who lurks in the shadowy corner of the room haunting Jessie and threatening to make her his next victim. Joubert, for me (although I suspect that many will disagree with me here), is one of King's most menacing characters. He made my skin crawl. I think the very idea that there is someone lurking in the corner of this dark room appeals to our most inner childish fears of the boogeyman and of things which go bump in the night. He is a small character but he makes the novel truly terrifying.

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      22.07.2011 00:04
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      Well worth a try

      I really like the idea of this book. In typical King fashion a normal person is thrown into some bizarre and terrifying situation and are faced with escape or certain death. In this instance the main character (there's a very small amount of characters in this book) is trapped handcuffed to a bed in a lakeside cabin in the middle of nowhere, starving and getting paranoid and hearing voices. Now thankfully the reasons the husband and the main character came to be there are not dwelled on much (marital reasons), as personally this wouldnt make for good reading, and it pretty much skips to them 'doing the deed' which ends in the main character's husband's death, and the story then unfolds. As the title says this book was great, read very fast, and was tense until the last 50 or so pages, where for me it pretty much stops dead. Without spoiling the plot, i feel that the book could have ended at a certain obvious point, and to me it would have been a much more effective ending. That said, the rest of the book made up for this.

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        25.10.2008 14:27
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        A great book, very enjoyable but scary

        I only brought this book because I found it second hand for 10p! It looked terrible, the plot seemed to be a women, alone, lying on a bed. And it was. The surprise, it was a really good book! It must be a challenge to write a book that has only one character through most of the book. Have you ever tried handcuffs in bed? Well Gerald tried them and loved them, his wife wasn't so sure about them. As he clicked the cuffs closed she kicked out, hitting him in the chest, causing a heart attack. Now alone, in a lake house in the middle of no-where, she has time to think. Her thoughts turn to her childhood and present interesting reading. The book isn't scary at first. That is until she sees a shape in the corner. I don't want to give to much away, but this book is really terrifying. A great read and if your partner suggests handcuffs in bed, you will run screaming out of the room!

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          10.08.2002 06:08
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            07.10.2001 02:58
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            I found this is one of the most fear provoking King books on the market because most of the story could happen to anyone (Well if your in to wearing handcuffs at your remote holiday cottage it could!!) How may times have you been in a situation where, if the person you were with died on the spot you would be trapped and alone? This is what happens with Jessie. Jessie is married to Gerald, an overbearing slob who enjoys handcuffing her to the bed during sex. This is his "game,"this is "Gerald’s Game." They are at a remote cabin when he suddenly drops dead from a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed naked to the headboard. Panic strikes first, and then fear. Who knows they went to the cabin? Will anyone look for them? The unlatched front screen door is banging in the wind, and she can hear a dog howling and the faint sound of a chainsaw. And night is near. She's feeling stupid and foolish, wondering why she ever went along with this charade. How can she possibly recover from the embarrassment and humiliation when she's finally discovered? And she is so very vulnerable right now, which makes her even more angry and scared. She wonders how she could be so stupid, but it's not the first time she's felt that self-hatred. And then there's Gerald, laying there on the floor like a piece of furless roadkill. How could he do this to her? These emotions are intertwined with hauntings of her childhood, and Jessie is forced to face them all head on to survive this ordeal. This book gripped me because Jessie experiences true human fears. Everyone can relate to the "if only" syndrome: If only she had kept the key next to the bed... If only she had told people where they were going... If only he had latched the screen door... If only he took better care of himself, he wouldn't have had a heart attack... If only she had stood up to him and said no... If only she had stood up to her father years ago, and told him no... During the course of reading the book, I found myself trying to come up with escape scenarios for Jessie (imagine my husband's surprise when he came in to our bedroom and found me laying on the bed with my arms up on the bedposts trying to WILL Jessie's escape from her silent prison!) Can she push the mattress off the frames? Could she get a foot to the floor to push the bed across the room? Could she escape at all? A must reading to every woman who likes great fiction, married or not, to give you insight into the male ego of all men! And don't forget, it is terrifying as well. This book affected me long after I was finished reading Sleep well, don’t have nightmares!!

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              03.09.2001 22:47
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              Here we go: This chilling horror story from one of the world's best writers has all it takes to really make your spine crawl. From the way in which her husband ends up nearly raping her to her tortured memories of her Father's abuses in the past, we get a feeling that it is possible that this could be going on in any life to the most normal of people. It's been a while since I've read this book, I thought I'd write a short piece about it as I loved it so much, unfortunstely I'm bad with such things as names and places (Norris Ridgewick I remember - very pleased that he'd risen to sheriff) It's such a well written book, you'll be sat with goosebumbs for the whole thing. The suspense is huge, the message is worryingly simple - "be careful how far you allow things to go". The climax, without spoiling the book, is outstanding. Read this for the fright of your life - it could happen to you! (if you're not careful)

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                13.08.2001 00:22

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                "Gerald's Game" starts out with a couple who decide to spice up their sex life by trying a little bondage. Once in the middle of sexual activity, with the wife handcuffed to the bed, Gerald dies. This is where the story really begins. What is Jessie to do? How can she free herself? To find out, read the book. You will be completely gripped within minutes. And as typical of Stephen King, you will begin to feel as if you are Jessie. You will feel what she feels. You will feel all her psychological terror and hear the voices she hears. Are they real or imaginary? You will feel her need to eat, to urinate, to sleep peacefully, and to stretch her muscles. To see how she copes and what she does to cope, read the book. It is very much worth it.

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                22.07.2001 04:32
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                As a huge fan of Stephen King, I was still impressed at how he manages to turn something as seemingly innocent as handcuffing your wife to a bed for a bit of the you-know-what into a nightmare of indescribable proportions. This book is the reason why I will now never let a pair of handcuffs near me without a saftey catch. The story begins with the incredible happening, a man dies of a heart attack while his wife sits on the bed before him, hand-cuffed and naked in the middle of absolutely no-where. She is unable to get up and move, being hand-cuffed, or call for help, because they are in the centre of a forest. What's more, the front door is open and anyone could just walk in. Absolutely anyone. The book is chilling, at times it becomes a tad boring since its mainly a one woman show, but struggle through and be rewarded. I found this genuinely scary and have been put off hand-cuffs for life. Stephen King is the master of horror, as always.

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                  07.07.2001 04:31
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                  This has got to be bondage enthusiast's worst nightmare. Gerald is the "kinky person" in this book, he's decided it'll be fun to tie his wife to the bed to have his wicked way with her. Unfortunately he's not a silk scarf man and he uses handcuffs. She's not into it as much as he is and tries to get him to release her but he's having too much fun to take any notice. She gives him a kick and he has a fatal heart attack and leaves her naked, cuffed and stranded in the midst of nowhere. The worst bit is she's pretty sure she's not alone in the room once darkness comes... There's a lot of nastiness and much blood involved in her trying to free herself, she's desperate to get out of there. There's a bit where she has a telepathic link to Dolores Claiborne's daughter somewhere in the middle. Not a nice link either. This book is definitely one that'll give you the willies and you won't want to ever be handcuffed to a bed after reading it. I found this one really scary and could almost feel the pain and terror the wife was going through. For most of the book the woman is not sure if there's someone else there or not and that just makes it scarier 'cos being a SK book you're never quite sure if it's a person or something worse. I doubt if I'd have ever tried the handcuff thing but definitely not after reading this one. Enjoy, just leave the cuffs in the sex shop or in the care of the policemen where they belong.

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                    26.06.2001 05:38
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                    I came across the book "Gerald's Game" at a local carboot sale, and being a fan I simply couldn't pass up the bargain,then began reading as soon as I got home. A married couple are alone in their summerhouse by the lake, long after all the other seasonal visitors have gone home. They are just getting down to some serious business when the wife decides she's had enough, and WALLOP! Before you know it, she's lying there, handcuffed to the bed, all alone, or at least that's what she thinks! The story doesn't take a lot of effort to get into, as events move fairly swiftly at the beginning of the book, however the story does tend to drag a little toward the end. One gets the feeling of deja vu, as each new chapter seems to begin the same. I would strongly recommend this book to any Stephen King fans, although I think that anyone who isn't partial to his books might struggle to stay awake after the first half. However I cannot say that I regretted buying it, as £1 won't get you much of anything these days!

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                      07.06.2001 00:53
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                      • "not enough happens"

                      An interesting layout of a story by Stephen King, yet i cant help but feel that even the grandmaster of horror himself couldnt have made this plot much more interesting. Almost the entire story is set in one room, with a woman handcuffed to the bed, unable to escape, while her husband lays dead on the floor next to her, after a sex game has gone terribly wrong. Most of the action(if we can call it action) takes place in the womans mind, with the use of flashbacks being used to tell the story. The novel is interesting, but it just seems to drag on way too much and include too much detail of things which just dont seem to be worth the inclusion in the story. If King could have edited this story by 150 pages then i may have thought his a very good book, but at 350 pages it dragged on way too long, and by the 200 page i couldnt wait for it too end-but not in the good sense.

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                        06.06.2001 21:36

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                        This was a rather hard book to get into. Imagine the scene Gerald and Wife Jessie go down to their remote holiday home and Gerald handcuffs Jessie to the bed to start their game (this is more of a contact sport). Jessie isn't in the mood for Geralds game and gives Gerald a kick in the penalty spot. Gerald has a heart attack and dies (this is on about page 30) and Jessie is left their chained to the bed. Good concept but where does the story go from there ? How can King fill another 300 pages with a woman chained to a bed ? Quite easily, the master does it again chosing a different story telling format with the rest of the bood taken up with Jessies flashbacks, dreams and her escape attempts. This book is very descriptive and well written and makes a chnage from Kings usual format of books where he often uses charactershe alreay knows about (i.e Writers in Salems Lot, Bag Of Bones, The Shining).

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                        21.04.2001 03:46
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                        I'm not sure 'entertaining' is the right word for Geralds Game but it is certainly a creepy and ghoulishly good read. The book really only has one character - Geralds wife, who ends up handcuffed to the bed after she inadvertantly kills her husband in a game. The rest of the book entails her desperate struggles to free herself, the quarreling voices in her head and a menacing visitor. King masterly captures the fear, panic and desperateness of the situation. Geralds Game is not one of Kings best but it is a great read. Its fairly gory in some parts, but it also examines some important issues. I would definitely recommend Geralds Game as a good weekend book although its not a King classic. Its gruesome, disturbing and dark..... a gripping psychological thriller.

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                          13.04.2001 21:57
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                          When l first started reading this book I wondered if Stephen King had written it for a bet! I could just imagine him sat in a bar one night after a few beers saying, “ l can write a book about anything, you name it, anything” and the reply coming back “OK, if you think you’re so good, write about a woman chained to a bed on her own, with no other characters for at least, the first two hundred pages and make it as good as your other books” If it ever happened, he won! There isnt much that can be said about Stephen King except that this book like all his others is excellent. To go into detail, would only spoil it for those of you lucky enough not to have read it yet.

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                            31.03.2001 01:11
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                            Before I say anything else, this is not one of my favourite books from the maestro of horror, so excuse me if I don't run round the room blowing trumpets. I was actually quite disappointed with this, and I'll tell you for why after I have given you a basic idea of the plot. Jessie and Gerald Burlingame are taking some time out to spice up their love life. They rent a remote and romantic holdiay cottage for some peace and quiet, and especially for the privacy of a game that Gerald has in mind. He's brought the handcuffs, and fancies a little bit of bondage. Now. Jessie isn't at all thrilled at the prospect of being handcuffed to the bed, and sadly Gerald, ever the man, doesn't understand his wife's point of view (only jesting, lads, only jesting...). He thinks she's joking. This makes Jessie a cross wife. Correction. A cross and handcuffed wife, who in her rage at not getting her husband to take her seriously, lashes out viciously with her feet. She means to kick him where it'll hurt the most, but there's good news and bad news for Jessie. The good news is that she achieves her goal, the bad news is that Gerald has a heart attack and dies on the floor. She's still on the bed. Handcuffed. Miles from anywhere. From anyone. What to do? Now this is where the book and I part company. I loved the idea for the story (well, it IS thought provoking in a Now Get Out Of That type way) but the ensuing attempts to free herself and save her own life are just waaaaaaaaaaaaayy too graphic, even for someone of my criminological constitution. I've read stuff that would make something very flat indeed, curl up in a very alarming way, but this was not horror, this was just gore for the sake of gore. Maybe some of you would read it and not be at all affected, but be warned, this isn't about horror as much as horrific. The plot just drags on, because all SK has to fill is time, as po or Jessie is laying there bound up by her sex-starved husband while he's going off on the floor. It's not monotonous as such, but you are DESPERATE for this woman to free herself just so that you can put the book down and go back to eating cooked food again. Hey. Maybe there's an idea for the book. Sell it as a diet aid - I couldn't eat for days after reading this.

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