Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Review: Gerald's Game by Stephen King

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Gerald's Game
Stephen King
Publication Date



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...

My Review

Now this book intrigued me straight away. Stephen King does kinky? Bondage games? Seems a bit removed from his usual stories. But, of course , it isn't. It is, in fact, what I would call an archetypical King book.

Successful lawyer Gerald and his wife Jessie are spending a weekend at their isolated and remote summer house by Lake Kashwakamak in Western Maine. Gerald decides to spice up their sex life with a bondage game, handcuffing Jessie to the bed. While she is initially fine to go through with it, it becomes quickly clear that Jessie does not really wants this, but Gerald continues anyway. It is not clear whether he really thinks her resistance is part of the game or, more likely, he is aware that she wants him to stop but as a power game, he continues.Jessie is repulsed and kicks him, and Gerald promptly has a heart attack and dies instantly, slipping to the floor next to Jessie. 

What follows now is Jessie's fight to survival in a way that only King can do it. In fact, almost the whole book is just that - Jessie's fight which is a physical as much as a mental fight with a rotting corpse and only a dog as company who starts to feast on the body. Jessie realises quickly that the situation is very serious for her - the area is completely deserted and unless she helps herself, probably no one will. While physical and mental exhaustion sets in, she starts to hear voices and start to see things. In the progress, we learn more about Jessie - her childhood secrets, her marriage. 

While it is not 100% clear whether supernatural elements are involved, for me it is more likely the very real problems she faces. The real strength of the book for me is the fully character-driven story. If this was a movie, they would really only need 2 actors. The whole story is carried by Jessie and her body and mind the way only King can do it. (Kind did a similar story in The Girl who loved Tom Gordon where the girl gets lost in the forest and has to fight for survival) . No fancy gimmicks, but just one woman and her struggle - in more way than one. 


My Home of Books said...

Wow, how different! I never read this King book and didn't know the premise. Kinky game goes wrong, but actually her fight for survival is the key.

I do sometimes like his books where he does what I think is psychological-paranormal horror, such as Bag of Bones or Duma Key. I don't like gory such as Dreamcatcher, ugh. But that is just my opinion, such as it is. I guess I am saying I enjoy any of his books that deal with mind games more than rivers of blood :)

Katherine P said...

Wow this sounds really different! I like the internal struggles and the lack of gimmicks. I'll have to give this one a try.

Jenna said...

I haven't read any Stephen King yet, but I want to. I'm not sure this will be the one for me though.

Peggy Farooqi said...

Writing this review, I actually want to re-read it now :) This book is all about her own mind … nothing else involved. And he creates tension on every single page right to the end phew

Peggy Farooqi said...

I think I will actually re-read it now, def give it a go. It is slightly different but still a typical King.

Peggy Farooqi said...

It's not horror as in blood and gore but I guess you really have to like him as a writer.

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