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Avg. Rating: 3.49
A coup for King.
Taking a break from universe-expanding fare like The Tommyknockers and Insomnia, King strips down to one key character in a static situation, and takes us into a horrific (but human) world of guilt, helplessness, and fear.
Don't let the kinky premise -- husband dies while his wife is handcuffed to the bed for sex games -- scare you off. It's really just a device to get our protagonist alone and helpless. Unlike your average hack writer, however, King has something in mind for this helpless female other than voyeurism and violent exploitation. King's going for more than tittilation and cheap scares. He's going for deep psychological terror and dread, not just presenting them but exploring the hows and the whys.
The most interesting parts of the book aren't the fingernail-biting scary parts, of which there are plenty. The most intriguing is when our main character is alone with her internal dialogue. King makes the female voice utterly convincing; a difficult trick for a male writer, especially one with such a distinctive voice of his own.
If your average horror novel is a bucket of popcorn, this one is a four-course meal. Dig in, if you have the stomach for it.
First off, I've been a King fanatic since I read The Dead Zone as a pre-teen, many, many years ago. Gerald's Game has always been my least favorite King novel. I've been reading the customer reviews here and I've found them to be interesting. Even people who like the book talk about what a departure it is from "normal" King. Ever since the first time I read Gerald's Game I've felt that it was such a departure from what King would normally write that I had the feeling that maybe, just maybe he didn't write it. Think about it, this is an author that wrote a series of books under a different name just to see if they'd become a hit. Maybe this time he went in the opposite direction, have someone else write a novel and put the name Stephen King on the cover. Well then, who did the writing if this is the case? Look close to home. Read Tabitha King's Small World. The two are pretty similar. Limited number of characters, protagonist is a female trapped through the actions of a man and must survive by her own wits, more of a psychological thriller than out and out horror. Maybe I'm not even close but it just feels right :)
A simple game that just got out of hand.
Gerald and Jessie Burlingame take a little time off from their hectic lifestyles to visit their lakeside property in Dark Score, Maine. Gerald had an idea for a little fun, he brought handcuffs along with him to attach Jessie to the bedposts. Harmless enough, until Gerald has a fatal heart attack with Jessie still in cuffs. Now, she has to struggle countless hours to no avail. With hunger setting in and thirst scratching at her throat, she has to find some way to escape from the cuffs.Gerald's game is one of the top Stephen King books I've ever read. It deals with the struggles to stay alive while at the same time, goes back into the past to explore Jessie Burlingame's haunting childhood that never seems to leave her alone. She begins to see things in the middle of the night. The question is, are they really there, or are they her imagination?
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