Rating: 4/4 stars
Title: Gerald’s Game
Gerald and Jessie Burlingame have gone to their summer home on a warm weekday in October for a romantic interlude. After being handcuffed to her bedposts, Jessie tires of her husband’s games, but when Gerald refuses to stop she lashes out at him with deadly consequences. Still handcuffed, she is trapped and alone. Painful memories from her childhood bedevil her. Her only company is a hungry stray dog and the sundry voices that populate her mind. As night comes, she is unsure whether it is her imagination or if she has another companion: someone watching her from the corner of her dark bedroom.
Stephen King has so many books I have never heard of, up until last week this was one of them. He has so many books written, I feel as if I will never get to them all. What I like about many of his books, especially this one, is that he has mastered horror writing to the point that he doesn’t always need boogey men. I found this book to be filled with a lot of suspense, it made me jumpy, but in a good way. I really felt as if I was there with Jessie. I kept wondering how she was going to get away and wanted to read more. Her dark and painful memories made the book even more of a page turner. When I really started thinking back on what I read, I was shocked to find that she was only handcuffed to the bed for less than 48 hours! You would think the story would feel rushed and possibly become boring, but nope, it was entertaining the whole time.
For Stephen King to be a man, I find it very refreshing that he often is very aware to the plights of women and what a patriarchal society can do to a woman and how she views herself. I first became aware of this in King’s writing after reading Carrie in Grad school for a Feminism in Literature class. I found this to still be true in Gerald’s Game. On numerous occasions Jessie’s insecurities are very evident in the self loathing perspective she has. There are also a number of times where King addresses how many view women as sex objects or needing to be coddled because they were too simple minded. There was also the sexual assault rampant in this book. The way that many women feel that it is their fault or not feeling that anyone, even other women, would believe their stories. It is a sad truth, one that King brings to the surface.
All in all I would recommend this book. I don’t think there is a Stephen King book I have read that I have not thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. If you are looking for a good psychological thriller to curl up with, I would highly recommend Gerald’s Game.