Review of Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

horror, fiction

Why I Chose this Book

I was looking for a new audiobook listen. Stephen King is pretty good. Gerald’s Game was available on Overdrive.com.

Gerald’s Game

This book is about a woman who ends up in a precarious situation and must overcome present and past obstacles with little help. Gerald and Jessie Burlingame are a husband and wife who have traveled to a cabin in the woods for some alone time. Gerald is an out of shape attorney who enjoys bondage. Gerald decides to play a sexual game with Jessie, handcuffing her to a bed. Jessie, no longer attracted to her husband and regretting her decision to submit to her husband’s request, wants to stop the game. While protesting against Gerald’s wishes, an accident occurs leaving Gerald dead and Jessie naked and handcuffed to a bed in a cabin far removed anyone else. All she has to help her survive the ordeal are the voices in her head. Even worse, the threat of death becomes more real than she could have imagined.  

Jessie has heard voices ever since she was little. Jessie’s voices embody different people she has met in her life or different parts of Jessie such as “The Goodwife.” Though, the voices may be different from one another we know that they are all coming from Jessie. The voices compartmentalize Jessie’s different personality traits and remind us how complex we all are even when we think we may only possess a certain personality trait. Jessie’s voices help her to try and overcome this unimaginably horrible situation. We see that trying to overcome this physical obstacle also helps Jessie overcome a mental obstacle that has existed since she was a young child. Through Jessie’s relentless determination, we see just how strong Jessie is despite what she may have initially thought about herself.

The Spacecowboy is first presented as the actual embodiment of death. He at first seemed like a good idea, but by the end of the book, he seemed unnecessary. His presence did add a supernatural tone, but again, by the end of the book, he became unnecessary. You could argue that his presence enhances Jessie’s urgency to free herself from her captivity, but the threat of death seemed real enough without another factor. It seems as if his presence was mainly used to provide the horror element that Stephen King is known for.

Conclusion

This story is based on an interesting concept: woman handcuffed to a bed in the middle of the woods with only the voices in her head to help her escape. There were some unnecessary and awkward elements such as the internal dialogue of an abandoned dog. Although, the book started off well enough the pacing was slow which enhanced the tension, but it also dragged at times. It took me awhile to listen through. To include the incident that occurred during Jessie’s childhood seemed pretty daring. Overall, not too bad. Definitely has its strengths.

Narration

The audiobook was narrated by Lindsay Crouse and produced by Simon and Schuster audio. It’s pretty good. Crouse voices characters with enthusiasm and conviction. Her performance felt theatrical. Note: It appears that Parts 9 & 10 of the audio download were duplicates.

 

 

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