Stephen King is a phenomenal writer. That much can be said without too much backlash. His stories grab you by the throat and drag you through without much regard for whether or not you want to keep reading. You can’t stop. This is what happened to me with King’s novel, “Gerald’s Game.” With this novel, King proved to me that he can be crude and still make me want to keep reading.
“Gerald’s Game” focuses on Jessie Burlingame and her husband, Gerald. Gerald is a successful lawyer and Jessie is a stay-at-home wife. Their marriage hasn’t exactly been a happy one, but what marriage can be happy when your husband is controlling you? In the novel, the pair sneak off to their lakeside cabin for a midweek rendezvous with the hopes of spicing up their sex life.
Gerald has been into bondage, specifically handcuffs. Jessie has been fine with this, though she lost actual interest in it a long time ago, but today, she just wants to have a “normal” sexual experience. So, after Gerald handcuffs her to the bed, she tells him she’s not in the mood and wants to be let go. Gerald knows she is being serious, but he doesn’t exactly care.
As Gerald advances on Jessie, she decides she has completely had enough and kicks him off of her, which sets off a chain reaction that ends with Gerald having a heart attack and dying on the bedroom floor. Now there is just Jessie. Handcuffed to a bed; in the middle of nowhere; alone, except for the voices.
Jessie has heard these voices since she was a young girl. There’s Goody, who is the self-deprecating good wife; Nora, Jessie’s old psychiatrist; Ruth, who is Jessie’s old college roommate; and various other smaller voices that are not as prominent. Now that Jessie is alone, the voices are her only companions, and they may be the only things that can help her get out of this mess.
Jessie and the voices are desperate. Night is coming and so is dehydration. They must work fast before Jessie completely loses her mind. But it may not be as simple as getting out of handcuffs. Jessie isn’t the only one, or the only thing, beside this lake. And some of these entities have done worse things than accidently kill their husband.
“Gerald’s Game” is a little rude and crude and filled with sex in many different forms, including rape. It may be a little too crude, but, in typical King fashion, it is just terrifying enough to make you want to know what happens.
I enjoyed the novel, and I am very excited for the movie. Read the book before you see the movie and join me in my anticipation.