Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gerald's Game

Gerald's Game by Stephen King (1992)

Jessie Burlingame and her husband Gerald slip off to their cabin in the woods for some sexytimes, but when Gerald is accidentally killed Jessie is left hand-cuffed to the bed with no way to escape and only her own thoughts to keep her company. Or, maybe not.

As Jessie lies uncomfortably on the bed for hours, her mind begins to drift back to one summer when something so terrible happened she hasn't let herself even think of it until now. A small chorus of voices in her head argue with each other and vie for her attention as she comes to grips with her both her past and her present.

Gerald's Game is not a book of action so much as one of internal struggle and growth. Most of the book takes place in Jessie's head as she thinks about her husband, her father, her therapist, and her old friend Ruth. Ruth and Nora, the therapist, are a couple of the voices she hears in her head, along with an alter-ego she thinks of as Goodwife Burlingame.

But that's not to say that the novel is all about thinking. Things do happen, and they are creepy and sometimes downright gruesome. Jessie makes attempts to relieve her worsening thirst and, of course, to free herself from the handcuffs. She also has visitors, but the less said about those the better. You'll just have to read it yourself.

I've had a tough time reading lately, possibly because of so many distractions in my life right now, which is why I turned to Stephen King. This is one of his books I missed because it came out soon after I went to college and discovered that there are, in fact, other authors out there. I didn't read anything of his for quite a while and now I'm trying to catch up. I think it was a good book to pick at the time and I'm glad I read it, but it's definitely not one of my favorites. I really appreciated the story of Jessie coming to grips with her childhood trauma, and trying to save her own life, but I do like a little more action in a story.

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