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Gerald's Game | [Stephen King]

Gerald's Game

On a warm October day, Jessie Burlingame lies in the bedroom of her secluded lake home, listening to the far-off sounds of the country; the cry of a loon, the growl of a chain saw, the bark of a lonesome dog. Nearer, she hears the banging of the screen door, left unlatched in the autumn breeze; nearer still, the click of the key locking the second pair of handcuffs that chain her to the bed.
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Publisher's Summary

On a warm October day, Jessie Burlingame lies in the bedroom of her secluded lake home, listening to the far-off sounds of the country; the cry of a loon, the growl of a chain saw, the bark of a lonesome dog. Nearer, she hears the banging of the screen door, left unlatched in the autumn breeze; nearer still, the click of the key locking the second pair of handcuffs that chain her to the bed. Gerald Burlingame, her husband of 17 years, looms over her, grin on his face, gleam in his eye, lust in his heart. This is Gerald's favorite game - a little kinky, perhaps, but all in good fun.

And then, quite suddenly, the fun is over. Gerald's heart fails him in the heat of passion, leaving Jessie hideously trapped and dreadfully alone. As darkness gathers in the room that is now Jessie's whole world, she must face not only the terror of never escaping, but the most excruciating truths about her life: the murky secrets that brought her here in the first place.

©1992 Stephen King; (P)1992 Penguin HighBridge Audio

What the Critics Say

"[A]n exquisitely horrifying frightfest." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Cunningly orchestrated...Kept us up half the night." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (262 )
5 star
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3.9 (173 )
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4.2 (169 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 01-18-12
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 01-18-12 Member Since 2005

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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    "Until the Climax"

    Mr. King does it again...a little S and M and overall a story about resilience, a woman's strength and determination. This book is made up of our nightmares and doesn't disappoint. I loved that the reader must wait to see how things would turn out in a unique way. Enjoy this creepy book!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roni United States 02-21-13
    Roni United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent story, terrible narration/production"

    I had no clue as to what this book was about when I bought it, only that it was a friend's #1 choice for a SK book. After listening to it, I have no doubt as to why. This story is something of nightmares and it makes me wonder what Stephen King sees when he sleeps. Gerald's Game constantly twists and turns into new directions, never giving the listener a recovery period from what just happened. I'm not complaining, though. It was truly an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone who likes a visceral reaction from their fiction.

    On the downside, the narrator is not fit for this type of fiction, maybe not any type. She sounds like someone who would be great at documentaries or historical non-fiction. The tone of this book didn't lend itself to her rhythm, and based on the storyline, another narrator would have really seit it off. If you like a monotone/news anchor style, then Lindsay Crouse is for you. Otherwise, stay focused on the story. If another narrator picked up this book, I'd definitely listen to it again.

    Another critique that I can't leave out is the production. The individual who decided it would be a great idea to randomly place cheezy 80's synthesizer sounds throughout the book WAY more often than necessary should not be allowed to oversee an audiobook production again......ever.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Frank Walnut Creek, CA United States 03-03-14
    Gregory Frank Walnut Creek, CA United States 03-03-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Good Story, not a good audio book"

    The story and book was really good. Would have been great but it is a bit long and feels like it drags at parts. However, Stephen King has a masterful way of making descriptions of characters and actions sound so horrific that just the description of a character gives you the creeps. The first half of the book is pretty slow and not very exciting but interesting. The main character to me seemed very unlikable and frankly felt like she caused her situation that she later tries to justify. Sorry but I don't think that she can justify what she did to Gerald. Does she deserve what happens to her next? Not at all. Just felt like if she was more willing to take responsibility or blame and showed more remorse or regret for what happened to Gerald, instead of constantly justifying it to herself, I would have liked her more. Overall I really liked the story. Not Stephen kings best but very good.

    Now on to the audio part of the book. Narrator here I didn't like at all, her voices for the characters were not very good nor different. Some were just straight up annoying. Honestly I would have enjoyed it more if she just read the book. I love when authors do voices, but if you can't do them well or different for each character, that is ok as long as you don't do it. Also I just didn't care for her narration, I found her reading of the book boring and not the right tone. As a previous reviewer pointed out, she didn't feel right for the subject matter or genre. Also the music, sfx, or whatever the super annoying and loud electronic sounding noise that is played for a few seconds far to often was really what almost made me stop listening to the book. I won't be listening to this again because of that sound. The narrator's voice is so much quieter then that noise that when it comes on, it is disruptive and obnoxious. There is nothing about that sound that fit with the book. I assuming they were going for a mood setting, foreboding noise to bring about the dread or creepiness of the situation but it did the exact opposite. I would be intrigued and at the edge of my seat wondering what happens next, only to have the sound kick in and make want to lower the volume and completely ruin the mood. It is also the last thing that plays at the end of the book. Really? Whoever thought that was a good idea and whoever approved it, should never be allowed to do that again for a audio book. I mean you would be listen to a great part of the book then it was like child walked in and started to hit 3 notes on a piano, BANG DING BOOM BANG.

    In the end though, the book was suspenseful once it hits the halfway point, interesting (some parts were a bit unbelievable near the end), and ultimately a good Stephen King novel. I recommend the book to any fans of Stephen but buy the book instead and stay away from the audiobook.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara NOWATA, OK, United States 04-30-13
    Tara NOWATA, OK, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Really shows an authors talent."

    This story was okay but it was made better by the thought of how hard it must be for an author to essentially have one human character for the whole of the book and still be able to write an interesting story of this length.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayme Scranton, PA, United States 07-22-11
    Jayme Scranton, PA, United States 07-22-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Unemotional and Disconnected"

    I read the reviews and was dubious about this title but I had had a previous friend rave about the book so I tried it anyway. I was disappointed.

    People that read a lot of Stephen King start to notice recurring characters and how many of his stories interconnect with others. This book filled in the spaces from the eclipse in "Dolores Claiborne." The other book was "far" better written than this I'm afraid.

    You really feel no compassion whatsoever for the main character despite the plight of her situation and the abuse of her past.

    I feel like the concluding story was disconnected from the beginning and the middle really didn't fit either... this book must have been written during an imaginative dry spot for Stephen King. Read "Lisey's story" or "Dolores Claiborne" instead for similar but much more captivating characters and subject matter. This was just a waste of time and money.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen FRANKLIN, TN, United States 06-17-09
    Stephen FRANKLIN, TN, United States 06-17-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Bondage"

    Being relatively familiar with this authors work, it seemed a safe bet that this book would be at least a moderately interesting companion on a long car ride and daily commutes. I found the book to be exasperatingly sluggish, repetitious and an unrewarding waste of 15 hours. Replace the useless similes and repeated phrasing, apparently intended for emphasis, with a restraint and brevity and it would be somewhat tolerable. Duma Key is much more interesting in subject matter with more engaging characters and events.

    16 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Chantilly, VA, United States 05-18-11
    Erik Chantilly, VA, United States 05-18-11
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    "Disappointing"

    I can see King's intent in this book. A character's merciless self analysis in the midst of a difficult situation. Unfortunately I find myself not caring about the main character at all. That said the prose and self reflection were clever enough to keep me listening for 2 for this book's 15 hours. At that point it just became tiresome.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jz0000 11-13-10
    jz0000 11-13-10 Member Since 2008
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    "What's with the..."

    What's with the weird Casio Tone interludes? It's so absurd. it's like a cat jumping on a keyboard. I guess I did enjoy them as comic relief but someone I don't think that was the intent. Dun dun DUN dun dun DUN.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenda Jeffers Indiana, USA 03-03-14
    Glenda Jeffers Indiana, USA 03-03-14 Member Since 2012

    There are few things in life better than losing yourself completely in a really exceptional story. I enjoy reading others' reviews.

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    "Skip this one!"

    I'm definitely going to be demanding my credit back for this mind-numbing turkey. I'll keep this brief. The storyline started on a high note but took a nosedive and kept tumbling. The narrator had little to work with, that's true, but was still horrible. Stephen King's books are among some of my favorites, but NOT this one! That he's responsible for this monstrosity is unbelievable. And finally, if I ever again hear the phrase, "Only this and nothing more", I'll probably lose my s*@t!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Tucson, AZ, United States 02-19-13
    Thomas Tucson, AZ, United States 02-19-13
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    "A must for King READERS"
    If you could sum up Gerald's Game in three words, what would they be?

    If you read the book when it came out, you'd know why it was never made into a movie. It is the finest example of King's keen attention to detail. Great piece of work!


    What other book might you compare Gerald's Game to and why?

    Nothing comparable comes to mind.


    What does Lindsay Crouse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good sense of timing and pace.


    If you could take any character from Gerald's Game out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Gerald himself. I have worked for and then with this same man in my lifetime.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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