I’ve read quite a few Stephen King book now, over the years, and one thing that never fails to amaze me is his ability to make even the most mundane setting thrilling, and completely blow away my expectations. The Long Walk is a good example of this. As the name suggests, it’s literally about a long walk, yet it’s an engrossing tale and, through his literary magic, King delivers.
Gerald’s game is another example of this. For the most part, the story takes place in a single location, with Jessie quickly finding herself tied to a bed via handcuffs and a dead husband on the floor. This simple premise leads to another classic King psychological journey for the main protagonist. One of my favourite King books I’ve read so far has been Misery and this has a lot of those same vibes. I’ve got to say, however, that it is in no way as good as Misery, and if you’ve read it, you may be left a little disappointed by this one.
Misery involves a lot of very physical gore and horror, whereas Gerald’s game is an almost direct antithesis of this. Much of the narrative focuses on the psychological trauma Jessie experiences, both related to her current situation and her past and it’s a very interesting alternative take on the aforementioned story. Both Paul in Misery, and Jessie in Gerald’s game are being held against there will, but by very different antagonists or forces.
Spoiler free reviews I’d read for the book prior to starting it all seemed to mention a poor second act of the story, and whilst the story does indeed change direction somewhat about two thirds in, it’s still a worthy read and wraps things up suitably.
If you haven’t read Misery, I’d definitely recommend that first, but if you’re after a slightly smaller, and more psychological alternative to it then I would really recommend Gerald’s Game. That being said, unlike any other author I’ve read, I can honestly say I’ve not read a King would I wouldn’t recommend. Do yourself a favour, and get all in on King.
I will mix things up with what I’m reading soon, but I’m currently about 70% of the way through my next book, Billy Summers, a non-horror Stephen King story. I’m reading this for the Clicked Book Club which you’re free to join if you fancy getting involved.
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