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First line :
Jessie could hear the back door banging lightly, randomly, in the October breeze blowing around the house.

Notes :
_coming soon_

Places :
Kashwakamack Lake
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  • Written : Bangor, Maine; November 16, 1991 (date of finishing)
  • Gerald's Game takes place by Kashwakamack Lake...
  • All men are bad. The trouble with Gerald's Game is its insistance on this message, over and over....
  • Synopsis :
    Gerald and Jessie Burlingame have gone to their summer home on a warm weekday in October for a romantic interlude. After being handcuffed to her bedposts, Jessie tires of her husband's games, but when Gerald refuses to stop she lashes out at him with deadly consequences. Still handcuffed, she is trapped and alone. Painful memories from her childhood bedevil her. Her only company is a hungry stray dog and the sundry voices that populate her mind. As night comes, she is unsure whether it is her imagination or if she has another companion: someone watching her from the corner of her dark bedroom.

    In Cujo, King spent the majority of the novel keeping two people trapped in a car, stalked by a rabid dog. In Misery, a man was kept hostage by an insane fan. Each of these novels centered chiefly on two main characters. Suppose, then, King decided to write a novel with only one character. Gerald's Game is it.
    Unfortunately, the novel comes from two distinct directions: the story angle and the message angle. The story is one of King's most compelling: Jessie Burlingame's husband Gerald enjoys kinky sex games with his wife. Actually, he probably depends on them. When the Burlingames try out their handcuff game down in the house by deserted Kashwakamack Lake, Jessie decides she's had enough. She experiances a flash from her childhood (another game she didn't like), and kicks out, rebelling both against her husband and her past. Gerald suffers a fatal heart attack, falling to the floor. And Jessie is still handcuffed to the bed.
    This is really interesting stuff, the setup for a nerve-jangling novel. And on some points, King delivers. Jessie's battle to get a waterglass and actually drink from it is an unlikely, yet stunning, source of excitement and tension. Women she has known in her life become her "voices," sides of her personality she assigns personification. The interplay of the voices is great, too, if a little one- dimensional. And there are the flashbacks: Jessie, you see, once spent another afternoon on a deserted lake with a man. But she was ten, and the man was her father, and he played a game with her then, too. This memory is the core of the novel, and it's a disturbing and frightening core. It actually might go a long way to explaining why Jessie let herself be used by Gerald.
    But then there is the message. All men are bad. The trouble with Gerald's Game is its insistance on this message, over and over. What King perhaps didn't realize is the way to combat one form of sexism isn't with another form. Jessie breaks free from the handcuffs (a harrowing and gore-strewn adventure), but she doesn't really escape. Jessie decides that all her solutions come from hate and distrust of men, just as she once belived that all her problems could be resolved by repression. In life, there are no blanket answers, and though the story here is exciting, the message needs some work.


    Viking 1992.

    "First published in 1992 by Viking Penguin" on copyright page.
    "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2" on copyright page.

    25,000 first print.
    Dust Jacket price: $23.50


    New English Library 1993.
    394 pages.
    ISBN 0 450 58623 5.
    On Copyright Page: 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12

    Copyright © Stephen King, 1992.

    Fiction: Horror


    This book is dedicated, with love and admiration, to
    six good women:

    Margaret Spruce Morehouse
    Catherine Spruce Graves
    Stephanie Spruce Leonard
    Anne Spruce Labree
    Tabitha Spruce King
    Marcella Spruce


    _Consists of 40 chapters_


    A game. A husband-and-wife game.


    But this time Jessie didnŽt want to play. Lying there, spreadeagled and handcuffed to the bedstead while heŽd loomed and drooled over her, sheŽd felt angry and humiliated.
    So sheŽd kicked out hard. Aimed to hit him where it hurt.
    And now he was dead - a coronary - on the floor.
    Leaving Jessie alone and helpless in a lakeside holiday cabin. Miles from anywhere. No-one to hear her screams.
    Alone. Except for the voices in her head that had begun to chatter and argue and sneer...


    Gerald's farlige leg (Denmark)
    Das Spiel (Germany)
    Bilincsben (Hungary)
    Jocul lui Gerald (Romania)
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