After finding Gerald’s Game in a charity shop, I decided to give it a go and the blurb had grabbed me straight away. Interesting storyline, but it turns out the 400 page novel could have easily been chopped in half and been much less tedious to read.
At the start of the story, Jessie and her husband Gerald are in their holiday home in the middle of nowhere near a lake. Jessie decides, after Gerald has handcuffed her to the bed, that she doesn’t want it to happen anymore and ends up killing her husband. This was pretty shocking and leaves so many questions that the reader wants to get the answers to; how will she cope with her husbands death and body? How will she get out of the handcuffs? The descriptions and story from this point on was fairly tedious and I really had to push through to get nearer the end of the book, merely because I needed to satisfy my curiosity of what would happen. King uses pages and pages of descriptions for things which only need one page at most, and would have made the book a much more page-turning story and gotten to the point quicker. For example, he spends 11 pages describing how Jessie is trying to reach the glass of water on the shelf above her.
It grabs more of the reader’s attention around a third of the way through, making me want to know what happened in Jessie’s past between her and her father. However, once that is revealed I was pushing on again to see if and how she escaped. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the voices in Jessie’s head, all arguing with each other on how she was going to get out and taunting her with her past. I found myself rooting more for the tough and insensitive voice in her head telling her to get on with it, more than I sympathised with Jessie herself, bound to the bed in handcuffs with her dead husband on the floor. The descriptions just made me willing for her to die just to shut her voices up and end the situation. One aspect of the writing I did like, however, was the way King conveyed Jessie’s past and how the events from the fateful night at the lake were told to the reader in two different ways; via the third person being present with Jessie and via a letter Jessie later writes to an old college friend.
The ending really gripped me, giving information on what the reader is led to believe is Jessie’s insanity. This could have saved the story slightly but I felt some questions still weren’t answered and there were things not making sense regarding the creepy man making an appearance in the lake house and why he didn’t do anything to Jessie or, more to his taste, Gerald’s dead body.
Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book to anyone and was disappointed to find what I thought would be an interesting topic was given across in a tiresome and lengthy way.