Gerald's Game

Gerald's Game - Stephen King WARNING: Here, there be language. If naughty words offend you, putter on past.

GERALD'S GAME is best if you know nothing about it. If you plan to read it, skip this review. It is also the only King novel that I'm sure will never see film. And I kind of like that about it.

Stephen King took a huge chance with GERALD'S GAME. First off, this is a three-hundred-plus page novel about a woman handcuffed to a bed. Even in a master storyteller's hands, a tale like this can become tedious. The novel does suffer from a metric fuck-ton of repetition, which is the only reason this wasn't a five star read for me.

I first read this novel the year it was released, when it came in the mail through my mother's book club subscription. I was young, probably twelve or thirteen, and most of the sex stuff was lost on me because I didn't understand what was going on. Nowadays, I'm a thirty-three-year-old boy, and the sex stuff was about as interesting to me as changing a shitty diaper.

So why did I enjoy this book? Three reasons. The dog, the de-gloving, and the corpse-fucker. Intrigued? Good. Read the book. Appalled? Skip this book.

This is one of those books that a great many readers will hate. It hops through the years of this woman's life like a broken time machine. There is no rhyme or reason to when these flashbacks occur. This isn't an every-other-chapter, past/present/past/present, type of deal. You'll be plodding along in the present and then all of a sudden you're in the past. If that sounds annoying, skip this book. I didn't mind it.

King's vulgarisms even caught this foul-mouthed sonuvabitch off guard. More than once, the phrase "A woman is just a life support system for a cunt," was used in one form or another. And I'm talking more than ten times. A sanitary napkin is even referred to as a cunt-diaper. Not in dialogue, mind you, but in the narrative. If you're turned off by that, you know what which book not to read.

Then you have the tie-in with one of my favorite King novels, DOLORES CLAIBORNE. Both novels were published in the same year and have similar themes (child molestation and the after effects). Oddly enough, the main character's recollection of an event that happens to her during an eclipse of the sun in 1963 runs parallel to Dolores pushing her husband down the well. I thought this was cool, but I'm biased. There's no reason why the MC has this connection with Dolores. None whatsoever. I'm actually shocked this stayed in the book after editing. Then again, most readers will tell you Stephen King hasn't had a good editor since the original, chopped up version of THE STAND.

Be forewarned. I'm an odd duck. I have strange tastes, and will completely ignore huge plot problems if I find the overall story palatable. In other words, if I find the subject enjoyable, anything the author says goes. It can happen because they said it could happen, that sort of thing. In this book, the three things I listed above were well worth all the repetition, time jumps, and plot holes.