Book Report: Gerald’s Game by Stephen King (1992)

I inherited this book from my aunt, so it doesn’t count against my total accumulated book reading cost for the year (24 books costing $123.70 total, for a whopping average of $5.15 a book–oh, the humanity!). However, I’m not some poor, suffering fellow doing his familial duty by readint the heirloom; no, I like Stephen King, gentle reader.

This book represents an entry in the later Stephen King paradigm. In his early period, King dealt with large-scale evils such as demonic cars, apocalypse, or whatnot. Sometime after the middle 1990s, though, King began to stretch outside the simple horror genre and began to delve into character studies which examined what normal people would do within horrific situations–a girl lost in the woods, a woman chained to a bed in the woods, and so on. As a matter of fact, of the books I’ve reviewed recently, they fall into the two camps thusly:

Large Plot Simple Situation
Title Year Title Year
Firestarter 1980 Gerald’s Game 1992
Christine 1983 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon 1999
Pet Sematary 1983 From a Buick 8 1999
It 1986    
Dreamcatcher 2001    

I definitely see a shift in the problems faced by the main characters within the books. Although the main characters of all novels have to face some existential evil, the later books hang from a simpler hook.

I’d known about this book for some time. At the time that Toad the Wet Sprocket was playing on the radio, a woman was chained to a fictional bed or something in a Stephen King book. I didn’t think it would be something I sought out, but I’ve grown to appreciate Stephen King and I got the book for free (at great cost, though).

I won’t spoil the story for you, but the setting for most of the book is when the woman is handcuffed to the bed. On that small stage, a 250+ page book rests. Of course, she has time to reminisce about a dark secret in her past and confront threats real and imagined.

King’s prose remains the most evocative of anything I read these days. Some of the details within the book actually turned my stomach, but I respect the author since he’s done what he wanted to do.

Books mentioned in this review:

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