I’m 17% through, and there isn’t much to say. It seems interesting, and I’ve noticed some differences from the movie. One thing is Jessie comes across as less stable in the books. The film felt like a projection of her thoughts, but here, we see clearly she thinks shes talking to multiple voices that have existed even before whats going on. If its preexisting, then is this exactly normal internal dialogue (as I thought in the movie?
The recent film was amazing, but Gerald’s Game isn’t my top choice. However, it seems to fit best into the general theme of more suspense/thriller novels I’ve been reading. I also am pushing for 7 king novels in 7 days, and this one isn’t long. Plus, Dolores Claiborne wasn’t a priority and that was amazing. In any case, the Outsider marks 20 books this year, a first ever for me.
I am the kind of person who enjoys rereading or rewatching something that I love. Gerald’s Game, the film I have seen several times. I think it does a fantastic job telling this story in a gripping way while still digging into Jessie’s inner dialogue. I wish I the same could be said for the book. It starts so strong, and I am fascinated even as I’ve seen this play out on screen; the film is a pretty faithful adaption. Unfortunately, I quickly lose interest. Is it because I knew what was going to happen (doesn’t stop me from loving the movie) or am I getting burnt out from 6 books in 6 days? Its tough to say. In the end, though, I just lost interest in what is otherwise a solid story. Toward the end, we begin to learn a few extra details that peaked my interest, so maybe it is just my knowing. In either case it just wasn’t all that interesting of a read.
Maybe the problem here is the length. Normally, I love King’s exposition, but had this been a novella it would have been more effective. The idea is interesting, and the themes it allows King to explore is interesting. We dig into a marriage, and see what it looks like behind closed doors. Then there is the dynamic of a family that severely messed up in more than one way. The biggest of course is Jessie’s father, which is the center of this novel in a lot of ways. What I like about this is that he represents how villains can be deceptive. They can appear pure and well meaning. That is to say, they are not just a demonic clown that lives in the sewer or an abusive father who beats his wife and murders his children. For once, King gives a different kind of monster. I think that part of the story was pretty effective. Which really leaves the problems being with the slow drawl of her trying to escape.
The film felt like a logical progression of events. Here felt like the plot going from one to another. There are an abundance of ways I could have improved my chances of enjoying this from reading it at a slower pace or not during a readathon, but all the things I do for this novel I do for the others. I am not going to apologize for not loving this one as much as I had hoped. 3.5/5 Stars rounding down (which really isn’t that bad of a score, because it isn’t that bad of a book).
If you are considering giving this a shot, hopefully you haven’t seen the movie yet. Although, if you have no interest in reading the book, I strongly urge you to check out Gerald’s Game on Netflix because Mike Flanagan (the director) does an amazing job, and he is arguably one the best horror film makers these days (see the Haunting of Hill House).
2 thoughts on “Gerald’s Game, by Stephen King (#kingathon) ★★★☆☆”