It's that time again, where I tell you my thoughts on this month's book club selection. The book in question was Gerald's Game by Stephen King. I know there is a movie version too, but I decided not to watch it.
plot: After being talked into an afternoon of S/M style sex, a woman is left alone when her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. She then starts to doubt everything she sees while waiting for help.
I liked the majority of this novel, up to the last couple of chapters. The introduction of the Boogieman/Joubert sort of put me off the rest of the story. Which, I think might have been the whole idea of the character. Up to that point in the story, you are dealing with the lead Jessie, and a stray dog named Prince.
I was expecting a completely different ending than what we are actually given. The story itself takes place over about 72 hours, as we sit with the lead character in her isolated misery. She is faced with the realization that no one is coming to help her, and she needs to help herself. While this is happening, she starts to hallucinate and hear voices. The voices are what gets her through and reveals why she's there in the first place. We learn that she had been abused as a child, and her way of dealing is by not dealing.
The stray dog, which I thought was a brilliant point of view to have, helps to break up the interior dialog. He's the grounding point in the little bit of reality Jessie has left to hold on to. And again, here is another character that has survived a form of abuse.
One of the voices Jessie hears is that of Ruth, her best friend from college. It's hinted at one point that she was actually hearing the voice of Ruth shortly after the original abuse happens. I was fully expecting Ruth to be a split personality, but it didn't seem to play out that way in the final chapters.
Which brings me to the Boogieman/Joubert character. He turns out to be a deformed serial killer/cannibal. Again, another character who suffered abuse as a child. When the character is first introduced, we are made to believe along with the lead, that he's not real. That he's part of Jessie's hallucinations. Which, made that point of the story creepy as hell. When we finally discover his piece of the story, it just degrades into such a disturbing sub-plot.
This twist ending with the Joubert character ruined the whole first half of the book for me. It grounded it, and took away all the "what if's" that surrounded Jessie's state of mind up to that point.
Honestly, it was the ending that made me decide I did not want to sit through the movie.
I don't have much insight on this one. I loved the psychological elements with the isolation and the self-loathing confessions, but beyond that, the story itself almost felt like the ending belonged to a different book.
I'm going to end this here. I'll be back later in the week with the official announcement for the next book selection.