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More of a mystery than a horror novel, Dolores Claiborne contains only the briefest glances at the supernatural. The novel presents Stephen King as a writer experimenting with style and narrative, time and perspective. Fans looking for a skin-crawling, page-turning fright or an undead bloodbath will be disappointed, but a patient reader willing to savor King's leisurely study of character and island life will find many rewards. And all of this is not to say that the book is without suspense.
The story unfolds in one continuous chapter, told in the first person by the cranky, 65-year-old housekeeper, Dolores, who is explaining to police officers and a stenographer how and why she killed her husband, Joe, 30 years ago. At the same time, in her rambling monologue, she insists that she did not kill her longtime employer, Vera Donovan--notwithstanding what the residents of Little Tall Island may be whispering. Joe was a drinker, and, as Dolores gradually argues, he deserved to die for the horrifying crimes he committed against his family. But Vera, despite her cantankerous disposition as a lady governing her decaying estate with her precise rules about even the most mundane household chore ("Six pins! Remember to use six pins! Don't you let the wind blow my good sheets down to the corner of the yard!"), was a good woman--or at least not an evil one. She was the woman who hired the young Dolores and kept her on even after Dolores got pregnant again. Dolores cleaned and cared for her even as the old matron faded into senility.
Dolores Claiborne is a rich novel that recalls the regionalist writing of the turn of the century. It is a fine place for a skeptical newcomer--put off by King's reputation for outright terror--to start. And for fans, it is a book that offers new insights into an author who's an old favorite. --Patrick O'Kelley
King's portrait of a Maine housekeeper accused of her employer's murder--a nine-week PW bestseller--shows him to be a magnificent storyteller.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Again if you are a King fan this is a must read BEFORE you see the movie. The details are better, page turning book.Published 8 months ago by Janet Stewart
I saw the title of this book and thought the name was familiar. When I realized it was the one about the housekeeper who killed her husband I was surprised that I had read a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Joseph
Dolores Claiborne is a housewife with problems. Stephen King gives us a window into her thoughts, feelings and desperation in her efforts to find a way through each new crisis. Read morePublished on March 5 2012 by Ila France Porcher, Author of The Shark Sessions
This is a great book, and the film is just as good, in a different way. This is one wife's struggle with domestic abuse at the hands of a drunken, insulting, violent husband. Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
What would you do if you were accused of a murder? What if you were accused of two murders?
In the book Dolores Claiborne you go through the whole thinking process of what... Read more
The conventional street wisdom is that the best movies adapted from Stephen King novels are the ones that do not mention they are adapted from Stephen King novels. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by Lawrance Bernabo
When I started reading this book, I was bracing myself for a bad experience--I'd just finished Heart of Darkness by Conrad, which is three big chapters and boring as all get out... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004