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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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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 4 months ago by Joseph
To all naysayers that accuse Stephen King of being a commercial-blockbuster machine, this novel is another proof that this artist is instead a great writer. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2012 by Omnes
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
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 by "uraniaapple"
I thought this book was very good! It gets very intense in the middle of the book when Dolores decides she's gunna go through with her plan of killing her husband. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004 by Kiki Robinson
Forget that Stephen King wrote this book, and leave your expectations at the door.
I was totally engrossed in the story of this poor, honest, hard-working woman and her... Read more
I am a big King fan but this book isn't very good. It's written in a difficult to read one-long-chapter style and the plot is razor thin, yet he stretches it out for hundreds of... Read morePublished on June 5 2003