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Dolores Claiborne [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Stephen King , Frances Sternhagen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2008
Dolores Claiborne is a tough, proud, 65-year-old Yankee, the sort of woman who tolerates no monkey business from anybody—or so it seems to the outside world. But she's just been accused of killing her employer, and as she begins to tell her story, we realize with fascination and horror that there is much more to this woman than meets the eye.

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From Amazon

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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Total Eclipse of the Heart Jan. 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hell on Earth. This is the expression that best describes Dolores Claiborne's life, the title character of this Stephen King's novel. Told in flashback by her to some investigators we learn little by little what has led her to jail.
Dolores's life has never been easy or even nice. Living beyond the shadow of an alkie and mean husband, she could never experience true love and the only thing she does is working. But to make things worse, she happens to have a job at Vera Donovan's summertime house in Little Tall Island in Maine. Vera is known for being repulsive and extremely snobish. But Dolores, who is very brave and not afraid of working, doesn't mind having this job as long as she can save some money to her three kids go to a college. When she discoveries that her husband is doing not so good stuff to their teen daughter Dolores promisses revenge. One day when a Solar Eclipse is coming, Vera gives her some tips that will led Dolores to do things that will change her life forever.
This novel is almost a flew over the cuckoo's nest in King's work, but don't be fooled, only those who know just a little about his work would be surprised by this one. Everthing that is so characteristic of his novels is here: character development, a crucial non-returnable point in their lives, and some very unpredictable turns. Some very bad things happens to Dolores, and she does not have telekinectic powers, just like Carrie to help her to solve the problems, so she has to fix things with her own hands.
It seems to me that the eclipse that happens in the middle of the novel has a very metaphorical meaning. When the night comes in the middle of the day, people change, they feel freer, they can do things they wouldn't be able to do with the Sunlight or, even, the Moonlight.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dolores Claiborne(1993). Stephen King's 22nd Novel, Published Simultaneously With Gerald's Game.
Between the Late 80's and Early 90's, Stephen King was hard at work with the novels "Gerald's Game" and "Dolores Claiborne". He originally concieved them to be issued in a Two-Volume Set Entitled "In The Path Of The Eclipse" because of the similarities. Both main characters experience Total Solar Eclipses, and for one moment in both stories, are bonded. Both novels portray plotlines about Child Abuse, And Learning to live with the Horrors of your Past. Both Novels stand as some of Stephen King's most ambitious, but "Dolores Claiborne" is more so. A startling confession of the human mind, and the reasons that drive people to murder, present themselves in their full glory in "Dolores Claiborne"'s unending narrative(It has NO chapters or paragraphs), and it is a compelling read from start to finish. In Usual Fashion, "Gerald's Game" and "Dolores Claiborne" claimed the #1 Spot each, and both stand as some of Stephen King's deepest novels, dealing with the demons inside of us and from the past. "Dolores Claiborne" has been made into a successful and emotional movie, Starring Cathy Bates(Star of "Misery"). Read On To Find Out Why "Dolores Claiborne" stands as one of King's strongest novels.
Plot-
After the mysterious death of Vera Donavon, Longtime Housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is accused of pushing her down the stairs. As she goes in for a Police Interragation, Dolores decides to relate all of the misdeeds in her past. She tells the police that she never killed Vera Donavon, but she did murder her husband over 30 years ago.
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5.0 out of 5 stars KEEPS YOU HOOKED!!!! June 1 2004
By Vanity
Format:Audio CD
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 would I do? Stephen King draws you in from the first page! The setting is on an island called Little Tall. It starts out when the main character Dolores Claiborne a house wife, mother, and cleaning lady, is accused of killing Mrs. Vera Donavan, her long time employer. This isn't the first time people have called her a killer. Her husband was found dead and the people of Little Tall thought she did away with him. They didn't blame her; he always got drunk and would beat her. King takes you through every thought Dolores has and you feel like you're a part of her. I really liked this book! It was different than any other book I've read. Maybe I liked it because it was about a single mother doing what she has to do to protect her kids. I think the character Dolores Claiborne was very brave- she didn't care what people thought just as long as everything was okay at home. She would fight back when her husband would beat her. She also went straight to the police after the death of Vera Donavan. I think in this book Stephen King was trying to shock his audience. He accomplished this. The way he chose to tell the story had you hooked through the whole book.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Of course, if you look at the films "Stand By Me," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Dolores Claiborne" as well as read the King stories they were based on, you would find that they are atypical works in that they do not have the supernatural elements we have expected from King ever since he published "Carrie." Consequently I am mulling over the idea that in some distant time there could be an emphasis on King's "non-horror" fiction that would study him as an example of a regional author and make an argument that even if he was the best selling author on the face of the planet at one time, that he was actually a decent written (i.e., the Charles Dickens of the 20th century).
"Dolores Claiborne" was written between October 1989-February 1992 (future generations of King scholars will have fun studying the overlap of his novels to create some tapestry of analytical insight) and the title character is a foul tempered, foul mouthed, old Yankee who has been living all her life on Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine. The novel is told in the first person by the 65-year-old Dolores, who has just been arrested for the murder of Vera Donovan, the even older richer lady who had been her longtime employer and who suddenly died in Dolores' care under extremely suspicious circumstances. In explaining what happened, Dolores not only tells her life story but also defends herself from the charge that she murdered Vera Donovan by explaining her involvement in the death of her husband Joe thirty years earlier on the day of the total eclipse.
It takes a while to get used to the way Dolores talks.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
liked the book the movie was awesome!!!
Published 22 days ago by Willow Wind Book Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars “An accident can sometimes be an unhappy woman's best friend” – Vera...
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 more
Published 22 months ago by Omnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Incomparable Psychological Study of a Murderess
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 more
Published on March 5 2012 by Ila France Porcher
5.0 out of 5 stars a battered wife's revenge
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 more
Published on July 17 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
5.0 out of 5 stars A King book That's Just About a Person. Awesome!
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 more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by "uraniaapple"
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome!
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 more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Kiki Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripped
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
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by tzefirah
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull
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 more
Published on June 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of horror
Stephen King may be famous for his horrific stories about demons and ghosts and other things that go bump in the night, but that's not always the case. Read more
Published on May 31 2003 by Kristin Dreyer Kramer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the plotlines. A must reader for any King fan!
This book is a reading experiance. It makes you feel like you've been chosen to read the best book ever. Read more
Published on May 15 2003
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