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Rose Madder [Hardcover]

Stephen King
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 30 1995 NATO Asi Series F. Computer and
Rosie Daniels flees her nightmare marriage to find refuge in a strange city, far from her brutal husband, Norman, whose relentless savagery and mad obsessions follow her to her sanctuary and drive her to transform herself to survive. 1,750,000 first printing. $200,000 ad/promo. BOMC Main.

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From Amazon

After 14 years of being beaten, Rose Daniels wakes up one morning and leaves her husband -- but she keeps looking over her shoulder, because Norman has the instincts of a predator. And what is the strange work of art that has Rose in a kind of spell? In this brilliant dark-hued fable of the gender wars, Stephen King has fashioned yet another suspense thriller to keep readers right at the edge.

From Publishers Weekly

Relentlessly paced and brilliantly orchestrated, this cat-and-mouse game of a novel is one of King's most engrossing and topical horror stories. At the center of the action is heroine Rose McClendon, a battered wife who starts life anew by leaving her police officer husband, a consummately cruel man depicted by King as a paragon of evil. Crowded with character and incident, the novel builds to a nearly apocalyptic conclusion that combines the best of King's long novels?the breadth of vision of The Stand, for example?with the focused plot and careful psychological portraiture of Dolores Claiborne. The story of Rose's joyous growth from tortured wife (her persecution gruesomely but realistically portrayed) to independent woman alternates with the terrifying details of her husband's deliberate pursuit to create unflagging tension. The book is a phantasmagorical roller-coaster ride, peopled by a broad array of indelibly characterized men and women and fueled by an air of danger that is immediate and overwhelming. 1.75 million first printing; BOMC main selection; simultaneous Penguin Audio; paperback sale to Signet.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
It was fourteen years of hell, all told, but she hardly knew it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After a very strong start, Rose Madder turns out to be one of Stephen King's weaker novels, with uninspired characters and an ending which is somewhat drawn out and predictable. (A weak novel from Stephen King beats many other authors best works, however I hold King to higher standards.)
The conflict between a battered wife and her sociopath husband seems somewhat Dean Koontzish or movieish to me and the characters lack the complexity of a Carrie, Jack Torrance or even the Trashcan Man. The first half of the story contains all its best parts (And the drama and emotion in those chapters are exceptional!) after that it seems unnecessarily long. Delores Claiborne and Gerald's Game share similar themes with Rose Madder, but contain better stories.
King's descriptions are more than readable, of course, making the story move along at a nice pace as it draws you in and he even keeps you reading when there's little doubt as to how this book will end. It's not a bad book, just not one of Stephen King's best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise which got wasted July 5 2002
This book started out great but lost the intrigue for me. It has a great premise. How do you start a new life when your abusive husband is a respected cop and police resources at his finger tips?
But Norman gets on Rose's tail with really very little effort and then violently kills and mutilates everyone in his path.
This book could have been so much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Story - and very well read March 17 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
One of my all time favorite stories. In typical King fashion, we get deep into the hearts and minds of the characters. We can totally empathize with Rose, the terror she feels towards her brutal husband, her paralyzing fear as she goes out into the world all alone. We cheer for her as she begins her new life, finds friends, finds herself, and maybe even love.
This was the first audio book I ever purchased, and I have to admit, it's been hard to find ones that measure up to this. The story is written from two perspectives - the villain, Norman, and his wife, Rosie, who finally leaves him after years of violent abuse. At first I thought it was odd that there were "Rose chapters" and "Norman chapters", but as the story progressed, I found that it really enhanced the story. As Norman goes 'trolling' for Rose, their stories begin to overlap. As he closes is on her, the chapters seems to close in on each other as well - it really adds to the tension. It's actually quite brilliant.
The story is read by Stephen King (who reads the Norman chapters) and Blair Underwood (who reads the Rosie chapters). Although I am not usually a big fan of Stephen King's audio reading (I find his voice kind of annoying), in this case it suits the story. And Blair Underwood is absolutely amazing. Since hearing her read this book, I've purchased other works she's read, just for her reading.
This is definitely an audio book worth getting!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Least favorite King Book Jan. 21 2004
By kdave21
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am very surprised at how many people rated this book 5 stars. The first half of the book was good, but the second dropped in a hurry. First of all, I did like the main character, although she did not grip me like most of kings characters do. Secondly, the dream sequence, drags on for what seems like eons. I finally got so bored I started skimming, I should note this is the only King book I have ever skimmed, or even been tempted to skim. Perhaps that is why the end was so confusing to me, maybe I missed some key element. But from what I could gather, the end was just a rehash of the dream sequence. This one seemed totally uninspired, and as I said in other reviews King is my favorite writer, and maybe I hold him to impossible standards. It was just a hard one to swallow after reading the brilliance of some of his other works. If you are a diehard King fan like I am, you will probably read this anyway if you havent already, buf it you are choosing between this one, and almost any other King book, my vote would instantly be for the other one. definately on the bottom of his list.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story opens with the heroine, Rose Daniels, huddled against a wall, in terrible pain, suffering a miscarriage from her husband Norman's abuse. Nine years later she wakes one morning to find a drop of blood on her pillow, legacy of the previous night's nosebleed.
As if waking from a dream, she sees her future - death might be a sweet release but helpless crippling is the more realistic probability. Already her kidneys are damaged. Rose flees, taking only her purse and her husband's bank card.
Thus far the violence has taken place off-stage and the reader experiences it in horrific fragments as the core of Rose's life. The terror that travels with her is palpable and riveting. Like Rose, we expect Norman, a canny and experienced cop, to pounce on her at every street corner, enraged at her audacity.
But, through the kindness of strangers, Rose Daniels becomes Rosie McLendon (her maiden name), discovers friendship at a battered women's shelter and begins to put her life together. The day before she moves out of the shelter she stops in a pawn shop to see what she can get for her ostentatious engagement ring.
The ring is a phony but the pleasant young proprietor is willing to trade it for a mediocre painting of a classical scene which Rosie suddenly has to have. The painting of a woman on a hill in a rose madder chiton calls out to her although the temple at the foot of the hill is clearly out of perspective.
Rosie also gets a job out of the encounter - a customer who admires her voice turns out to be a producer of audio books - and a romance with the shop owner, Bill.

Meanwhile, Norman is on his way. King begins to alternate between Norman's unraveling psyche - a polluted and vile but cunning place - and Rosie's continued blossoming.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Potentially Amazing Book Ruined by Cheap Writing
First of all, this is my absolute first critique of a novel, so bear with me!
There will also be some pretty heavy spoilers. You have been warned! Read more
Published 7 months ago by 2D
5.0 out of 5 stars book
very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friends
Published 7 months ago by Claude Couillard
4.0 out of 5 stars Different and in my opinion better than other SK novels
This is a book I have revisited from first reading it about 15 years ago.
I enjoyed it more this time around and I think I maybe understood it more from being older. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Katy Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I thought this book was great-all i have to say is the husban got what he deserved what he got
Published on July 13 2004 by Angela Fogel
5.0 out of 5 stars Overview of Rose Madder
Susan Maze
Book Review-Rose Madder

I really enjoyed reading the book Rose Madder written by Stephen King. Read more
Published on April 17 2004 by Susan Maze
2.0 out of 5 stars zzzzz in the end
This book started out great, and honestly I would have preferred if king had not attempted to make this a paranormal "thriller" the highlights of the book are the parts... Read more
Published on April 7 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Better
This book was good but certainly not great. There were moments and potential for greatness, but it never quite reached that crescendo. Read more
Published on March 19 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Intriguing Novel
I David, havn't read this yet, but have read numerous opinions of it. I have read all of SK's novels xcept for 5. IT was my 1st novel & favorite. Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by David T. Melnick
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I feel that Rose Madder is indeed an interesting book. It gets you really involved with the main character Rose and the horrible life she lived until she found a picture in a pawn... Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by A. Stevens
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