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Rose Madder Hardcover – May 30 1995


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Hardcover, May 30 1995
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking USA; First American Trade Edition edition (May 30 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670858692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670858699
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #560,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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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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3.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AMC on July 8 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By DS on July 5 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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!

While I AM a pretty big fan of Stephen King, there are quite a few books that I have reread lately, and have realized aren't as great as I remember. Rose Madder is one of them.

First of all, I think Rose is great. And the beginning of the book is very interesting and well written. HOWEVER, there was nowhere near enough time spent on Rose rebuilding her life and making a new name for herself. Considering this book presented itself as a woman rising up from her abuse and evading her husband, it focused less on the first part and WAY too much on the second.
Oddly enough, I actually don't mind the supernatural elements. If they had helped Rose with her problems, then that would have been interesting, but by the time she actually explores the painting she's pretty much cured by then...so that seemed pretty wasted.

My main complaint with the book, and what I really struggled with, was Norman. I know a lot of people really like him, and that's their favourite thing about the book, but I really, really, REALLY, hated him. And not in the way you're supposed to hate him, either. He was way too powerful, way too intelligent, way too clever, and WAY too lucky.
Every time he got stuck, something magically fell into his lap.
Rose throws Norman's credit card into the trash? Oh wow, someone saw her and turned out to be a junkie, who (as well as the card) got traced back to Norman!
Rose talks to an employee about getting a ticket? That employee remembers where she wanted to go, and called Norman!
The very first person Norman takes note of in a new city? Whaddaya know, he helped Rose!
Read more ›
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By Claude Couillard on Feb. 23 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friends
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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
It isn't a traditional horror story but it is an emotionally charged book that kept me turning pages.
You feel for Rose and want her to escape the clutches of her abusive cop husband Norman.
I agree with others that it becomes a little confusing when she enters the painting but I liked that bit, it kept me wondering.
Maybe the end is predictable, but still good in it's delivery.
As one who is not overly keen on SK novels this one surprised me in it's enjoyment.
I struggled through the novel "It" when it was first published in 1986 and it took me a long time to read any other of his novels because I loathed "It" so much.
I think this is worth a read for sure.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan Maze on April 17 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Susan Maze
Book Review-Rose Madder

I really enjoyed reading the book Rose Madder written by Stephen King. In Rose Madder the main character Rose, has been abused and tortured physically and sexually for many years. She wakes up out of her dream world and decides to change her life; all it took was one drop of blood.
It was very easy to keep turning the page. King writes as Rose and as her husband, Norman. While writing as Rose he tells of her new life and how she is trying to put it back together, even though her fear of her husband finding her is always first in her mind. While writing as Norman he switches completely to a very deranged man who happens to be a cop with animal like instincts on the hunt for his wife. I felt that King did a great job at switching back and forth between the two personalities.
Once Rose moves on with her life in a new city, with a new job, she finds a painting that seemed to be calling her name. There is a woman in the painting standing on a hill in a rose madder colored robe. She is standing with her back to the viewer. Rose realizes that the painting seems to be changing, getting bigger. She takes the back off of the painting and finds it is filled with different items out of the painting, something is not right. When she wakes up that night the painting has turned in to some kind of gateway into another world. When she entered the painting everything symbolized some past event in her life. King did a wonderful job connecting Rose's life to the painting. The switch between reality and the supernatural world was a huge surprise to me.
Rose is trying to forget about Norman, but his hunt for her has proven successful. She has no other option than to enter the painting and try to hide from him. The beginning of this book is very realistic, but that changes. This book has a very supernatural ending but one that is very enjoyable. I would recommend this book to anyone Stephen King fan or not.
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