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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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Product Description

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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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
By AMC
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise which got wasted July 5 2002
By DS
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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By 2D
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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5.0 out of 5 stars book 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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By Katy Andrews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Overview of Rose Madder 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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Most recent customer reviews
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Story - and very well read
One of my all time favorite stories. In typical King fashion, we get deep into the hearts and minds of the characters. Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by PupRescueG8r
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Least favorite King Book
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by kdave21
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Combining the modern thriller with mythological justice
The story opens with the heroine, Rose Daniels, huddled against a wall, in terrible pain, suffering a miscarriage from her husband Norman's abuse. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by Lynn Harnett
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