Rose Madder Hardcover – Jul 1 1995
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
You just want to read a realistic ending and see Norman either get his comeuppance from Rose or have Rose escape forever or whatever but the ending will be but you want it to be realistic. You should still buy this book as the majority of it is brilliant but just be prepared for an ending which is different to the way the rest of this brilliant story is going. I realise King is a horror, supernatural world writer but I didn't think there was a need to introduce that element in this book as it was already a terrifying thriller without it.
I read this immediately following Bag of Bones, the best Stephen King I have ever read. After racing through that, Rose Madder was recommended to me, as being another King book that offered something different. Demons of a different kind. Demons of the past, but demons that were just as real as the creatures of his prior novels.
Rose, the novel's central character, extricates herself from an abusive marriage, and leaves her life behind to start over when she has finally had enough of her husband, Norman. Suffering physical and emotional torture for years, she finally summons the courage to run. Norman isn't quite so eager to split, though, not until he 'punishes' Rose for daring to mistreat him so.
Starting over in a new town, with a new life, and finding new life in herself, Rose sinks into a false security of relative anonymity. She finds an old painting in a junk shop, of a woman in a 'red' dress, which seems to call to her to buy it for her new apartment. The painting continues to haunt and mesmerize her, and eventually becomes her salvation, for just when she thinks she has escaped her former life, found a new career, and perhaps a new love, the demons of her past come back to haunt her, in the form of Norman, bent on making her pay for her 'crimes' against him.
This book blends just the right amount of fantasy with reality as the story builds to a rather climactic finish, as hunter becomes hunted, predator becomes prey.Read more ›
We begin by an introduction into the life of Rose McClendon, a repressed housewife who cannot even venture out of the house without risking a brutal beating from her husband, Norman, of fourteen years. King layers on the emotions of Rose in this first piece of the novel, bringing to vivid life all of her feelings and fears as she reminisces about themany times her husband has attacked her, causing a miscarriage and a severe laceration of one of her lungs by a broken rib. We are also given the fact that he is a police officer, which makes it easier to understand why, given his status among society, many would never even think that his wife's scars and injuries lay at his hands.
One day, while sitting in her favorite chair, she spots a single drop of blood on the snow-white bedspread, and all of her floodgates open, overwhelming her with intense emotion until she finds herself walking out of the house and down the street, not knowing where she is going, her husband's bank card in tow.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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
very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friendsPublished on Feb. 23 2014 by Claude Couillard
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
I thought this book was great-all i have to say is the husban got what he deserved what he gotPublished on July 13 2004 by Angela Fogel
Book Review-Rose Madder
I really enjoyed reading the book Rose Madder written by Stephen King. Read more
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 morePublished on April 7 2004