Rose Madder Hardcover – May 30 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.
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 ›
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!
Most recent customer reviews
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
This book was good but certainly not great. There were moments and potential for greatness, but it never quite reached that crescendo. Read morePublished on March 19 2004