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Dolores Claiborne
     

Dolores Claiborne

4.2 115
by Stephen King
 

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“Among King’s best.”—San Francisco Chronicle

When housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is questioned in the death of her wealthy employer, a long-hidden secret from her past is revealed-—as is the strength of her own will to survive...

Overview

“Among King’s best.”—San Francisco Chronicle

When housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is questioned in the death of her wealthy employer, a long-hidden secret from her past is revealed-—as is the strength of her own will to survive...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An unforgettable, unflinching glimpse into a mind driven to murder.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinarily vivid…an impressive tour de force, a sensitive character study that holds the reader rapt.”—Playboy

“Powerful...startlingly good.”—Time

“A literary triumph. The finest of King novels…a plot of enormous energy…Read this book.”—Milwaukee Journal

“A daring performance…spooky…Dolores’s voice rings true throughout.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

San Francisco Chronicle
Among King's best...An unforgettable, unflinching glimpse into a mind driven to murder.
Time
Powerful...Startlingly good.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Described by the publisher as a companion piece to King's last book, Gerald's Game , this new novel surpasses it in every way, and shows that King, even without the trappings of horror and suspense, is a magnificent storyteller whose greatest strength has always been characterization. His sterling title character this time out is a Maine woman in her 60s who made a living as a housekeeper and now is under suspicion in the death of her senile employer, Vera Donovan, who fell down a flight of stairs. Did Dolores push her? Responding to the charges against her, Dolores recounts her life in a tightly woven narrative that is beguiling and touching at the appropriate moments. The friendship between these two lonely women ``livin' on a little chunk of rock off the Maine coast'' was the anchor of both their lives, and it soon becomes clear that Dolores didn't kill Vera. But she freely acknowledges--30 years after the fact--that she did kill her husband, Joe, during a solar eclipse on July 20, 1963, ``my day for seein' eyes everywhere.'' Presenting Dolores's story in her own remarkable colloquial voice, King brings readers face to face with a goodhearted, lovable woman whose honesty is ultimately unforgettable. 1.5 million first printing; BOMC main selection. (Dec.)
Publishers Weekly

King's classic tale of murder and suspicion on Little Tall Island is certainly one of his finest to date, featuring one his most complex and compelling characters ever. With her smalltown tone and pitch perfect dialect, Frances Sternhagen delivers a remarkable reading that is at once intimate yet extroverted. Sternhagen's Claiborne is an everyday woman who has had it with her everyday life. With an unrelenting delivery that only gets better as the story moves forward, Sternhagen speaks from the heart and never sounds forced or manufactured. She also makes all the surrounding characters (from Dolores's damaged daughter to her steely boss and a suspicious detective) completely well-rounded and realistic. Sternhagen captures the very essence of what can turn a woman's heart to hate and lets her audience feel it in their bones. Recorded in 1992 (three years before the Kathy Bates motion picture), this is the recording's first release on CD. A Signet paperback. (Sept.)

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Playboy
Extraordinarily vivid...an impressive tour de force, a sensitive character study that holds the reader rapt.
Library Journal
King again eschews supernatural horror, as he did recently in Gerald's Game , to study the equally monstrous things people can inflict on one another. The story, sparer than much of King's work, is a monolog by the title character, who is suspected of murdering her loutish, insensitive husband and the difficult, rich, and senile woman for whom she has kept house for many years. As Dolores tells her story to the local authorities, the details of a life of drudgery and marital unhappiness emerge, along with the ironic truth behind the deaths. In theme, style, and setting a companion piece to Gerald's Game , this new work is a quietly terrifying tale of desperation, abuse, and revenge that showcases King's talent as a powerful storyteller. Certain to be a best seller, it should appeal to a wide audience. For all popular fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/92.-- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Ray Olson
Like "Gerald's Game" , King's second novel this year is short by his standards, isn't concerned with supernatural horrors, and takes place mostly on one October day and, in flashback, on July 20, 1963, when a total eclipse of the sun laid a diagonal band of darkness across central Maine. A further resemblance is that it also features a female protagonist, but while King wrote "Gerald's Game" with third-person omniscience, he offers "Delores Claiborne" in that tough old Mainer's voice as she tells the sheriff of Little Tall Island about two deaths she's been involved with. One, just the other day, is that of her wealthy, invalided employer, Vera Donovan, whom it's suspected she fatally pushed downstairs. The other, which happened during that long-ago eclipse, is that of her drunken, good-for-nothing husband, Joe St. George. She didn't kill Vera, but she did kill Joe, and as she fills us in on the hows and whys of both deaths, King secures his place in the highest echelon of contemporary American novelists. For cantankerous, profane, scatological, and fiercely maternal Delores is as vital and vivid a character as any in American fiction. Moreover, the death of her husband is as virtuosic an essay in grand guignol as King has ever written. King is well out of the slump that so many of the contributors to the recent mid-career assessment, "Reign of Fear" , seemed to think he was in. In fact, he's never been better.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451177094
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1993
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1150L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“An unforgettable, unflinching glimpse into a mind driven to murder.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinarily vivid…an impressive tour de force, a sensitive character study that holds the reader rapt.”—Playboy

“Powerful...startlingly good.”—Time

“A literary triumph. The finest of King novels…a plot of enormous energy…Read this book.”—Milwaukee Journal

“A daring performance…spooky…Dolores’s voice rings true throughout.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Meet the Author

Stephen King lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. He has written more than forty books and two hundred short stories. He has won the World Fantasy Award, several Bram Stoker awards, and the O. Henry Award for his story “The Man in the Black Suit,” and is the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
Education:
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
Website:
http://www.stephenking.com

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Dolores Claiborne 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think there is a little Dolores in every woman. What a great read! The characters are genuine and the story is poignant. Dolores Claiborne is a heroine. Sharp-tongued, sensible and hardworking, Dolores Claiborne exemplifies a spirit that lies within the heart of most mothers, daughters and wives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dolores Claiborne is simply a fantastic piece of story telling. If you're looking for any crazy sci-fi stuff to give the story its legs, look elsewhere. The book is masterfully crafted around Dolores and her struggle to survive and keep her children safe. It is very character driven and King expertly unfolds the story in complete realism and makes the book breath with perfect dialect and Dolores's unique voice. If you are looking for a good character book, Dolores Claiborne is it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic. Stepen King is such a great writer, this book is undoubtedly one of his best. Get this book. You won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was a great read. I enjoyed it. Even though the story had a few moments of that it longered, but not in a boring nonsenses way. Really interesting from beginning to the end. I decided to read because I loved the movie so much and wanted to make some comparisons. Now I am glad that I read since the movie made so much changes. Please don't get me wrong folks but the film didn't due it's complete justice to the novel. Stephen King has done outstanding writting again. He created a great setting that fit the tale as most of his books that I've read. I adored the character Dolores. The way that she struggled with her family and troubles. Found her as wise,strong and a true mother. I admit that Cathy Bates delivered an excellent performance in the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant! I so love the symbolism behind the solar eclipse. The sun is male energy and the moon is the woman's energy. At the moment that Dolores is rid of Joe and his control over her life, the moon blocks the sun. The female energy is now in control. Powerful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story thoroughly because it talks of human will and vigor, how the human spirit cannot be put down, no matter how great the risks and consequences. A very well written novel by a great novelist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ayuh, this is not the typical King novel. Although there is much violence in the realm of domestic introduced via the title charactor, there is the diversion which leads us to the development of sort of a mentor figure of Dolores. The interaction between these figures bears much on the way Delores reacts to her own problems at home. It is important to keep this employer/employee relationship in mind while reading. Another interesting aspect of the story is that it's told in 'first person.' Dolores narates her life in her words which adds texture to the account of the events in her life that lead up to present day. The author's infatuation with human feces was a little disturbing and I thought unnecessary. Delores was a likable and strong charactor who held my interest. She was contrasted by the evil exhibited by her husband. Delores had acted in self-preservation in order to keep her sense of dignity. This is not a neat or pretty novel and yet the reader may find it to be just in the end. How would the reader react in such a situation? This question creeps into her consciousness as she reads. We are prompted many times to question our own moral fiber in this manner. Would we have reacted that different from Dolores? The only way to find out is by reading the book yourself and coming to your own conclusions. solo.
BooksWithBrooke 11 months ago
This is Stephen King brilliance! 5 small town, couldn't put it down stars!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Mr. King demonstrates his inate ability to determine and describe just what 'makes us tick'. Not unlike his work in Pet Sematary, wherein he allowed us to experience a father's angst and the lengths to which a parent will go to make things right. In my humble opinion, there are a handful of artists who can put the brush to paper like Stephen King when painting the brightest brights and the darkest darks of the human spirit. Long live the King of the written word! I'm a lifelong fan, sir! Just keep 'em coming, because brilliance never goes out of style......
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
I give this book and movie 5 stars because 10 wasn't available. Extraordinary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books Ive ever read! Riviting, edge of your seat suspense and mystery. Page after page leaves you on edge!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an alright book that had a bit of a confusing plot...it was also extremely crude in some places. You would probably only want mature readers here, and by that I don't mean 17+, it's just to show that there may be sone uncomfortable parts in here, definetly no one under 13. Either way, good book and very genuine.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fantastic fiction that thrusts you into a place where the ultimate crime seems justified
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Kari11 More than 1 year ago
You want to hate the main character but you end up being on her side. This is a very good twist and you will find yourself getting angry with the character and saying wow this is something else! I read the book after the movie. Both are very good.
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