Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne

4.1 115
by Stephen King
     
 

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By her own account she's an old Yankee bitch, Dolores Claiborne: foul temper, foul mouth, foul life. Folks on Little Tall Island have been waiting thirty years to find out just what happened on the eerie dark day her husband, Joe, died - the day of the total eclipse. The police want to know what happened yesterday, when rich, bedridden Vera Donovan, the island's… See more details below

Overview

By her own account she's an old Yankee bitch, Dolores Claiborne: foul temper, foul mouth, foul life. Folks on Little Tall Island have been waiting thirty years to find out just what happened on the eerie dark day her husband, Joe, died - the day of the total eclipse. The police want to know what happened yesterday, when rich, bedridden Vera Donovan, the island's grande dame sans merci and Dolores's longtime employer, died suddenly in her care. With no choice but to talk, Dolores Claiborne talks up a storm. "Everything I did, I did for love," she says, and this spellbinding novel is at once her confession and her defense. Given a voice as compelling as any in contemporary fiction, her story centers on a disintegrating marriage's molten core, where the mind's unblinking eye becomes huge with hate and a woman's heart turns murderous. It unfolds the strange intimacy between Dolores and Vera, and the link that binds them. It shows, finally, how fierce love can be, and how dreadful its consequences. And how the soul, harrowed by the hardest life, can achieve a kind of grace.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
From the Publisher
“An unrelenting delivery that only gets better as the story moves forward.”
Publishers Weekly [starred review]

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788499080017
Publisher:
Random House Mondadori
Publication date:
09/30/2009

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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

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