Rose Madder

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Overview

Roused by a single drop of blood on the bedsheet, Rosie Daniels wakes from fourteen years of a nightmare marriage and suddenly takes flight. She uses her husband's ATM card to buy a bus ticket, determined to lose herself in a place where Norman won't find her. She'll worry about all the rest later.

Alone in a strange city, she begins to make a new life, and good things start to happen. Meeting Bill Steiner is one; and finding a junk-shop painting is another. It may be bad art ...

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Rose Madder

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Overview

Roused by a single drop of blood on the bedsheet, Rosie Daniels wakes from fourteen years of a nightmare marriage and suddenly takes flight. She uses her husband's ATM card to buy a bus ticket, determined to lose herself in a place where Norman won't find her. She'll worry about all the rest later.

Alone in a strange city, she begins to make a new life, and good things start to happen. Meeting Bill Steiner is one; and finding a junk-shop painting is another. It may be bad art but it's perfect for her new apartment -- and somehow, it seems to want her as much as she wants it. Still, it's hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder, and with good reason. Her husband is a cop, with the instincts of a predator. He's very good at finding people. The fact that he's losing his mind might even be an advantage. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman Daniels becomes a force of relentless terror and savageness, a man almost mythic in his monstrosity. For Rosie to survive, for her to have a chance in her brave new world, she must enter her own myth -- a world that lies beyond the surface of a work of art -- and become a woman she never knew she could be: Rose Madde.

Stephen King's national bestseller Rose Madder is the haunting story of a housewife who flees her abusive husband. She runs, thinking she is free. She's wrong--dead wrong.

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Rose Madder is rarely dull. It builds to a vivid climax. . . . In Rose Madder Mr. King has a rousing story when he needs one and when he doesn't.
New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.
School Library Journal
YA -- King moves from supernaturally frightful subjects into the real world of terror. This heroine has been systematically abused (mentally, physically, and sexually) for 14 years of marriage. As the book begins, Rose is finally escaping her husband, a truly psychotic cop, and is starting a new life in another city. The suspense comes from wondering when he will finally catch up with her and talk to her ``up real close,'' his verbal prelude to physical punishment for every perceived wrongdoing. The book is full of graphic language and acts and may be all too real for some YAs. But those readers who have enjoyed King's past books will not be disappointed by this one. Though he doesn't frighten, he does create tension in the chase, demonstrating just how mad this husband is. As the final conflict occurs, though, the author emphasizes the strength one can find in oneself by having Rose (with the aid of a painting that comes to life) vanquish Norman herself. Unfortunately, very few victims of abuse in today's world have access to supernatural paintings.
Ray Olson
One gift that distinguishes King from other horror writers is his knack for and dedication to creating convincing female protagonists who are more than stock damsels in distress, like feisty Dolores Claiborne in the novel, arguably King's best, that bears her name, or this book's Rose McClendon Daniels. Rose is the abused wife of sadistic cop Norman Daniels. We meet her in a typical King grab-'em-and-shock-'em prologue, just as she's beginning to suffer a miscarriage brought on by Norman's latest beating. The main action begins when Rose finally walks out of the 14-year hell of her marriage. Dazed and ignorant of the regular world, she finds a battered women's shelter 800 miles from home, starts an independent life, and even meets a decent man, a pawn shop operator from whom she buys a strange painting. Of course, Norman, gone -- as a King character might say -- round the bend and ballistic, is tracking her down, maiming and murdering every informer and obstructor he can along the way. The expected bloody showdown climaxes the yarn, but not until King invokes the supernatural -- the painting, of course, and its inhabitant, whom Rose dubs "Rose Madder" to help his heroine. This time, the tactic seems strained and unnecessary; Dolores Claiborne needed only a dash of the uncanny to get out of her predicament, and Rose McClendon, bolstered by her shelter cohort, seems equal to Norman without the assistance of weird artwork. That judgment, however, is something with which King's millions of readers will want to concur or dissent after their own reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606097987
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Stephen King, the world's bestselling novelist, was educated at the University of Maine at Orono. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, and their children in Bangor, Maine.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 209 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(108)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 211 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Love this book

    I read this book when it first came out and just loved it the first time. This book is something that you don't want to put it down. Years later and here I am reading this book again and still love it. If you like Stephen King books with some twisting stories to get your imagination going, then this is the book I would recommend.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Awesome book

    This book takes you to a different place as all Kings books do. While still having you rooted in a real womans issue with abuse and finding strength from within.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2011

    Rose madder

    My favorite King novel. Read the paperback 10 times, and purchased a copy for my NookColor. Love it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2012

    The best book I ever read. Like reading a movie

    The best book I ever read. Like reading a movie

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Best Stephen King novel

    I really like the adaptations of the old mythos in here. A lot of times, King can put me to sleep and I find his dialogue shoddy. This is my ultimate favorite Stephen King book and one of my top 5 favorite books of all time.

    The mystical supernatural stuff seems more toned down in this one than in others (though still present in abundance). Definitely recommend.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    Captivated

    I read this book many years ago and is the one book that has remained vividly in my memory. Stephen King is my favorite author. I wans't an avid reader until I ready one of his books then I was hooked. Rose Madder is by far the best fictional book I have ever read. Thats why he is the King.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Need to read

    Its cold out, it's January, holidays are over, I need to read some King...what oh what shall it be?

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    This was my first stephen king book and i loved it (: it was a bit long but i got into it on the 1st page. I wish that he woild have kept it non supernatural especially at the end but hey thats king for ya. I did however enjoy reading and getting into the mind of norman. I would recommend this book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2011

    A Must read if you're a King fan

    As usual, the only bad thing was, I read it and finished it too quickly. Great Stephen King. You won't be disappointed. Loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    My opinion

    This is one of my favorite steven kings books ever :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Unforgettable

    This books is a book that i read around 14 i forgot what it was called for a while but ill never forget what it was about. This book is so creative.i love it def. Check it out

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Smart and Scary view of Gender Wars

    Rose Madder is based on a woman who leaves an abusive marriage after 14 years and tries to live a new life without beatings. However, when her husband Norman realizes she left (and with his bank card!) he becomes furious and sets out to find her, and "teach her a lesson".

    Stephan King intertwines the stories of both characters; Rose and Norman, and brings readers through a creepy tale that will make you wonder if it is in fact reality or not. Although it is a bit over drawn, and we could have let go of 100 pages, it is a great story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    ''High School''

    I read this book my senior year of high school, have to say it was the first book by Stephen King I'd read. Its capitivating, thrilling and escapism.I give this book also 10/10 for its intrigueness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of King's best!

    This is one of King's best works. He delved deep into the two characters' minds (Rosie & her husband Norman). There are some very disturbing scenes and he did a VERY good job with Norman, even I was scared of him! Unlike some of King's other books, this one has just the right amount of supernaturalism for the plot. I love Stephen King, but in some of his other books, he sometimes has a tendency to go overboard, but in "Rose Madder", it's perfect.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    An emotional rollercoaster...

    This is my favorite work by Mr. King. He sends you deep into the psyche of the main character and you can't help but hold breath as you turn each page. However it is certainly not for everyone, as it hit very close to home for me. If you think you can handle the realities of abuse, fear and strength, I suggest you add this to your collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    Rose Madder

    I couldn't read this book at night, that's how scary it was. there's just something so freakishly real about this story. That you could actually believe somewhere out there there is really someone like Rosie and Norman. Stephen King really did a good job of portraying Rosie McClendon and Norman even though the part about Norman chewing up some of Rosie's friends was yuck! I was a little bit confused at the end, but for the most part it was very well written. Bravo!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Rose Madder

    This novel (And it is a full length novel) like so many of Stephen King`s, gets a bit long winded, case in point, during a peticular harrowing scene, King cuts off to describe how this moment reminds Rosie of something from her childhood, and goes in great detail about *that*, only to circle back `round to what the event he started with. After a while, it gets old and tedious. Not just in this book, but all of his books.
    I find myself skipping past these, to get on with the story. I`m not missing anything by doing this, but I am saving myself time and eye strain.

    I liked the title character, in the middle of the book, but when she started to get very bold and cocky, my feelings for her changed, almost to the point of my thinking that she wasn`t good enough for Bill. He deserved her sweetness, not her abusive side. I guess Stephen King knew the women readers would feel this way, so thankfully he toned her down a bit. By doing so, it made the character likable again.

    Not that the anger she felt wasn`t justified! 14 years of holding it in, would have been enough to drive even the sweetest dispositions running towards a batting cage, or something worse.

    All in all, I give the story 4 stars, because I have read better by this author, but I certainly have read worse as well! Not young adult friendly, rape, sexual content, language and horror would put this book as rated R, as far as this constant reader is concerned.

    If you are a fan of his peticular style of horror, you won`t be disappointed. He delivers 100 % :)

    K.R.C.
    July 2014
    Phoenix, Az.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Ok-- just ok

    NOT ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVS BY KING, BUT NOT ONE OF HIS WORST EITHER
    AT SOME POINTS, WAY TOO PERVERTEDLY GRUESOME WHEN HE DETAILS THE THINGS THE PSYCHO HUSBAND PUTS THIS WOMAN THROUGH
    I JUST SKIMMED PAST THOSE PARTS, NOT MY IDEA OF AN ENTERTAINING READ

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Just a thought.....

    ....... but how can I trust a review written by someone who calls the author "steven kings"?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Love it

    This is one of my all time favorite king books, awesome story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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