This book was a little gem I did a mixture of reading and listening to the audiobook and the narrator was fantastic I think what makes it stand out is the unique format of the story, which was Dolores giving her testimony to the police after her employer died in her care I wasn t sure I would like the structure of it being one long chapter but it was so compelling that it worked well I was drawn in from the very beginning with this woman s charming dialect and wit, and how she could possibly have been accused of murder, but she declares she will tell the whole story, which goes on to be riveting Although it touched on a horrifying topic, it was not suspenseful or scary although a little chilling and was so realistic that it felt like listening to a true story There s a lot to be learned from Dolores Claiborne, mostly about how to be true to yourself Stephen King never ceases to amaze me with the characters he creates I think so far this may be my favorite Highly recommend Fascinating story and such a strong voice Since this story is pretty much an obvious one, centered on what appears to be a solid who done it, it s just the devil in the details where we have to place all our attention.Will this be a rubbernecking event Or is an obviously guilty woman obviously and truly guilty with the crime she is being accused of Truly, the story is a lot complex and interesting than any first glance, and than anything, we re meant to get in deep within Dolores s skin Classic SK, not supernatural, but absolutely an awesome character slide.Is that the sound of a vacuum cleaner lol I m such a bitch. Everything I Did, I Did For Love For Thirty Years, Folks On Little Tall Island Have Been Waiting To Find Out Just What Happened On The Eerie Dark Day Dolores Claiborne S Husband Died The Day Of The Total Eclipse Now, The Police Want To Know What Happened Yesterday When Her Rich, Bedridden Employer Died Suddenly In Her Care With No Choice But To Talk, Dolores Gives Her Compelling Confession Of The Strange And Terrible Links Forged By Hidden Intimacies Of The Fierceness Of A Mother S Love And Its Dreadful Consequences Of The Silent Rage That Can Turn A Woman S Heart To Hate When Dolores Claiborne Is Accused Of Murder, It S Only The Beginning Of The Bad News For What Comes After That Is Something Only Stephen King Could Imagine As He Rips Open The Darkest Secrets And The Most Damning Sins Of Men And Women In An Ingrown Maine Town And Takes You On A Trip Below Its Straitlaced Surface An accident is sometimes an unhappy woman s best friend Five stars for Stephen King s Dolores Claiborne I ve been slowly working my way through King s catalog, and I picked up Dolores because 1 I had liked the 1995 movie version starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh and 2 the story features a total solar eclipse, which we just experienced last year However, I was unprepared for how marvelous the dialogue was, how sharp witted the character of Dolores would be, and how thrilling the beats of the novel were, even though I vaguely recalled the movie plot I quickly got so absorbed in the book that I abandoned my other plans for the day and just kept reading And reading And stayed up past my bedtime, anxious to get to the end.One of the things I most appreciated in this book was how well King had written the female characters, especially Dolores and Vera The women had strength They had verve They were fully formed people, with their own minds They were interesting to read about.A few months ago I read novels by three bestselling male authors Harlan Coben, John Grisham and John le Carr Reading their books in close succession, I was struck by how stereotypically some of the women had been written, portrayed as weaklings, often breaking down crying and hiding in a corner while the MEN stomped off to solve problems When the women weren t crying, the men were noticing how their asses moved when they walked, or fantasizing about screwing them Or the men were irritated with the women s nagging, complaining about their moods and neuroses, or how the women just got in the way while REAL WORK needed to be done I was irritated when I noticed this Truly irritated and disgusted Granted, the le Carr book had been written in the 1960s, but the Coben and Grisham novels were 2017 publications Come on, guys Let s push beyond the Mad Men era and give women to do than strut around in tight pants and weep in the corner.While chatting about these gender stereotypes in novels, one friend said he thought Stephen King wrote women fairly well And he was right Dolores Claiborne revived my faith in male writers I ll keep reading King s books, but I may take a break from the other guys.Notes I just watched the movie version for the first time in 20 years, and it holds up well What was interesting to me is how differently the book tells the same story, compared to the screenplay In the novel, Dolores tells her story in a long confessional conversation to investigators, so it s all her voice and perspective In the movie, the screen writers brought in the character of the daughter, Selena, which added another dimension and perspective to the story This is why I love comparing source material to the movie adaptation it s fascinating to see how the writers approach the story in different ways I want to clarify that I am not condemning every book or female character that Grisham Coben have written The two novels I read last fall that included some irritating stereotypes were Coben s Don t Let Go and Grisham s The Rooster Bar In both cases, the women that felt like caricatures weren t the main characters, but there were several scenes that made me cringe Both of those men publish a lot of books, and I ve read other novels by them that included women who were portrayed with complexity It s possible that the writers were pushing a deadline and the easiest thing to do was fall back on silly stereotypes, rather than create a nuanced character The experience has made me pay closer attention to how male authors write about women.Favorite Quotes I understood something else, too that one kiss didn t change a thing Anyone can give a kiss, after all a kiss was how Judas Iscariot showed the Romans which one was Jesus In those days I still believed the love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man was stronger than the love of drinkin and hell raisin that love would eventually rise to the top like cream in a bottle of milk I learned better over the next ten years The world s a sorry schoolroom sometimes, ain t it He was a coward at heart, you see, although I never said the word out loud to him not then and not ever Doing that s about the most dangerous thing a person can do, I think, because a coward is afraid of being discovered than he is of anything else, even dying Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive Sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to. I have been sitting in a room having a little break, from A Dance with Dragons, listening to Dolores tell me her story.It s a confession really.About her husband and what happened during that eclipse About her employer but mostly, and most importantly, about herself as a woman, and a wife, and a mother.It is a very chilling tale, told by today s master of the craft.The bell resonates.I fell into her voice and found myself in that small town, on that little island, off the coast of Maine with her listening to the events that led up to that eclipse and after until now As for the now Vera Donovan, her employer another woman with a different kind of history, lay dead.Dolores Claiborne is a classic, disturbing look at just some, of what happens around us all, both today and yesterday I cannot believe that I just now read this book Given my early gluttony of King s work, it astounds me that I missed this one Problem solved Now I simply must get my hands on Gerald s Game to read again This one lends a renewed perspective.All hail the King, and oh yeah WOOT Thank you Trudi for reminding me about this gem. I m not an ardent fan od Stephen King but Dolores Claiborne felt pretty good to me I ve read only three his works earlier just to see what people see in him and have to say I liked him the most in his psychological version Because despite the opinion of being horror writer he is quite good observer of life, not specially prophetic, revealing or something, just good Also he seems to have an eye to render quite an atmosphere of time and place he describes And to me picture of reality, even if distorted, an unspecified sense of growing horror heightened additionally by carefully chosen setting, whether it was a desolated after the season hotel or solitary house on the island or just amusement park, are enough to maintain the suspense and keep me interested Don t get me wrong I don t mind some supernatural elements now and then but I don t need any zombies,vampires company thing Novel is written in a form of monologue of title protagonist Oh my, Dolores is a fast talker, indeed She goes to police station because after the death of Vera Donovan, her former employer, lately a demented person under her care, she seems to be a natural suspect And so begins confession from her life And she definitely has something to talk about She throws words like a machine gun, she s aggravatingly digressive at times but the language she speaks sounds very real, sometimes she s full of understanding and compassion then again frustrated and on the verge of committing a murder, at least verbally Her talk is chaotic, the events of the last days are intertwined with facts from several decades ago She tells us about that old witch Vera to go smoothly to her own marriage And all this in almost one breath.I don t know King s style and writing technique that much but I think that kind of narration is not usual to him But it worked for me To give the floor Dolores and let her pour out her heart and anger and fear The picture that emerges from that talking is not the pretty one Dolores had such a lousy life And reading I truly was curious how she managed to not drownd in unfriendly world, I didn t give a damn that she killed that despicable dick her husband was, it s barely a spoiler, Dolores admits that in her first words, I was interested how she managed to get off lightly I wanted to know how she negotiated with children aftermath I was interested in her relatationship with Vera Donovan for before the latter turned into demented harpy she was, well, a harpy but a very smart and her mind was razor sharp but her life wasn t a barrel of laughs either.I found figure of Dolores well written, neither too exaggerated nor inept poor thing The real woman, flesh and blood, always set to jump down somebody s throat and fight anyone who wants to hurt her children And I think that this is the strength of this book I do not believe in vampires or other creatures but evil and bad people is a completely different thing For even at the moment I am writing these words somewhere there is a villain that hurts a child All in all, I found this one a very decent reading and quite successful appointment with the author that is rather not my cup of tea.3.5 5 4.5 Stars Now I ve finally read it, I m surprised it took me so long to get to this book In fact, the title has always felt so familiar that I was half convinced I d either read the novel or seen the movie before, although that was not the case True enough Kathy Bates played the lead role of Dolores, and Jennifer Jason Leigh played her daughter, and I remember there had been some fanfare around the release of the movie in the mid 90s released in 1995 and both actresses were very familiar to me, but no, I hadn t seen the movie somehow And now I ve read the thing and know what the story is about and considering what I ve been going through in my most disturbing and all too frequent moments of recurring PTSD episodes in the last few years, I see there is indeed a strange connection there I should backtrack a little I want to keep this as brief as I can and I don t want to delve deep into personal matters here Plenty enough has been said about this 1992 novel by now, but I ll give my version of it Dolores is a housekeeper who has worked for a very wealthy woman called Vera Donovan and was eventually promoted as her personal companion when Vera became incontinent with age That is, since the day before the story begins in the book Now Dolores has been accused of Vera Donovan s murder Vera has been found half tumbled down the stairs in her grand mansion of a house all broken up dead, and things look very much like Dolores is guilty of murder, with an eye witness putting her right over the body, with a rolling pin nearby The book is told in a monologue, as Dolores is taken into the police station and decides she must come clean of an old crime to prove she is innocent of this recent death She goes all the way back to her teenage years, when she met her husband in high school and their early courtship she liked how smooth his forehead was in retrospect, that was the only thing she found appealing about him , how after they d married and had a child she came to work for Mrs Donovan when she was pregnant with her daughter Selena The crux of the action takes place on the 20th of July 1963, the day when there was a total solar eclipse, which is when she planned and executed the murder of her abusive alcoholic husband by luring him to falling into a disused old well But that is only a small part of the overall story, which is her narrative about working for Vera Donovan who was dedicated to being a bitch Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman s got to hold on to and her description of her husband Joe, and what drove her to her decision to kill him, and how her employer and the eclipse all fit together into this puzzle Stephen King has always impressed me as a writer I may not have read that many of his titles, but I ve been reading him since I was a teenager with a title here and there and gaps of many years between books I haven t delved much into the real horror stuff I read Carrie as a teenager, but otherwise I ve tended to prefer his psychological dramas, which I think everyone will agree is his great strength in all his books But he introduced a terribly intriguing element in this story that was mentioned a couple of times and then left floating with no follow up at all Dolores has a clear vision of a girl who has suffered abuse and is certain the girl exists in real life somewhere But the subject is dropped and never mentioned again It made me wonder Is this meant as just a strange recurring interlude, a sideshow Is this something he does often Was it simply a flaw in this one book Is it an idea he meant to develop further in a follow up to Dolores Claiborne that didn t make it past the first draft I mention it here because that is the one thing that keeps this book from being a five star experience for me, because the lack of development felt like something that had been forgotten and unfinished than anything else, while in every other way the novel is a memorable experience and touches on subjects I am very much attuned to and have personal experience with Such as about the lengths a mother will go to in order to protect her children from a bad father About the estrangement that sometimes follows About various forms of abuse About ghosts, which are basically projections of our worst fears which we somehow manage to give real dimension to, mostly from sheer terror which must become concentrated bundles of energy, perhaps because projected from our broken psyches Stephen King understand so much about human beings He writes about people in Maine and their way of life almost exclusively, yet his stories are universal somehow He writes with emotional intelligence and when he gets a good story going, even if it s coming from a single voice sitting in a police station delivering one practically uninterrupted monologue, you can t do anything but pay attention and lay awake missing out on sleep if you need to, just so you can reach the end, because how are you going to possibly put this down and catch any z s if you keep wondering what happens next The audiobook version was great The narrator is very convincing as Dolores Almost five stars By a hair Just that unfinished business It ll just keep niggling at me If anyone has ideas about it, please PM me. Kathy Bates What an actress Forgive me as I talk a bit about the movies born from King s novels So Kathy Bates starred as both Annie Wilkes and Dolores Claiborne in Misery and what s the name of the other film oh yeah, Dolores Claiborne I ve watched them both Liked them both a lot If you haven t, maybe you should, if not for Stephen King s stories, then for Bates acting and to see two flicks that turned out right This is especially true if you thought that King only wrote straight horror But read the books first King created two complex women characters in these two books who I consider polar opposites to one another And they are, excepting the face of Kathy Bates I pictured while reading this past week, and also in that small, dark place a person is driven to when there is no other choice that remains Annie started there It s who she is Dolores goes there for a short time because she has to, and sadly it alters everything in her life thereafter 30 years later she spills her story After her kids are grown and gone After the woman she cared for, and learned to love as a friend, has just died After no one is leftSometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive, she says Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold ontoThat s a quote I had not forgotten after hearing it in the movie, and was happy to see they hadn t altered it You can t see it in context here Reading it in the book is where it makes sense, from the lips of Vera Donovan the woman Dolores worked and cared for the real bitch for a time Like the characters, this book ended up being deceivingly complex because the things that are not directly experienced We are only shown a glimpse of all those years that pass after the Eclipse and the Well There s a sadness inherit here, especially in a piece of the ending which came as a surprise something I hadn t remembered from the movie It tied things together for me, as it bonded these two women over so many years. Husbands die every day Dolores Why, one is probably dying right now while you re sitting here weeping.An accident can be an unhappy woman s best friend 30.. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman s got to hold on to Dolores Claiborne Meet Dolores Claiborne island woman, mother of three, murderess and overall high riding bitch And I love her She is strength and smarts and dignity personified and in my opinion, one of the most vivid and memorable literary creations ever to walk the pages of any book I don t say that lightly Yes I m a fan, yes I m gushing, but this is also a tempered, critical evaluation after living with her existence these many years She has stood the test of time and I have no doubt she will continue to do so long after her creator has passed Arguably one of Stephen King s most underrated and dismissed works, Dolores Claiborne remains for me one of his best and most literary novels The first person narrative voice is brilliantly executed, the island dialect ringing true, the rhythm of the language making the sense of place so vibrant and tangible The reading experience is only enhanced by the audio version which I highly recommend.Bringing nothing but his A game, King delves into the life of a poor, uneducated, island woman, who marries young and gets to repent in leisure I love this story so much because not only does it capture small town life and a woman s place in it, but also the unshakeable bonds of friendship that can be forged like steel between women, and the ferocious love a mother feels for her children In her awesome review, Catie puts it this way This book is a powerful and naked look at mother love, at how desperate, intense, and all consuming it really is.But mainly this is the story of an unlikely alliance between two hard talkin , high riding bitches two women from very different walks of life who find that they have a similar core of bitter strength At its heart, this is a book about a desperate woman who is driven to a very desperate act It is a crime novel built around a detailed confession that s so urgent, so immediate, the story sucks you in like quicksand and does not want to let go This is not a horror novel, but there are a few moments of unadulterated suspense and terror that had my heart jack rabbiting in my chest view spoiler When Dolores returns to the well and Joe has nearly succeeded in climbing out and grabs her ankle, I just about screamed and threw the book across the room When you have to do such a dirty deed, you want it to happen as fast and clean as possible It could not have turned out ugly and terrifying for Dolores and is it any wonder she imagines Joe s face grinning out at her from behind the wheels of Vera s wheelchair on the day of Vera s death hide spoiler
Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.
- Mass Market Paperback
- 372 pages
- Dolores Claiborne
- Stephen King
- 02 November 2018 Stephen King