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Dolores Claiborne Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1993
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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The story unfolds in one continuous chapter, told in the first person by the cranky, 65-year-old housekeeper, Dolores, who is explaining to police officers and a stenographer how and why she killed her husband, Joe, 30 years ago. At the same time, in her rambling monologue, she insists that she did not kill her longtime employer, Vera Donovan--notwithstanding what the residents of Little Tall Island may be whispering. Joe was a drinker, and, as Dolores gradually argues, he deserved to die for the horrifying crimes he committed against his family. But Vera, despite her cantankerous disposition as a lady governing her decaying estate with her precise rules about even the most mundane household chore ("Six pins! Remember to use six pins! Don't you let the wind blow my good sheets down to the corner of the yard!"), was a good woman--or at least not an evil one. She was the woman who hired the young Dolores and kept her on even after Dolores got pregnant again. Dolores cleaned and cared for her even as the old matron faded into senility.
Dolores Claiborne is a rich novel that recalls the regionalist writing of the turn of the century. It is a fine place for a skeptical newcomer--put off by King's reputation for outright terror--to start. And for fans, it is a book that offers new insights into an author who's an old favorite. --Patrick O'Kelley
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The story is a taped interview with the police who suspect Dolores of killing her elderly employer, Vera Donovan, for whom Dolores has served as a housekeeper for over 40 years. Dolores thinks she must confess that she killed her husband Joe over 30 years ago to explain why she could not have killed her employer. As the story rolls, you are fascinated with the interplay between Dolores and Vera. Vera is a match for Dolores, equally strong minded and diverse. (Dolores is convinced Vera went senile just to aggravate her.) Her story of her marriage to the vile drunken Joe and her stealthy plans to kill him are riveting. Dolores can't remember any reason she married him except he had a "smooth, clear forehead." She is stealthy, not because she fears any person on this earth; she just wants to spare her children the knowledge that she killed their father. Nothing goes quite according to plan, and even powerful Dolores suffers long periods of mental exhaustion.
"Delores Claiborne" without monsters or the supernatural and told in an uneducated but perceptive, voice is brilliant. This is one of Stephen King's finest works and well worth the read.
"Dolores Claiborne" was written between October 1989-February 1992 (future generations of King scholars will have fun studying the overlap of his novels to create some tapestry of analytical insight) and the title character is a foul tempered, foul mouthed, old Yankee who has been living all her life on Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine. The novel is told in the first person by the 65-year-old Dolores, who has just been arrested for the murder of Vera Donovan, the even older richer lady who had been her longtime employer and who suddenly died in Dolores' care under extremely suspicious circumstances. In explaining what happened, Dolores not only tells her life story but also defends herself from the charge that she murdered Vera Donovan by explaining her involvement in the death of her husband Joe thirty years earlier on the day of the total eclipse.
It takes a while to get used to the way Dolores talks.Read more ›
The book discovers two mysterious death cases and the strange relationship between two woman who seem to have nothing in common. The first death case is of Vera Donovan, the woman Dolores worked for many years and has just died and Dolores is accused of killing her. Dolores and Vera are two women of different backgrounds, and seemingly different lives. The other death case is of Dolores' husband, who died long ago. How the two cases and the two women become intertwined is the key to the book and I don't want to spoil the fun. But this is only the frame.
What's within this frame is a masterpiece. The book is narrated by Dolores who makes a confession. In a one chapter, monologue style. Her confession introduces us to a woman who suffered a lot, whose life was anything but fun; however she possesses a stunning will to live. The characters she describes are vivid and she, herself is unbelievable. The story is a triumph over injustice and false beliefs.
As a man I was surprised how King knows the soul of women and how he knows what women could think of some situations and things (the starting quotation of the book is from Freud: "Woman! What does she want?"). However, the true motto of the book is one sentence from Vera: "Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has hold onto." True. How many people do you know who live this way?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoy Stephen King as a writer and own all his books, both past and present. The story is compelling and moves quite well, but the work isn't Stephen's best - especially... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Andy Keith
While it isn't creepy in a supernatural sense, it is creepy in the truth-can-be-stanger-than-fiction sense. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A Reader
Wonderful story. Like that it was told from Deloris' point of view. I had seen the movie but had never read the book. Enjoyed both versions.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I used to he a big bookworm about 10 years ago and then just couldn't find myself to get through a couple of pages of ANY book without falling asleep - even if it was a book I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Richard Parker
Such a great book. I just finished re-reading this book. Of course I am currently reading his newest work The End Of Watch, but next I will have to delve into Gerald's Game as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Julie K
I borrowed the CD version of this book from my local library. What a treasure! Frances Sternhagen brings the novel to life with her perfect Maine accent and the appropriate... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Skyhawk
I've read this book many times through the years. A classic thriller! Not too gory, but gives you insight to how a real life mother can react when her children are in danger.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
If you don't read this book for any other reason, read it for Dolores' amazingly sharp sense of humor. The Vera poop scene - omg. I laughed till my face hurt. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ATB