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review 2017-04-29 19:34
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King

Five stars for one of my very favorite Stephen King stories: the enthralling and legendary 1993 novel, Dolores Claiborne.


As old as this book is, and considering it was made into a big budget film starring Kathy Bates (my favorite King adaption, by the way), almost everyone knows the plot — so I won't rehash too much. But I will say this is the story of a woman — easily the strongest woman King has ever created, and simply one of the best damn female main characters I've ever come across in fiction. This is her story — her confessional — all told in first-person, in Maine dialect. The writing style is unique, something most authors wouldn't have been able to pull off . . . but King isn't most authors. Novels like this one are why he is my favorite writer, full stop.


There is so much I want to say about this book and I find I can't really say much at all. A complex, taut, fast-paced domestic thriller/drama/mystery, this ranks among King's most un-put-downable and intriguing. defy any reader to finish the story and not think of Dolores from time to time.


A classic. A must-read. Etc.


Favorite Quote


"In the fifties... when they had their summer parties - there were always different colored lanterns on the lawn... and I get the funniest chill. In the end the bright colors always go out of life, have you noticed that? In the end, things always look gray, like a dress that's been washed too many times.”


King Connections


Several references to Shawshank prison are mentioned.


On page 226, Dolores is driving home on the day of the eclipse and takes note of the deserted roads — she comments on how hey reminded her of "that small town downstate" where it is rumored "no one lives there anymore." A reference to 'Salem's Lot? I'll say maybe.


This is the 'sister' novel of Gerald's Game. Both books' most crucial moments take place on the day of the eclipse.


Up Next


It's a world of color, a world of darkness . . . It's Insomnia.

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review 2016-04-02 00:00
Dolores Claiborne
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King 4.75 stars

I never would have thought I could be so interested in this type of story. It's just an old lady telling about her life, but I hung on every word. It's great IMO.
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review 2015-02-08 19:29
Dolores Claiborne Review
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King

I managed to reread Dolores Claiborne in under 24 hours. I was thirteen when I first read it, and even then it only took three days. With no chapter breaks and one of the best vernacular-heavy voices King's ever taken on, this book's engine very nearly purrs. Dolores Claiborne is, in my opinion, Stephen King's most well-delivered story. There's zero filler, and that's unheard of where King's concerned. The book is so succinct that the movie version actually had to add more content instead of cutting content to make it fit. To give you an example of how rare that is, no other King book has ever been extended for film. His short stories and novellas have, but never one of his novels.

Normally, I suggest reading King's books in chronological order, but I believeGerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne should be read in reverse order. Gerald's Game was released first, but you get a better experience reading these twin novels if you read Dolores Claiborne beforehand. And in case you're wondering what I mean by "twin novels", I'll explain: Both of the aforementioned books connect in the middle, kinda like siamese twins. The main characters of both books share a psychic link that has absolutely nothing to do with either story. For some reason, they are able to see one another for a short period of time. It's fucking odd, so be prepared. If you do not know about it going in, it can be jarring because it is completely out of place. King fans won't mind because we know it's just par for the course with him, but new-to-King readers will definitely be asking themselves WTF? when they reach the end and none of these shenanigans are explained.

Obvious Tie-ins:
Gerald's Game

Hidden Gems:

I believe Dolores sees the Beam at one point, as does Jessie Burlingame (the MC from Gerald's Game), and that's how both women are able to see each other through the eclipse.

(spoiler show)

Notable names:
Andy Bissette (various books throughout the King-verse; most small mentions)

In summation: If you don't like horror, this is the King novel for you. His literary novellas are outstanding, too, as are some of his future novels, but I would start here. Damn good character writing. Some of the best I've ever read.

Final Judgment: Eclipses the rest.

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review 2014-10-08 22:58
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King

This was a fabulous read. Stephen King is a master of the monologue. He was able to sustain the voice of Dolores Claiborne throughout the whole novel. It was like she was right in the room with me till her story was finished. Vera Donavan's memorable phrase, "Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman can hold on to." was priceless.  I had viewed the film years ago, but the book surpasses it by a long mile.

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review 2014-08-19 22:59
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King

Stephen King is definitely my favourite author. I am always blown away by his creativity and his ability to always re-invent himself. Even though he is best known for his horror stories, he does write outside that genre and very well indeed, in my opinion.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have any issues with this book. As with Scarlet, the character’s way of talking made it very hard to get into the story. Unlike Scarlet, Dolores’ speech was consistent and it did seem genuine.


My other problem was the focus of the story. Dolores promised to talk about a murder but instead, rambled on describing Vera’s life and personality. Mind you, it was very interesting but I was looking forward to read about Dolores’ life and not Vera’s. Once the narrative started to focus more on Dolores, I was completely hooked.


This book was suggested on the back of my copy of Rose Madder and I’m glad I picked it up. My main issue with Rose Madder was that the wonderful and very engaging premise was spoiled by the supernatural aspect. There was no supernatural aspect in this book, which made me enjoy this one a lot more than Rose Madder.


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