Review ~ Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Cover via Goodreads

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. (via Goodreads)

I’m not a huge Stephen King fan, but there are things that I think he does very well. I like his shorter works, and I think his stories are better with a small-ish cast of characters. And, maybe surprisingly, I think his less supernatural stories are better. The dark side of human nature provides ripe enough meat for King, really.

I had seen the movie years previous to picking up Dolores Claiborne in a pretty crappy paperback copy from the library’s sale corner. I was interested in seeing how King laid out this story. I had no idea that the book was a continuous first person narrative by Dolores herself. No chapter breaks! It’s a mild literary stunt, but King pulls it off. The dialect didn’t bug me either.

The plot, while low on supernatural elements, is dark and a bit unnerving. It’s a solid book and I liked it more than I thought I would. Gerald’s Game is a semi-related and I’ll probably check it out soon.

Publisher: Signet
Publication date: December 1993
Genre: Horror
Why did I choose to read this book? Just in the mood for some Stephen King.


4 thoughts on “Review ~ Dolores Claiborne

  1. Dale

    11-22-63 is still the only full length Stephen King novel I’ve ever read. It was better than I thought it would be. A little sentimental but that was kind of pleasant surprise. The Stand has been recommended to me numerous times and I’ve always thought Carrie could be good. Now Dolores Claiborne has me intrigued.

  2. Midnyte Reader

    I’m a fan of King, but never read this one. I saw the movie and liked it, but I don’t know that I’d love the book. I didn’t realize there were no chapter breaks! I’m glad you liked this one. I love how different people like different books of his, short stories vs. novels, less supernatural vs. gory, etc.

  3. Pingback: The Best I Read in 2014 | The Writerly Reader

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