Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rose Madder” as Want to Read:
Rose Madder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rose Madder

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  70,607 Ratings  ·  1,521 Reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight - with his credit card.

Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, 'Rose Madder', which strangely seems
Paperback, 608 pages
Published 1995 by Hodder and Stoughton
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rose Madder, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Agustin Magallanes I would cast Anne Hathaway or Rachel McAdams as Rosie and Gerard Butler as Norman.
The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
43rd out of 122 books — 2,769 voters
Gerald's Game by Stephen KingThe Tommyknockers by Stephen KingCell by Stephen KingThe Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen KingLisey's Story by Stephen King
Worst Stephen King books
8th out of 53 books — 400 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
3.5 Stars

If you can handle a story of horrific abuse, Hannibal Lector's idea of a tasty dinner, and haunted dreams from the beyond, you're going to love ROSE MADDER.

Norman "Bates" Daniels is a lunatic cop with a foul mouth and a sick, evil mind, and for wife Rose, a life of fear and pain begins the night of her honeymoon.......for the reader, it's almost immediate and a real shocker.

Unprepared, terrified and alone, after 14 long years of living in hell, Rose finally flees for her life knowing fu

Shane Malcolm
Feb 24, 2008 Shane Malcolm rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Stephen King, anyone wanting inspiration to escape from domestic abuse
Shelves: horror
Stephen King novels occasionally annoy me by starting off strong but petering off to disappointing conclusions. Still, his characters and plots are almost always interesting, and none of his endings are bad enough to off-set the entire reading experience. However, Rose Madder bothered me, because he spent so much time writing a REAL story only to have it dissolve into typical supernatural fare towards the end. Yes, I realize that Stephen King is a horror writer, and I customarily love this genre ...more
Oct 30, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: thriller fans, horror fans
Shelves: horror, thriller
Probably my favorite King book, Rose Madder contains some of his creepiest imagery and the best characterization of a woman that he's managed thus far. It's hard not to get involved in Rosie's problems as she runs from a horrifically abusive marriage. The supernatural horror aspect of the story doesn't even enter into it until fairly late in the book; King gives you the chance to watch Rosie grow and change, and to set the stage for what will happen next.

Definitely the one I would loan to someon
Sep 04, 2010 Felina rated it liked it
Shelves: star-3, 2010
This is definately my least favorite of the King books I've read so far. I simultaniously loved and hated this book. There were no parts that I just liked...seriously I was either loving it or hating it. Clearly since I gave it 3 stars I loved more parts then I hated.

First the good stuff. As usual Kings take on a crazy person is always amazing and terrifying. My first King book was Misery and I just love his crazy villians.

I was actually getting a little bored with the book until Rosie found he
Thomas Strömquist
The 31st book in my long-term Stephen King reading project and the first one I had never read before. Considering common opinion (including King's own) and my friends views, I enjoyed more than I thought I would. However, it's far from without issues.

For a long time I had a vague idea about men like Rose's husband. I imagined that somewhere along the way something went wrong and what causes the rest of us to behave like human beings was lost in them. The abundance of them made me refine my theo
Edward Lorn
Mar 30, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
Now I remember why I didn't like this the first time I read it. It wears out its welcome a good 60 pages before the end. We get our denouement, and then we're made to wade through a goodly chunk of book before we can call it done.

Still, Rose Madder is okay. I think what keeps this book pretty middle of the road for me is Norman Daniels, our cliched villain. King has three types of male antagonists: women beaters, child molesters, and racists. Norman Daniels suffers from the former and the latte
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Worked well as a straight thriller but also had fantastical elements thrown in. Good readable characters with many great scenes. And the 'villain' of the book, one of King's best, a very nasty guy but his POV sections where equally unnerving and hilarious to read, more so when he aquires a rubber mask towards the end, might be my strange sense of humour but I laughed out loud a few times.

The infamous King ending.....satisfying but very quick finish after this massiv
Jane Stewart
Great suspense. Wife runs from her abusive husband who is now tracking her.

The first 10% is Rose living with Norman. They’ve been married fourteen years. He bites, stabs, and punches her. (Most of this harm is told rather than shown so it’s a little less painful for the reader.) The next 80% is Rose leaving Norman, surviving with help from an organization, meeting someone, and Norman’s search for her. The organization helps abused women on the run. The women in the organization have
Brent Soderstrum
Dec 24, 2008 Brent Soderstrum rated it liked it
This contains both the good and bad (well not really bad) of Stephen King. I really loved the part of the book where he descibes Rose's relationship with her abusive husband, how she breaks away finally from that and then runs away from him across the country. Norman, a police officer hunts Rose down and begins to eliminate those who try to interfere with his pursuit of his wife. Great characters who are described in depth.

The bad part of the book begins with the painting Rose buys for her new a
May 30, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
Rose Madder is part of a group of King books I had yet not read. Well, I'm glad I did. Like his best efforts, it is character driven. And in Rose Daniels/McClendon King supplies one of the best characters in all the books I've read by him. On the dark side of things, her abusive husband is one of his darkest villains. What makes both so interesting is that they are also complex. Rose, whose innocence covers a core of rage; and Norman, who for all of his brutality, is ultimately pathetic. What Ki ...more
Franco  Santos
La mente despierta conoce el concepto del sueño, pero para la persona que sueña no existe el mundo de la vigilia, el mundo real, la cordura; la confusión demencial del sueño. Rose McClendon Daniels durmió inmersa en la locura de su marido durante otros nueve años.

Es un buen libro de King. No es de lo mejor, pero se deja leer.

Es una novela que engancha desde el principio. Ya con ese prólogo es imposible no seguir leyendo. El autor nos escribe sobre Rose Daniels, una mujer que trata de escapar de
The best thing about the book was perhaps the beginning. Inspite of being an author of the horror genre King brought out the brutality of domestic abuse so terrifyingly well. I remember beads of sweat collecting on my forehead while reading the opening.
Aug 20, 2011 Bookrater rated it did not like it
This is without a doubt the worst Stephen King book I've read. Why he felt the need to add the fantasy element in I don't know, but I found it absolutely ridiculous.

Norman Daniels (the psychopath husband) was almost a caricature more than a character. A purely evil, hateful man with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, yet we're expected to believe this psycopath functions perfectly well in the police force and is a highly decorated detective? Trying to imagine this man being sympathetic and kind
Megan Lucas
Mar 03, 2008 Megan Lucas rated it liked it
While reading this book I kept forgetting that it was a Stephen King novel. It has it's twists and turns (as his usual work does) but this was so much more than good vs. evil. Rose Madder is an emotional account of an abused woman who is trying to break free from a tormenting life, and has what is portrayed as a psychological break through as she goes on a journey to be free. King also touches on the downfalls of the system that fails to protect women from situations like Rose is in. Unfortunate ...more
Todd Western-Normanton
This book was the most amazing Stephen King book I have read to date! It was absolutely amazing and would make the most awesome movie! Stephen King is very skilled in character building when it comes to villains- e.g. Annie Wilkes from Misery, The Mad Cop from Desperation or Pennywise from IT. Norman Daniels is main character Rose's abusively psychotic cop husband. After 14 years of abuse and mistreatment, Rose runs away which causes Norman to come after her. Norman scared me a bit as he was unp ...more
Pamela Trawick
Not my usual kind of book. I loved the writing. I could have done without the fantasy part, but the entire book and title hinged upon it.
Madiha Riaz
Oct 25, 2011 Madiha Riaz rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Madiha by: My sister
A fine example of books that start out brilliantly, lose the grip somewhere in between, and just go downhill from there. I cannot believe I finished it. My only motivation behind finishing it was to find out if the end is really what I was thinking of. And no, it was worse.

An abused wife runs away from home; the descriptive scenes, the in-depth psychological insights about the male and female protagonists were just awesome. They hooked to me the book. And I had heard so much about Stephen King,
Brian Schwartz
Oct 07, 2012 Brian Schwartz rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Other than LISEY'S STORY, ROSE MADDER is the worst book Stephen King ever published. It fails to deliver and is not well written at all.

The story works on one level. The story of an abused woman rebuilding her life while, unknown to her, she’s being pursued by her crazy husband is tenable. It falls apart when King contorts his story to make room for the supernatural element which was under developed and poorly conceived.

King tries to make the woman in the painting seem powerful. But with zero
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
The whole world is waking up, she thought. It isn't just me. She stayed where she was for a moment longer, like an animal which has been kept in a cage so long it cannot believe in freedom even when it is offered. She reached behind her and touched the know of the door-the door that led into her cage.

"No more", she whispered. She tucked her purse under one arm and took her first dozen steps into the fogbank which was now her future.

After surviving fourteen years in an abusive marriage, Rosie McC
Neste livro do Stephen King que começa de uma maneira bastante interessante, em que nós ficamos logo comovidos com o sofrimento de Rose Daniels, casada com Norman Daniels detective de profissão, que é vitima de violência doméstica e que depois de 14 anos casamento resolve sair de casa assim de rompante sem pensar e sem planeamento...
E assim começa uma dupla narrativa, a de Rose a construir uma nova vida sempre no terror de ser descoberta e a de Norman na sua perseguição com contornos algo macabr
May 01, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I read this book was because it was mentioned as one that links to the Dark Tower series. It doesn’t really tie into the series but different aspects are mentioned in this book, which to me are always fun to find as I read. It turns out that I ended up really liking this book. I was a little worried at first whether I was going to actually finish this book.

So the description says the story is about a Husband how is beating his wife and she leaves him, with constant fear he will h
Paula ★Ackerman Jaeger★
Podría haber sido un libro perfecto de 5 estrellas, de no haber sido por lo paranormal.
Me pareció innecesario el tema del cuadro mágico, Rose Madder y el toro, creo que hasta sin sentido. Los personajes estaban muy bien creados, Norman el golpeador y misógino que hace de todo, hasta asesinar, con tal de recuperar a su mujer, quien cree que es posesión suya. Y Rosie, una mujer maltratada con todos los miedos que conlleva haberlo sido durante 14 años y la desconfianza al empezar una nueva vida, y
Savrseno napeto i s gropom u zelucu citajuci i iscekivati tko ce ovdje izvuci deblji kraj. I onda paranormalni dio koji ljulja cijeli tijek i razbija ono odlicno u knjizi. Joj kako bih voljela da tog dijela nije bilo! :P
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Rose Daniels has suffered through fourteen years of an abusive marriage. She finally leaves with nothing but the clothes on her back on the day that she realizes that her husband might not kill her. And that thought is worse than the thought that he might.

I know that this is Stephen King, and you should expect violence, but I just want to say right up front that there is at least one very violent scene of abuse that might be more than some readers bargain for. Some of us can handle a man-eating
Dec 17, 2014 Ubik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ubik by: Sheri
Shelves: own
EDIT: Going back over my experience of this novel, I must say my opinion has weakened from my original review...

I would have rather given it a 3.5, but I rounded it down just on overall feeling. I didnt feel totally satisfied with it at the end. It was a good book, just not great. A few things that annoyed me was the slang/the way Norman spoke (I had to keep reminding myself that it was 1994 and not 1956) and the repetition of the characters. It was fine when both characters were separate from e
I really enjoyed Rose Madder. It's the ending that brought it down several notches for me. King sets up this awesome redemptive story for Rose, a battered wife that has run away from her abuser, and then he slaughters that story by saving Rose's life with some supernatural nonsense.

I LOVE STEPHEN KING. I do. I like the supernatural stuff. I like the weird and improbable. He tells it so well. But, listen, in this story it totally felt like a copout. No pun intended. It was cool and it was well wr
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
It's an amazingly disturbing story about domestic violence and women abuse however the paranormal element of the painting itself was, for me, overdone. The relations between Norman and Rosie were so brutal and terrifying that it made me shiver, but when it comes to the Rose Madder's (painting's) depth - I just didn't see the point. Still, it shows an anatomy of abuse, of fear, of being a victim of someone that suppose to love and protect.
Nov 23, 2013 Spirou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Αυτό το βιβλίο το λάτρεψα. Το έχω διαβάσει 3 φορές και κάθε φορά με εκπλήσσει το πόσο καλά περιγράφει ο Stephen King τις σκέψεις και τα συναισθήματα της κακοποιημένης γυναίκας. Βίντεο-παρουσίαση του βιβλίου εδώ:
Εξαιρετικό ψυχογράφημα κακοποιημένης γυναίκας. Κινηματογραφική γραφή και πλοκή. Υπέροχες περιγραφές και σκηνές.
Aug 05, 2008 Kandice rated it it was amazing
As a woman, I felt this book was very empowering. Not everyone has such extreme situations, but everyone has needed to stand up to or run from something.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Rose Madder, by Stephen King 8 13 Sep 18, 2016 04:33PM  
Stephen King Fans: Rose Madder 176 456 Mar 15, 2016 05:59PM  
is it worth starting? 116 430 Mar 07, 2016 06:11AM  
2016 Reading Chal...: Rose Madder 1 14 Jun 17, 2015 07:20PM  
Stephen King Fans: This topic has been closed to new comments. Rose Mader 5 46 Dec 09, 2013 09:00AM  
What's The Name o...: sci-fi book about abused wife of cop [s] 3 29 Feb 17, 2013 08:48AM  
  • Blaze
  • Night Visions 5
  • Mr. Murder
  • Mine
  • The Hellfire Club
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance
  • The Association
  • 48
  • Sacrament
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A Pop-up Book
  • Hellfire
  • Shadowfires
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
More about Stephen King...

Share This Book

11 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“The concept of dreaming is known to the waking mind but to the dreamer there is no waking, no real world, no sanity; there is only the screaming bedlam of sleep.” 44 likes
“It's best to be ruthless with the past.” 28 likes
More quotes…