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Dolores Claiborne

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  72,336 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews
From the world's bestselling author comes one woman's narrative traversing thirty years between two mysterious deaths. Dolores Claiborne's elderly employer dies suddenly, apparently from falling down a flight of stairs. This tragedy sparks memories of the day Dolores's husband died...the day of the total eclipse. Suspected by police and townspeople alike, she delivers a st ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published December 1st 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trudi
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 more tempered, critical evaluation after living with her existence th
...more
Arah-Lynda
Jul 27, 2014 Arah-Lynda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Trudi
Shelves: i-said, top
I have been sitting in a room having a little snack, while I 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 w
...more
Catie
I haven’t read very many from Stephen King (well, okay, I’ve read nine but seven of those were Dark Tower books). This is the least supernatural, most realistic of his that I’ve read. Yeah, there’s a teeny smidge of the supernatural in this book (which really, wasn’t at all necessary, but maybe he just can’t help himself), but the majority of the material here comes from cold, stark reality. It’s still completely frightening and gruesome, but in a subtle and restrained way that I really love.

Th
...more
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Frances Sternhagen – Excellent Narration.

Written as one chapter, this is the story of Dolores Claiborne who is suspected of murdering her wealthy employer.

Instead, during one long night, in a police interview, she confesses to murdering her husband 30 years ago.

The story goes back in time as she tells about the woman she worked for and is suspected of killing, about her marriage and her violent and abusive husband, and her life on Little Tall Island.

I’ve read the book on
...more
Book Concierge
Jan 10, 2012 Book Concierge rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Book Concierge by: Clara Zukrow
The entire novel is told by Dolores Claiborne in her sworn statement to the investigating police. Her employer of 40 years has died in a tragic accident … or did Dolores kill her? Dolores doesn’t pull any punches, she tells us on page two that she did not kill Vera Donovan (though Vera deserved killing, more than once … she was a high-riding bitch). No, Dolores did nothing to hasten old Mrs Donovan’s ending … but she did kill her husband, Joe St George, twenty-nine years ago.

King is a master
...more
Clare Bear
Unlike most King novels I believe, this does not include anything supernatural. It is an interesting story told by the title character in the form of an unbroken monologue. A hard-working abused mother of one, Dolores starts her story where she is being accused of the murder of her long time, aged wealthy employer Vera Donovan, with suspicions also about the disappearance of Dolores' no good sleaze bag husband.

There are some great lines in this book, as Dolores and Vera's working relationship mo
...more
Brian Hodges
This is the Stephen King book that I recommend to anyone who says they don't like horror books. Simply put, this is the story of a woman who kills her husband... I'm not giving anything away, you know this from the first few pages. This is as good as any suspense novel you'll find, but with real, true character development that makes you care about the protagonist, sympathize with her decision and feel genuinely sick to your stomach as she prepares to do the evil deed.

I tore through this one in
...more
Janie Johnson
This was the first book I chose to read for the Spookfest Read-A-Thon and one of the few I have not read of Stephen King's works. Let me first say that this is not a horror book as I first thought it would be coming from Stephen King. It is, in a way, a mix of historical fiction and mystery. I loved that and I have to say that it was very engaging, very fluid and easy to read. King tells a very powerful tale with this book.

In this book we have a woman named Delores Claiborne, whose husband died
...more
Shaun
This was a little different from other works that I've read by Stephen King. Kind of a trumped up monologue, it's more of a "why-done-it" suspense/psychological thriller than a spine-tingling horror.

Ultimately it's a story that explores the complexity of human relationships, motivation, and disappointment using well-drawn, layered, and interesting characters that border on caricatures--in other words, the kind of book I love.

The dialect/dialogue is also quite impressive, even if occasionally a l
...more
Sarah
According to a book of Stephen King criticism that I recently didn't finish reading because it was by and large total nonsense, some of Mr. King's squillion readers complained in the late 80s when people got concerned about these things that he didn't really DO women characters -- anodyne props, madonna/whore, blah blah blah. Being Stephen King, he apparently responded by saying "Then I shall write Dolores Claiborne and Gerald's Game." While I don't think that child molestation and abusive husba ...more
Carol
Another UNPUTDOWNABLE read by Stephen King. As Dolores Claiborne narrates her story of murder, abuse and revenge to authorities (without any chapter breaks), I stayed totally engrossed. You will despise her evil husband and love her entertaining dialogue with Vera as they become friends.

As I had recently read Gerald's Game, I thought the eerie connection of two unrelated women who experience terror(view spoiler) during the total eclipse added to the suspe

...more
Kathryn
Such a powerful book. I love the way King addresses women's issues in his books. He does them very well.

This about Dolores, a woman who has a pretty rough life. Her husband is a drunk, an abuser, and just a dead beat. Dolores works for a wealthy woman as a housekeeper, and makes ends meet somehow for her family.

Dolores learns of a very disturbing revelation about her husband, and seeks the ultimate revenge.

Even though Dolores performs some bad acts, her story is powerful and memorable. A must
...more
Arwen56
Se, con molta umiltà, gli scrittori del nostro secolo si degnassero di leggere Stephen King, imparerebbero sicuramente qualcosa. Ossia, come qualsiasi scritto degno di tale nome debba necessariamente possedere una grande tensione narrativa e coinvolgere il lettore. Non è sufficiente che l’argomento prema a chi lo affronta, né che sia davvero grave, deve anche sentirsi l’urgenza di comunicare quel particolare qualcosa. Nonostante il fatto che, nel nostro paese, come in qualsiasi altro, si ritenga ...more
Michael Benavidez
3.5 Stars is my verdict.

Stephen King has always been successful in creating full characters, usually building a large cast of people, and not skimping on any of them.
One of the other things that King is well known for, is the dialogue. They've all got their special way of speaking that goes well to build their characters. It's what he does best.

In this book he puts these two traits to good use, only he's building one character. Dolores. From her he builds the side characters as she sees them.
...more
D. VonThaer
Without spoiling any of the points in Dolores Claiborne, I'd like to jump right in to why I love this book so much.

First, it should be noted this book is connected -albeit slightly- to Gerald's Game. They're totally different books and stories, though there is a thread of connectivity there which is nice, but not necessary to make Dolores Claiborne great.

Second, D.C. is written totally from Dolores' perspective. You hear only her voice, only her side of the story. Her voice, however, is so a
...more
R.E. Chambliss
I listened to the audio version of this book when it first came out and thought it was brilliant. I don't think I've ever heard a better performance in an audio book. Frances Sternahagen does such a terrific job bringing the story to life.

Earlier this week, I read the book, and reading it enabled me to better appreciate the amazing writing and storytelling. There are no sections or chapters. The entire story is the title character explaining to the police that although she might have killed her
...more
Jane Stewart
Wonderful character development. Good plot with abusive husband. Narrator not for me.

A good story about ordinary people who turn into something different but they are still ordinary.

Two stories are told. 1: Dolores is married to an abusive man. I loved her strength about it. I loved what she did to make him stop hitting her. I wonder if more women could do that.

(view spoiler)
...more
J.C.
I know that many Constant Readers consider this one of King's "eh" works. You know, one of the ones that is easily overlooked, and when someone points at it at a store and says to a fellow King fan, "which one's this about again?", the one who's read it or at least knows a cent about it will roll their eyes and go, "oh, its about this lady blah blah blah a well blah blah blah."

But....to tell you the truth, it isn't bad. Not at all.

certainly it's no masterpiece, but it's definitely not a weak p
...more
Kathy
This was a really great book! It's King at his storytelling best! The whole book is told in the conversational tone of Delores Claiborne, who at 65 is telling us.....along with the Sheriff of Little Tall Island why she killed her husband 30 years ago, but at the same time insisting she didn't kill her long-time employer, Vera Donovan. The whole book takes place at the police station where Delores is making her statement. She goes from past to present and back again. You can totally get lost in D ...more
Jason P
Don't you mess with Dolores Claiborne!

I just finished this and absolutely loved it! The fond memories of watching the movie with my mom, as Kathy Bates did her thing up on the screen, wowing us into submission. When I began listening to the book I was surprised to find that the story is told in the first person aspect; Dolores speaking to the investigators and telling them her whole account of the situation. First, starting with Vera, the elderly women Dolores worked for, and then onto her dasta
...more
Stepheny
This was a tough call for me. I almost rated this a 3 for 3.5 but I'm thinking it was much closer to a 4. I didn't really know what to expect with this one and even when I started it found myself wondering where he was going with it and why it was so loved by so many. Then it took me on an emotional roller coaster. I found myself laughing out loud, crying, cringing, chewing my lips in nervousness while my heart raced a mile a minute and clenching my fist in frustration. If there is one thing in ...more
Lisa
Plain speaking Dolores Claiborne was once the long-suffering wife of Joe St George, as well as the long suffering live-in housekeeper/carer for Vera Donovan, the wealthiest woman on Long Tall Island. But Dolores is no longer either of these things and, as she sits down to talk to the police following Vera’s death, we learn how that came to be.

Having married young, Dolores has repented at leisure ever since. When it comes to his wife Joe St George is free with his fists, but cowardly enough to ba
...more
Miloš
Priča ne predstavlja nikakvu dža-bu akciju ili strašni horor, već opušta uvlačeći nas u život glavnog lika i sve one događaje kroz koje ona prolazi.
Svidela mi se, a King me je ponovo iznenadio svojim umećem da ni iz čega uspe da nas uvuče u svet koji je stvorio.
Greg
The beginning of the end for me and Stephen King, soon he would go from my favorite must read author to someone who I haven't picked up again since.
Larisa
"There's no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids."

To say this book is great does it no justice. Seriously, this was a really great read, far better than I had expected. Like, I'm honestly blown away by this.

Stephen King must have had fun using the mind of Dolores as his playground. He really must have. First, the book is told in her voice, accent and all. It might be tedious, or even grueling for people that are complete grammar nazis, but I found that, for all intents and purpo
...more
Sam Quixote
SPOILERS

Dolores Claiborne is being questioned by police over the death of her employer, Vera Donovan, who broke her back falling down the stairs - or was she pushed? But as Dolores tells her story, it turns out she is responsible for a death, just not Vera's.

Stephen King chose to write this novel in the first person voice of Dolores who speaks in a very folksy, colloquially New England style, and it's up to the reader whether or not this voice is something you can handle or not as it goes on fo
...more
Thom Swennes
King really shifted into high gear with this story of mystery and murder. Cantankerous, outspoken and brutally honest Dolores Claiborne readily admits what everyone had suspected for the last twenty-nine years; she murdered her husband, Joe St George. Nobody really blamed Dolores for this act as they knew she had suffered abuses for years from her late husband and figured if anybody deserved killing, it was Joe St. George. This story has it all, domestic abuse, murder, a solar eclipse with stran ...more
Angelica

"There ain't no power in heaven or on earth that can stop people from thinking the worst when they want to."

"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 isn't it?"

"...A coward is more afraid of being discovered than he is of everything else, even dyin."

"So
...more
Brina
"Dolores" wurde mir schon häufig empfohlen, sodass ich am Ende einfach nicht mehr widerstehen konnte und es endlich lesen musste. Ich hatte im Vorfeld einige Erwartungen, jedoch wurden diese sogar noch getoppt, denn Stephen King konnte mich mit diesem Buch voll und ganz in den Bann ziehen, sodass ich nicht nur Dolores, sondern auch den Autor endgültig ins Herz geschlossen habe.

Mit diesem Buch beweist Stephen King wieder einmal, wie großartig sein Schreibstil ist. Die Figuren und Orte werden all
...more
Alissa
Well let's see, for one the language King used was really similar to how people speak in the south or at least around where I live, not very difficult for me to understand. Dolores Claiborne was a housekeeper who was generally a live in maid during the last few years of her employers life. She confesses to the murder of her husband over the 300 pages in this book and pretty much tells her life story to explain that she didn't kill her employer, Vera Donovan, overall I thought it was a good story ...more
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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
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“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to.” 1513 likes
“I'm not making an enemy; I'm keepin' one.” 16 likes
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