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Die Speed Queen
Stewart O'Nan
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Die Speed Queen

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  655 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Stewart O'Nans The Speed Queen beginnt im Todestrakt des Staatsgefängnisses von Oklahoma. Marjorie Standiford, deren Hinrichtung wegen des Mordes an zwölf Menschen für den kommenden Abend anberaumt ist, diktiert ihre Lebensgeschichte auf Kassette. Bevor sie ihr Leben aushaucht, möchte sie für klare Verhältnisse sorgen. Wie es scheint, hat Natalie, ihre damalige Komplizin, ...more
Published 2000 by BMG Wort (first published March 17th 1997)
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Stephen King friend and recommended book.

King’s friendship with Stewart O’Nan was born out of a literary dispute. Nine years ago, O’Nan wanted to title his third novel, Speed Queen, DEAR STEPHEN KING.

King says, “I loved the book, hated the title. I felt he was using me.”

Eventually, O’Nan dropped King’s name from the novel. He says he came to realize how many people want a piece of King. “It’s a level of celebrity I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

1/11/12 What a fun book for Stephen King fans! I loved
If Marjorie were connected to Goodreads, she’d be a member of the “Stephen King Fans group", and we would be agreeing and disagreeing with her comments about his books. You feel at times that she is one of us and Stephen King would agree. (view spoiler) She’s part of the club; one who knows the secret hand-shake. Scary!

It seems that she had a pretty normal childhood, even if a little bored and lacking ambition. In t
Gerri Leen
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that Stewart O'Nan is an unsung (or at least he was unsung to me) genius. I've read a half dozen or so at this point and only read one book that I couldn't get into, which for me, is very, very odd 'cause I'm so picky, and few authors have that good a hit rate with me. This is a fabulous "American noir" as the cover says with a highly unreliable narrator, who nonetheless manages to be both engaging and a bit sympathetic despite the fact she may be a spree ki ...more
Stewart O’Nan. The Speed Queen. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.

I read this on San Juan Island. Found it in a small bookstore on the island.

O'Nan's main characters are seedy people. They are criminals who aren’t exactly unlikable even though they do heinous things. They are probably like most crummy people – self-absorbed and thoughtless about their acts of unforgivable violence. (I always hate it when news broadcasts describe a horrible crime and then say, “No motive as yet for…” fill in the b
This novel by Stewart O'Nan probably can fit under the category `brutalism' or more appropriately, brutes. The conceit is a woman in prison narrating her story to Steven King, because of its gruesome and salacious nature.

O'Nan predicates two losers who think that ownership of an Oldsmobile 442 in red with mag wheels is the pinnacle of life, who are meth freaks, and who can't make a good drug deal. Enter a bisexual manipulative woman marginally smarter than the duo, add a big debt owed to dangero
Although it is very difficult for a male writer to create a believable female character, the voice of death row inmate Marjorie Standiford in SPEED QUEEN is so powerful, I found myself dreaming about her. O'Nan's love for American icons like Route 66, vintage cars, and roadside hamburger stands is curiously tied into an homage to favored author, Stephen King in this death row confessional. I enjoy all of O'Nan's works especially the way every novel, circumstances, voice, and setting are radicall ...more
I just didn't like this book. I get that it's innovative to write it to Stephen King, so that's interesting. And I'm sure it's a creative writing challenge to get inside Marjorie's head. So from that standpoint it's well written. I have never read anything else by this author, and maybe I will. Because the reviews say every one of his books is different. But this topic was just depressing. Maybe I should give it 2 stars.

I read this because I saw that it was Sue Grafton's favorite book. Now I am
O'Nan's ability to have each novel completely different from the next is a true gift.
What a ride! I enjoyed this book even though it was very depressing. Marjorie tells her side of a dark, horrific story. I went from sympathizing with her to wondering if she was even telling the truth... how could she even really know the exact truth when she was fried on meth? This book was unique in how it was told... I liked the idea of her telling her story into a tape recorder that Stephen King was going to use to make into a book. Very original. The gruesome details at the end of the book ...more
Jon Edward
The Speed Queen is the story of a young woman (Marjorie) on death row for her participation in a killing spree, told as an epistle -- although instead of writing the letter, she's answering a series of questions into a recorder for Stephen King, who has bought the rights to her story.

On the book cover, Sue Grafton claimed it was an "ingenious" conceit. I'm baffled as to why an epistle would be called ingenious, but maybe she was referring to something else. When my cousins and I mailed cassettes
Another great book by Stewart O'Nan, I have a hard time getting over how much his skills amaze me, all of his books are so different.
This one is more of a thriller/crime story but with a pleasant twist: Marjorie, convicted of murder, waits for her execution but she wants to tell her side of the story- to Stephen King. On her last night she is recording the tapes, the reader standing in the shoes of King becomes the witness and judge of her life and crimes.
It is always fascinating to read from th
Oct 29, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that like Natural Born Killers
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
'The Speed Queen' refers to Marjorie, narrator of the book, as she sits on death row awaiting her execution for her part in a group of murders she committed with her husband, Lamont, and Natalie, a woman Marjorie met during a shorter stint in prison. As one reads it becomes clear that Marjorie has been contacted by Stephen King to hear her story and to turn it into a book of his own. Eager for the money which would go to her baby upon publication, O'Nan writes Marjorie's story as she dictates it ...more
Stewart O'Nan is one of my favorite authors because his main characters have layers of complexity and are an authentic mixture of good and bad and even if you don't entirely like the main character (Marjorie) in this particular book, you do find her interesting and desire to understand her.
Marjorie can be funny, frightening, naive and pathetic as O'Nan weaves this page turning story.

This story contains a surprising amount of nostalgia as the storyline takes you across Route 66 and weaves through
Trixie Fontaine
My first Stewart O'Nan. Readable, likeable, talky first-person - I liked the format because it's good for my ADD brain, not because I was super fond of the Stephen King gimmick (which was just sort of cute and fortunately not very distracting; that it was supposedly Stephen King's questions she was answering seemed like a whole different story that didn't go with Marjorie's at all -- for awhile I thought it was going to turn out that it was some other author or a lawyer or someone tricking her; ...more
This is Marjorie's story, as dictated to a tape recorder, on Death Row in an Oklahoma prison the night of execution. She's the most notorious thrill killer in America, but before she's put to death for the murder of 12 people, she wants to tell her side of the story and, in particular, she wants to answer the "lies" in friend/lover Natalie's best selling account of their crime spree. She's even found the perfect vehicle to guarantee that the world hears her story, she's chosen Stephen King to te ...more
Elaine Tama
Speed Queen is the story of death-row inmate Marjorie as she narrates it while awaiting execution in Oklahoma. it is an astounding book, drawing you into her short life working in drive-in joints and fast-food restaurants, and gradually becoming entangled in a downward spiral of vodka, turning to drugs, and finally the horrific crime that she is participates in. Stewart O'Nan does an amazing job of writing in Marjorie's everyday language, and I could not believe the detail of the world she inhab ...more
Barksdale Penick
This novel purports to be the last testament of a woman condemned for her role in murders throughout the midwest. It is structured as a summary of the events for Steven King, who has purchased the rights to her life story. That plot device next to nothing to my reading--maybe I haven't read enough Steven King to appreciate the connection. The book starts off in reasonably interesting fashion, but eventually is gory enough that I can't I enjoyed it very much.
Based on the story of Marjorie, her husband Lamont and Marjories lover Natalie and their meth induced murder spree through Oklahoma. One of the best parts for me is that Marjorie is telling her story to a tape recorder for Steven King...(he has bought the rights to her story) and if you're a king fan you will notice the many references she makes to his novels. Is she lying? Is she crazy? Its up to you I guess. However, her story is exciting and endearing in a Tarentino'ish way. I did love it. Am ...more
O'Nan is one of the more under appreciated authors in America. He has a dry, clinical style that lends its self well to anthropological dissection of unusual events. His one flaw may be the worship with which he treats the execrable Stephen King, and his subsequent attempts to make quasi-genre pieces appear to be serious literature. They are not. Instead they are small set pieces that have little of lasting value to say about the over-arching themes of modern society. He is an effective writer, ...more
Fantastic. A woman on death row tells her story to a horror writer (Stephen king) and these are the transcripts. Reminded me a bit of Mickey an Mallory in natural born killers. Narrators name is Marjorie.
Wonderfully novel presentation: the narrator (who is on death row) is speaking into a tape recorder, allegedly talking "to" Stephen King about her life and crimes so that he will write a novel and give the proceeds to her son. O'Nan does an excellent job of keeping the narrative conversational so that we remember who the narrator is and what she is doing even while we "listen" to her tell what she has done. The story itself, however, for whatever reason underwhelmed me. I think I merely expected ...more
I liked the writing, Stewart O'Nan is a great storyteller and pulls you in immediately. I read this in a day.

The story left me feeling sad--lost even. It was one of those books I wouldn't have chosen to read (picked up off display after a patron recommended) but once I read the first paragraph I could not put it down.

I am not sure I really liked the character either even though I felt bad for her. And I cannot decide if she was remorseful or justifying her acts. If it was the drugs or the injur
(re-read in February 2013)

Marjorie may or may not have participated in a Starkweather-esque multi-state killing spree with her husband, lesbian lover, and her infant son in tow. Marjorie is on death row dictating to tape the answer to over 100 questions posed to her by Stephen King, who has bought the rights to her story.

Marjorie is one of my favorite unreliable narrators ever written. She's funny, sexy, sad, scary as all hell, and so cleverly manipulative that you find new tricks of hers with
Aug 09, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Kathy
I was a little worried at first that this book would be full of the gory details of Majorie's killings, but it really focuses on Marjorie retelling her version of her life and events that lead up to the murder spree. What I found fascinating was trying to figure if she's telling the truth of what happened or some distorted drug soaked version of what she's convinced herself is the truth. Pay close attention to the dates and timeframes she gives for events in her story and you'll see what I mean. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It was a very "speedy" read. All about drugs and how she ended up in prison on death row.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. O'Nan usually goes into too mych detail in his books for my taste, but in Speed Queen he was right on target. Just enough detail about the character's life and her husbands life. I would love to know how he did his research on this book, but it was accurate. The death row inmate who shows no remorse or even admits that she did kill people. It is just a great book.
I was debating whether to give this 3 or 4 stars mostly because I hated the main character so incredibly much. I guess that's why I decided to give it 4 stars because Stewart O'Nan wrote a story that had me completely sucked in. I had read about 40 pages the first night and then the second night I stayed up until 4am just to finish it. I just couldn't put it down. Definitley will have to check out his other books.
Susan Mueller
Creepy, scary - how everday things seem to a murderess on death row. Reminds me a bit of Judy Poucult - the twists and turns a story takes - or There's Something About Kevin! Although they are completely different stories. Almost couldn't finish it because the main character frightened me so much. Which of course might be the sign of a good book.
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Stewart O'Nan is the author of eleven novels, including Snow Angels and A Prayer for the Dying, a story collection, and two works of nonfiction. His previous novel, Last Night at the Lobster, was a national bestseller, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named one of the New York Public Library Books to Remember. Additionally, Granta named him one of the 20 Best Young Ameri ...more
More about Stewart O'Nan...
Last Night at the Lobster Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season Emily, Alone Songs for the Missing The Odds: A Love Story

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