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Rose Madder
Stephen King
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Rose Madder (Hardcover)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  54,244 ratings  ·  1,110 reviews
After 14 years of being beaten, Rose Daniels wakes up one morning and leaves her husband -- but she keeps looking over her shoulder, because Norman has the instincts of a predator. And what is the strange work of art that has Rose in a kind of spell? In this brilliant dark-hued fable of the gender wars, Stephen King has fashioned yet another suspense thriller to keep reade...more
Published (first published January 1st 1995)
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Shane Malcolm
Feb 24, 2008 Shane Malcolm rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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.
Brent Soderstrum
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...more
Megan Lucas
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
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
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...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.
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...more
Madiha Riaz
Oct 25, 2011 Madiha Riaz rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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,...more
Nov 25, 2008 Ubik rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ubik by: Sheri
Shelves: own
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 each other, but if theyre in the same scene, I dont need a recap on what just happened ya know. Plus it just seem...more
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:
Frank Tibbetts
This is by far one of Stephen Kings best novels! Rose Daniels is a battered housewife who, on the spur of the moment, decides to leave her ruthless husband, Norman. Unfortunately for Rose, he is a cop. As Rose enters her new life in a new city, Norman becomes the utltimate psychopath as he leaves no stone unturned and kills anyone who dares to withhold information leading to her forthcoming vengeance.
Rose finds a beautiful picture in a second hand pawn shop of a woman standing on a hill far awa...more
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...more
It's 3.8 stars actually.

Rose Madder has some very minor connections to The Dark Tower.

First of all let's look at these amazing different covers!

And as a bonus, a minimalistic fan cover art:

This is a book about going through a huge change, a transformation. This is not like any other Stephen King book (at least not like any book I've read so far), and it's quite underrated, too. Until the heroine discovers the picture in a pawn shop, there's no mystery, no supernatural force, nothing, just a woma...more
This is a story about a Rose Daniels, who escapes from her violent, psycopathic cop husband, Norman, and how she was able to survive in a not-so faraway city with only her husband's ATM card and the help of generous people along the way. It is more of a cat-and-mouse chase story with Norman as the predator and the Rose eventually finding the courage to be what she have to be -- strong and unafraid, including finding love in pawnshop owner, Bill Steiner. The plot is sort of John Sandford-ish in h...more
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...more
Brian Schwartz
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...more
If I could, I would give this book a full five stars. I loved it. I had a really hard time putting it down, and certain parts had me looking around my empty house unnerved.

I had been told by a few people that this isn't the best of King's work, but I'm going to go ahead and say that I have placed King in my 'favorite authors' category because of this story.
Without giving out any spoilers I'll say that King's female characters are strong, unapologetic, and in this story he creates a world where...more
Liz Wilkins
After 14 years of being beaten, Rose Daniels wakes up one morning and leaves her husband — but she keeps looking over her shoulder, because Norman has the instincts of a predator. And what is the strange work of art that has Rose in a kind of spell?

So, here we are at my latest Stephen King re-read, one I knew I would have a great time with because it is one of my favourite novels of his.

Rose Madder is an emotive look at domestic violence but given the magical King touch - putting aside the more...more
Okay, I thought I read this book way back when, but my daughter brought it home from the library for me (she's so thoughtful) and I figured I could read it again. Turns out, I did not read this book. If I did, the memory of it is gone. Perhaps I drank some black water...

Anyway, Mr. King, I love you again. You lucky dog. All is forgiven. Desperation? Pfft. Ain't nothin but a bad day. You repeat it, we're gonna have to talk...up close. Real close.

Anyone who hasn't read this thinks I'm nuts. That's...more
Olga Kowalska
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.
I'm no prude by any means but even I couldn't stomach the constant onslaught of offensive language used in this novel. The constant "c" word especially. Having read many of King's books I've come to realize he loves the use of this word, but I swear the characters in Rose Madder must have uttered it over a hundred times. My other problems are the ridiculous and over the top antics of Mr. Norman Daniels. Ok I get it--he's a monster. He bites, he strangles, he's hateful, and just plain evil. But i...more
Apr 29, 2012 Alyson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror readers, people who like to read about strong women
Recommended to Alyson by: Karl Drinkwater
I'm not a horror reader, but I was encouraged to read this, for the strong women in it. Several times I wanted to stop, because of some of the domestic abuse in it, but, the thing about Stephen King is that he MAKES you want to read on. I had to keep reading. I was desperate for Rose to be ok. I had to know if she was going to make it. I read this on holiday and didn't do much else but read it in a couple of days!
Though Rose Madder kept me engaged from the beginning, only from seventh chapter onwards did I feel the grip.This is a thrilling escape story of a defenseless victim, Rosie from her demoniacal detective husband Norman's tortures and the consequent no-nonsense chasing by him. All the thrill and horror generate out of the on-the-run weakling Rosie's struggles to survive, and later, fights with her lethal , determined husband's fury trying to talk to her 'up close'.
I never read a book for the mere...more
Mari Biella
Pick up a copy of a Stephen King novel, and it's a fair bet that you'll keep reading right up to the final page. Say what you will about the man, but there are very few authors out there who can match him for sheer readability. Rose Madder is no exception.

Rosie is a timid housewife, who has for many years been trapped in an abusive relationship with her terrifying, psychopathic husband Norman. Norman is violent, cruel, and frequently irrational, but like many a very dangerous person he's adept a...more
I must say I'm rather baffled by those who say Rose is King's best portrayal of a woman. As a character, I found her bland and difficult to relate to; on the other hand, Norman - her abusive husband - seemed more real to me, even if he was more caricature than anything.

The characters behaved in sometimes unrealistic ways, which pulled me right out of the story. (view spoiler)...more
After suffering fourteen years of physical and verbal abuse during her marriage to Norman Daniels, Rose finally awakes from her stupor and takes flight. Using her husband's ATM card to fund her escape, she buys a bus ticket to a large Midwestern city where she hopes Norman will not be able to find her.

As she begins her new life in this new city, she makes friends, one of whom is Bill Steiner, a gentle, kind man, who wants to love her. Quite by accident Rosie lands a fantastic job and is able to...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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“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.” 31 likes
“It's best to be ruthless with the past.” 18 likes
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