Book Concierge's Reviews > Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
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Jan 10, 12

Recommended to Book Concierge by: Clara Zukrow
Read in January, 2011, read count: 2

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 plotter and he moves the story along at a fair clip. Slowing down at just the right places to let the reader catch his breath. Scaring you the next minute with the horrors of human meanness. Making you laugh at the ridiculous things people do. And letting you into Dolores’s mind – a nearly 66-year-old woman who has had a hard life and who isn’t about to suffer fools gladly. She’s tired and ready to get everything off her chest.

Dolores has spent her life on Little Tall Island. She’s worked hard, keeping house for rich Mrs Donovan, and caring for her in her senility. She’s raised three children without much help from Joe, a no-good alcoholic husband who beat her one time too many. But you need to get the whole story straight from Dolores.

I first read this 10 or 15 years ago. What really impressed me was that King manages to write in a thick Maine accent you can “hear” on the page. (And the audio book, narrated by Frances Sternhagen, is nothing short of wonderful!) Dolores will stay with you for a long time. King has managed to write a character who is not very likeable, but whom I just fell in love with. Bravo!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Lana (new)

Lana White I read the book only 2 weeks ago. It was just brilliant. I felt I knew Dolores well and so moved by the hardship she endured. The book still haunts me now. For me one of King's best books.


Book Concierge Lana wrote: "I read the book only 2 weeks ago. It was just brilliant. I felt I knew Dolores well and so moved by the hardship she endured. The book still haunts me now. For me one of King's best books."

Definitely, Lana. I think many people pigeon-hole King into the "horror" genre and do not realize that he has written books that have nothing to do with horror, vampires or ghosts.


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