Todd Russell's Reviews > Rose Madder

Rose Madder by Stephen King
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: horror
Read from June 21 to 25, 2012

This is one of the better, if not the best, character driven spousal abuse horror tales I've ever read. The many layers and nuances to the protagonist's, Rose, character are fascinating. The imagery and various descriptions are excellent too. The single drop of blood on the bed sheet, the seeds, the tree, a tennis racket--all painted vividly and brilliantly. Just when you think there will be no supernatural in this tale, King unveils Rod Serling's Night Gallery. In fact, if they ever remake Night Gallery, they should have the first episode be Rose Madder with the whole Rose Madder sections of the story accentuated.

So if I loved this tale so much, why not five stars? Because some of the supporting cast, namely Bill, aren't as well fleshed out as Rose and Norman. It's almost like Rose and Norman are the only characters King cared that much about in this story, because his energy, save for a cool scene involving Gert at the park, is pretty much focused on those two alone. In a 2012 YouTube video I saw recently King remarked that this is one of his books that "didn't work." I respectfully disagree. Even with the warts this story have, it's among the better works he's written. Not a top 10, but certainly a top 20 for me. I know there are some other King fans who hated this book, but I'm not one of them. It's not one of King's books I'll likely ever read again (sort of a one and done, affair), but I will cherish and remember my first reading experience. Wish I'd read this sooner!

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Reading Progress

06/21/2012 page 51
06/24/2012 page 608
100.0% "100% done is 477 pages, not 608, in the paperback I read."
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