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Dolores Claiborne

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  113,979 ratings  ·  2,442 reviews
Book Summary of Dolores Claiborne (Old) Suspected of murdering the crippled widow for whom she worked as a housekeeper and companion, Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell. But it isn't the one the police are expecting to hear. It's a little darker, a little stranger - and a lot more horrifying.
Paperback, 307 pages
Published 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published November 1992)
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Chelsea Unless it's first print, first edition, probably not much. Still very cool. There are sites that list how to tell a first from others and how much…moreUnless it's first print, first edition, probably not much. Still very cool. There are sites that list how to tell a first from others and how much estimated worth. You can find them on google.(less)

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3.85  · 
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 ·  113,979 ratings  ·  2,442 reviews


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Johann (jobis89)
"Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive, sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to."

Having been suspected of being involved in the death of her rich employer, Dolores Claiborne tells the story of her life to the police, from the disintegration of her marriage and suspicious death of her husband to the relationship she had with her employer, Vera Donovan.

Wow, this book is pretty unique - it's in the form of a monologue given by Dolores herself detailing the events
...more
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
Diane
"An accident ... is sometimes an unhappy woman's best friend."

Five stars for Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne! I've been slowly working my way through King's catalog, and I picked up Dolores because 1) I had liked the 1995 movie version starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh* and 2) the story features a total solar eclipse, which we just experienced last year.

However, I was unprepared for how marvelous the dialogue was, how sharp-witted the character of Dolores would be, and how thrillin
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Bradley
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-shelf, mystery
Fascinating story and such a strong voice. Since this story is pretty much an obvious one, centered on what appears to be a solid who-done-it, it's just the devil in the details where we have to place all our attention.

Will this be a rubbernecking event? Or is an obviously guilty woman obviously and truly guilty with the crime she is being accused of?

Truly, the story is a lot more complex and interesting than any first glance, and more than anything, we're meant to get in deep within Dolores's s
...more
Agnieszka
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, reviewed, ebook

I’m not an ardent fan od Stephen King but Dolores Claiborne felt pretty good to me. I’ve read only three his works earlier just to see what people see in him and have to say I liked him the most in his psychological version. Because despite the opinion of being horror writer he is quite good observer of life, not specially prophetic, revealing or something, just good. Also he seems to have an eye to render quite an atmosphere of time and place he describes. And to me picture of reality, even if
...more
Arah-Lynda
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Trudi
Shelves: i-said, top
I have been sitting in a room having a little break, from 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 with
...more
Ron
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathy Bates. What an actress. (Forgive me as I talk a bit about the movies born from King’s novels.) So Kathy Bates starred as both Annie Wilkes and Dolores Claiborne in Misery and…what’s the name of the other film?... oh yeah, Dolores Claiborne. I’ve watched them both. Liked them both a lot. If you haven’t, maybe you should, if not for Stephen King’s stories, then for Bates acting and to see two flicks that turned out right. This is especially true if you thought that King only wrote straight h ...more
❀Julie
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little gem.  I did a mixture of reading and listening to the audiobook and the narrator was fantastic.  I think what makes it stand out is the unique format of the story, which was Dolores giving her testimony to the police after her employer died in her care.  I wasn’t sure I would like the structure of it being one long chapter but it was so compelling that it worked well. I was drawn in from the very beginning with this woman’s charming dialect and wit, and how she could possi ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to.”

One of King's greatest talents is in his writing of characters, making them come across as realistic paper-people with sympathetic emotions and believable motivations. Dolores Claiborne is a work of art - she's not the typical heroine that carries a novel with her beauty, intelligence, station in life, or luck of fate. Instead she's average with her life but takes herself up a notch, makes herself stand out by standing strong in the fa
...more
Catie
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
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
Ilana
4.5 Stars:
Now I've finally read it, I'm surprised it took me so long to get to this book. In fact, the title has always felt so familiar that I was half convinced I'd either read the novel or seen the movie before, although that was not the case. True enough Kathy Bates played the lead role of Dolores, and Jennifer Jason Leigh played her daughter, and I remember there had been some fanfare around the release of the movie in the mid-90s (released in 1995) and both actresses were very familiar to
...more
Edward Lorn
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I managed to reread Dolores Claiborne in under 24 hours. I was thirteen when I first read it, and even then it only took three days. With no chapter breaks and one of the best vernacular-heavy voices King's ever taken on, this book's engine very nearly purrs. Dolores Claiborne is, in my opinion, Stephen King's most well-delivered story. There's zero filler, and that's unheard of where King's concerned. The book is so succinct that the movie version actually had to add more content instead of cut ...more
Cody | codysbookshelf
Five stars for one of my very favorite Stephen King stories: the enthralling and legendary 1993 novel, Dolores Claiborne.

As old as this book is, and considering it was made into a big budget film starring Kathy Bates (my favorite King adaption, by the way), almost everyone knows the plot — so I won't rehash too much. But I will say this is the story of a woman — easily the strongest woman King has ever created, and simply one of the best damn female main characters I've ever come across in fict
...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
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
Becky
The last time (and first time, I think) I read this book I probably wasn't even old enough to vote, and so, in the grand scheme of Stephen King books, I wasn't super impressed. There wasn't really any horror to speak of, there wasn't any monster, there wasn't any hero to hope defeats (or at least survives) the monster, etc. Except there's all of those things, I was just not able to see them. That's not to say that I disliked it... It was a good book and Dolores' character was well done and memor ...more
Saif Sayed
This novel was under the further reading section of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn which lured me to buy it. (I was new to Stephen King back then)

Dolores Claiborne is basically a confession of a woman named by the title, to the police after being accused of killing her employer Vera Donavan. Although she didn't kill Vera, she did confess the things she's been through past 30 years of being with her that was buried deep under herself all this time.

This novel is full of fast paced suspense with a
...more
Raeleen Lemay
I feel like this book could have easily been a short story or novella, because it's pretty simple and there's not much to it. This book is Dolores telling the story of how she killed her husband, and how she didn't kill her employer who has mysteriously died. It felt way too drawn out, and I definitely think it could (and should) have been greatly condensed. For me, there wasn't enough story to keep this interesting from beginning to end.

If I hasn't listened to this on audiobook, I honestly don'
...more
Book Concierge
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Book Concierge by: Clara Zukrow
5***** and a ❤

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.

K
...more
Andreas
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ultra Geil*__*
Chrissie
This is more of an OK than a good book for me.

What kind of book is this and why did I choose to try this one of the many written by Stephen King? First of all, because it is not a book of the paranormal and not a book of horror. It is instead a psychological thriller.

Dolores Claiborne is an outspoken and strongly opinionated widow of sixty-five working as a housekeeper for Vera Donovan, a wealthy resident of a small island community in Maine. Dolores is Vera’s housekeeper. She began working fo
...more
Melissa Chung
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 52-in-2018
You know what is impressive? How Stephen King can write a story, really drag you into it and make you feel for his characters and do it over and over again in a new way. For those of you who still insist on not reading Stephen King because he writes scary horrific stories. Let me tell you, only sometimes that is the case. He writes about people in different situations with different circumstances that they have to deal with. This is a 5 star read because it was masterfully done.

In my experience,
...more
Jason
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Middle of the pack King book, for me.

"There is no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids." If the book were to be distilled down into one sentence, this would do it justice.

I can appreciate that King was doing something different and unique here with the narration. He was definitely taking himself out of his own comfort zone. And in King fashion, he pulled it off (surprise surprise). I think this narrative style could have been a complete disaster if it wasn't a pro doing the work
...more
Thomas Strömquist
"There are some times in a person's life that don't have no real minutes in em, so you can't count em up"

When questioned by the police about the death of her employer, Dolores Claiborne answers in a way that no-one would have imagined. Two officers and one stenographer then listens as she tells her story - and what an amazing story it is! No chapters and almost exclusively one long monologue, heavily accented and often uncouth, I enjoyed this very much! The thrilling and mystifying tie-ins to th
...more
Donna
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-loved
Oh my. I loved this book. I wasn't expecting this at all. As a matter of fact, I was put off by the constant abuse of language, but I stayed with it because Dolores reminded me of someone dear to me long ago.

I was reeled in by Dolores and her confession. This book had me laughing out loud and I also felt for Dolores. She was peeled like an onion as the story progressed. That is something Stephen King does wonderfully well with his characters. I loved the little tidbits of info doled out in his
...more
Janie Johnson
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-challenge
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
Ceki
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to. ~ Dolores Claiborne

This book is related to Gerald's Game, even though only for a short supernatural moment during the Solar Eclipse.

Dolores Claiborne is a fascinating character and the main reason why I enjoyed this book so much. She is poor, uneducated and crude but also witty and ready to do anything for her child.

Probably one of King's most underrated books, Dolores Claiborne is a true gem about human's nature and mother's uncon
...more
Shaun
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
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
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I somehow skipped this one when I was growing up. That was a mistake. I didn't see the movie yet either but I'll remedy that this weekend. This is a little shorter than the average King novel but I still loved it. If you like Stephen King at all you'll probably like this. Recommended.
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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
“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to.” 1949 likes
“Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive, sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to.” 45 likes
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