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Dolores Claiborne

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  124,017 ratings  ·  2,919 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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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  124,017 ratings  ·  2,919 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
Julie
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-maine-event
You know that saying, “the world is your oyster?”

Well, there are at least two things wrong with it: (1) As long as you believe the world is your oyster, you will suffer, perpetually, and (2) We would all be better off, as a society, if we would learn this saying instead: “The world is not your vagina.”

Let's say it together, friends: The world is not your vagina.

You see. . . vaginas hold a great allure to heterosexual men. They are to the average hetero man what the holy grail was to the crusader
...more
Phrynne
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
I have enjoyed many Stephen King books but this one has to be one of the very best. Firstly the fact that the whole book was one continuous monologue - no chapter breaks, no alternative points of view- just Dolores Claiborne telling her tale and confessing her failures. Then the two main characters, Dolores herself and Vera, both self proclaimed bitches and both wonderfully fascinating people. So good.

Of course without chapters the temptation is to keep reading and just be late for everything yo
...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
Zoeytron
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs.  Her longtime housekeeper is brought in for questioning.  Peppery and profane, 65 year old Dolores Claiborne gives her statement and it is a lengthy one.  She lays it all on the line, dirty laundry included.  This is not the first fatality that has thrown suspicion on Dolores.

For readers who despise short chapters in their novels, try this one on for size.  There are no chapter breaks, and none are needed.  The vernacular in which it is deliver
...more
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
Ginger
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2020
Wow! I enjoyed Dolores Claiborne more then I thought I would!

Dolores Claiborne is not a horror book like Stephen King would typically do. It feels more like a psychological thriller and is more character driven with touches of anxiety, evil and humor thrown in the mix.

It's written in 1st person with no chapters or breaks in the book. Dolores Claiborne's voice is strong and believable in everything that happens in her life. The plot feels raw, dark and sad at times.

I just loved reading the parts
...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
...more
Agnieszka
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, ebook, reviewed

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
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
Arah-Lynda
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Trudi
Shelves: top, i-said
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
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
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
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
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
Chantal
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great story! In the beginning I had a hard time making up what kind of setting it was and what was going on. After I found that out I started to love this story. I could not put the book down and I am happy that I have read it. Good character building and development. Great suspense building in general.

...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
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
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
Tatiana
Basically, after reading a bunch of reviews of It with all the child orgy stuff in them (and apologist comments that are ALWAYS left to debate ANY negative review of that novel), I wanted to see if Dolores Claiborne still holds up. It's the novel of King's that I remember liking the most and it is about a woman who kills her husband because he sexually pursues his own daughter. It does hold up, mostly. It's an unputdownable psychological thriller told by a charismatic narrator. And evidently Kin ...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
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 ag
...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
I read this in almost one day. If you're an audiobook type of person, I highly recommend the audiobook version for this one. The book has a lot of dialect that the narrator absolutely nailed. This story all takes place as Dolores Claiborne is being questioned for the death of her wealthy boss, but instead confesses to killing her husband during an eclipse several years earlier. There is some great production where you can hear coffee being poured and small things like that. It made the experienc ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dolores Claiborne is one of my favorite Stephen King books; not only does it step away from horror a little bit but it manages to keep it's "Stephen King style" while being unique from his other horror novels (which are excellent but often follow the same formula).

Dolores Claiborne is dreary, tragic and features a woman so plain, homely and traditional in appearance that she's almost unmemorable... but as the novel reveals the secrets of Dolores' twisted, jerk of a husband and unstable daughter
...more
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
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
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
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Horror Aficionados : Dolores Claiborne 2/25/20 20 26 Mar 08, 2020 11:51AM  
Stephen King Fans: Dolores Claiborne 145 588 Dec 18, 2019 03:12PM  
Leyendo con Babú: MAYO Dolores Clairbone 4 8 May 06, 2019 09:06AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add reciprocal ACE info 1 9 Sep 16, 2018 01:08PM  
Stephen King 2020...: March read! 18 35 May 01, 2018 01:26AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King - Starting June 4th 2016 6 22 Jun 24, 2016 10:59PM  
Stephen King Fans: Dolores Claiborne 8 53 Apr 10, 2016 05:02PM  

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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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