TITLE: DOLORES CLAIBORNE
AUTHOR: STEPHEN KING
PUBLISHER: NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY
GENRE: SUSPENSE FICTION
COVER TYPE: PAPER BACK
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell.
But not quite what the police had expected.
Dolores Claiborne has a confession to make…
She will take her time. Won’t be hurried. Will do it her way, sparing neither details or feelings. Her’s or anyone else’s.
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truth that takes you to the edge of darkness.
Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell and you’d better pay attention – or else…
Dolores Claiborne is one of my favourite King novels. The movie is one of the best adaptations of his work. I’ve read Dolores Claiborne several times and still love it.
Dolores Claiborne is written in the first person so King takes up right inside Dolores’s head, a woman in her sixties accused of murdering the rich old woman she’s been a companion for most of her life. This made Dolores Claiborne a very personal reading experience. It felt like Dolores was whispering her story right into my ear.
Dolores Claiborne doesn’t have any chapter breaks although King uses paragraph indents to let his reader take a pause. I generally hate novels with no chapter breaks or page breaks because it can be hard to find a point to stop reading and can become tiresome. King makes it work though. Dolores’s voice is so great and powerful I was quite happy to be pulled along by her for pages and pages at a time.
Dolores is one of the best drawn characters I’ve ever read in fiction. King does a great job at making the reader feel sympathy for her. Her husband, a mean old drunk called Joe St George sexually molested their teenage daughter and she murders him. King does a great job of making me root for her.
I think it’s unusual for a male author to create such a powerful female character. King pulls this off. He does the same thing with Gerald’s Game.
Dolores Claiborne is one of a few examples of King’s work that doesn’t contain any supernatural elements. It shows his versatility as a writer.
There are loads of great scenes in Dolores Claiborne. When Dolores finds out her husband’s been sexually abusing their daughter. When Dolores finds out Joe’s stolen the money she’s been saving for their children’s college education. Joe’s murder.
The only bit of Dolores Claiborne that doesn’t work is the link between it and Gerald’s Game. In Dolores Claiborne during an eclipse, Dolores murders Joe. In Gerald’s Game during the same eclipse, Jessie is raped by her father. Both characters get a ‘vision’ of the other. This didn’t work and came across as gimmicky. Everything else was great.
THE OPENING LINE
What did you ask, Andy Bissette?
Dolores Claiborne is one of King’s best, a shining example of his skill as a writer and how great he can be outside his comfort zone of horror fiction.