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Dolores Claiborne

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À Little Tall, on ne sais toujours pas exactement ce qui s'est passé il y a trente ans, et si l'accident qui, le jour de l'éclipse, a coûté la vie au mari de Dolores Claiborne était vraiment un accident...

Aujourd'hui, la vieille dame indigne est à nouveau soupçonnée : la riche et sénile Vera Donovan, dont elle est la gouvernante depuis des décennies, vient d'être découverte morte dans sa demeure.

Seul témoin et seule héritière, Dolores fait figure de coupable idéale. Elle n'a désormais plus le choix : elle doit passer aux aveux. Raconter les étranges phobies qui habitaient sa maîtresse, se souvenir de l'horreur qu'elle a vécu il y a trente ans. Dire toute la vérité : une vérité terrifiante.

324 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 1, 1992

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About the author

Stephen King

2,532 books828k followers
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, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,714 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
July 19, 2023
There's no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.

Possibly my favourite by Stephen King.

While Dolores Claiborne lacks the magnificently detailed and epic plot of, say, 11/22/63, it easily makes up for it in characterization. Dolores is such a fabulous and relatable anti-heroine.

This is the story of one woman's life-- her hard work, her perseverance, the shit she put up with and, ultimately, the revenge she sought. We are told right at the beginning that Dolores killed her husband, but the road to why and how had me unable to turn the pages fast enough. We also know she is being questioned in relation to the death of her long-time employer, and this story of Vera, and the complicated relationship Dolores has with her, plays out alongside Dolores' own family troubles.

I experienced a whole range of powerful emotions while reading this. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. A bit of fear. I kept reading on in search of one more: relief. You'll have to read to the end to know if we ever get it.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,865 followers
March 7, 2021
An extremely unconventional King novel, a kind of art experiment, letting a protagonist tell her story without caring about normal writing traditions.

It's definitively not bad, just strange and extremely unusual, no other characters´ perspectives, no switching between perspectives, no all knowing narrator intro and description scenes, close to no real horror or something supernatural, just the weird, creepy old lady explaining what happened decades ago when her husband died and what is currently going on with Morality and ethics of evil and justification for crimes are big here too.

A cop tries to find out what´s going on and the only dynamic, in this kind of crime thriller whatever, is that her introspections and thoughts are contrasted with a bit of investigative action and the usual mental illness and madness subjects.

King had far weaker and worse novels, it´s still compelling, but I just can´t handle that format and writing style and am very happy that he didn´t continue this strange and unusual trip, although he was sober. It would have, highly subjectively, definitively been better to write a second Misery, a witch novel, an incubi, how nasty, novel, or anything with a female protagonist who is in a real, dramatic, multi faceted setting, not just driveling about what she is remembering in an endless monologue. Many seem to like the idea and it´s perfectly executed, but I am just missing the dynamic of a real book.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
674 reviews4,304 followers
December 14, 2017
"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 leading up to her husband's death a number of years previously, as well as the more recent death of her employer, Vera Donovan. There's no chapters, no breaks, nothing. Just a continuous narration from our protagonist. It blows me away how, not for one second, did I feel like I was reading King's writing - I felt like I was reading Dolores' confession. King's ability to perfectly encapsulate and get into the head of a middle-aged woman astounds me. She has such a strong, believable voice. Bravo, King, bravo.

Dolores made me laugh out loud (honestly, those stories about Vera's bowel movements), she made me tear up, and I was cheering her on every step of the way. She is a kick ass character, a strong female and one of King's best. And she perfectly demonstrates the strength of a mother's love, even though it may raise many questions about morality and how far we should go to protect those who we love. It took me a little longer to warm up to Vera, but I ended up loving her as well. It's just so awesome to read about two females who, even though they may have had some issues, had each other's backs. Dolores Claiborne may have given me a new favourite King character for the list, but it has also given me a new most-hated character too. Her damn husband, Joe. The way he treats Dolores and the things he says to her, as well as how he treated other characters (careful of spoilers) made me want to beat the crap outta him!! UGH. I HATE HIM!!

Even though this book has quite a few funny moments and hilarious quotes from Dolores, it does deal with some dark themes, such as domestic violence, alcoholism and sexual abuse. It's not a horror book either, although certain parts left me a little on edge, which I can't go into without spoilering! Although I liked the unique narration of this book, I personally was not a fan of the lack of chapters or section breaks, but I guess that's just a personal preference. I've had a few people on instagram say they prefer that as it actually helped them speed through the book. It just wasn't for me!

I almost wanted to find things I didn't like about this book as I've been on such a great run of awesome reads recently and sometimes I get self-conscious of giving so many books in a row a high rating - but WHATEVER. I loved it and that's it! I ain't gonna apologise for picking such great reads (or in this instance for Abbie picking a great read for me). 5 stars!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
266 reviews281 followers
October 23, 2022
“Sometimes, Dolores, you have to be a high riding bitch in order to survive, because being a bitch is all a woman has to hold on to..“

When Vera Donovan dies suddenly, her housekeeper Dolores Claiborne is suspected of killing her. But Dolores is ready to tell her version of what happened, all the way back to her disintegrating marriage and the suspicious death of her violent husband, Joe St. George, thirty years earlier. Dolores needs to put things straight, so her story is going to be told her way and it’s going to include everything!

Dolores Claiborne is very different from any of the other Stephen King books I have read. For one, there are no chapters in this book, the entire story is written through from start to finish with no breaks, double-spacing between paragraphs, or other section breaks. The text is a single continuous narrative which reads like the transcription of a spoken monologue. Told from the point of view of the main character and in her very distinctive voice, Dolores is in an interrogation room after the death of Vera Donovan. The entire story is told exclusively by Dolores and from her perspective. A heartbreaking and profound monologue in which Dolores retraces the long years of her marriage and her time working for Vera Donovan.

We hear about her children, her home life and her difficult marriage to Joe, but it’s her love/hate relationship with Vera and how the two women’s lives connect through the years and impact on Dolores, that make this such a powerful and moving tale. There is a strong feminist undertone to this story, which I appreciated immensely.

The writing and use of language in this novel is superb and had me hooked from page one. An incredible storyline that captivated me in a way I wasn't expecting. The relationship between Dolores and Vera is so incredibly well written. This book grabs you and doesn't let you go. It’s funny, heart warming, sad and a little scary but most of all its the wonderful characters, you feel like you've known them your entire life and are deeply invested in what happens to them.

I recommend this novel to everyone. It is so beautiful and unexpected.

Edit: When I was little, my Grandmother (Nanna) used to pile my brother, sister and I into her big king sized bed, she would lay in between us and tell us the story of Hansel and Gretel. She did all the different voices and I remember her long nails clicking together as she told the story of the witch and her house made out of Chocolate and Lollies. She would even pinch our arms and legs like the witch did to Hansel and Gretel (to check if they were fattened up, ready to eat). I can't count the amount of times we would ask her to tell us that story. Even when we got older. This is one of my favourite memories from my childhood. The reason I bring it up now is because I got all of those same feelings reading Dolores Claiborne. The way in which this book is written is akin to being read a bedtime story by your Grandmother. Pure Magic.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,634 followers
April 16, 2022
عندما يدفعك القهر و اليأس للإبداع بل و التجويد
.. نقدم لك :جريمة القتل النموذجية التي تهندسها و لآ ترتكبها ..تؤازرك فيها الطبيعة؛ و الضحية معا {ليس ضحية اصلا}ا
من عبقريات الإنتقام عبر الآداب العالمية بكل اللغات
"Husbands die every day Dolores. Why, one is probably dying right now while you're sitting here weeping....An accident can be an unhappy woman's best friend."

نعم صدقت يا كينج كعادتك ..☀
الحوادث قد تكون افضل صديق للمرأة التعيسة!..و اي امرأة انت يا ديلورس ؟و اي تعاسة هذه ؟
متى تخطر فكرة القتل على بال ارقى و ارق الأمهات ؟
لقد راجت مؤخرا على الجودريدز قصة "لا تخبري ماما " حسنا. .لكل من خنقتهم القصة...ستريحكم هذه الرواية النفسية المثيرة و المرعبة للاوغاد فقط. .و لكنهم لا يقرأون الروايات بالتأكيد

قدم كينج لنا العالم الداخلي المدفون لثلاث نساء👑
..مختلفات في العمر و الثقافة و المكانة ✔ لكن الانسحاق وحدهن

تبدأ الروايه بتحقيقات بوليسية تتعرض لها مدبرة المنزل "ديلورس كيلبيرون" لتعترف بقتل مخدومتها العجوز القعيدة ..تنكر و لكنها تعترف بانها دبرت جريمة أخرى منذ 30 عاما! !؟
هناك ملايين من البشر يقرأون الادب البوليسي ليتعرفوا على طرق مبتكرة للقتل ..حسنا هذه الرواية ممكن ان نتوجها 🔱 عليهم

الفيلم الذي يحمل اسم الرواية🎥
تعتبره كاثي بايتس افضل ادوارها..حتى افضل من ميزري..و انا اوافقها
Profile Image for Baba.
3,621 reviews991 followers
March 30, 2021
Widowed housemaid Dolores Claiborne walks into the police station to make a confession, which results in a look back at the highs, and mostly lows of her life! Great suspense novel made even more innovative by being a detailed deep look into the relationship of two formidable women, often living under conditions of extreme duress. In addition, I should add that the movie of this book just has to be watched for another superb Kathy Bates performance. 8 out of 12.
November 9, 2019
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 crusaders: a small, elusive, sacred treasure where men believe prayers may be answered.

Most men will do almost anything to get close to a vagina. They'll flatter the owner of the vagina, fill the belly near the vagina with extravagant food and wine, even tell the vagina itself that it's the prettiest of the all of the vaginas. Sometimes they'll even dance before it.

Which is exactly what Joe St. George did, in 1945, to the young Dolores Claiborne. Danced close to her at the senior prom, filled her ears with words of love and praise, flirted delicately with her and repeatedly initiated foreplay until she finally surrendered her vagina to their mutual passion.

Before either of them knew it, she was pregnant, and, even though Dolores knew by then that Joe was a total dud, it was 1945 and her only real option was marriage. Marriage to a dud who rarely worked at anything more than making babies. Then, three children and two full-time jobs for Dolores later, Joe reaches out one day to grab Dolores's breast, and, shaking it, concludes, “floppy and flat as a pancake. Your cunt's even worse. Christ, you ain't thirty-five yet and fuckin you's like fuckin a mudpuddle.”

Fuckin you's like fuckin a mudpuddle. . . ?

Wow. I never wanted a protagonist to kill her fictional husband more.

I wanted her to kill him so badly, I couldn't wait to find out how she did it. This is no spoiler alert, by the way. We know from the very first pages that Dolores is out to prove she did not kill her employer, Vera Donovan, and, in doing so, confesses to the murder, some 30 years prior, of her husband.

Turns out, Dolores's “mudpuddle” of a vagina didn't please husband Joe any longer and some men have a very, very bad habit of seeking out newer, tighter vaginas, sometimes even the vaginas of daughters, nieces, neighbor girls, and more.

Some men. . . just really need to die, folks, and I can't imagine too many female readers thinking that Joe St. George isn't one of them. (By the way, Mr. King created such a clever twist here, giving this slothful ball of slime a name that connotes valor and honor, yet giving Dolores a name that is literal in its meaning).

This novel is far from perfect. It suffers, occasionally, from sloppy plot points and an inconsistent struggle with Dolores's “Voice,” but, man, oh man, did it get to me.

Dolores's drudgery. . . her task of waking up and showing up every day with not one expression of tenderness, comfort, or joy (or one damned vacation!) in her environment is a testament to the human determination to live.

There's also a running motif here of women being “bitches," that I both struggled with and was intrigued by. I wasn't surprised that Vera and Dolores are referred to as “bitches” and “cunts” by the other islanders, but they often refer to themselves as bitches, too, Vera cleverly explaining this to Dolores by telling her that “Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.”

Funny, I didn't view either woman as a “bitch,” or a murderess.

I viewed them both as survivors.

We owners of vaginas need to remember that we are the keepers of the light, and the vessels for new life. Only worthy crusaders should be allowed to plea their cases, and, to all women reading this review: MAKE ALL MEN PROVE THEMSELVES WORTHY TO BE WITH SOMEONE AS PRECIOUS AS YOU.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,333 reviews2,146 followers
November 24, 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 you should really be doing. Especially towards the end when you really want to know what is going to happen to Dolores. There's a great epilogue which rounds everything off.

I really, really liked this one. If you enjoy King and haven't read Dolores Claiborne yet I recommend you give it a try.
Profile Image for Chantal.
579 reviews390 followers
June 23, 2023
Normally, I enjoy listening to SK's books in audio form, but since this one was shorter than his usual novels, I opted for the Kindle version. I expected it to be challenging to get through, but it turned out to be quite captivating. Although I haven't watched the movie, I did see the trailer for Misery, and Katie perfectly fits the image I imagine while reading this book. It delves into some dark topics, but it's incredibly gripping and intriguing. Interestingly, a Mother's love seems to be the theme for my reading outcomes this month!
Profile Image for Gabriel.
501 reviews709 followers
July 11, 2023
Un pedazo de novela absorbente y maravillosa; sobre la supervivencia y a los extremos que se pueden llegar por situaciones degradantes que marcan a la protagonista.

4.5★ en realidad

«A veces hay que ser un pedazo de cabrona para sobrevivir. A veces ser una cabrona es lo único a lo que una mujer puede aferrarse.»

¿Qué límites puede sobrepasar una mujer para protegerse ella misma, pero sobre todo por el bienestar de sus hijos? O mejor aún, ¿En qué punto la vida de una mujer se vuelve una constante lucha por sobrevivir por culpa de un marido que empieza a joderle la existencia a ella y sus hijos? Para eso hay que leer esta magnífica historia, donde la intriga y el suspenso se unen haciendo que no quieras soltar el libro hasta el final mientras Dolores comienza a sincerarse sobre varios hechos en su vida que están conectados y que llevan a la irremediable dirección de un crimen que pone los pelos de punta.

Para ponerlos en contexto, la historia nos sitúa ante un interrogatorio en el que una mujer relata a tres personas su vida; la cual está dividida en dos actos. Por un lado, el trabajo que consiguió con Vera Donovan, una mujer implacable e irritante con sus empleados. Y por el otro, la terrible vida que comparte con su esposo: Joe St. George y con sus tres queridos hijos. Ambos personajes conectados ya que la muerte de la señora Donovan y la muerte del esposo de Dolores es lo que ha puesto los ojos sobre ella; abriendo la pregunta de si es inocente o está directamente implicada en ambos acontecimientos.

El maní de esta historia está en que la narración es supremamente íntima, en la medida que nos vamos metiendo en los recovecos de la mente de Dolores y todo lo que tiene que contar sobre Vera, su marido y el efecto que estos produjeron en su vida, llegando al grado de marcar gran parte de sus decisiones y acciones a futuro; para bien o para mal. Es una especie de monólogo en el que solamente interviene ella durante todo el libro.

«Pero escuchadme los tres, oíd por lo menos esto: todo lo que hice lo hice por amor… el amor que una madre natural siente por sus hijos. Ése es el amor más fuerte del mundo y el más mortal. No hay mujer más cabrona en el mundo que la que teme por sus hijos.»

En la narración no hay nada sobrenatural propiamente dicho, pero sí hay unas especies de metáforas que pueden llegar a sentirse literales y bastantes surrealistas. Eso sí, es una historia que ejemplifica con crudeza el abuso en muchos sentidos, desde el físico hasta el psicológico. Hay maltrato y situaciones asqueantes en varias partes pero sin llegar a regodearse y llendo al grano (algo no habitual en King). Aún así, no deja de ser bastante inclemente, directo y repugnante.

Y aunque lo que hace nuestra protagonista sea de moral cuestionable no hay duda de que también es bastante comprensible de acuerdo a los malos tratos que recibió y aguantó a lo largo de los años. Es imposible no empatizar con ella y sentir ira cada vez que sucede algo nada agradable con su marido y lo opresivo de ese ambiente machista, retrógrado y abusivo; el cual la trata y maltrata sin piedad todo el tiempo a pesar de que sea ella quien se parte el lomo por sus hijos.

Cosa que también resalto, es la fascinante relación que se construye entre Dolores y Vera Donovan; quienes comparten más cosas en común de lo que imaginan aunque no sean sinceras del todo la una con la otra. Hay una complicidad discreta pero en plan macabro; vamos, a lo Stephen King. Con toques siniestros para una situación que lo amerita y que tarde o temprano empuja a las afectadas a mostrar su peor cara.

En fin, que no puedo decir mucho más porque lo mejor es leerlo y descubrir punto por punto uno mismo. De resto, es una lectura más que recomendada porque no tiene relleno, no da vueltas y vueltas en lo mismo; al contrario, es de armas tomar y dudo que deje indiferente a alguno. Sin embargo, lo que sí quería mencionar es que esta novela está mil veces mejor contada que El juego de Gerald en todos los ámbitos (ambas historias conectadas por un fenómeno natural) y con un enfoque más implacable ante un tema tan delicado como el abuso y lo que representa para las víctimas.

Y ya, solo eso. Que ojalá todas las novelas de King fueran como esta, para que mi relación lectora tuviera menos bamboleos y fuera muchísimo más estable.
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,456 followers
March 30, 2012
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 these many years. She has stood the test of time and I have no doubt she will continue to do so long after her creator has passed.

Arguably one of Stephen King's most underrated and dismissed works, Dolores Claiborne remains for me one of his best and most literary novels. The first-person narrative voice is brilliantly executed, the island dialect ringing true, the rhythm of the language making the sense of place so vibrant and tangible. The reading experience is only enhanced by the audio version (which I highly recommend).

Bringing nothing but his A-game, King delves into the life of a poor, uneducated, island woman, who marries young and gets to repent in leisure. I love this story so much because not only does it capture small town life and a woman's place in it, but also the unshakeable bonds of friendship that can be forged like steel between women, and the ferocious love a mother feels for her children.

In her awesome review, Catie puts it this way:
This book is a powerful and naked look at mother-love, at how desperate, intense, and all-consuming it really is....But mainly this is the story of an unlikely alliance between two hard talkin’, high riding bitches; two women from very different walks of life who find that they have a similar core of bitter strength.
At its heart, this is a book about a desperate woman who is driven to a very desperate act. It is a crime novel built around a detailed confession that's so urgent, so immediate, the story sucks you in like quicksand and does not want to let go. This is not a horror novel, but there are a few moments of unadulterated suspense and terror that had my heart jack-rabbiting in my chest.

Dolores Claiborne is not the only high-riding bitch in this story, there is also Ms. Vera Donovan, her contrary, vitriolic employer who explains the facts of life thusly: "Husbands die every day Dolores. Why, one is probably dying right now while you're sitting here weeping....An accident can be an unhappy woman's best friend." Dolores and Vera make an unlikely pair, but over the years they cleave to one another in an unexpected, unforgettable friendship that runs dark and deep.

This review can also be found at Busty Book Bimbo
Profile Image for Ginger.
791 reviews378 followers
September 22, 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 when Dolores and Vera would engage and battle with each other! They both have distinctive voices and are the type of characters that you'll remember years from now.

I definitely recommend this if your not much of a horror fan but love thrillers. And if you like horror, I still think you'll like this. There are moments of dread in this book that any horror lover would eat up!
Profile Image for Eloy Cryptkeeper.
296 reviews197 followers
March 29, 2021
"el amor que una madre natural siente por sus hijos. Ése es el amor más fuerte del mundo y el más mortal. No hay mujer más cabrona en el mundo que la que teme por sus hijos"

"En el fondo era un cobarde, aunque yo no pronuncié esa palabra: ni entonces, ni nunca. Creo que eso es lo más peligroso que se puede hacer, porque a un cobarde le da más miedo que lo descubran que cualquier otra cosa, incluida la muerte"

Un drama de supervivencia y superación al extremo.
Una historia Y acontecimientos que te obligan a resignar totalmente cualquier vestigio de posible moral , aflorando la empatía y el corazón.
A pesar, de que por una cuestión generacional, había visto la película (con la magnifica Kathy Bates) en algunasocasiones, igualmente esto no me dio ninguna "inmunidad".
Toca Muchas aberraciones que están enquistadas en la sociedad y naturalizadas en muchos casos. También sirve de ejercicio para plantearse que tanto o tan poco cambio esta situación por estos días .
Si bien me parece una historia genial en cuanto a su concepción, y en cuanto al papel de Dolores. Tambien debo decir, que al ser básicamente "una confesión", no es lo mas "atractivo" de leer. Y resulta un poco reiterativa en algunos aspectos y se extiende un tanto en otros.

"No hay ningún poder en la tierra ni en el cielo que pueda evitar que la gente piense lo peor cuando quiere pensarlo"
"A veces el mundo es una triste escuela, ¿verdad?"
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews692 followers
May 19, 2020
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 delivered is fantastic.  I had forgotten just how good this is.
Profile Image for Beata.
756 reviews1,159 followers
September 9, 2021
Another book by SK in my ambitious plan to read more of his works. I listened to the audiobook in Polish and the actress who read the book made me feel like I was in a theatre listening to a mastefrul performance of a monologue on stage. Ms Budzisz-Krzyżanowska is the dame of Polish theatre and while listening to her I kept thinking that Mr King's book was translated into Polish just to be interpreted by Ms Budzisz-Krzyżanowska.
A classic in which domestic violence and personal tragedy are the forces behind characters' deeds. Another SK book that I more than enjoyed.
Profile Image for Helga.
969 reviews152 followers
September 1, 2023
Emotionally charged and suspenseful!

The book is narrated by Dolores Claiborne and is in its entirety Dolores’s confession, not to the crime she has been suspected of committing , but for another murder nobody even knew had taken place.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,107 followers
February 10, 2017
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 skin.

Classic SK, not supernatural, but absolutely an awesome character slide.

Is that the sound of a vacuum cleaner? lol I'm such a bitch. :)
Profile Image for Diane.
1,081 reviews2,720 followers
January 11, 2018
"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 thrilling the beats of the novel were, even though I vaguely recalled the movie plot. I quickly got so absorbed in the book that I abandoned my other plans for the day and just kept reading. And reading. And stayed up past my bedtime, anxious to get to the end.

One of the things I most appreciated in this book was how well King had written the female characters, especially Dolores and Vera. The women had strength. They had verve. They were fully formed people, with their own minds. They were interesting to read about.

A few months ago I read novels by three bestselling male authors: Harlan Coben, John Grisham and John le Carré. Reading their books in close succession, I was struck by how stereotypically some of the women had been written, portrayed as weaklings, often breaking down crying and hiding in a corner while the MEN stomped off to solve problems. When the women weren't crying, the men were noticing how their asses moved when they walked, or fantasizing about screwing them. Or the men were irritated with the women's nagging, complaining about their moods and neuroses, or how the women just got in the way while REAL WORK needed to be done. I was irritated when I noticed this. Truly irritated and disgusted. Granted, the le Carré book had been written in the 1960s, but the Coben and Grisham novels were 2017** publications. Come on, guys! Let's push beyond the Mad Men era and give women more to do than strut around in tight pants and weep in the corner.

While chatting about these gender stereotypes in novels, one friend said he thought Stephen King wrote women fairly well. And he was right. Dolores Claiborne revived my faith in male writers. I'll keep reading King's books, but I may take a break from the other guys.

*I just watched the movie version for the first time in 20 years, and it holds up well. What was interesting to me is how differently the book tells the same story, compared to the screenplay. In the novel, Dolores tells her story in a long confessional conversation to investigators, so it's all her voice and perspective. In the movie, the screen writers brought in the character of the daughter, Selena, which added another dimension and perspective to the story. This is why I love comparing source material to the movie adaptation — it's fascinating to see how the writers approach the story in different ways.

**I want to clarify that I am not condemning every book or female character that Grisham & Coben have written. The two novels I read last fall that included some irritating stereotypes were Coben's Don't Let Go and Grisham's The Rooster Bar. In both cases, the women that felt like caricatures weren't the main characters, but there were several scenes that made me cringe. Both of those men publish a lot of books, and I've read other novels by them that included women who were portrayed with more complexity. It's possible that the writers were pushing a deadline and the easiest thing to do was fall back on silly stereotypes, rather than create a more nuanced character. The experience has made me pay closer attention to how male authors write about women.

Favorite Quotes
"I understood something else, too — that one kiss didn't change a thing. Anyone can give a kiss, after all; a kiss was how Judas Iscariot showed the Romans which one was Jesus."

"In those days I still believed the love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man was stronger than the love of drinkin and hell-raisin — that love would eventually rise to the top like cream in a bottle of milk. I learned better over the next ten years. The world’s a sorry schoolroom sometimes, ain’t it?"

"He was a coward at heart, you see, although I never said the word out loud to him — not then and not ever. Doing that's about the most dangerous thing a person can do, I think, because a coward is more afraid of being discovered than he is of anything else, even dying."

"Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive. Sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to."
Profile Image for Jean-Luke.
Author 1 book394 followers
March 4, 2022
Neither Dolores Claiborne or that bitch Vera Donovan are ever at a loss for words, and I really shouldn't be either. Poignant, that's one. Hilarious, another, although the tears in my eyes weren't from laughing. I don't usually cry over books, I promise, but these two amazingly crafted women have such a complexly intimate relationship that it seems impossible not to feel something when the bond between them is suddenly broken. That scene on the stairs--damn.

Dolores has much in common with the narrator of What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal but where Barbara Covett is truly nasty with her clever quips, Dolores simply says a thing like it is using the most colorful language possible. Dolores’s narration is absolutely pitch perfect—Ottessa Moshfegh vibes anyone?—and I am in awe of this particular book by Stephen King.*

*I didn’t read this as a Stephen King fan, which is where some people seem to take issue with it. It’s not like everything else he’s written, and it’s probably for this reason that I loved it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
368 reviews93 followers
November 14, 2022
Dolores Claiborne is my hero.

And Stephen King is officially forgiven for all the times he’s under-edited his work. The man is a genius; this book proves it.

Seriously, I just got in the door from a 13-hour road trip from New Mexico to Missouri, and the hours felt like minutes. I was completely caught up in this audiobook, start to finish. Frances Sternhagen narrated, and her pitch-perfect accent brought to life a monologue I imagine must be difficult to fully appreciate in print, considering how frustrating it can feel to read dialect.

Misery has always been my favorite King novel. But this book nudges in at a very close second.

Wow. Just, wow!
Profile Image for Agnieszka.
258 reviews931 followers
January 31, 2018

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 distorted, an unspecified sense of growing horror heightened additionally by carefully chosen setting, whether it was a desolated after the season hotel or solitary house on the island or just amusement park, are enough to maintain the suspense and keep me interested. Don't get me wrong I don't mind some supernatural elements now and then but I don’t need any zombies,vampires & company thing.

Novel is written in a form of monologue of title protagonist. Oh my, Dolores is a fast talker, indeed. She goes to police station because after the death of Vera Donovan, her former employer, lately a demented person under her care, she seems to be a natural suspect. And so begins confession from her life. And she definitely has something to talk about. She throws words like a machine gun, she's aggravatingly digressive at times but the language she speaks sounds very real, sometimes she's full of understanding and compassion then again frustrated and on the verge of committing a murder, at least verbally. Her talk is chaotic, the events of the last days are intertwined with facts from several decades ago. She tells us about that old witch Vera to go smoothly to her own marriage. And all this in almost one breath.

I don’t know King’s style and writing technique that much but I think that kind of narration is not usual to him. But it worked for me. To give the floor Dolores and let her pour out her heart and anger and fear. The picture that emerges from that talking is not the pretty one. Dolores had such a lousy life. And reading I truly was curious how she managed to not drownd in unfriendly world, I didn’t give a damn that she killed that despicable dick her husband was, it's barely a spoiler, Dolores admits that in her first words, I was interested how she managed to get off lightly. I wanted to know how she negotiated with children aftermath. I was interested in her relatationship with Vera Donovan for before the latter turned into demented harpy she was, well, a harpy but a very smart and her mind was razor-sharp but her life wasn't a barrel of laughs either.

I found figure of Dolores well written, neither too exaggerated nor inept poor thing. The real woman, flesh and blood, always set to jump down somebody’s throat and fight anyone who wants to hurt her children. And I think that this is the strength of this book. I do not believe in vampires or other creatures but evil and bad people is a completely different thing. For even at the moment I am writing these words somewhere there is a villain that hurts a child. All in all, I found this one a very decent reading and quite successful appointment with the author that is rather not my cup of tea.

Profile Image for Ron.
394 reviews97 followers
June 16, 2017
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 horror. But read the books first. King created two complex women characters in these two books who I consider polar opposites to one another. And they are, excepting the face of Kathy Bates I pictured while reading this past week, and also in that small, dark place a person is driven to when there is no other choice that remains. Annie started there. It’s who she is. Dolores goes there for a short time because she has to, and sadly it alters everything in her life thereafter. 30 years later she spills her story. After her kids are grown and gone. After the woman she cared for, and learned to love as a friend, has just died. After no one is left.
”Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive,” she says. “Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.”
That’s a quote I had not forgotten after hearing it in the movie, and was happy to see they hadn’t altered it. You can’t see it in context here. Reading it in the book is where it makes sense, from the lips of Vera Donovan (the woman Dolores worked and cared for – the real bitch for a time). Like the characters, this book ended up being deceivingly complex because the things that are not directly experienced. We are only shown a glimpse of all those years that pass after the Eclipse and the Well. There’s a sadness inherit here, especially in a piece of the ending which came as a surprise – something I hadn’t remembered from the movie. It tied things together for me, as it bonded these two women over so many years.
Profile Image for Abeselom Habtemariam.
51 reviews50 followers
September 5, 2023

In a 1993 interview with Charlie Rose, Stephen King said he sees himself more as a suspense novel writer than a horror novel writer. This book might be testament to that assertion. I saw the film adaptation of this book, starring Kathy Bates in the role of Dolores Claiborne, many years ago. I thought I’d refresh it with the book this time. Despite some differences with the film, It is essentially a psychological exploration of Dolores Claiborne, a woman with a murky past who is suspected of killing her wealthy employer. Set in the rural Maine town of Little Tall Island, It is a story of the dark depths of alcoholism, child abuse, domestic violence, sacrifice, guilt and redemption crafted together with melodrama, suspense and psychological turmoil. King interlaces an unflinching feminist theme in between a matrix of the main story (In the film adaptation, the classic feminist book Sexual Politics by Kate Millett is seen in Dolores’s bookshelf amongst other books as a sort of homage to the feminist theme). Dolores is a splendidly actualized character (down to her Down East dialect). I was actually quite amazed at how affecting this book was. One of the best King books I’ve read.
Profile Image for Ann-Mary.
76 reviews37 followers
October 13, 2022
Every time I read one of Stephen King’s book, I think that the scariest monsters are actually people. Not ghosts, or ghouls, or vampires, or werewolves, or any other made up creatures, but people.

This story took me by surprise completely. It wasn’t this spooky experience that I thought about when picking it up, but a very complicated immersion into human nature instead. It has this thin psychological layer to it (the book was written as a confession of one woman), and there are not a lot of things happening, but the way the author grabs your attention - that’s what makes it so unusually refreshing. The narration is slow and detailed, and at the same time you are so invested that you can’t put it down. Mr. King, you have my respect with this one. Dolores Claiborne is one of a kind book that should be treated as a modern classic.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
680 reviews6,936 followers
November 4, 2021
Reading Vlog: https://youtu.be/R5lROdTLUvc

My favorite Stephen King? I think yes.
If I had read this with no context I never would have believed it was Stephen King. This is nothing like his normal format. All the main characters are women and their all strong, intelligent, powerful, forward-thinking badasses. The feminism in this book is ELITE y'all. And it's written by King? I'm shaking. I feel like he is capable of this storytelling and character development but is expected to write white male protagonists because that's what his readers want. Which is sad to me. Because this book is phenomenal and no one talks about it.

It is all told as a statement to the police. You hear the chair squeaking on the linoleum. You hear her get closer and farther away from the mic. You hear her open a drawer, close it, pour Jim Beam in a glass and you hear her drink it. It's like a play. You would believe that it's really happening and you're hearing this women's story from her own mouth but you just happened to be looking away. Or if you close your eyes and put headphones in, you're transported.

I can't wait to watch the movie. Absolutely loved this and HIGHLY recommend the audio for this book!
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews533 followers
February 10, 2017
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 her: listening to the events that led up to that eclipse and after; until now. As for the now: Vera Donovan, her employer; another woman with a different kind of history, lay dead.

Dolores Claiborne is a classic, disturbing look at just some, of what happens around us all, both today and yesterday.

I cannot believe that I just now read this book! Given my early gluttony of King’s work, it astounds me that I missed this one.

Problem solved. Now I simply must get my hands on Gerald's Game to read again. This one lends a renewed perspective.

All hail the King, and oh yeah WOOT!

Thank you Trudi for reminding me about this gem.
Profile Image for Diane.
1,093 reviews22 followers
September 23, 2023
Stephen King doesn’t just write horror. And I’m beginning to realize that he writes some really good books that do not fall into that category. This is one of them.

This is the story of how one woman in the 60s, when women’s choices were limited, decided she was not putting up with her no-good husband any more. Dolores nearly offed the man when he struck her in the kidneys, but he seemed to have learned his lesson about pounding in his wife. But when Dolores saw what he was doing to her kids, that was it.

. . . everything I did, I did for love . . . the love a natural mother feels for her children. That’s the strongest love there is in the world, and it’s the deadliest. There’s no bitch in the world like a mother frightened for her kids.

Vera is the old bitch whose house Dolores cleans. Vera’s husband died in an accident. Or did he? An accident is sometimes an unhappy woman’s best friend. Vera and Dolores form a closeness of sorts. They’re two women from completely different walks of life who see something familiar in each other. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto. Dolores ends up being investigated for Vera’s suspected murder. The irony!

This book is written as Dolores’ narrative of her story, as told to the police. There are no chapters or perspective shifts.

It’s an interesting story about what women might do when their backs are pushed up against a wall. This is a great example of a stellar King book that is not in the horror genre.

Profile Image for Ilana.
613 reviews165 followers
July 18, 2019
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 me, but no, I hadn't seen the movie somehow. And now I've read the thing and know what the story is about and considering what I've been going through in my most disturbing and all too frequent moments of recurring PTSD episodes in the last few years, I see there is indeed a strange connection there.

I should backtrack a little. I want to keep this as brief as I can and I don't want to delve deep into personal matters here. Plenty enough has been said about this 1992 novel by now, but I'll give my version of it. Dolores is a housekeeper who has worked for a very wealthy woman called Vera Donovan and was eventually promoted as her personal companion when Vera became incontinent with age. That is, since the day before the story begins in the book. Now Dolores has been accused of Vera Donovan's murder. Vera has been found half tumbled down the stairs in her grand mansion of a house all broken up dead, and things look very much like Dolores is guilty of murder, with an eye-witness putting her right over the body, with a rolling pin nearby. The book is told in a monologue, as Dolores is taken into the police station and decides she must come clean of an old crime to prove she is innocent of this recent death.

She goes all the way back to her teenage years, when she met her husband in high school and their early courtship (she liked how smooth his forehead was—in retrospect, that was the only thing she found appealing about him...), how after they'd married and had a child she came to work for Mrs. Donovan when she was pregnant with her daughter Selena. The crux of the action takes place on the 20th of July 1963, the day when there was a total solar eclipse, which is when she planned and executed the murder of her abusive alcoholic husband by luring him to falling into a disused old well. But that is only a small part of the overall story, which is her narrative about working for Vera Donovan who was dedicated to being a bitch—“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman's got to hold on to.” and her description of her husband Joe, and what drove her to her decision to kill him, and how her employer and the eclipse all fit together into this puzzle.

Stephen King has always impressed me as a writer. I may not have read that many of his titles, but I've been reading him since I was a teenager with a title here and there and gaps of many years between books. I haven't delved much into the real horror stuff. I read Carrie as a teenager, but otherwise I've tended to prefer his psychological dramas, which I think everyone will agree is his great strength in all his books. But he introduced a terribly intriguing element in this story that was mentioned a couple of times and then left floating with no follow up at all. Dolores has a clear vision of a girl who has suffered abuse and is certain the girl exists in real life somewhere. But the subject is dropped and never mentioned again. It made me wonder. Is this meant as just a strange recurring interlude, a sideshow? Is this something he does often? Was it simply a flaw in this one book? Is it an idea he meant to develop further in a follow up to Dolores Claiborne that didn't make it past the first draft? I mention it here because that is the one thing that keeps this book from being a five-star experience for me, because the lack of development felt like something that had been forgotten and unfinished more than anything else, while in every other way the novel is a memorable experience and touches on subjects I am very much attuned to and have personal experience with. Such as about the lengths a mother will go to in order to protect her children from a bad father. About the estrangement that sometimes follows. About various forms of abuse. About ghosts, which are basically projections of our worst fears which we somehow manage to give "real" dimension to, mostly from sheer terror which must become concentrated bundles of energy, perhaps because projected from our broken psyches.

Stephen King understand so much about human beings. He writes about people in Maine and their way of life almost exclusively, yet his stories are universal somehow. He writes with emotional intelligence and when he gets a good story going, even if it's coming from a single voice sitting in a police station delivering one practically uninterrupted monologue, you can't do anything but pay attention and lay awake missing out on sleep if you need to, just so you can reach the end, because how are you going to possibly put this down and catch any z's if you keep wondering what happens next?!

The audiobook version was great. The narrator is very convincing as Dolores. Almost five stars. By a hair. Just that unfinished business. It'll just keep niggling at me. If anyone has ideas about it, please PM me.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
503 reviews523 followers
July 5, 2020
3,5. Dolores Claiborne es una vecina de Little Tall Island, que se verá inmersa en una investigación policial. Vera Donovan, la mujer para la que lleva más de 30 años trabajando como limpiadora y cuidadora, ha muerto en extrañas circunstancias y la policia ve en ella la principal sospechosa. La historia tendrá lugar en el interrogatorio de Dolores y ella, a través de un monólogo, nos contará la historia de su vida, para tratar de demostrar su inocencia.

Lo mejor que tiene la novela con diferencia, es el personaje de Dolores. Claramente uno de los personajes femeninos de King con más fuerza y mejores creados, junto a otros como Annie Wilkes, Beverly Marsh o Carrie. El personaje es tan potente, que aunque el libro es un largo monólogo, sin capítulos y sin parones, no se hace aburrido en ningún momento y engancha mucho.

Los muy fans de King sabemos que a este señor le encanta meter paja en sus historias, y en este caso la fuerza narrativa del personaje es tan potente que en ningún momento te parece que haya nada de relleno. No aburre nunca.

¿Cuál es la pega entonces? Pues lo que suele pasar con King casi siempre, mucha chicha durante toda la novela, para perder fuelle al final. Me esperaba un final mucho más impactante y al nivel del resto de la novela. Y ha sido flojo y poco intenso. Este hombre es maravilloso, pero que le cuesta conseguir finales potentes.

Eso sí, me ha gustado más que El juego de Gerald, que lo leí el año pasado y estaba deseando darle caña a Dolores Claiborne, ya que ambas surgen a raíz de un mismo hecho y conviven juntas de alguna manera, que no diré. Me gusta mucho eso de King de sentir que todo vive en un mismo universo.
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