By her own account she's an old Yankee bitch, Dolores Claiborne: foul temper, foul mouth, foul life. Folks on Little Tall Island have been waiting thirty years to find out just what happened on the eerie dark day her husband, Joe, died - the day of the total eclipse. The police want to know what happened yesterday, when rich, bedridden Vera ...
By her own account she's an old Yankee bitch, Dolores Claiborne: foul temper, foul mouth, foul life. Folks on Little Tall Island have been waiting thirty years to find out just what happened on the eerie dark day her husband, Joe, died - the day of the total eclipse. The police want to know what happened yesterday, when rich, bedridden Vera Donovan, the island's grande dame sans merci and Dolores's longtime employer, died suddenly in her care. With no choice but to talk, Dolores Claiborne talks up a storm. "Everything I did, I did for love, " she says, and this spellbinding novel is at once her confession and her defense. Given a voice as compelling as any in contemporary fiction, her story centers on a disintegrating marriage's molten core, where the mind's unblinking eye becomes huge with hate and a woman's heart turns murderous. It unfolds the strange intimacy between Dolores and Vera, and the link that binds them. It shows, finally, how fierce love can be, and how dreadful its consequences. And how the soul, harrowed by the hardest life, can achieve a kind of grace.
Sternhagen, Frances (reader) Very Good (Cassette Tapes) in Good + (Box) jacket. Brief summary of content available upon request by e-mail. Unabridged audio book on 6 cassette tapes. Running time 9 hours.
I have been a Stephen King fan since I was first introduced to his books over 25 years ago. This book was never one of my favorites because it lacks the in-your-face horror and strangeness of most of his other books. I also found the movie adaptation of the book somewhat boring. All that changed when I heard Frances Sternhagen's oral version of the book. She reads with gusto and nails Dolores' down east accent and idioms. I now fully appreciate King's development of his character. King is a skilled writer and Sternhagen brings Dolores Claiborne to life! The audio version is absolutely fantastic! Thus, having learned the error of my previous judgement, I also give the print version 5 stars. It is a work of literature - not pulp fiction.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-10-27 King's classic tale of murder and suspicion on Little Tall Island is certainly one of his finest to date, featuring one his most complex and compelling characters ever. With her smalltown tone and pitch perfect dialect, Frances Sternhagen delivers a remarkable reading that is at once intimate yet extroverted. Sternhagen's -Claiborne is an everyday woman who has had it with her everyday life. With an unrelenting delivery that only gets better as the story moves forward, Sternhagen speaks from the heart and never sounds forced or manufactured. She also makes all the surrounding characters (from Dolores's damaged daughter to her steely boss and a suspicious detective) completely well-rounded and realistic. Sternhagen captures the very essence of what can turn a woman's heart to hate and lets her audience feel it in their bones. Recorded in 1992 (three years before the Kathy Bates motion picture), this is the recording's first release on CD. A Signet paperback. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1993-10-25 King's portrait of a Maine housekeeper accused of her employer's murder--a nine-week PW bestseller--shows him to be a magnificent storyteller. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1992-10-12 Described by the publisher as a companion piece to King's last book, Gerald's Game , this new novel surpasses it in every way, and shows that King, even without the trappings of horror and suspense, is a magnificent storyteller whose greatest strength has always been characterization. His sterling title character this time out is a Maine woman in her 60s who made a living as a housekeeper and now is under suspicion in the death of her senile employer, Vera Donovan, who fell down a flight of stairs. Did Dolores push her? Responding to the charges against her, Dolores recounts her life in a tightly woven narrative that is beguiling and touching at the appropriate moments. The friendship between these two lonely women ``livin' on a little chunk of rock off the Maine coast'' was the anchor of both their lives, and it soon becomes clear that Dolores didn't kill Vera. But she freely acknowledges--30 years after the fact--that she did kill her husband, Joe, during a solar eclipse on July 20, 1963, ``my day for seein' eyes everywhere.'' Presenting Dolores's story in her own remarkable colloquial voice, King brings readers face to face with a goodhearted, lovable woman whose honesty is ultimately unforgettable. 1.5 million first printing; BOMC main selection. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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