Rose Madder by Stephen King


Rose Madder, Stephen King, 1995

My favorite quote: “Sometimes men had to learn what it was to be afraid of a woman.”

Notable characters: Rose McClendon Daniels, the woman beginning a new life; Norman Daniels, the husband who won’t allow it

Most memorable scene: When Rose sees that single drop of blood when she’s making the bed

Greatest strengths: Stephen King writes women better than a lot of women do, and Rose Madder illustrates this talent in a way that concretizes all the hype of his literary abilities

Standout achievements: This book opens with one of the most visceral scenes of domestic violence I’ve ever read. The reason I consider this a standout achievement is because that single scene is powerful enough to singularly propel the rest of the story — that scene is the foundation on which the entire plot rests … and everything that happens afterward is justified because of it 

Fun Facts: In the prologue, Rose is reading Misery’s Journey — an installment from a fictional series by the equally fictional Paul Sheldon from King’s novel, Misery

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: That if the characters are good, I’ll follow them anywhere. Even into a strange side story about a moving painting that kinda doesn’t make a whole lot of sense … 

How it inspired me: It’s because of Stephen King that I always know my ending when I start my story. I know he likes to do a lot of bragging about how he doesn’t know how his stories will end until he gets there, but the problem is, sometimes, it shows. Sometimes, it’s pretty apparent he didn’t really know how to wrap it up. While not the worst example of this by a long shot, this is one of those times

Additional thoughts: Stephen King famously writes fantastic villains, and while most of them get plenty of attention (Jack Torrance, Annie Wilkes, Pennywise, Randall Flagg) some of them fall through the cracks. This is the case with Rose’s husband, Norman Daniels. He’s a great villain who, in my opinion, goes largely ignored, and shouldn’t. He’s not supernatural, he’s worse — he’s an abusive f*cking prick

My rating: 4 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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