Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Stephen King Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne, Stephen King, 1992


My favorite quote: “An accident is sometimes an unhappy woman’s best friend.” (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, Dolores)

Notable characters: Dolores Claiborne, a housekeeper who’s had enough and ain’t taking no more; Joe St. George, her husband, with whom she’s had enough and ain’t taking no more; Vera Donovan, the woman who employs Dolores and lets her know that sometimes, it’s okay to have had enough and not take no more

Most memorable scene: Aside from old Joe making good friends with the well out back, I love when Dolores has that telepathic vision of young Jessie Burlingame from Gerald’s Game. It’s little things like that that endear Stephen King to me so much

Greatest strengths: If there’s anything Stephen King excels at, it’s reader buy-in — and in Dolores Claiborne, he outdoes himself. It’s easy enough for an author to draw me into their books but I’m not sure I’ve ever become such an active participant as I was in Dolores Claiborne. I’ve read it a dozen times and every time I do, I tell you, I am WITH poor Dolores, urging her along even as she commits her so-called crimes 

Standout achievements: This book is written as a recorded confession, a transcribed monologue, with no chapters or other breaks of any kind in the narration. This sounds tiresome, but it flows like silk — a feat that only a master like Stephen King could achieve

Fun Facts: In addition to the 1995 film, Dolores Claiborne has been adapted into a play and an opera. An opera! LOL!!! (I’m picturing old Joe, singing in the well … “Duuuhh — LORRRRR — USSSS!!” as dancers weave a tapestry of visual delight around him)

Other media: Dolores Claiborne was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name starring Kathy Bates, who, as a side note, has publicly credited Stephen King as one of the reasons for her success 

What it taught me: As a writer, Dolores Claiborne taught me that if the set-up is solid, you can get the readers to root for anything you want them to (still picturing old Joe, singing in the well … God, that was satisfying!)

How it inspired me: It’s hard not to come away from this book with Dolores Claiborne’s voice in your head and I’m pretty sure a little of it leaked out onto one of my own characters, Edna Furlocke, an odd, mysterious old woman in my Vampires of Crimson Cove series

Additional thoughts: I read Dolores Claiborne (and Gerald’s Game) once a year, usually around Halloween, and it seriously gets a little better every time

Hit or miss: Hit. And I’d like to publicly thank Stephen King for writing this book. I effing love it, guys

Haunt me:

Read Dolores Claiborne

Alistair Cross Author Black Widow Logo

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: ********************************************************************************************* 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.

2 thoughts on “Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

  1. I thought about the movie about a week ago. Why don’t they play it more often, especially during the creepy Halloween time of year? Kathy Bates is the best. I bet the book is even better. 😎

    1. Right? The book and movie are both equally good. I did prefer the book a little more, just because it digs a little deeper — but the movie is really loyal to the book. I love them both!

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