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1992 Stephen King – Dolores Claiborne Audiobook read by Frances Sternhagen
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Dolores Claiborne, Stephen King’s 305 page novel.
King’s first book to be told entirely in first person, and with no chapter breaks (something he had not attempted since Cujo) Dolores Claiborne occurs following the titular character, a hard-scrabble, middle-aged housekeeper and mother living on the fanciful Little Tall Island, Maine, turns herself in to the authorities who want her in relation to the murder of her elderly employer, rich female and professional harridan, Vera Donovan. Stephen King – Dolores Claiborne Audiobook. It ends up that Dolores didn’t murder Vera, but within the course of the story she does admit to murdering her husband back in 1963. The book is a narration of her confession to the cops and we are there to hear it all, every last “just us girls” aside into the stenographer, each request for a sip of whiskey, every smackdown laid on the cops doing the questioning, every sigh, and every reference to boogers. And there are a great deal of references to boogers. In fact Dolores Claiborne is likely Stephen King’s most boogery audio publication.
What did you ask, Andy Bissette? Can I ‘understand these rights as you’ve clarified em to me’? Gorry! What makes some men so numb? No you never head – still your jawin and listen to me for awhile. Stephen King Dolores Claiborne Audiobook Free Download. I got an idear you’re gonna be listenin to me all the night, so you might as well get accustomed to it. Coss I know what you read! Do I look like I dropped all m’brains since I seen you down to the market? I told me your wife would give you merry hell about purchasing that day-old bread penny wise and pound foolish, the old saying is–and I bet I was correct, wasn’t I?”
? Stephen King Dolores ClaiborneIt’s also written in dialect. I’m in the South and so my relationship with dialect is complicated but my response to it’s visceral: I hate it. Dialect, for me, brings up associations with Uncle Remus and audio books written in African-American dialect that sound just like a rusty saw blade being chased into my eardrums. Dolores Claiborne Audiobook Free . As though that is not bad enough, you have books that feature Southern characters whose speech is written in dialect and that feel like the same rusty saw blade being hauled out my eardrums in the opposite direction. Writing dialect feels patronizing to me, a thing that educated whites use to depict those they regard as their inferiors. It is a way to insert class and snobbery in a audio book while pretending not to be doing any such thing, a way to “other” a human being through their speech rather than their physical appearance.
Reading dialect forces me to hack my way through a jungle of patronizing “local color” and condescending smirks to get at the text and from the time I get there I am usually irritated. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King Audiobook. I don’t mind a writer who captures regional or cultural speech patterns by changing word order, with words in another context, or creating new words, but when a writer begins to fall letters and insert poor grammar into their writing because “that’s how these people speak” what they’re implying is, “Because they do not know any better.” Every time an author puts an apostrophe in their text to signify that a diminished (“she goin’ house”, “I’m likin’ that moonshine”).
I see a nod to the reader, “I, the educated author, of course understand how to spell this word correctly but when I am composing a personality of a lower class and education level than myself I want to make sure you understand they are too stupid to speak correctly. Let us today snicker among ourselves”
Stephen King Dolores ClaiborneMy problems with dialect aside, King’s design is the biggest problem with Dolores Claiborne. To put it bluntly, Stephen King has a tough time not sounding like Stephen King. No matter how many times he inserts “gorry” and “accourse” to his text in an attempt to evaporate into Dolores Claiborne’s voice, the illusion occasionally fails. At one stage, Dolores, a girl we’re repeatedly told is under-educated, states “Lookin at her that way made me think of a story my grandmother used to tell me about the three sisters in the stars who knit our own lives you to spin and you to hold and you to cut off each thread whenever the fancy takes her. I think that one’s name was Atropos.” Really? Stephen King Dolores Claiborne Audio Book. Are you kidding me? That’s a title Stephen King understands, not the character he’s been describing for almost 200 pages.
King is an over-writer, but he has turned all his characters to overwriters. Dolores herself is described as being taciturn and to-the-point and yet the whole audio book is a monologue that couple of folks, save Stephen King, would have the stamina to deliver. In addition to this, Dolores Claiborne feels like a audio book that’s been written by an author who just came back from Costco where they are having a sale on semicolons. Those high faluting punctuation marks have been sprinkled all over the pages such as fairy dust and they jar with all the blue collar voice we’re supposed to be reading. All words flow through King and all words seem like King. It is not the end of earth, but if he is straining so tough to capture another voice the days he makes it wrong sound like a trunk full of tin plates being thrown down a flight of stairs. Dolores Claiborne Audio Book.
Stephen King Dolores ClaiborneDolores Claiborne is connected to King’s past 1992 novel, Gerald’s Game, by a psychic flash that occurs during the 1963 solar eclipse when Dolores reaches her husband in precisely the exact same time that Gerald’s Game’s Jessie Burlingame has been molested by her father through by Dark Score Lake and both girls are temporarily provided access to each other’s thoughts. Additionally, it shares Gerald’s Game’s inclination to be a bit too on-the-nose. Dolores’s abusive husband has just zero redeeming qualities, decreasing him by a personality to a cartoon. He is a whiner, a coward, an unemployable drunk who molests his kids, picks his nose (at length), and bullies his wife.
But there is a part of this audio book that’s so deeply felt that it defies criticism. It’s very clearly based on King’s own mother, Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King, who increased King along with his brothers after her husband abandoned them. In Danse Macabre King writes, “After my dad took off, my mom landed on her feet. My brother and I did not find a whole lot of her over the next nine decades. Dolores Claiborne Audiobook Free. She worked at a series of self-study tasks and she kept things together, as women before her have done and as other girls do even now as we talk.”
Stephen King Dolores ClaiborneRuth King died while Carrie was still in galleys, so that she got to enjoy her son’s victory, but the character of the blue collar working mom whose kid goes on to enjoy literary success as a result of her back-breaking labor recurs often in King’s fiction, and she’s always written with a lot of affection, love, and understanding. One of the first is Martha Rosewall, a black hotel maid, that appears in King’s short story “Dedication” (gathered in Nightmares and Dreamscapes) which he composed in 1985. In the notes to that story he writes, “this story, originally published in 1985, was a trial cut for a publication called Dolores Claiborne.” There are also seeds for Little Tall Island in King’s short story “The Reach” published in 1981 and collected at Skeleton Crew.
King had initially intended to take the summer of 1991 off and to write Dolores Claiborne that fall, but he had the idea for Gerald’s Game and began working on it in the summertime, then decided to link both audio books into a publication called In the Path of the Eclipse, a notion he later rejected when both sound books both conducted long. When it was released in paperback in 1993 it finally climbed to on that chart, too, something which Gerald’s Game never managed. Stephen King – Dolores Claiborne Audiobook Download. Dolores is one of Stephen King’s favorite of his own audio books, one he says “goes in” such as Misery, The Shining, and Pet Sematary, and in an interview he says, “If a novel is not an entertainment, I do not think it’s a prosperous sound book. But if you talk about the novels that work on more than 1 level, I’d say Misery, Dolores Claiborne, and It.”
Stephen King Dolores ClaiborneDespite the name, what drives the audio book isn’t so much Dolores Claiborne herself. Really it’s Vera Donovan, Dolores’s company, a wealthy girl, and also a type-A monster who is a stickler for housekeeping information. Her connection with Dolores is the motor which powers this audio book and she’s so popular both of her traces (“Sometimes being a bitch is the one thing a woman has to hold on to,” and “An accident may be an unhappy woman’s best friend.”) Became the tag lines for the movie adaptation, starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Dolores Claiborne Audiobook Download. Some viewers were disappointed that there was not enough horror in Dolores Claiborne however, the scenes of Vera Donovan, elderly and no more in control of her intestines, crapping her bed as part of her campaign to drive Dolores mad, and become moments of pure terror as King delves into the failure of the body and the grotesque indignities of growing old.
Like Gerald’s Game, the success of Dolores Claiborne is qualified: the dialect is annoying (to me), the voice makes some significant missteps, and a number of the audio book is a little too on-the-nose. At the exact same time, Dolores is somebody you remember, and her connection with Vera is a joy to read, if the two girls are working to drive each other insane, or Vera is tormenting Dolores, or they’re in fact talking together like equals. But over any of the, Dolores Claiborne finally has to be judged a success because it indicates that King, unlike many bestselling writers of his prestige, was not interested in capitalizing on his success by simply putting together a franchise, or by turning out more of the same. Stephen King – Dolores Claiborne Audiobook.