Title: Dolores Claiborne
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 308
Dolores Claiborne is interesting because the entire book is essentially the narrative of a woman who’s been arrested for murder. We join her in the interview room at the local police station as she explains what happened, and I can’t actually tell you too much more than that without spoiling the plot.
What’s cool here is that despite the entire book being essentially just Dolores’ dialogue, it actually adds to the characterisation at a whole. It’s almost like the ultimate unreliable narrator, but it’s also impressive to see how strong the characterisation was. Considering all of the characterisation had to be conveyed by Dolores’ dialogue, I think he did a pretty strong job.
Similarly, King deployed dialect to great effect, and the way that Dolores speaks is itself a great little indicator of her personality, her upbringing and other key characteristics. Honestly, I found her to be a highly likeable character, and I was impressed by her resilience and how she stood up for what she believed in, even if that did lead to her spending time in the interview room at the station.
Overall then, this is a solid book and very much worth reading. It’d actually make a pretty decent introduction to Stephen King’s work as a whole, partly because it’s relatively easy to read and it doesn’t take a huge time commitment. But on top of that, it touches on themes like domestic abuse and alcoholism that crop up elsewhere. The good thing is that he doesn’t tackle those subjects just for the sake of doing it but rather because they’re integral parts of the story line, and it’s also a story of empowerment, in a way. I mean, Delores is pretty badass. What a character.