Dolores Claiborne, Stephen King


„I’ve done my part, n I feel at peace with myself. That’s all that matters, I guess; that,
n knowin exactly who you are. I know who I am”.

Dolores Claiborne is taken into the interrogation room a day after the death of an old woman of whom she had been taken care for 40 years. The evidence seems not to leave any shadow of doubt as it comes to the person responsible for the murder. However, Dolores tries to defend herself and thus she starts to tell a story that reveals an old murder from many years ago. The incident which everybody in Little Tall remembers.

„It’s dust bunnies! They’re everywhere!”

Dolores Claiborne is a multi-layered novel. King describes human psychology and the mechanisms that govern human behaviors with an extraordinary accuracy. The reader can encounter not only meticulous description of woman psyche who tries to protect her beloved ones from the imminent danger but also the portrayal of the elderly person’s mentality that converts helplessness into unkindness, therefore trying to make life harder. The story is also the study of human fears and anxieties which emerge in the moments of human weakness and, very often, they seem to be untamed and groundless visions – like the dust bunnies that seem to be the ghosts’ droppings or invisible wires coming out from the walls.

„Everything I did, I did for love”.

Stephen King, the author of Dolores Claiborne, is someone who does not need any introduction as his debut Carrie assured him a wide recognition in the literary world. Dolores Claiborne is his 23rd novel that is considered as a brilliant analysis of personalities and the dark side of a feminine psyche. The motifs of protagonists’ actions are presented with an utmost precision, nevertheless, the language used in the book repels. The sincerity of the story makes it authentic, but from the first page, the accumulation of vulgarisms is completely overwhelming. It seems that the author tests the waters and checks how far he can go before he evokes obscenity and confusion.

Definitely, it is a fascinating book, with bizarre plot and eccentric way of grasping the presented motifs. However, the form of the story is so radical that I would not recommend this book for those who are sensitive to words and are not keen on getting horrified.

Author: Katarzyna Anita Piotrowska
Translation: Dorota Osińska