Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight - with his credit card.
Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, Rose Madder, which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it.
But it's hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman is a corrupt cop with a dog's instinct for tracking people. And he's getting close. Rosie can feel how close he is getting....
A brilliant, dark-hued fable of gender wars, a haunting love story, and a hold-your-breath triumph of suspense, Rose Madder is Stephen King at his electrifying best.
©1995 Stephen King (P)2011 Penguin Audio USA
"Surprisingly 'unturnoffable'. Very well read"
I wasn't sure about this book when I saw it in the listings as the subject matter didn't really appeal to me. However I've only actively disliked one of Stephen King's books and I noticed that he was also one of the narrators for this edition so I decided to take the plunge with this month's credit.
It's one of the faster times I've got through a longer audio book and I listen to a lot of them. The story line didn't (and doesn't in hindsight) seem to be that fascinating or convincing to me but obivously it was as I've had to come back for another book and I'm not due another credit for ages!
It was also extremely well read which is as important (if not more so) that the actual book. I've had some great books from Audible which I've given up on after an hour or so as the narrator was so irritating (either too 'flat' or to excitable)that I couldn't focus on the story. I've had others (such as the first 5 books in Terry Brooks - Landover series) where the narration has made the story alive for me. This is one of the latter. With a great combination from the two readers effectively splitting the two 'sides' of the book.
I quite like this book- Stephen King has done a lot worse!!!. Good characters, vivid descriptions that made me feel slightly raw if I'm honest. The end is a bit of a damp squib - but I'd recommend it.
"WISH I HADN'T BOTHERED"
This must rank as one of Stephen King's most inept novels. Any credit he might have got for dealing frankly with the social cancer of domestic abuse is forfeited by the gratuitously lurid and voyeuristic way in which he handles it.
The composition of the novel is lazy, self-conscious and full of loose ends.
By putting constant racist, sexist and homophobic abuse in the mouth of the dysfunctional husband, King does not help tackle prejudice - he simply offers bigoted people a crash-course in expanding their vocabulary of hate.
The novel itself must be a dire read, but the audiobook makes it worse. The female reader is skilled and resourceful, but she has been wrongly partnered with this book. Her style would be better suited to sappy romances, and since part of this story is written as a sappy romance she was probably cast for precisely that reason, but the average horror reader may find the effect (as I did) cloying to say the least. But she is unquestionably an excellent narrator, unlike Stephen King himself who expressionlessly drones through and crushes the life out of several lengthy sections where the action is seen through the eyes of the pursuing male character.
The final straw is the mixture of tinkly or discordant sounds - which reminded me of a 7 year old let loose on a cheap synth - that swells up over the narrator's voice from time to time, and which the producer evidently thought added atmosphere.
There are some good turns of phrase and some chilling moments, but I am used to better novels from King, and (with all respect for the reader on this recording) better matching of voice to subject matter.
"Beware the Bull"
An abused wife leaves her cop husband and tries to settle into a new life. She wanders into a pawn shop, planning on pawning her wedding ring, but discovers a painting that is not all it seems. Can she escape her past or is her husband determined to track her down?
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