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  • Rose Madder

  • Written by: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Blair Brown
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

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Rose Madder cover art

Rose Madder

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Blair Brown
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Publisher's Summary

The number-one national best seller about a woman who escapes an abusive marriage is "one of Stephen King's most engrossing horror novels. Relentlessly paced and brilliantly orchestrated...fueled by an air of danger immediate and overwhelming" (Publishers Weekly).

Rosie Daniels leaves her husband, Norman, after 14 years in an abusive marriage. She is determined to lose herself in a place where he won't find her. She'll worry about all the rest later.

Alone in a strange city, she begins to make a new life, and good things finally start to happen. Meeting Bill is one, and getting an apartment is another. Still, it's hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder, and with good reason. Norman is a cop, with the instincts of a predator. He's very good at finding people, even if he is losing his mind.

Fixed on revenge, Norman Daniels becomes a force of relentless terror and savageness, a man almost mythic in his monstrosity. For Rosie to survive, she must enter her own myth and become a woman she never knew she could be: Rose Madder.

"Riveting, engrossing...packed with suspense" (People), Stephen King infuses this novel with an edge-of-your-seat, chilling atmosphere. Rose Madder is "an eerie, remarkably mature and moving novel" (The Washington Post).

©1995 Stephen King (P)2009 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Rose Madder

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    80
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Yes. Two storylines in one.

First half was good beginning then almost like a new book with same characters in a drug induced dream

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

I enjoyed the story and the storyline however the music was very distracting and frustrating at times, as I could not hear the audio script of the book

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Same old

Same old Stephen King style and structure, without the shine and polish of his great books.

I would recommend Dolores Claiborne instead, if you haven't read it yet. Same type of theme but a great read.

Not bad, but not great either honestly.

The reader was great, the ambiance music a little bit distracting at times.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Loved it! Definitely a new favorite from King. Tense, gripping and sometimes far too relatable, Rose Madder is an absolute page turner from start to finish.

My only complaints are that it drags a little bit during the middle and the end, and that the villain could have been a bit more developed, as the chapters told from his POV began to get repetitive and mildly tiresome after a while.

Overall, highly recommended!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertainment at its best

I love Stephen King and this is one of his better books. Every moment was pure enjoyment well written and read! Definitely recommend!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

cool story, terrible music

I really disliked the musical transitions. They didn't enhance anything about the story, just irritated the ear.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Thriller minus the suspense

Dark thriller but a bit dull at times. I was able to put it down for two weeks over Christmas without missing it... The story is good (dark) narration is great but there's music at times and it is awful! I think it really took away from my overall like for this story.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It's good

First things first: the music was awful, horrendous. It added nothing to this audiobook and detracted from the story. Also, it seems I'm at least part canine because some of the higher-pitched screeches passing for music set my teeth on edge and made me want to scream. I docked the whole thing 1 star just for the terrible music. The narration, by Blair Brown, was fantastic! Five stars for her narration. Her voice needed no extraneous music.

Okay, that's out of the way, I'll move on. 😏

A year ago I read "Sleeping With The Enemy" and it was the worst. "Rose Madder" is the version of SWTE that I needed. Somehow I missed reading it back in 1995 and never tried until now. It's a story about a battered woman who leaves her husband and moves 800 miles away. He's a cop who specializes in finding missing people, so he tracks her down. He's completely nuts, psychotic and extremely violent. The story takes a turn at the halfway mark. It turns into traditional King kind of tale, where good meets evil, they hash it out and along the way a fantasy/ supernatural element appears.

I wondered at all the reviews I saw complaining about the fantasy elements. I guess this must be their first Stephen King? 🤔

I enjoyed the story, its plot and its themes. Almost no one builds characters like King. I've definitely read better characters of his, but I liked Rosie, Bill, Anna and the rest.

Recommended for fans of King-with-20-years-under-his-belt (which is much different than early King and yet still different than King-with-almost-50-yrs-under-his-belt).

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A missed opportunity

Rose Madder is a tale of two halves. The first half details the awful struggle of a woman escaping an abusive partner and it is gritty, mostly realistic and both protagonist and antagonist are really well written. I find the antagonist very despicable, which is great to read....then it makes a turn. There is a dream sequence interlude in the middle that turns the second half of the story more supernatural in vibe and I feel it kills the awful realness of this story. It doesn't turn bad by any means, but it turns into a more stereotypical King novel. A missed opportunity to tell a better story in my opinion.

In terms of the audio, Blair Brown does a fantastic performance and Stephen King does the villains perspective which normally I don't like his narration but for some reason it really worked for me this time. This is one of those audiobooks with music clips in between each POV change and I thought they were tastefully done and except for one part, were mixed well without drowning the audio.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great story

As some other reviewers have said, the music is extremely obnoxious, really is a distraction and very unnecessary. However do not let that deter you! this is a fantastic book.

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