Rocktober 2011's SK Flavor of the Month - Rose Madder

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Rocktober 2011's SK Flavor of the Month - Rose Madder

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1jseger9000
Out 4, 2011, 1:51am

Sorry I'm late. A busy weekend and then internet connectivity issues on Monday.

Anyway, this month we'll be finishing out King's... what? Feminist cycle? That sounds condescending and I don't mean for it to. But he was on some kind of vibe when he put out Gerald's Game, Dolores Claiborne, Insomnia and then Rose Madder back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

I have to admit, Rose Madder is one of the few King books I've quit in the past (the other being Cujo). In fact, I barely remember what Rose Madder is about. I'm kind of looking forward to the re-read.

I won't be starting for a couple of weeks. I still have a bit of Insomnia left (pun intended) and then I have to read an ER book, but that should be a quickie.

2jseger9000
Out 19, 2011, 9:27am

Started Rose Madder on Monday. I'm already ninety pages in. Pretty good for me. I think if it were a simple suspense tale of Rose and her psycho ex, it would be pretty good.

But Rose just saw the painting. From memory, here is where my troubles begin...

3oldstick
Out 19, 2011, 10:43am

Must finish the book I'm on. Rose Madder is next.I'm NOT reading any reviews until it is finished.

4tpeck121
Out 22, 2011, 6:45pm

I read Rose Madder this past summer...couldnt seem to put it down, which is like alot of King's works (but have had trouble in the past, i.e Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, Talisman, Lisey's Story)

Anyway, Rose Madder was a sensational read! And I would put it in my top 10 probably around #7. (that King's works)

5jseger9000
Out 25, 2011, 11:13pm

Hmm. I'm not grooving on the book. As a simple thriller about a woman starting over and her psychotic ex stalking her it works. But what's all this business with the painting then?

I've just read about Rose's trip through the temple (this is where I gave up last time) and it just feels like 'what was that all about then?', but I will soldier on.

6oldstick
Out 27, 2011, 5:43am

Abused wife runs away from policeman husband. To begin with I was rooting for her and longing for him to be punished but gradually as the story evolved I began to feel sory for him I also found the fantasy element distracting and wanted to get back to reality. I admit I did find myself reading it when I should have been doing something else but by the end I was wondering if King really thought women needed 'outside' help to overcome the brutality of men. The epilogue was probably the most unsatisfactory part of the story.

7Bookmarque
Out 27, 2011, 9:02am

I don't think King necessarily thinks women are helpless and need to be saved, I think it's just emphasizing a common male trait - protector. I know my husband would go a long way to keep me safe and unbothered and I don't mind; I like that he's on my side. Moms and kids have a similar bond. That said I haven't cracked this one yet...I started reading it a year or so ago and fizzled with it. Maybe I'll give it another go.

8streamsong
Out 29, 2011, 12:02pm

I haven't read many Stephen King books, but I recently rediscovered this one sitting in an out of the way place. I'm not sure I finished it--mostly I remember it gave me a sort of slimy feeling. I thought it might be a good Halloween weekend read--and since you guys are reading it, I think I'll join in and see what your insights are. My ex didn't like me reading this sort of book--how appropriate is that?!

So far it's a very slow buildup. I'm a quarter or a third of the way through and while the tension is building, but no horror or supernatural except the painting has changed the smallest bit.

I think oldstick's observation is interesting. Right now I can't imagine feeling sorry for Norman.

9Bookmarque
Out 29, 2011, 4:26pm

You're ex didn't want you reading it? I'm so glad he's your ex.

10jseger9000
Out 30, 2011, 2:10pm

I'm hoping to finish today if chores don't intrude. I have fifty or so pages left.

#8 - Whatever your feeling on this book, do read others! King is so worth reading.

I've been thinking... aside from the painting, the book reminds me (in a good way) of Stephen King's take on the slasher genre (especially Halloween). I think I would have liked the book better if that is all there was to it.

11jseger9000
Editado: Nov 1, 2011, 11:49pm

Okay, I finished it last night.

#6 - You have a bigger heart than me. Regardless of his past I never stopped hating on Norman. Like you, I didn't much care for the epilogue. Really, I didn't care for the supernatural elements at all. I would have been happier I think, if the painting and everything about it were ditched and the novel were just a straight-ahead thriller.

12tjm568
Nov 1, 2011, 12:09pm

Yeah I felt he kind of manufactured the monster in this one. As if the husband wasn't enought of a monster. Felt the same way about Gerald's Game. Could have been a nice little story about a lady trapped on a bed. Slowly starving to death, or dying of dehydration as relief is just across the room would have made a pretty horrific story on it's own. I probably would have liked it better that way. Bringing in the grave robber guy seemed to indicate to me that SK was feeling insecure about the story he had and felt he had to inject a monster. Neither of these books were among my favorites.

13streamsong
Nov 1, 2011, 3:07pm

I still have about 60 pages to go.

Yup, xDH was not a horror or true crime type of guy. He would have never told me what not to read (I'm not very good at minding, anyway), but he'd shake his head & walk off.

Being inside Norman's mind bothers me a lot. I know this guy is a psychotic antisocial murderer, but if even one guy in the world actually feels this way about women, it is one too many!

I skimmed over a lot in the temple. I remember the myths about the river of forgetfulness, the pomagranite seeds and sacrificing virgins to the Minotaur in his maze. The inside of the maze is the underworld, death. Anyone else see any other myths that I missed?

Can we ever put a name on the goddess and what the leprous disease is on her body? I know very old statues get a patchy sort of decay that looks like leprosy.

I have read and hugely disliked Gerald's Game. It's not one I would ever reread.

14streamsong
Nov 3, 2011, 9:45am

Finished. Some of the questions I had above about the woman/goddess in the painting were answered (sort of) in the final sections.

The part of the book from the height of the action to the end of the book was quite long, and I was losing interest in this part.

15oldstick
Nov 3, 2011, 11:19am

There are more people like Norman than you might think. I wanted to delve into his past and find out why he was like he was. He was sick, but he was able to function in his job. He had headaches. How I wanted to cure him! That's how King gets folk involved. Super.

16LibraryLover23
Mar 25, 2012, 11:08am

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments after finally finishing this one. I was intrigued by Norman, and might have even felt the slightest touch of pity when he mentions his abusive father, but on the whole he was just way too creepy. Especially with the whole biting thing and how his jaws ached but he couldn't exactly remember why...eeek.

I wasn't totally behind the painting subplot either, there was enough tension and horror just in the Norman-Rosie relationship without bringing that in. But, on the whole, I was interested enough to keep reading and to see how it all played out.

17Moomin_Mama
Abr 15, 2012, 1:23pm

200+ pages in and I have my reservations. Like the film 'Sleeping with the Enemy', I think of these stories as 'Mills & Boon for battered wives'. Woman (no children) runs away from violent husband and lands on her feet when it comes to housing, a job and a new love interest. Unbeknownst to her the violent ex is on her tail...

What usually happens in these stories is that the ex does catch up with her and there are some scary scenes but all is well in the end. Women who leave violent partners often have very different experiences - it's much harder, and often there are children with them. Throw in the painting, which is now changing, and it's even worse. I'm hoping the book proves me wrong.

18Moomin_Mama
Abr 17, 2012, 1:36pm

I'm on my way to the picnic with Rosie and Bill. The book gets no better. Was King writing this as Paul Sheldon?

19jseger9000
Abr 23, 2012, 11:01pm

Have you finished the book yet? Curious about what you think of it over all. Not one of my favorites.

20Moomin_Mama
Editado: Abr 24, 2012, 6:09am

I have to admit, I've stalled. The cop has been dealt with by the Rose Madder woman in the painting but I keep putting off going on from there (although I will soon - I rarely leave a book unfinished).

NO ending is going to make me change my mind about the book as a whole. Godawful. And it barely reads like a Stephen King book, more like he's gotten someone to write it for him. The clumsy fantasy-feminist elements are atrocious, muddled, ill thought out and badly done in every possible way. Take those away and you have 'Sleeping with the Enemy', which is - if you've ever spoken with real victims of domestic violence - pure fantasy, and therefore insulting.

King has spoken about how he doesn't understand authors who write a book every few years. King at his worst shows why that's not a bad idea - a lot of his worst novels seem like unfinished articles, as if he's trying things out. Still, for that us readers also get the good stuff, which is amazing.