GROUP DISCUSSION #1 - “Dolan’s Cadillac”

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AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
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Hello and welcome to the first group read discussion! I am excited. :)

Tonight’s discussion is of “Dolan’s Cadillac,” the first story from 1993’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes. In the book’s notes, King mentions this story was very hard for him to write and he didn’t like it at all upon completion. He relied on his older brother for the technical details; King’s extensive research pays off, IMO.

This was only my second read of the story. My first time was back in 2011 or 2012, when I was a Stephen King novice and wasn’t quite able to appreciate this story. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Man, I dug the hell out of it this time. It is very Poe-esque, but King never really veers into rip-off territory.

What did you folks think? :) No pressure! Let’s just have a relaxed conversation. And, of course, spoilers will happen. Any favorite lines or passages? What of the fact that the main character’s first name is never revealed, and his last name is only revealed toward the end? I don’t know of King to do that in other story. In that way, the narrator here is a bit like the narrator in Rebecca — without a (first) name, an identifier.
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
That is a Poe story I’ve meant to read but never have. Thanks for the reminder.
Full disclosure: ;-D I didn't just remember that when I read Dolan. After I read Dolan's, I looked up the story on Wikipedia and that's where I learned that. I read The Cask Of Amontillado last night to check out the similarities.
 

AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
3,856
15,528
Do y'all think this may have been a ghost story? Was revenge Robinson's idea? Or was it the idea of Elizabeth's ghost?
I love that King doesn’t make it obvious one way or the other. I lean toward the narrator imagining Elizabeth talking to him, goading him on, but a case could certainly be made for it being a ghost story.

I do think this story is a bit of a practice run for later novels like Insomnia and especially Bag of Bones — the ‘losing one’s spouse and dealing with grief’ motif, but of course this story has a brilliantly sinister obsessive streak running through it.
 

mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
3,428
21,581
I really liked this one too,for me,maybe because of having to work hard enough to raise blisters on the hands..and in the heat.Of course I can't imagine doing that under the conditions of the California/Nevada desert,where it is gets really hot..but I thought SK really caught the suffering of the main character and what he was willing to do in his search for justice..
 

do1you9love?

Happy to be here!
Feb 18, 2012
9,116
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Virginia
Did we ever learn the narrator's name? After I finished the story, I started to wonder what his name was and skimmed parts of the story and never found it. His last name is mentioned but as far as I could find out, his wife just called him darling.
Come to think of it, do we ever learn Dolan's first name? It's been a while since I re-read. Tried for this week but got lost in the Lilacs!:oops:
 
Mar 12, 2010
6,539
29,002
Texas
I love that King doesn’t make it obvious one way or the other. I lean toward the narrator imagining Elizabeth talking to him, goading him on, but a case could certainly be made for it being a ghost story.

I do think this story is a bit of a practice run for later novels like Insomnia and especially Bag of Bones — the ‘losing one’s spouse and dealing with grief’ motif, but of course this story has a brilliantly sinister obsessive streak running through it.
I think the only time his name was mentioned was when Dolen asked.
 
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