Not sure I'd recommend this particular Joyce Carol Oates book, although I generally like her. It was long and sometimes a bit tedious. Interesting, but not believable. (I had trouble suspending disbelief.) There were many characters, including a number of famous people, presidents, artists, writers, none of whom were lovingly portrayed. There were no characters with whom the reader would ready identify.
Imagine a story that encompassed time and illustrated place even more successfully than Doctrow's Ragtime. Time being 1905, Place being Princeton. Fold into this historical realism a rip in the fabric of consciousness similar to Alice's Wonderland only instead of a tumble down a rabbit hole, one is sucked into the Bog Kingdom filled with demons. Gothic. But rather than the predictable Southern Gothic, Oates explores the cognitive dissonance of very proper very educated very repressed people living under a very severe "Nordic" paternalism. Oates being
Oates, the writing and story craft is stellar.MoreLess
Cheepy Zhang 3 years agoFish do you like fish. Oh yes fish. Fish sticks, fish fingers, fish people, fish meat, fish fins, fish legs, fish wings, and fish heads. Ew. But I like fish.
Guest 4 years agoNo, not a good book. Chilling! Very much!
Guest 5 years agoThis book kept drawing me in, time after time. I would think, “this is getting rather boring, but then there would be some supernatural twist that would takeoff in a new direction, and I became utterly engrossed again. It reads like an historical period novel, and you almost believe it could be non- fiction. This is not a light read; it requires an intellect and a maturity from its reader. It was probably the best book I’ve read this year. It stayed with me for weeks after finishing it. Highly recommend!
Guest 5 years agoI loved this book! The plot, involving real historical figures, was inventive and paced well. The contrast of the perfectly normal, even mundane, characters and setting, with the presence of truly evil characters corrupting the innocent was unsettling, to say the least. This disturbing book and its characters will stay with me for a very long time. Chilling!
Also, very little cursing and no gore or gratuitous violence to speak of. Some adult situations.