November 24, 2008

Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates

Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates 
 Date Started: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Date Finished: Monday, November 24, 2008

Summary: Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates is a about a college student named Gillian who gets caught up in the strange and dangerous obsession with her teacher and his wife.

Likes: The book was trippy and kind of psychedelic. The story is set in 1975 in an all girls college. I liked the vivid details. The author didn't skimp on the amount of details surrounding certain details. The honesty of the book was what drew me in. The narrator was naive and single minded. The ending was a surprise, but it tied into the beginning which I enjoyed. The suspense was well-written and the build up of tension was natural. Despite the awkward situations, the narrator described these situations with a more mature eye. Had the story written not been a flashback, I don't think I would have liked it as much. It would be like reading a diary of a teenager in love for the first time. This story wasn't like that. The narrator gave the situation some clarity and a more mature outlook. I enjoyed the details and descriptions.

Dislikes:Frankly, the only thing I disliked was the subject matter itself. However, the author handled the subject matter in a more eloquent tone. Had this been the work of a less established author or an amateur work, I don't think the story would have been handled with much grace.

Overall: I liked this book and will be working my way through Oates other works as well.


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