1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Oates, Joyce Carol
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Oates, Joyce Carol Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Carroll & Graf 2002.
Edition
1st Carroll & Graf ed
Language
English
Item Description
"An Otto Penzler book."
Physical Description
138 p. ; 20 cm
ISBN
0786708964
Main Author
Joyce Carol Oates, 1938- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

It's de rigueur to exclaim over Oates' protean output and unwavering excellence, and rightly so. The ink has barely dried on her last novel, Middle Age [BKL Jl 01], as this deliciously gothic tale appears. It's the mid-1970s, and the students at the small New England all-girls college that Gillian, Oates' compelling narrator, attends are under the spell of their poetry teacher, Andre Harrow. He tells his young, pliable charges to "go for the jugular" in their writing and ignites the sexual tension in the air by reading them the stunningly erotic poetry of D. H. Lawrence. Enthralled, Gillian believes she loves Harrow and becomes obsessed, too, with Dorcas, his voluptuous sculptor wife, who makes sinister "totems," carved wooden figures that express a bestial sexuality. Meanwhile, fires are breaking out all over campus, students are turning suicidal, and Andre insists that his elite writing group read their private journals aloud. Oates' control of this smart, steely tale of the baser side of human nature is absolute, as are its dark and scintillating pleasures. ((Reviewed October 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In her new novella, the prolific Oates paints a riveting picture of a time when drugs were viewed with a more tolerant eye and sexual promiscuity was the order of the day. The story revolves around a group of college girls in the 1970s and their obsessive preoccupation with charismatic anti-establishment English professor Andre Harrow and his artist wife, Dorcas. The two stand out in their small New England college town, and they revel in their difference, which draws Andre's female students to him like bees to honey. A talented and infatuated junior, Gillian is relegated to the shadows until Andre picks her out as one of his "special" girls. What follows is a disturbing look at the power of obsession and the abuse of trust. The story, though implausible in today's world, is quite believable in its 1970s setting. It's a quick read at 128 pages but suspenseful and satisfying to the end, with Oates once again displaying her amazing flair for complex and slightly bizarre characters. Recommended for all fiction collections. Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Gillian Brauer, a college junior in the 1970's, falls in love with the bohemian lifestyle of Professor Andre Harrow and his wife, Dorcas, a sculptor, and as she becomes addicted to their world she learns the meaning of Dorcas's motto, "we are beasts and this is our consolation."

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Set against the drug-induced backdrop of the 1970s, a powerful novel follows talented Gillian Brauer, a junior at Catamount College, who falls in love with the bohemian existence of rebellious professor Andre Harrow and his sculptress wife Dorcas, as she becomes addicted to their world and soon learns the true meaning of Dorcas's motto "We are beasts and this is our consolation."

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A bright, talented junior at Catamount College in the druggy 1970s, Gillian Brauer strives to realize more than a poet's craft in her workshop with the charismatic, anti-establishment professor Andre Harrow. For Gillian has fallen in love - with Harrow, with his aesthetic sensibility and bohemian lifestyle, with his secluded cottage on Brierly Lane, with the mystique of his imposing, russet-haired French wife, Dorcas. A sculptress, Dorcas has outraged the campus and alumnae with the crude, primitive, larger than life-sized wooden totems that she has exhibited under the motto "We are Beasts and This is Our Consolation."As if mesmerized, Gillian enters the rarefied world of the Harrows. She surrenders to their cassoulets, Quaaludes, and intimacies. She is special, even though she knows her classmates Marisa and Sybil and the exotic, mysterious Dominique have preceded her here. She is helpless, she is powerful. And she will learn in full the meaning of Dorcas's provocative motto.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A young woman tumbles into a nightmare of decadent desire and corrupted innocence in a superb novella of suspense from National Book Award–winner Joyce Carol Oates. Art and arson, the poetry of D. H. Lawrence and pulp pornography, hero-worship and sexual debasement, totems and taboos mix and mutate into a startling, suspenseful tale of how a sunny New England college campus descends into a lurid nightmare. "A small gem.... Oates does not disappoint, nor does she waste a word."—The Washington Post Book World Oates often takes on sensational subject matter ... yet rarely has she done so with the churningly quiet understatement of ... Beasts."—Los Angeles Times "A cunning fusion of Gothic romance and psychological horror story, and one of her best recent books."—Kirkus Reviews "Oates's new novel is a slim one, but it packs a serious punch."—Associated Press "Delicious ... Beasts is something of a jeu d'esprit noir.... The novella length is exactly right for it."—The New York Review of Books

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A young woman tumbles into a nightmare of decadent desire and corrupted innocence in a superb novella of suspense from National Book Award–winner Joyce Carol Oates. Art and arson, the poetry of D. H. Lawrence and pulp pornography, hero-worship and sexual debasement, totems and taboos mix and mutate into a startling, suspenseful tale of how a sunny New England college campus descends into a lurid nightmare. “A small gem.... Oates does not disappoint, nor does she waste a word.”—The Washington Post Book World Oates often takes on sensational subject matter ... yet rarely has she done so with the churningly quiet understatement of ... Beasts.”—Los Angeles Times “A cunning fusion of Gothic romance and psychological horror story, and one of her best recent books.”—Kirkus Reviews “Oates’s new novel is a slim one, but it packs a serious punch.”—Associated Press “Delicious ... Beasts is something of a jeu d’esprit noir.... The novella length is exactly right for it.”—The New York Review of Books