books BeastsAuthor Joyce Carol Oates –

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

10 thoughts on “Beasts

  1. says:

    To Lovelorn LassesFrom Majority StaffSubject The Sundering of Innocence and its Fiery ConsequenceThis memorandum provides all Lovelorn Lasses an update on significant facts relating to the Pursuit of Professors PoP and the Investigation of their Secret Lives ISL and the use of the Voyeuristic Ingenue Surveillance Act VISA during times when they really should be studying and maybe bonding with fellow lasses and not worrying so much about their precious little feelings including their nascent sexuality Our update below 1 raises concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain PoP ISL VISA findings, and 2 represents a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect creative writing professors, their artistic and earthy wives, and their natural interest in seducing Lovelorn Lasses and then sharing photographic records of those seductions with various art magazines.The dossier compiled by author Joyce Carol Oates detailing REDACTED is one of many such prepared by this individual After carefully considering the ongoing recurrence of certain themes within her frequently issued reports e.g loss of innocence the manipulation of younger women by older men female sexuality as an elemental force the appalling darkness that lies beneath civilized exteriors such as those veneers displayed by certain creative writing professors and their artistic, earthy wives , this majority audience is compelled to note that the author exhibits undue bias in favor of various Lovelorn Lasses and is clearly opposed to their manipulation and seduction by faculty members.UPDATE All photographic evidence destroyed by blazing fire a certain faculty member and his wife burned alive.

  2. says:

    Last night I went hereto meet a friend, and after a couple of bevvies we went hereand had a good meal I had a weird rubbery starter followed by PLA SAM ROD Boneless crispy fish cooked in exotic tamarind sauce most excellent I recommend this restaurant.The reason I took Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates with me is because it is a very tiny itty little book and fitted into my inside jacket pocket the Very Short Introduction series are also good for this and the reason I needed a book with me is that my friend is not always the most punctual of people and I hate doing nothing in a public space, I feel like a right idjit So I always need a small book Most people fiddle with their iThings but not me, you won t get me up in one of those Beasts started yesterday, finished today turned out to be not good JCO either never heard of The Secret History by Donna Tartt or thought in a Mozartian way that she could take the middling crapness of that inflated tale and change a few things round and boil it down to a crisp little shocker and scare everybody However she stuffed it full of howling campus cliches the harem of female undergrads with their knickers all on fire, the bohemian louche French American French dissipated morals poetry professor and his even French Bohemian sculptress wife the totemic raw sculptures the unknown arsonist the intense poetry workshops the repressed narrator who gets all unrepressed, oh lord make it stop And being so short, it stopped quite quickly.

  3. says:

    Andre Harrow and his wife Dorcas came to Catamount College, in Massachusetts, in the mid 1960 s Gillian is 20 year of age..She was in her third year at the college With an infatuation professor Andre Harrow Gillian wanted to be good If you love a married man you exist in a special, secret, undeclared relationship with his wife She told her self no she resolved not to brood upon Andre Harrow anyHa You would wonder that I could be so emotionally inexperienced, or under nourished, as well as sexually immature, at the age of 20, in 1975 I ve been born in 1955 and had come into consciousness during the 1960s, the most sexually liberated , amoral era in United States history Subtle, dark and seductive. Joyce Carol Oats examines the the position of power and obsession The writing is scrumptious

  4. says:

    I read Beasts in about two hours on a hot day and felt like it could have been a dream, or a hallucination A short, hazy, spellbinding story, it quite breathlessly races through a short period of time in the life of its young protagonist, Gillian, an undergraduate at Catamount College, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1975 Gillian is in love with her professor, Andre Harrow, and fascinated by his sculptress wife, Dorcas She is obsessed with becoming part of the Harrows lives and, jealously following rumours that they choose special students to assist with their art, is drawn into their strange and intimate rituals This is a very brief and highly taut novella which feels like it is meant to be read quickly and then re read something I think I d need to do in order to effect a in depth analysis of the plot It s all about atmosphere, with the weird, hypnotic effect of the Harrows leaping off the page and making you feel part of the narrative even though Gillian remains a somewhat remote character.

  5. says:

    Joyce Carol Oates, Beasts Carroll and Graf, 2002 Joyce Carol Oates cannot be human.It is simply impossible for a single human being to turn out the work she has over the course of her career, consistently stratospheric in both quality and quantity Her thirty year bibliography is so vast that the major internet repository of Oates research and criticism doesn t have a full list anywhere, but is now a searchable database Another admittedly incomplete bibliography on the web lists eighty nine books split between novels, short story collections, and poetry, fifteen anthologies she has edited or co edited, ten works of non fiction, and ninety anthologies in which her work has appeared since 1980 and those are only the horror themed anthologies She is the Merzbow of literature, the Sun Ra of wordcraft, both the dream and the nightmare of the bibliophile with a limited reserve of cash The truly astounding part of all this is that one can walk into a very well stocked bookshop, pick up a Joyce Carol Oates book at random, and have an odds on chance of being rewarded with one of his finest reads of the year Now add to this idea the fact that Oates is, for all intents and purposes, a one trick pony, and explain how one person can write so much material on a single theme and still have it come out so very, very well.Such is certainly the case with her recent novel Beasts Anyone who s read Oates before, in whatever form, is liable to know a few things about this book even before cracking the cover the main theme of the book will be human degradation One of the characters in the book will be horrified by the degradation, even while experiencing it, and this horror will cause the character to commit some sort of extreme and socially unacceptable act There will be a great deal of uncomfortable eroticism Then you open the book, read the first two small chapters, and here s something new Oates is going to tell you all this in the first four pages It s almost as if she s throwing down the gauntlet to the reader you know it s coming, I know it s coming, let s see how much I can give you at the beginning and still beguile you with my novel And utterly beguiling it is Gillian Brauer is a student at a small college in Massachusetts who is enad of one of her professors She is not alone in this, but the lengths to which she goes in her obsession with him are rather farther than the others go in one early scene, she surreptitiously follows his wife through town, and mentions she has done this a number of times before She knows that sometimes the professor and his wife, a sculptor whose most recent show at the school s gallery has ignited a firestorm of outrage, will sometimes allow students into their inner circle, but that these students are very tight lipped about what goes on there Secret society stuff at its best Gillian, too shy to confess her love for her professor and desire to be one of those students, begins to imagine that all of her housemates in the small house dormitory where they live, are members of the inner circle, and eventually gets to the point where she must either confront her professor or go crazy.And that s the light, optimistic part of the novel Things get much fun after the confrontation.This novel is obsessed with small It is slim a hundred thirty pages in the hardback edition Gillian lives in the smallest dorm on campus and is obsessed with gaining entrance into living quarters with even fewer people Her obsession grows when, after a semester with the professor in a normal sized lecture class, she is admitted to one of his workshops, with only eleven students Her classmates grow thinner over time Small is everywhere There is a whole probably longer than the book itself thesis to be written on small in here The themes Oates taken on, on the other hand, are not small in the least, as they never are And, as always, she does so with such style that the reader cannot help be compelled I didn t finish this book in one sitting only because I had to go to bed last night if I wanted to have a fresh enough mind in the morning to keep involved with the story.Gillian s professor is fond of muttering Nietzsche under his breath at odd times Funny that Nietzsche s most famous aphorism is never mentioned in the book and if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you Oates has been gazing into this particular abyss for thirty years now, throwing down that gauntlet, challenging it to gaze back, and reporting on what she finds Perhaps she will continue to do so for another thirty years, and we will continue to get such brilliant books as this.

  6. says:

    I found Beasts to be a disturbing combination of traditional Gothic horror and Clive Barker at his most vulgar While Oates does not approach the graphic nature of Barker s writing, the innocence of her setting a small, liberal arts college and her protagonist Gillian, a young, student at the college makes the vulgarity all the unsettling The story itself moves rapidly and draws the reader into a shadowy world of deception, drugs, and sexual deviance, while simultaneously maintaining the naivete and hopeless romanticism of narrator Gillian The conclusion is sudden, shocking, and does not disappoint.

  7. says:

    Second Read 4 2 2016 Just as dark, twisted, and seductive as I remembered it Not a big fan of Joyce Carol Oates but I do love this book Original Review 1.5.2001 A gorgeous, lush, provocative story that really illustrates bond between professor student and how corrupted it can become I m not a huge fan of Joyce Carol Oates, but I really enjoyed this book The characters and writing style were so distinct and memorable Additionally, I attribute my love of the poet D.H Lawrence to this book

  8. says:

    logic has nothing to do with truth, only with premises Apparently, the WORLD did not end today.Then again, it s still early to assume.Anyways, whether the world will end today or not, I ve read Beasts in no rush at all The pages simply flew on their own accord Quick and haunting In love at a distance, so much of life has to be invented. In love at a distance, you learn the strategies of indirection

  9. says:

    Wowjust wow This little book packs a punch It is so beautifully written I could have quoted the whole book.Highly recommend Thank you Danielle for the rec and the loan.

  10. says:

    Erm The jacket made this sound a bit like a gothic horror romance than it was Totally false advertising Instead, I got a tedious period piece about spoiled college students in love with their wretched abuser of a professor and his sculptress wife I found it tedious And a vehicle for Ms Oates to show her own academic prowess than a suitable vehicle for storytelling The crux of the book only takes about 30 of the book s 138 pages everything else merely builds up to the plot The characters are dull and drawn poorly, seen only vaguely through the main character s eyes although, perhaps that is only because she s so obsessed with her professor He s actually not terribly impressive All the girls merely suffer from guru syndrome The climactic ending is silly and overblown and a bit improbable, frankly, speaking as one who used to be a smoker And I tired of the constant beautiful Dominique descriptions Because she s secretly a woman of colour, she is bold and dramatic and exotic And the main character, I swear, is in love with her But that only serves to set Dominique apart, make her less rounded as a character So, no I wasn t into this one For my first foray into a full length JCO work, I was terribly disappointed.