Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rape: A Love Story” as Want to Read:
Rape: A Love Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rape: A Love Story

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  3,371 Ratings  ·  357 Reviews
Teena Maguire should not have tried to shortcut her way home that Fourth of July. Not after midnight, not through Rocky Point Park. Not the way she was dressed in a tank top, denim cutoffs, and high-heeled sandals. Not with her twelve-year-old daughter Bethie. Not with packs of local guys running loose on hormones, rage, and alcohol. A victim of gang rape, left for dead in ...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published December 21st 2004 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Vrsha (PeekAtMyBookReview)
Oct 14, 2014 Vrsha (PeekAtMyBookReview) rated it really liked it
Shelves: before2011
4 ‘I say CASTRATE the Rapists’ Stars


This is the story of a mother and daughter who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and encounter the wrong/most vile persons. The story of what that woman becomes after being Raped, people just talk about her or recall her of think of her about ‘after the incident’, the before no longer exists.

“Suspects,” they were called. As if they hadn’t done what they’d done to you and your mother but were only “suspected” of doing it!

What was most disturbing was
Mar 04, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
It's shocking and almost unforgiving that I have been on this earth for 30 years and have never read Joyce Carol Oates. Reading her entire cannon will soon become my latest addiction in 2009. So how do I review this novel? (note : I am writing this review after already having read 'Zombie' a few days ago). First of all, Joyce C Oates, where have you been all my life? And to my literary friends : Why did nobody tell me about the lyricism, harshness, brilliant POV changes, and upsetting yet beauti ...more
Sumit Singla
Nov 22, 2015 Sumit Singla rated it really liked it
This is an ugly book, filled with nothing but filth and darkness. It takes your view of humanity, throws it to the ground and administers a few sound kicks to it, till it is bleeding and crying out.

Hate is a strong word, but I hated the story, the characters and practically the entire book. I hate the fact that I live in a world where this isn't fiction, but the true story of thousands of 'Teena's and 'Bethie's each day.

I hate the fact that people find it ok to label rape as 'unfortunate' or 'sa
Mar 20, 2010 E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2015 cameron rated it really liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with JCO. She is a brilliant writer and I admire her. Sometimes I am blown away by the intensity and chilling insight of her books and sometimes I find them unnecessarily cruel, mean and overly dramatic.

Now, don't get me wrong, she can write in any genre with skill. It's amazing. As a matter of fact, in one short story collection she wrote a brilliant and complete short story in one page. She is an eccentric individual and her choices reflect that.

The title of th
Jun 16, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Joyce Carol Oates seems to channel all of the things I was ever scared of between the ages of 12-14, humanize them, and make them strangely pitiful and believable and still terrible. The fact that this book is set in a very nostalgic landscape for me makes this book all the more terrifying and poignant, even if it is a kind of mundane and melodramatic kind of terror.

I often feel that JCO writes for a very narrow and specific demographic that I'm part of, but don't know the perimeters of?

She ex
Feb 05, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Am I allowed to say I love this while I honestly hate it?

I hate everything it shows. I hate more or less every single event in it. I hate how degenerated some characters become. I hate how much this book is needed.

I absolutely hate that this behavior is found in our reality.

Something else?

I love this book.

Most of all, I like the humanizing of the events. Oates pulls the story of a gang-rape and its aftermath off, however this is possible when this is such an unspeakable crime. For over a day I'
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Η Joyce Carol Oates, είναι μία από τις πιο διακεκριμένες Αμερικανίδες συγγραφείς, έχοντας αποσπάσει πληθώρα βραβείων στην διάρκεια της συγγραφικής της καριέρας. Ένα από τα βιβλία της, είναι και "Ο Βιασμός", ο οποίος επανακυκλοφόρησε σε νέα, συλλεκτική, οικονομική έκδοση, από τις εκδόσεις Μεταίχμιο. Και πραγματικά, πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που ο καθένας από εμάς θα έπρεπε να διαβάσει και να το έχει στη βιβλιοθήκη του, για να του θυμίζει την ασχήμια του κόσμου μας, αλλά και την αθλιότητα ενός κοιν ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Rochelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
I didnt expect to read this story. I had never heard of it or the author. I was having a long, sweaty day and popped into the library to kill some time before catching the bus home. In fact, I almost walked right past it. But a word jumped out at me from a black and white cover:rape. My feminist bells are ringing. Is that a cover of black and white hearts? Is that a story titled Rape:a love story? So it only takes me a second to double take and backtrack. I pick up this small bo
Jul 11, 2008 John rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2009 Michele rated it it was amazing
A chilling, haunting reminder of the evil that humans are capable of, the author describes the brutality of the rape and terror beyond what we are capable of imagining on our own. The second attack from the community slandering the victims is almost more disgusting, being from a small town full of small minds I could visualize it full-force. “She asked for it” I understand that no rape story has a “happy ending” but Joyce Carol Oates delivers us the best possible conclusion.

Earlier this year i r
Jan 15, 2016 Reddish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Esta lectura me ha dejado con los pelos de punta. La he sentido tan real e injusta... Que una madre (no es spoiler, pasa en el primer capítulo) vaya de la mano de su hija de 12 años tan tranquila por la calle y de repente una banda de niñatos drogados la violen casi hasta la muerte... Lo peor es que en la vida real existen casos así, y la justícia es inexistente. Esta es una historia corta pero conmovedora, totalmente recomendada.

"Your eyes are open but blind."
Aug 01, 2016 Zadignose rated it it was ok
Shelves: 21st-century
A book with a provocative title and a disturbing subject. The book cares. The book pulls triggers. The book resembles, on a superficial level, some aspect of our real world. The book confronts the monstrous reality of human cruelty, callousness, and especially the perversity of our social reaction to an atrocious crime. It, unfortunately, doesn't succeed very well.

By some ironic twist, In Cold Blood is a better novel than this, even though In Cold Blood is not a novel, and this is.

This book take
Oct 22, 2008 Lulu rated it it was amazing
What first drew me to this book was of course, the title. And it wasn't until the end of the story that I realized what the 'love story' in the title was referring to. But the story was so completely harrowing right from the first sentence that I didn't really have time to wonder about the title while reading it. The novel is an all too real depiction of a brutal gang rape and its aftermath. Reading it was tough; Oates' sparse prose really wrenches your heart at times, making you cringe and cry ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Vaso rated it really liked it
It is a very hard topic that the writer is talking about in this book.
There are no hard scenes. It is the daughter's view that we read in this book

Violenza e giustizia

Un romanzo abbastanza breve, questo della Oates, che parla di una giovane e donna, seducente, sensuale e carina che viene orrendamente violentata da otto ragazzi, ubriachi e drogati. Chi assiste, terrorizzata ed impotente è la figlia di dodici anni, che stava tornando a casa con la madre e che riesce a salvarsi dallo stupro, ma non dal trauma che la accompagnerà poi per tutta la vita.

La scena dello stupro è proprio terribile. Dettagliata, vivida, spietata, senza senso, brutal
Jun 02, 2009 Holly rated it it was ok
This was difficult to rate.

First, I don't think the book ever justified its intentionally controversial title. Second, although parts felt very genuine and terribly realistic, other parts felt like trite stereotypes. Third, inevitably, a novella does not have the space to fully develop each character, but I was still disappointed by the surface treatment of the characters I really wanted to learn more about: the mother, daughter, and grandmother. Fourth, I was really disappointed in the choice
Apr 29, 2009 Aurali rated it it was amazing
One of the most emotionally shocking books I have read recently. Not a fan of the longer Joyce Carol Oates books because of the excessive description. This book was one of the best I have read recently and shows what can be accomplished when all of the excessive bs is removed. Oates portrays what is really meant by "rape". It is an ugly brutal crime that often victimizes the victim further by forcing them to prove their case. If anyone ever doubted the brutality of a gang rape they should read t ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Charity rated it liked it
Good story overall, but I wish the characters had been fleshed out more. (No pun intended -- seriously.)
May 09, 2011 Balente1978 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il mio incontro con Joyce Carol Oates non è stato dei più leggeri.
Nella sua brevità questo romanzo sa essere una sassata dritta alla glabella.
Senza possibilità di schivarla.

Come inizia la storia?
Nel modo in cui tutte le storie hanno inizio: quella frazione di secondo che sconvolge una vita intera

Dopo aver preso la decisione, Dio solo sa cosa le fosse frullato per la mente, di tornare a casa attraversando il Rocky Point Park, anziché fare il tragitto più lungo passando esternamente al parco, dire
Jan 25, 2010 Henrik rated it liked it
Shelves: to-buy, realism
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My Inner Shelf
Derrière ce titre aussi racoleur que provocateur se cache une histoire terrible, certes, mais aussi une histoire de justice et de vengeance. Tina et sa fille Bethel échappent de peu à la mort, mais pas à la suspicion, car si les blessures de Tina ne laissent aucun doute sur ce qui leur est arrivé, certains se demandent toutefois si Tina, la mère indigne, ne l’a pas cherché. Le point de départ du récit est on ne peut plus cruel et insupportable. L’injustice est à son comble. La victime devient co ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Samantha rated it did not like it
This book was not worth the time it took to read. Which was a lot longer than it should have. I could have finished this book in two hours, but it took me three days. The characters were uninteresting, sterotypes mostly.

Maybe I was expecting something different? No, I know that I was. I was told that this was similar to I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left. It was, sort of, but the way it was written was not compelling. Nor was it disturbing. Ok, there were disturbing parts, but the d
Jun 30, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
Heart breaking. There's no dawdling in this novel, it's very straight forward and to the point - and what a terribly saddening point it is. It is an excellent and thought provoking read, a little hard to push through at times because you're just so disgusted, but will hold your attention completely until the final page is turned.
Mar 14, 2016 Clara rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-read
I was at the library, borrowing novels which I didn't need (I have so many unread at home), and I kinda just "grabbed" this novel without really knowing anything about it.

Here I am, kinda in love with it. I love that it was so short. I love the way Oates writes (at least in this one). I love that I hate it and love it at the same time. I love how awful it is, and how raw it is. I just love it.
Everett Darling
Jan 11, 2008 Everett Darling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emi Bevacqua
Oct 18, 2016 Emi Bevacqua rated it really liked it
I don't know how JCO manages to take the most repellant subject matter there is, and write compellingly about it. Somehow I loved everything about this grotesque crime story: gang rape victim Teena Maguire and her 12-year old daughter, the grandmother, the police officer who rallies to their defense, their nervously ineffective prosecutor, and of course - the sweetly sick retribution at the end of this super quick and deadly read.
Aug 17, 2012 Christie rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates wastes no time cutting to the chase in her novella, Rape: A Love Story.

After she was gang – raped, kicked and beaten and left to die on the floor of the filthy boathouse at Rocky Point Park. After she was dragged into the boathouse by the five drunken guys – unless there were six, or seven – and her twelve-year-old daughter with her screaming Let us go! Don’t hurt us! Please don’t hurt us!

Teena Maguire and her 12 – year – old daughter, Bethie, leave a July 4th party after midni
Claudia-Il giro del mondo attraverso i libri
La sera del 4 luglio, Niagara Falls. Una madre e una figlia attraversano un parco per tornare a casa dopo una serata di festa. Mentre camminano, passo dopo passo, non sanno che da lì a pochi secondi la loro vita cambierà. Per sempre. La vita della madre andrà in frantumi mentre la figlia sarà costretta a crescere all'improvviso.
La sera del 4 luglio, Niagara Falls. Sono nel parco, sono parecchi, sono ubriachi fradici e strafatti di metanfetamine. Sono ragazzi giovani, con precedenti penali e quan
Jan 19, 2016 Liz rated it it was ok
On their way home from a Fourth of July party, Teena Maguire and her 12-year-old daughter, Bethie, make the mistake of taking a short-cut through the sketchy-looking park near the town lagoon. Halfway across the park, the pair are suddenly set upon by a group of local hoodlums and dragged into a nearby boathouse. Teena is brutally beaten and raped, while Bethie manages to avoid harm by hiding in a corner. While the attack leaves both mother and daughter traumatized, it’s nothing compared to the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The artistry with which Oates made such a dismal topic so satisfying 2 5 Aug 22, 2015 05:59AM  
  • Invisible Writer: A Biography of Joyce Carol Oates
  • Notice
  • Death Rites (Petra Delicado Mysteries, #1)
  • At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom: Stories
  • Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters
  • Salt Water
  • Lucinella
  • If You're Not Yet Like Me
  • A Million Little Lies
  • Try
  • Fright (Hard Case Crime #34)
  • Jesus Saves
  • A Deal with a Stranger: A Romantic/Mystery Novel Set in Sardinia
  • Ten Stories about Smoking
  • Pelon maantiede
  • Flickan och skulden: En bok om samhällets syn på våldtäkt
  • Not Like You
  • Flickan under gatan (Grens & Sundkvist #4)
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more
More about Joyce Carol Oates...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Taking the law into your own hands, fuck what's wrong with that?” 35 likes
“HUSBAND: Is something wrong?
BETHIE: Why--why do you ask?
HUSBAND: You looked so lonely, suddenly. As if you'd forgotten I'm here.”
More quotes…