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Patricide: A Novella
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Patricide: A Novella

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Roland Marks is a Nobel Prize winning novelist with a penchant for younger women and four marriages behind him. Lou-Lou Marks, his grown daughter, is a successful academic in her own right. But her real career lies in attending to her father. An egomaniacal and emotionally manipulative man, he demands of her absolute filial loyalty and an uncompromising acquiescence to his ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Ecco
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Aug 17, 2012 Lou rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Carol Oates has crafted a story about a father and daughter relationship.
He is a celebrated writer and the author of a Nobel prize winning novel.
This is a strained relationship at times but the father and daughter have an understanding and have had some great moments in their lives.
She is not married or with kids and she seems to not want flee the household of her father and takes up the role helping administer his busy writing life.
The title of this novella is the name of the novel of which he
We have met Roland Marks before. Phillip Roth wrote about a character just like him in "Exit Ghost." Self absorbed. Serial womanizer because he places his needs and vanity above the needs and welfare of his family. Seeking the attention of younger and younger women as he diminishes both physically and artistically and struggles with his increasing irrelevance.

The difference here is that the perspective is not of the aging literary lion---which tends to create sympathy for him. This beautifully w
First of all, I must say that all my reviews contain spoilers. Personally, I prefer to read reviews after (and not before ) I read something so I tend to behave rather nilly-willy towards censoring in my reviews. This is a rarity for me to mark the review as containing a spoiler, but I must alert the reader...THIS REVIEW WILL SPOIL YOUR READINGS OF THE STORY.

I liked it quite a bit. I tend to like Oates stuff and it is an interesting complement to Rape:A Love Story (which also deals with similar
A lovely, compact novel, closely focused. Rather like an extended short story. "Lou-Lou" is the narrator, the daughter of a great writer. He rarely offers her any praise for her part in his life, even though all of his wives and his other children have abandoned him to his self-centered ways. Roland Marks, the writer, is now in his seventies and is working with his daughter to sell his massive archive to the New York Public Library. He is hoping for a large sum from the sale, not least because o ...more
It's been a while since I've read any Oates, but as soon as I started reading this there was no mistaking her voice. Being a novella, this is very short, but she still manages to flesh out her characters pretty well. Essentially we come in on the final days of Roland Marks, as viewed by his daughter Lou Lou. An accomplished and intelligent woman, her obsession with her father's live eventually destroys her own, at least in part. If you enjoy Oates I recommend picking this up, but this is very mu ...more
Tanja Walker
Joyce Carol Oates is always interesting, and always thought provoking, and this one is no exception. However, I did not find much psychological "horror" in this book. While the first person narrator, the ever-single, ever-devoted daughter of a very famous novelist in the sunset of his career, is certainly not a reliable narrator, I'm not sure I doubt her version of what actually happens, only her perception of what happens. And that, to me, is what keeps the book from being, shall I say, grippin ...more
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A lot of this story about being a Father's daughter rang very true. Plus JCO writes so well, it is great to read anything she writes!
I've always enjoyed Oates' storytelling techniques. She draws the reader in with dark and disturbing view of human nature.
Sunny Shore
I read this novella in a few hours. What I love about JCO: if she knows a book should be short - she makes it short. I was warm and comfy knowing that this is typical JCO style which I love. Her characters are like no other. Almost to the point of dysfunctional and crazy, they appear normal to society. She does this on any level from university president to serial killer. This is not her only trademark, but just one of many amazing ones. In this one, a woman is obsessed with her world renowned w ...more
Jim Leckband
This novella is like the half-sibling of Mudwoman which was published at nearly the same time. Both have female protagonists of a certain age who are university deans or presidents. But Mudwoman M. R. Neukirchen is sympathetically portrayed by Oates, while (unsurprisingly, given the title) "Patricide"'s is a meaty helping of unreliable narrator nastiness.

The narrator, Lou-Lou (named for Lou-Andres Salome, dominatrix of Nietszche's!), is protective of her famed Nobel prize winner father Roland Ma
Underground Book Reviews
In Patricide, Oates builds characters so brutally real they firmly cement the reader in place. I was unable to tear my eyes off the pages. Oates shows us several reasons why certain women dig jerks, especially “brilliant” jerks, and why these women are so ready to make themselves human footstools. Frankly, Oates is brutally unkind to her gender in this novella, but I can only assume it’s an honest analysis. She seems to say that women often change who they are to adapt to the men they love once ...more
Joyce Carol Oates is a favorite of mine. Her writing has its ups and downs, considering how prolific she is that is certainly to be expected. This little novella is exquisite. If you are a woman "of a certain age" and experience, I recommend you try it, you'll like it.
Novella with an unreliable narrator that reflects on that narrator's relationship with her womanizing writer father, a potential fifth wife, and the weight of his literary legacy. A tight plot and fairly humorous conclusion.
Margot Note
I love how Oates flips the script on a typical Philip Roth book, making the elderly, blowhard author the villain.
Will she kill him? This novella tells the story of a single, middle-aged woman who has essentially lost her sense of self due to her obsession with trying to be the center of her narcissistic father's world. It will never happen of course, and therein lies the rub. The moment I finished the book I decided I didn't really like it, but then I found myself ruminating on the story, and Lou-Lou, all day, which ultimately says a lot for the storytelling.
Tim Petersik
Middle-aged Lou-Lou loves her Nobel-winning father despite the fact that he has ego issues. At times she even imagines his accidental death. When it happens as she imagined, her world is changed...along with the world of his lover, who happens to be about 50 years younger than he. This is a character study more than a story, and like most of Oates' work, it's insightful and worth the read.
I usually adore everything by Joyce Carol Oates... however, this one was just "okay" I think i expected more from the title, and it just sort of landed flat for me. Compared to her other work, I consider this to be on the weaker end.
Sharp, insightful, and unexpectedly psychological, Patricide is told from the point of view of a famous author's adult daughter as she allows us a window into her relationship with him as his daughter, a woman, and intellectual.
laura chase
I especially loved that Roland Marks, unapologetic misogynist, inadvertently created a strong female friendship between Lou-Lou and Cameron, overcoming the sexist stereotype of women fighting over a man.
Sheila Winters
I loved Mudwoman, but was not wowed by Patricide. I would have liked this more had I not read Mudwoman. The central female characters were too similar to be interesting.
Ted Cornwell
Interesting tale of a famous writer (seems reminiscent of Saul Bellow), his daughter and his much younger fiance. Lots of room for jealousy and intrigue.
Always enjoy reading her work. I actually got to work with her once, doing an over-the-phone interview for a National Book Month radio spot.
I liked this novella. It was a quick read but that didn't detract from the great story and rich characters.
My kind of Joyce Carol Oates--not too long, not over the top, just a well-written novella.
Actually 3.5--ending contrived, but otherwise satisfying and meaty plot and characters.
Paul Schatz
All telling. No showing. Feels like a draft for a story rather than a story.
Enjoyed this novella very much. A quick, interesting read.
Leah Christine
Leah Christine marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
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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
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