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Patricide

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  214 Ratings  ·  29 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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Lou
Aug 17, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it
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
...more
Sheri
Mar 30, 2014 Sheri rated it really liked it
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
...more
Chris
Jul 25, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
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
...more
Judith
Sep 09, 2012 Judith rated it really liked it
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
Alison
Aug 05, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, ebook, edelweiss
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
Apr 11, 2014 Tanja Walker rated it really liked it
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
Kerry
Mar 07, 2014 Kerry rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara
Sep 04, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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!
Moose
Jan 14, 2013 Moose rated it liked it
I've always enjoyed Oates' storytelling techniques. She draws the reader in with dark and disturbing view of human nature.
Sunny Shore
Apr 26, 2015 Sunny Shore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2013 Jim Leckband rated it really liked it
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
...more
Alexandra
Nov 05, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was ok
This book has disturbed me. Written well enough and intriguing to drive me to read to the end, though really I skimmed some pages cos it was just waffle.
But er... A woman's fascination and obsession with her father's life so strong it borders on incestuous.

Yeah... I suppose if nothing else it's given me something quick to read whilst I hide out in my room with Fightstar blaring out through headphones.
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
Charlotte
Nov 05, 2014 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
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.
Tim
May 15, 2014 Tim rated it liked 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.
Betsy
Dec 29, 2013 Betsy rated it liked it
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
Aug 18, 2013 Tim Petersik rated it it was amazing
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.
Seshiehargett
Nov 14, 2012 Seshiehargett rated it liked it
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.
Emily
Dec 29, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-lit
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 anne chase
Dec 27, 2013 laura anne chase rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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
Jan 30, 2013 Sheila Winters rated it liked it
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
Apr 28, 2013 Ted Cornwell rated it it was amazing
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.
Amelia
Oct 06, 2012 Amelia rated it really liked it
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.
Michael
Jul 14, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
I liked this novella. It was a quick read but that didn't detract from the great story and rich characters.
Cynthia
Jul 26, 2012 Cynthia rated it really liked it
My kind of Joyce Carol Oates--not too long, not over the top, just a well-written novella.
Laurel
Jul 19, 2012 Laurel rated it liked it
Actually 3.5--ending contrived, but otherwise satisfying and meaty plot and characters.
Paul Schatz
Jul 17, 2013 Paul Schatz rated it it was ok
All telling. No showing. Feels like a draft for a story rather than a story.
Beth
May 12, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this novella very much. A quick, interesting read.
Stephanie
Stephanie rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2016
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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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