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Childwold

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"[A] blowsy mother whose many children have many fathers; her 14-year-old daughter, Laney, and Kasch, an anguished intellectual who loves them both...The novel's tight Oedipal triangle opens into a triple alliance against age and aggression as each person tries to turn the biological clock back towards innocence. Laney's mother wants to bear children to narrow the world to ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Published November 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published November 12th 1976)
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Shane Malcolm
Childwold is another of Oates's lesser known works from the late 1970s. I think this is an important book for her, because it shows her beginning to experiment more blatantly with form. The novel uses the stream-of-conscious style that marks works by William Faulkner, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf, as well as a lot of contemporary fiction. Up until Childwold, Oates had written in a somewhat more linear style and was known as an adept chronicler of the (then) contemporary American experience. W ...more
Sherri
Jan 11, 2015 Sherri rated it it was ok
This book is another weird book by Joyce Carol Oates. It is done almost completely in stream of conscious and the bits that are less stream of conscious is where the story truly lies.

The story is about Laney - who is approximately 14 years old and Kasch - a child molester.

I never was able to figure out if Kasch molested Laney, or if he only lusted after her. There were scenes in the book where it seemed that maybe he did, but then at the same time, I wondered if Kasch was just day-dreaming about
...more
SmarterLilac
Feb 14, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it liked it
At times dull, at times restlessly experimental, this book is like a lot of Oates' lesser works—too much filler undermining an otherwise interesting premise and plot.
Pamela Scott
Dec 27, 2014 Pamela Scott rated it did not like it
This was my first time reading Childwold.

I have to say, I really didn’t get on with it. JCO may be one of my favourite writers but Childwold proves not everything she writes is brilliant. Another favourite writer, Stephen King proved this with his two novels of 2014, Mr Mercedes and Revival which were both stinkers.

The premise of Childwold is very similar to Lolita. I never had an issue with the subject matter. I think Lolita is a good novel even if the subject matter is unpleasant. I was lookin
...more
Chip
Apr 16, 2014 Chip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queued-to-read
Written in the 70s, in the self-conscious style that was popular then. The story is a Lolita-esque relationship between a barely teenaged girl and a shell-shocked veteran of the Vietnam war, seen through a fog of suggestion, fantasy, and dream sequences. It is very difficult to pick out exactly what happens, but it is clear that something does, based upon the reactions of the characters. Another of Oates' "Yewville" stories. JCO today writes with authority and a clear eye, but this book is from ...more
Nate D
Jul 19, 2010 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: blind bookbuying
Recommended to Nate D by: Readers seeking equal parts character and high-modernism
Narrative easing out of dense fog. Or a camera focusing, slowly, from queasy blur. Disjointed run-ons. Description without object. Unsteady perspective: a character can recur in first person, second person, third person. Even in this reeling high modernist fashion, the five principle characters are warmly, believably rendered, all with interesting personal histories and psychology. Their voices can run together a bit in Oates' stream-of-consciousness, but I wasn't especially bothered. The centra ...more
Kay
Sep 02, 2009 Kay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a die hard Oates fan, but I couldn't make it past the first ten pages of stream-of-consciousness rambling, almost entirely without actual events and context of any kind. Maybe someday I will have the motivation to pick it up and try again.
Kristel
Cet ouvrage est d'une lecture exigeante à l'issue de laquelle on se sent récompensé. Plusieurs passages descriptifs et énumérations m'ont fait penser à du Zola.
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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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