Dan Thorson's Reviews > Expensive People

Expensive People by Joyce Carol Oates
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Aug 03, 11

Read in August, 2011

Seven years following the death of his mother, 18-year-old Richard Everett bluntly tells his audience that he was a child murderer. A severely obese recluse, Richard never fit in with the images of grandeur put forth by his father, a boastful professor and mother, a beautiful and mysterious writer. Further isolated at his pretentious private school, Richard becomes deeply troubled. His psychosis reaches dangerous heights when his beloved mother proves deceptive and vain, obsessed with maintaining social status. This book proves chilling and thought-provoking as the closely-observed narrator offers a compelling glimpse into the mind of a seemingly normal kid turned violent. It also offers an important lesson to suburban families, candidly stating that material wealth and social status cannot compensate for love and support.
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