Jim Leckband's Reviews > Rape: A Love Story

Rape by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

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Read on November 09, 2011

** spoiler alert ** A harrowing tale of a horrific attack on a young mother and her child by both a gang of punks and a punk of a lawyer. The chorus of the town speak in knowing gossip, knowing absolutely nothing. There is only one effective remedy - a dark knight who slays the dragons and everybody lives happily ever after.

Okay, I'm a bit glib at the end there. There are elements of the revenge fantasy and the folk tale in Oates' novella. But since my reading of the medieval romance Orlando Innamorato/Orlando in Love I am very cognizant of the elements of the knight's tale. There is the damsel in distress, the wounded knight, the innocent virgin, the dragons (punk hoard) and the quest in the lady's honor.

However, there is one thing missing. In the medieval knight's tale, there wouldn't be anyone left standing who was guilty - in this tale, the lawyer dragon gets away with the loot and his life. I guess Oates had to ground this tale in some semblance of reality...

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