Kerfe's Reviews > A Garden of Earthly Delights

A Garden of Earthly Delights by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
May 22, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read in May, 2012

I wanted to like this book more than I did. In a way it's like an old Appalachian folk song, with gothic overtones: you can see the bad ending a mile away.

Oates evidently did extensive revisions for this edition, and the book does get better as it goes along. Yet though she claims to have added complexity to the characterizations, they still seemed very much to be types to me. Not exactly stereotypical, but predictable enough to keep from really surprising me as a reader. Hopeless migrant workers, rich owner-bosses who exploit, unhappy dysfunctional families, betrayal and revenge. It's an old story. That's not necessarily bad, but Oates didn't make it fresh enough for me.
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message 1: by Felice (new)

Felice On the money.
I'm not sure why you are not writing reviews in SLJ and Publishers Weekly. I read both for work, and none of their reviews are as good as yours. Seriously.

Kerfe Thanks for the compliment!

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