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Daddy Love

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,587 Ratings  ·  371 Reviews
Dinah Whitcomb seemingly has everything. A loving and successful husband, and a smart, precocious young son named Robbie. One day, their worlds are shattered when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken in a mall parking lot. Dinah, injured, attempts to follow, but is run over by the kidnapper's van, mangling her body nearly beyond repair.

The kidnapper, a part-time Preacher
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Mysterious Press (first published 2013)
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Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like Zombie, this one is pretty horrific--about an abduction & a sick individual (o so very Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) named Daddy Love. (No, this was not as I had previously thought, a hardcore gay porn novel, alas.) The prose always borders on sublime... with the atrocious goings-on constantly spattering mud all over the place. It becomes clear how to love J.C.O. is to appreciate all modern American Literature.
Lori Anaple
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
And the plot sickens.

JCO is the master of taking a loathsome topic and eviscerating it. You know when you pick up one of her books that it is going to rock you to your core.

But this one, I don't know how to rate it. On the one hand, it's a creepy subject, child abduction. She drives her theme home; explores how it is that children get conditioned and how families fall apart. She gets into the mind of the pedophile and shows that it is an ugly place to be. She kind of gets into the head of the ab
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller, arc
This story has all the trademarks of the great writing that Joyce Carol Oates has been known for, first person narrative with uncomplicated sentences that put you in the shoes of characters in a visceral fashion.
The characters she has chosen for this story is a boy whose is abducted over a six year period and his family that have to live with his missing and a man who refers to himself as Daddy Love who is a sadistic child abductor/sex offender.
This story when told through the eyes of the crimin
Lisa Guidarini
I thought sleeping on it, holding off writing my thoughts would help them gel and, to some extent, it did. It was too stunning reading the last page to plunge immediately into my impressions, too soon to digest what had just happened. I knew, from reading other novels in Oates's oeuvre she'd leave me reeling but still she managed to catch me by surprise, ending on the most harsh note, showing no mercy.

True criticism of a book involves discussing both the positives and negatives, rating a book n
Mar 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Even if I didn't have a four year-old daughter whose actions (twice!) prompted Amber-Alert-esque "Code Adam" lockdowns at Walmart, and didn't live in the same state where, very recently, a freak decided to kill a bus driver, abduct a child from that bus and steal him away to an underground tornado shelter/bunker, Joyce Carol Oates' pedophilia yarn Daddy Love  would probably offend me, simply because of the casual,  off-handed way of introducing the pedophile in question, his actions portrayed, o ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
DADDY LOVE. (2013). Joyce Carol Oates. ****.
This is a disturbing book. Oates has managed to tell the story of a pedophile and the young boy he abducted in a cold, journalistic way. The story focuses on Chester Cash, a roving criminal who serially works his way through a number of young boys who he uses both sexually and as slaves until he tires of them. The story starts out when Cash steals five-year-old Robbie from his mother while the two of them are looking for her car in the parking lot of
Bark's Book Nonsense
I picked this audiobook up blind at a local library sale because I recognized the author name and, well, I’m not one to leave a cheap audio sitting on the sale table. Maybe this experience will teach me because right about now I’m feeling like I’ve been punched in the heart.

 photo knockuout_zpsdquocu17.gif

For those who remain unaware, as I was, and would like to remain that way, you may not want to read any further (though I don’t at all recommend this unless you want to send yourself into a debilitating state of depression).
Carl Alves
Dec 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
I read another book written by Joyce Carol Oates and I absolutely hated it. Despite that, I thought I would give this novel a try. As it turns out, this was way worse than the other book I read from Oates. I absolutely hated every aspect of this novel. For starters, the writing style was so irritating, I couldn’t handle it. Whether in Dinah’s perspective or Daddy Love’s perspective, the narration grated on me to the point where I couldn’t take reading it for another second or I would have to fin ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dinah and her husband Whit have an exuberant 5-year-old son, Robbie. One day, as Dinah and Robbie are leaving a mall, Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken from her. She struggles to follow, but is run over by the kidnapper's van, and left for dead. Dinah survives, but is left with debilitating injuries, and the police fail to find Robbie.
The novel has sections from both Dinah and Whit's points of view, but also tells us the continuing tale of Robbie and his abductor, from their points of view.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
As I finished the last page of this book, it hit me that JCO has become a zen mistress of storytelling and of the dark side of humanity. It hit me that she presents us with the outward manifestations of our darker impulses, maybe even with the top layer of introspection that accompanies them, but, not unlike Jim Thompson, she avoids trying to give a provenance and lineage to those impulses. It hit me that the ZOMBIE of her novel by that name was not the mindless sex slave the killer hoped to cre ...more
Douglas Wickard
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Whatever Joyce Carole Oates writes - I read. I'm an author. I write about disturbing human behavior, so when I saw JCO's new fiction DADDY LOVE, I couldn't wait to download it onto my Kindle, not knowing, exactly, what the subject matter was about. Nor, did I care. I recently finished BLONDE, her triumphant fictionalized version of our failed female icon Marilyn Monroe. Psychic damage erupts like wildfire in our culture, in our homes, in our communities in a multitude of forms. Victimization occ ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feb-13
A child's worst nightmare! A parent's worst nightmare!
Dinah Whitcomb has the perfect life. A loving and successful husband (Whit) and a smart, wonderful young son named Robbie. One day their world is destroyed when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken in a mall parking lot. Dinah, critically injured, slowly recovers as her world and marriage struggle to exist every day. Seemingly hopeless, she keeps a flicker of hope that her son will be found alive.
"Daddy Love" the kidnapper, a part-time preac
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5/5. Je m'attendais a un roman plus dure, plus profond. Le sujet est difficile, l'enlèvement et la captivité d'un enfant, et certains passages sont dures, mais on n'en ressort pas traumatisé comme certaines critiques semblaient le laisser sous-entendre. J'ai trouvé très bien dosé le rapport entre scène difficile et le «gore» ou la violence gratuite. Par exemple, la présence de viol est claire, sans qu'on ait à décrire en détails une série de scène où cela se produit. Le ton est très très juste ...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Daddy Love is the worst book I’ve ever read by Joyce Carol Oates. It is about a young boy, around 5 years old, who is abducted for 6 years. His abductor is a serial sexual predator who has multiple personalities. He presents himself as an artist, a minister, an advocate for causes, etc. His name is Chuck Cash but he has the boy, Robbie Whitcomb, call him Daddy Love. Robbie is called ‘Son’ by the man.

There have been a slew of other boys brought to Daddy Love’s home and then murdered after they ha
Abigail Padgett
A chronology of Oates' titles will provide future sociologists with a blueprint for the years in which they were written, as defined in various literary genres. Daddy Love reflects the contemporary awareness of, and fascination with, child sexual abuse.
The book may be described as The Last Word on the topic, so graphic and detailed is its presentation of an extreme case. ("Extreme" because the perpetrator is a clever psychopath of grossly pathological habits, where much child sexual abuse is pe
Mysterious  Bookshop
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A deeply disturbing novel not for the sensitive, Oates' new novel is about child abduction. A horror story set firmly in the real world, the text opens with mother Dinah Whitcomb being savagely attacked by a stranger who, after taking her son from her, runs her over with his car. Disfigured, pained, and filled with grief, Dinah and her husband try to keep their relationship alive while their young son is isolated and tortured by a monster who is somehow simultaneously inconceivably evil and all ...more
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-given-2me
All I can say about this book is once you get reading it is hard to put down. I deals with a child abductor, who is a Preacher/Artist. It is not that disturbing or graphic, but there are mention of sexual abuse. I have a few other books by Joyce Carol Oates, I hope they are as good as this one.
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel disturbed me. I read it in two days, but DADDY LOVE will haunt me a long time. I cannot recommend it because of its subject matter, though I think it's a very well-written story.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not at all sure how to rate this book, so I'm going straight down the middle with three stars. However, if you're the kind of reader who's easily disturbed by violence, particularly psychological violence, Daddy Love is NOT for you.

Daddy Love, by Joyce Carol Oates, is a novel of identity and how it is formed or reformed in crisis.
Robbie, Dinah, and Whit Whitcomb have a nice life. Sure, they have some issues (Dinah's mom is a big one), but all-in-all, the Whitcombs are a happy family. Dinah
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Joyce Carol Oates' Daddy Love is a gutwrenching, disturbing story about an abducted boy, a disturbed pedophile and grieving parents. Weaving these points of view together, Oates creates a sickening, chilling story that will stick with you for ages.

Five-year-old Robbie Whitcomb is abducted into a van in April 2006. His mother is ran over by the madman, Chester Cash, who, for six years, continues to abuse, groom and rape Robbie. This book digs into the psyche of a highly troubled, disgusting man s
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am attempting to untangle my very conflicted feelings about Joyce Carol Oates.

I feel, very much, as though I should like her fiction – she is a female author who, despite controversy and accusations of sensationalism, has insisted upon writing a plethora of narratives which deal explicitly with sexual and interpersonal violence. She incorporates elements of the gothic, as well as of classical mythology, into her texts. These are all things I generally love! Yet, what in, say, Angela Carter, I
Sam Sattler
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Joyce Carol Oates has an astounding way of getting inside the heads of sexual predators and their victims. Hers is such a talent, in fact, that her darkest novels (and, with Oates, dark is a relative term because almost all of her novels can be called dark) are a challenge to a reader’s emotional sensitivities. And, the author’s latest, Daddy Love, in which a five-year-old is violently snatched from his mother in a shopping center parking lot, is even more disturbing than most.

As Diane and Robbi
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: galleys-arcs
In my opinion books needs to do at least one thing – entertain you, make you think, make you laugh, teach you something, take you out of your life for a few hours – in the end it should give you a feeling of satisfaction. This book just made me feel like I needed a shower - from the inside out.

Robbie has been taken from a parking lot by a very, very bad man. You will soon find out in no uncertain terms just EXACTLY how bad this man is. Many years are going to pass in which this bad man has our
I requested this book, knowing from the detailed synopsis what the content was about ... I read horror, I read true crime, so I'm not pleading ignorance or wailing "it wasn't what I expected." After being profoundly moved by Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl, a story I will never forget, I thought Daddy Love would evoke similar feelings.

The story is a parent's worst nightmare, it's heart breaking and horrifying reading of little Robbie's abduction, the unspeakable torture and abuse he was subje
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it
JCO never fails. I really liked reading the character Robbie/Gideon, the child who survives a horrible life for six years and tries to fight his way back to his mangled, disillusioned family. The last page is disturbing in a way I still haven't analyzed fully. You know things have still gone wrong and not everything he did to survive will stay in his kidnapped past.
It's got torture and an evil "pastor" and the patented Joyce Carol Oates skin-crawlies factor.
The one thing that bothered me was t
Ann Sloan
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates, as prolific a writer as she is, has written many riveting, heart-rending, moving, significant, and relatable stories. Why, then, did she choose to write this stomach-turning novel about a sociopathic and sadistic pederast who abuses young children and animals? As talented and skillful writer Oates is, I would never have selected this book from Net Galley if I had had a clue as to the subject. I’m going to going on a James Thurber and Robert Benchley binge after this descent in ...more
Suspense Magazine
“Daddy Love” is a harrowing account of the abduction of a young boy. Snatched
from his mother’s hand in a busy shopping mall, the boy is taken to live with his new
Daddy, and his mother is left for dead under the wheels of the abductor’s van.

The story opens in a strange manner, and one which I found difficult to follow.
There is some repetition in the beginning chapters. However, once I got beyond the
first few chapters, the story picked up and I was glued to it, drawn in by the author’s
mesmeric wri
Ellen Keim
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
It's not that I liked this book exactly--in the sense of enjoyed it. It's too disturbing for that. But I think it's an important book nonetheless because sometimes we have to look at the dark side to combat it.

Oates does the character development well considering that the book is so short. But this is more like a long short story than a novel, especially in the way it ended.

I didn't care for the way she started the book, essentially repeating the same thing for three (or was it four?) chapters
Barbara Burd
Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates is not afraid of dealing with difficult topics examining the psychological effects of trauma on our lives. Daddy Love is one of these difficult books. A lovely, precocious five-year old is abducted by a sociopathic, sexual predator. The boy's mother whose life revolves around her son is seriously injured and disfigured as she tries to keep her son from being abducted. Oates follows the life of the child, his abductor, and the parents over several years. Robbie's abductor seems ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Do you remember that old song, Runaway Train? When I was a child, I was listening to this song, shocked by its video: There are over one million youth lost on the streets of America. Even now, I do not know exactly what I felt … pity, angriness, sorrow, for all the lives that were/are destroyed by some of us. Literature has always been a mirror of reality, and in its history we discover themes like love, war, family relationships, friendships, religion and many others. Why wouldn’t abduction be ...more
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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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