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Man Crazy

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  939 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Une adolescente retrace le cauchemar de sa vie. Depuis son enfance, hantée par la figure d'un père toujours absent, qui était aviateur au Vietnam et que l'on devine bientôt trafiquant et assassin, jusqu'à sa rencontre avec un gourou satanique qui fait d'elle son esclave consentante et avilie... Mais, dans un sursaut de volonté, à deux doigts de la mort, elle va tenter de r ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 314 pages
Published June 20th 2000 by Livre de Poche (first published 1997)
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Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ingrid Boone is the child of a handsome man and a beautiful woman, whose obsession with one another is like a powerful force. But her love for each of them, especially the innocence and blind trust she places in her father sets her up for the hunger that will follow her forever after; in the wake of a violent crime, her father abandons her and her mother.

Desperate to recapture his lost love, hungry for any kind of mercy at a man's hand, Ingrid allows boys and men to abuse her, searching for affe
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weirdly-good
Very dark, but it left me feeling very good, warm and delighted. Why? Why, when I dreamed about it, did the nightmare visions taste like ice cream? Why do the memories of it feel like a picnic in the woods? Any other author would turn this story into the worst sort of pulp fiction. But in Oates' hands this is like walking through the National Portrait Gallery.

I want to go to the National Portrait Gallery.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have read many books by Joyce Carol Oates. She may be the first contemporary writer that I have accorded a special position in my mind. That's because she can create characters and situations that touch me, that I can recognize, identify. Characters whose lives sometimes make me cry. I don't usually leave a book behind if it was written by her.

This one differs from many of her others in that it is surprisingly short. The chapters are short and announced with full-page separators, making the nu
Emily Crow
Aug 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-hated
Normally, I admire Joyce Carol Oates and her willingness to tackle the darker sides of the human experience. Over the course of her novels (I think I've read about half), she has looked through the lens of past and present, working class and elite, boringly normal and crazy, playing with different genres and styles. I think she is one of the best fiction writers we have today. However, as much as I don't like to say it, I hated this book. It was too violent, too unpleasant, about extremely unlik ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
Joyce Carol Oates has a very distinct literary voice, that is entirely her own. At the same time her characters also have their own distinguished voices. I'm not entirely sure of how she does it. How she moves so expertly and seamlessly between genres. How she manages to explore every depth and detail of her characters, giving them life of their own, and never once divering from her own "style".
"Blonde" is usually described as her masterpiece, but Oates being such a bizzarely prolific author, I
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Addicted to Books
5 dark and heartbreaking stars

This book is about Ingrid who had good looking parents and they were rather dysfunctional. she adored her father and and worshipped the ground he walked upon. Her father leaves both her mother and Ingrid. Ingrid is rather beautiful like her mother and this book is about how she destroys everything beautiful about herself and descends into darkness.

After her father leaves, her mother is not a good role model. And so she tries to gain affection from men with drugs,
Aug 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who liked Bastard Out of Carolina would probably enjoy this book. It is about a girl and her mom who are trying to eek out a living at the lower end of the pay scale. The girl holds out hope that her father will come rescue her from this life and builds him up as a hero. Obviously, she is just headed for disappointment. I accidentally read this book twice. I didn't even realize it until I got to the last chapter. The story just seemed so familiar. I guess I just assumed that I had read to ...more
May 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006
I usually love Joyce Carol Oates.

This book I didn't care for. If I would have stopped half way through (or just read the short story it was expanded from), it would be a four star. I just can't handle the whole devil worshipping thing.

On top of that it was disjointed and mismatched. It felt like a short story that was expanded and then took a wrong turn because the author didn't know what to do with the material (urg it hurts to critisize Oates!)

If you're going to jump into Oates for the first
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Grim. Very grim. And a little gross, too. This was a typical Oates page-turner, I guess. At the end, you can see that the main character is holding strong to her fatal flaw handing her life over to any man who will take it, but the back of the book wanted me to believe she had "finally found love." WTF? Actually, I understand exactly. I once wrote some promotional material for books and I gradually came to the conclusion that this was best done without actually opening the book in question.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Reba Hernandez
Recommended to Jillian by: A cool lady who worked at a thrift store in Sedona.
I recently read American Pastoral by Phillip Roth, and thought to myself, "This could have been written by the daughter in that story." The mother in this story also seems like the mother from Roth's book.

It's probably one of the darkest, heart-wrenching, page-turning books I've ever read. I felt so sorry for the protagonist that I realized halfway through that I was reading this with shallow breaths.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: failed-to-finish
I didn't finish this book, which is a rare outcome for me once I start a book. It was dark and violent with stream-of-consciousness writing and it was due back at the library today. I bailed. I made it about 2/3 of the way through.

So far this book is not going too well. Hard to get into and unusual writing - by the author's intent, it just doesn't flow. If it doesn't pick up tonight, I'm bailing.
Randy Mason
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because of the dark issues and violence involved, this is not a book for everyone. However, I think the protagonist is an interesting character, and there are important points being made regarding the impact of childhood experiences and the importance of true parental presence. It is beautifully written, as well.
May 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
I have learned not to read any more Joyce Carol Oates' books!
Even though this story was somewhat more detailed, it became a page turner only to get to the end. It's a quick read, and, has, at least, an ending.
Sep 30, 2009 added it
This wasn't what i was looking for at the time i started reading it. For me, it was nothing new, but i also didn't read the last quarter of it because, frankly i started to get bored. I will finish it one day tho, so i can truly review it for what it is.
A bit too much.
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Not her best book, but strangely compelling anyway. I've read it about four times now. Oates' characters stick with you long after their stories are finished.
Pig crap.
David Valentino
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un-genre Bound

In a publishing world where authors generally slot into genres and sub-genres and pretty much remain there for their entire writing careers, Joyce Carol Oates is a renegade. She’s an author who allows an idea, the thread of a storyline, a vague character outline, a headline, just about anything, to spark her imagination and pen to life. These can roll of the press as literary novels, gothic romances, historical novels, murder mysteries, or even lurid excursions into darkness (most
Pamela Scott
Man Crazy is dark, disturbing and intense – a book that will stay with me for a long time.

Ingrid is a fantastic narrator, her voice is compelling and I found myself hooked as I listened to her recount the dark, unsettling turns her life takes after her father’s fall from grace and she’s forced to go on the run with her mother.

The characterisation is spot on; both Ingrid and her mother are compelling, brilliantly written and sympathetic. Her mother is a terrible role model, a useless drunk but sh
Laura Youngstrum
A very uncomfortable to read Joyce Carol Oates book - what else is there to expect?
Jul 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by Joyce Carol Oates. I'm about halfway through it. I've seen good and bad reviews of her work. So far, I like the writing style and am interested in where the story is going. It neither has disgusted me nor has it made me want to read it all in one night as some of the reviewers have said.

At the 3/4 point I find myself wanting to stop before any harm befalls the young and lovely Ingrid. I know what's coming and I'll keep reading so I can see just what a Joyce Ca
Kristen Martin
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow, I have never read a book so fast in my life but I couldn’t put it down. I was scared at times, when she was involved with that biker gang, I was reading it alone and it frightened me! I notice a correlation to her being locked in the dungeon as Dog-Face and that day many years earlier when she was small child hiding under the porch from her mom. It was as if Ingrid loved to hide, hide her emotions and then torment herself from the inside of her emotion to the outside of her body by picking ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An author I’ve heard much about without actually ever getting around to reading. I stumbled across a copy of this book in a charity shop, so I bought it and… The narrator is a teenage girl with an absentee father and a drunken mother. She’s white trash, moving from place to place, although only within a relatively small region, eventually getting into drinks, drugs and dalliances with inappropriate men… and eventually ending up in a biker cult. The control of voice is impressive, as is the way O ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loving this one. Lots of little short stories, disguised as chapters, though each could stand on its own. It's a tough read because of the various senses in which "man crazy" is evoked, including various types of harmful-to-women crazy men, but well worth the pain so far.


This is a tough one to read, mostly because all of the men in it are pretty reprehensible. But the language is so brutally beautiful, I can't stop.

-------------------------- just got tougher to
Sonja Figueira
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sunny Shore
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was not JCO's best, but I enjoyed it. Enjoyed? At times, the story of a needy, fatherless girl who grows up to be part of a cult/motorcycle gang could be extremely disturbing. You actually feel like you are in Ingrid's body feeling all her anguish and pain- both physical and mental. Not for everyone except die-hard JCO fans, but if you are, you will not be able to put it down. Nobody does characters like this prolific author. The story reads more like a set of short stories and I actually t ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stand-alone
The poetic language, the traumatized little girl who craves love did not work for me at all. To me, everything was boring until page 200. Don't get me wrong, some scenes were written beautifully, to the point of breaking my heart. However, most of the book meant nothing to me.

The characters were way different from what I'm used to. Even though I detested Ingrid, her descriptions and her senseless actions, her character was pretty clear to me from the beginning. Her narrative, her voice, was stro
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are brilliant parts in this novel particularly the horrifying part in the Cult but I don't think the novel completely holds together. Oates had not really succeeded getting into the mind of a young woman who takes drugs and sleeps around, though that may be hard for me to judge since that is quite divorced from my own life.
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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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“Truths are the last thing you learn about your family. By the time you learn, you're no longer their child.” 2 likes
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