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Why do I continue to resist reading Joyce Carol Oates when she is such a great writer? True, her themes are gothic and grotesque, but her power of writing transcends such genre typecasting. Carthage is one of her finest – if not the finest – of her many (forty) novels. It is a powerful anti-war, anti-media and anti-love story. It is finely woven and unexpected; the suspense she weaves throughout the story is palpable. The reader will also care about all the characters; even her anti-hero is redeemed.

The story echoes the book Lovely Bones; a young girl is missing. A wounded war veteran was last seen in her company and the plot does thicken.

Juliet Mayfield is engaged to the hometown hero. He is such a hero that he volunteers for the army and descends into the pit of hell. He returns much changed and maimed, but Juliet’s love does not falter. When her sister, Cressida disappears, Juliet and her family fear the worst. Even more horrible, Cressida was last seen with Juliet’s war damaged fiancée. This is an amazing book by a great writing talent. Like Stephen King and great novelists, there seems to be a million stories contained in the mind of Joyce Carol Oates. We are lucky enough to be the recipient of her printed prose. Oates seems to breathe stories into such substance that the reader enters her dreamlike universe and refuses to part with it until page 482. A great gift for any literature lover.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 482 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2014-Jan-21
ISBN 9780062208125 Buy this Book
Issue February 2014
Category Modern Literature


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