Monday, August 28, 2006

Book #32 - Black Water

by Joyce Carol Oates

My Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"The rented Toyota, driven with such impatient exuberance by The Senator, was speeding along the unpaved road, taking the turns in giddy skidding slides, and then, with no warning, somehow the car had gone off the road and had overturned in black rushing water, listing to its passenger's side, rapidly sinking. Am I going to die? - like this?"

I have to admit I knew nothing of the actual incident that this short fictionalised novel is based on, but politics aside, it's a dark and desperate story. It's narrated entirely by the young girl who drowns, and by moving back and forth in time, Oates slowly builds the drama while bringing Kelly to life, as it were. And even knowing the outcome from the very first page, I couldn't stop reading, hoping all the while that it would somehow turn out differently.


  1. Have you seen this blog?
    Blog of the Day Awards

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  2. YES!! I love Oates sooo much. All of her books are so atmospheric and TENSE! I admire any writer who can bring those feelings out of me.

  3. lol, ok Jenn (had to look you up- forgot about your pen name!)

    Andi- yes, Oates has become a favourite. I'll definitely be reading more! Black Water wasn't quite as intense a read for me as Beasts and The Tattooed Girl, but still good, you know. I think you'd enjoy the short stories. I only wish she'd slow down a bit- there's no way I'll ever read even half of what she's written!

  4. Nat,

    I'm curious. Did you not know about the incident because you're Canadian or because you're so much younger than I am? I remember it well but had no idea there was a fictional account. I'll have to look this one up. I can't believe I haven't gotten around to reading Oates. I think I'm afraid of her or something.

  5. Nancy,
    Probably a combination of the 2. I have to admit, I wasn't born yet in 69 when the real incident happened, plus I've never had much interest in the Kennedys.
    I don't plan to keep it so I'd be happy to send you my copy of Black Water. Oates is pretty dark though, I think you have to be in the right mood for her stuff.

  6. Nat,

    I replied to your other email (just letting you know, in case it disappears - I once received a friend's email 4 months after she mailed it) and thanks so much for the offer! You're so sweet I can hardly stand it! :)

    I'll remember not to read Oates when I'm down; thanks for the warning. I do need to read upbeat books if I'm in an iffy mood (which is probably most of the time). Yep, I was alive and giving my mother heck in 69, probably wearing tie-dyed pants and watching Star Trek. I loved the 60's. :)


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