Published: Fri, October 06, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

First Love: A Gothic Tale by Joyce Carol Oates - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

First Love: A Gothic Tale by Joyce Carol Oates - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

I'm a fervent fan of Joyce Carol Oates, though I'll admit I do not appreciate all her works equally. I hate to use the judgment "like," as it is not professional in a critical approach to a book, so I'll say I partially appreciated 'First Love,' with a few reservations. (And I do not want to say more about criticism and I do not like it, but I do not like it.) .)

Even considering my familiarity with her work, I find it difficult to write a review of 'First Love.' On the one hand it's delightfully Gothic, a twisty-turny little book with a bite. On the other the characterizations left me a bit hollow. Or, I should say, the characters themselves felt hollow, under-developed. Did she intend to keep her distance? Could be. If so, I do not feel it worked. Perhaps she misjudged.

I know the subject of a near-incestuous relationship between cousins ​​Jared, Jr. (the seminary student from school due to his mental issues) and his 11-year old cousin Josie, is Upsetting and some will dismiss the entire book due to their distaste of this part of the plot. But, in this case, I believe it was an issue of ultimate control between the older and younger cousins, with sexual undertones, almost vampyric control actually. Yes, I have stripped her naked and washed her and yes I have called her "good girl, good girl" before drawing blood first from himself and then her blood, which I have blended in ways I will not say. And yes, that's creepy. But that's the point; It was meant to be creepy, to illustrate what was either a mental illness or a possession of the "Someone call an exorcist" kind. It could go either way. Or both, I guess:

Composting | Meter
Cut garden debris with garden scissors or a machete, or use a garden debris cleaner or a lawn mower to grind the material. Tips to succeed in preparing compost Cut materials into pieces Small Small pieces of material become faster in composite.

"Mother said tartly," Sick? ' - What's 'sick'? Who is 'well'? Do you imagine, if you or I were minutely examined, we would be one hundred percent 'well'? "

And the religion: the different portraits of Christ, plus the symbolic snake, in this case both sexual and the traditional evil introduced into Eden - the black snake Jared, Jr. . Not to mention the family legacy of the men becoming Reverends, and the italicizing of the "Reverend's house." Religion was all over the place, never seen a positive thing but rather a force to be dealt with and accepted.

Overall, I would recommend Oates fans as well as those in the Gothic. Others less attuned to books delving into evil you may want to give this one a pass. I'm still digesting it, myself, all 86 tiny pages of it. I debated between 3 and 4 stars for far too long, deciding on three for their incomplete coherence and somewhat undeveloped characters.

Like this: