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The Assassins Paperback – January 1, 1975


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett, 1975; First Edition edition (1975)
  • ASIN: B000GQQPWU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,766,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The murder of Andrew Petrie, ex-United States senator, changes the lives of his wife, Yvonne, and two brothers, artist Hugh and the mystic Stephen. Here's a brilliant analysis of relationships that miss, of introspection and misunderstanding, and of repercussions. It's another example of Joyce Carol Oates's amazing range of interests and depths of insight into the human condition.
Anything by Oates will challenge and entertain the reader. She's a masterful storyteller who crafts characters so real the book fairly vibrates with their breath. Oates doesn't write shallow, mind-candy books. Each of hers (and she has written an impressive number) can be read on a number of levels. When you sit down with Oates, you're in fine company.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel studies the traumatic effect of the assassination of a prominent conservative senator on those closest to him, namely his two disturbed brothers and his current, and equally disturbed, wife. Dark, unsettling, and difficult to understand at times, it is still a recommended reading experience.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on August 31, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in upstate New York State and is a distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton. She gained fame with her first novel With Shuddering Fall in 1964. Now four decades later, she is the author of scores of novels and other works. If you have read some of her novels and not been terribly impressed, then read some of her short stories. They are impressive. Her novels are mixed, some are great and some are just so so. I have read many of her fine works, and like her work.

The present comes from 1975, early in her career and it is not good. There is a lot of prose wasted on three not very interesting characters, and even worse it is a slow and sometimes boring read, taking ages to read with little reward. The story involves the assassination - very briefly - of a young and ambitious politician, and then it presents three portraits of three different family members including the widow. The characters are not that interesting and Oates write on and on, when less would have been far better.

Oates is known for her emotional and dramatic stories, often with women caught in stressful situations, and often set in her native upstate New York. That is missing here and frankly you can skip this book and mark it up to Oates learning her craft. It deserves less but I gave it 4 stars.
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