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My Life as a Rat Reviews

My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates

My Life as a Rat

Joyce Carol Oates

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Fourth Estate Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 20 May 2019
ISBN: 9780008339647

A brilliant and thought-provoking novel about family, loyalty and betrayal

3 stars out of 5
15 Oct 2019

"Oates is excellent on the psychological consequences of the linked perpetual threats of sudden violence and the withdrawal of love."

There is a fruitful borderland between the novel of character and the psychological thriller, and Joyce Carol Oates has spent much of her amazingly prolific career exploring it. Case studies, unreliable narrations and sudden reversals of fortune have peppered her work since the beginning – from the manic killer of her first novel, The Triumph of the Spider Monkey (1974), and the doomed bystanders of Love, Careless Love, the companion novella now published for the first time and bound up with it, to the battered survivor of My Life as a Rat.

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
Kate Saunders
22 Jun 2019

"My Life as a Rat is Oates at her best — a powerful, uncompromising story that explores racism, misogyny and recent American history"

Let us take a moment to contemplate the phenomenon that is Joyce Carol Oates. Now 81, she has produced 58 novels (the first of which appeared in 1964) and a long list of nonfiction titles, including volumes of poetry.


The words pour out of her in a seemingly unstoppable torrent, yet despite this fearsome productivity, her writing is usually superb. My Life as a Rat is Oates at her best — a powerful, uncompromising story that explores racism, misogyny and recent American history.