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Talk about not wanting to turn the car audio player off...this is a minute-by-minute account, not only of a bereavement and of a death, but of a life as lived in each present moment. I'll never know why it is that some writers, and well-known, respected ones at that, can snooze me off with their painstaking detail (oh just get on with it will you?), and someone like Oates can mesmerize me, stun me with literary pleasure with her delicately nuanced accounts of the huge range of emotions encountered by one person, as they happen, moment by moment.
I am equally amazed at this "warts and all" presentation of Oates' self-doubts and insecurities, her lack of self-belief, and the meaninglessness to her of all her considerable accomplishments compared to the loss of her husband and soul-mate. That she can get this all down without appearing even mildly self-absorbed is another feat that impresses me.
41 of 43 people found this review helpful
Sometimes I get into weird moods and can't move on to a new book. That happened to me recently, and I had an instinct that the raw emotions of Joyce Carol Oates' memoir of her experience of losing her husband would stun me out of my own self absorption. I was right. The book is very painful to hear but the reader is excellent and portrays well the voice of Joyce Carol Oates as I imagine her to be. The book is very good at communicating the abrupt end of a comfortable and happy life without any sticky sentimentalism or self pity. It is very moving and yet has not caused even weepy me any tears. I am very glad I chose to read it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful