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Publisher's Summary

A young girl's disappearance rocks a community and a family in this stirring examination of grief, faith, justice, and the atrocities of war from Joyce Carol Oates, "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation).
Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover the unlikeliest of suspects…a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever.
Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young corporal haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.
Dark and riveting, Carthage is a powerful addition to the Joyce Carol Oates canon, one that explores the human capacity for violence, love, and forgiveness, and asks if it's ever truly possible to come home again.
©2014 The Ontario Review, Inc. (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
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Critic Reviews

"Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most distinguished figures in American letters, and her matchless prose is best enjoyed when spoken aloud. The husband-and-wife team of Susan Ericksen and David Colacci are gifted professionals who narrate this novel and embroil us in the tragedy of the Mayfield family, whose younger daughter, the one they call "the smart one," goes missing. Some of the most memorable portrayals in this stream-of-consciousness story include the older sister's protestation of love for her wounded and psychologically damaged fiancé, the mother's shaken voice as she tries to accept her daughter's disappearance, and the soldier's haunted tones as he remembers the horrors of his service in Iraq. This is a disturbing yet compelling listening experience, and its narrators show us the complexity of human experience." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 01-23-14

A Major Disappointment!!

I have been a Joyce Carol Oates fan until now but will certainly have to be convinced of the value of any future books. The characters are superficial, the ?heroine could be autistic, borderline, schizophrenic or just badly behaved and selfish - but her upper-middle-class parents don't bother to have her assessed and/or treated. The structure of the book is no structure - it wanders all over the place with the voices of the individuals providing a confusing mish mash of points of view and life experiences - not to give it away but there is the human cost of U.S. wars, alcoholism, cancer, violence, confused sexuality, mental illness, poverty, affluence, an evil potential mother-in-law, religion, a questionable legal system and an individual able to influence politicians, many philosophical references and altogether too much fainting. The narration has been poorly edited with much repetition, and script-induced pseudo-hysteria. There are grammatical errors and misuse of words which could be either the author's or the narrator's problem. I could believe that this was written by someone else. It was a lot of time to waste in hope of improvement.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By CGJ on 03-20-14

Agonizingly slooooow

What disappointed you about Carthage?

Same incident rewritten 7 times from supposedly different points of view. The entire Part 1 could be deleted. NONE, not one of the characters elicited empathy or understanding. Least of all the missing girl - sounded like an awful, selfish, shallow girl. Cressida may be an uncommon name in the US but not in Europe.

VERY disappointed in Joyce Carol Oates. I kept hoping something would happen, or the people would get more interesting. Nope.

Oh yes, the entire part with the eccentric professor in Florida & Cressida's internship might as well be deleted too. Didn't connect to any other part of the book.

Nothing made sense.None of the people made sense. There was no story.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joyce Carol Oates again?

Not anything new. Some of her old books were good.

What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen and David Colacci ’s performance?

Droll. Dull. Monotonous.

What character would you cut from Carthage?


Any additional comments?

Still can't believe how bad this book is!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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