Jack of Spades

  • by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: his 28 mystery novels have sold millions of copies in nearly 30 countries, and he has a top agent and publisher in New York. He also has a loving wife, three grown children, and is a well-regarded philanthropist in his small New Jersey town. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym "Jack of Spades", he writes another string of novels - dark potboilers that are violent, lurid, even masochistic. These are novels that the refined, upstanding Andrew Rush wouldn't be seen reading, let alone writing. Until one day, his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel that he has carelessly left out and begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Rush's reputation, career, and family life all come under threat - and unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts thinking ever more evil thoughts.


What the Critics Say

"Oates is simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going, as far as I'm concerned." (Gillian Flynn)
"A writer of extraordinary strengths." (The Guardian)
"If the phrase 'woman of letters' existed, Joyce Carol Oates would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it." (John Updike)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very well written suspense.

What did you love best about Jack of Spades?

The fractured character.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jack of Spades?

The ending.

Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

Jack of Spades

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Because it was so interesting. And so full of suspense.

Any additional comments?

I had no idea how it would end.

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- debbie ortiz

Close to perfect

It takes courage for an artist to experiment with an unfamiliar medium -- and it is particularly remarkable for a writer of such note to experiment in another genre with such entertaining results! Whatever the author 's intent might have been, the story works on multiple levels in portraying small towns and their elites, private schools, Jaguars, writers, writers' attitudes toward other writers, writers' publishers, publishers' attorneys, black cats, family dynamics in general, spousal debts, deconstructionist criticism, narcissism, and so much more.

In large part because of the narrator, Jack of Spades not only makes a presentable showing when taken at face value, but is rip-roaring hilarious as a caricature of a genre I love in spite of itself and mine.

My only disappointment is in who ultimately prevails, but in fairness, I may just be resistant to happy endings.
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- Celtic Snake

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2015
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books