Joyce Carol Oates
The Accursed
March 13, 2019 Comments.. 219
The Accursed This eerie tale of psychological horror sees the real inhabitants of turn of the century Princeton fall under the influence of a supernatural power New Jersey soon to be commander in chief Woodr
  • Title: The Accursed
  • Author: Joyce Carol Oates
  • ISBN: 9780007494194
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This eerie tale of psychological horror sees the real inhabitants of turn of the century Princeton fall under the influence of a supernatural power New Jersey, 1905 soon to be commander in chief Woodrow Wilson is president of Princeton University On a nearby farm, Socialist author Upton Sinclair, enjoying the success of his novel The Jungle , has taken up residence witThis eerie tale of psychological horror sees the real inhabitants of turn of the century Princeton fall under the influence of a supernatural power New Jersey, 1905 soon to be commander in chief Woodrow Wilson is president of Princeton University On a nearby farm, Socialist author Upton Sinclair, enjoying the success of his novel The Jungle , has taken up residence with his family This is a quiet, bookish community elite, intellectual and indisputably privileged But when a savage lynching in a nearby town is hushed up, a horrifying chain of events is initiated until it becomes apparent that the families of Princeton have been beset by a powerful curse The Devil has come to this little town and not a soul will be spared The Accursed marks new territory for the masterful Joyce Carol Oates narrated with her unmistakable psychological insight, it combines beautifully transporting historical detail with chilling fantastical elements to stunning effect.
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      363 Joyce Carol Oates
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      Posted by:Joyce Carol Oates
      Published :2019-03-13T07:54:57+00:00

    1 Blog on “The Accursed

    1. Maya Lang says:

      I really wish I could have observed that moment when Joyce Carol Oates was like, You know, maybe I ll write a Gothic with demon bridegrooms that brings together Woodrow Wilson and Upton Sinclair Something spooky that also sheds light on turn of the century issues of race and class Oh, and I ll do it from the perspective of a male historian who s the son of one of the characters and thus implicated in the whole story Just, you know, to stretch myself a little It speaks to the nearly freakish leve [...]

    2. Alexis says:

      While I managed to get through it there were many parts that reminded me of the lonely person all retail public service people have dealt with The one that rambles on about things that have no relevance to the current situation, to you, or to anything important There were many parts like this where I found myself saying get on with it, huffing and wanting to stop reading, but continuing on in the hopes it would get better It did not.The writing was beautiful but disconnected, wondering about, an [...]

    3. Barbara says:

      This book a pseudo historical, supernatural, mystery horror story is supposedly written by M.W van Dyck, descendant of one of the most prominent families of Princeton, New Jersey Claiming to have access to newly decoded journals and other materials available only to himself van Dyck unspools the story of the Crosswicks Curse that took a horrific toll on some wealthy, influential Princeton families in 1905 and 1906 The first conspicuous manifestation of the curse occurs when pretty, young Annabel [...]

    4. Laurie says:

      I m a big fan of Joyce Carol Oates, so when I discovered she had a new book out, I was excited I was even happier when I found that it was another volume in the gothic family saga series she started many years ago with Bellefleur , which is one of my favorite books The 660 page length didn t bother me she s an author who, at her best, can fill that many pages with brilliance I greeted the book like it was a big box of candy I m afraid I was disappointed There are a lot of good things in the book [...]

    5. Hadrian says:

      This is not an easy book to categorize I have written and destroyed three reviews before settling on this uneasy summary.The Accursed is a sort of Gothic novel set in Princeton, New Jersey at the turn of the century It is a novel disguised as a narrative history written by a descendant of one of the principal actors some eighty years after the main plot lines But here, the thin line between narrative fiction and the supposed objectivity of this historical account blurs yet further.The stage sett [...]

    6. Eleni says:

      The Accursed is trippy, in the best, most all consuming sense of the word I read it like an obsessed maniac it s that much of a page turner That is to say, once you get into the unreliable narrator s pedantic perverse voice It took me about 60 pages to orient myself in his world and after that I hated to leave the world of the book for real life The setting Princeton, NJ, when Woodrow Wilson was president of the college, not the country is very evocative and I totally bought into all the lurid, [...]

    7. Ron Charles says:

      The Accursed is the latest addition to Joyce Carol Oates s boundless body of work, and it s spectacular a coalescence of history, horror and social satire that whirls around for almost 700 mesmerizing pages Oates started the novel in 1984 but set it aside to steep in its own febrile juices for three decades Now The Accursed arises in full bloom, boasting as much craft as witchcraft.The book comes to us framed as a work of amateur history, the pet project of M.W van Dyck, a member of one of the a [...]

    8. Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess says:

      What did I just read I think it s safe to say that this is NOT my cup of tea I did not get on well with this book at all.I ll be honest and say that this could very well be your cup of tea I just didn t like the writing style.I couldn t grow any relationship with any of the characters and without any relationship between me the reader and the characters, I found the book rather dull When you don t can t care for a character or any at all I find it very hard to engage with a book.Combine this wit [...]

    9. Gerhard says:

      Phew What a slog this was And how it pains me to give it only two stars, it was barely okay , as I am a huge fan of the supremely talented Joyce Carol Oates.Never afraid to experiment, The Accursed has been touted as her take on the horror genre, with Stephen King hailing it as the first postmodern Gothic novel Huh Horror novel it ain t All it is, basically, is a novel focusing on Princeton in the dim and distant past, and how it was a microcosm of the racism and general prejudice, especially to [...]

    10. Allison says:

      No matter how great a book is, I am antsy That s one of the reasons I have a hard time with longer books, in particular this one, because it takes many pages for very little to happen Joyce Carol Oates is somewhat intimidating to me because she has such a large body of work that I don t know where to start I started with The Accursed not intentionally, but by default I love spooky stories It s obvious that Oates is a fantastic writer She created the world of Princeton, NJ in the early 20th centu [...]

    11. Andra Watkins says:

      This book is what is wrong with publishing Forget the argument about traditional versus indie, because this was a traditionally published book that could not have seen an editor for than fourteen seconds I understand what Oates was trying to do, but it turned into one long, rambling mess I slogged on, thinking it would HAVE to get better, because this is Joyce Carol Oates, after all The book was on the cover of the NY Times book review, lauded by Stephen King Aaaaaaaaand, it only got worse By t [...]

    12. Tiffany Reisz says:

      A fantastic book that was about 150 pages too long Pretty typical for Oates But richly detailed and fascinating What an imagination

    13. Althea Ann says:

      Quite disappointed in this one I ve read a fair amount of Oates short fiction, so when this was suggested as a book club selection, I was enthusiastically in favor However, I enjoyed this book less than anything else of Oates I ve read thus far.Don t get me wrong the book is crafted with consummate skill If someone told me they absolutely loved it, I couldn t argue that their feelings were wrong, or that the work is undeserving A convincing case could easily be made that this is an excellent nov [...]

    14. Susan Rits says:

      Let me begin by saying I am a fan of Joyce Carol Oates She is one of the great American authors But this particular book was badly in need of an editor Or perhaps the editor it had needed to have enough guts to tell one of America s great authors that she didn t have a plot, and needed to cut 350 pages.It rambles, it has too many characters that aren t well fleshed out and also aren t kept track of for the reader.Things happen, but there is no plot It s difficult to even pin down what the book i [...]

    15. Heidi Ward says:

      The tale of a mysterious and deadly Curse that ravages the upper crust of Princeton society in 1905 and 1906, Joyce Carol Oates newest novel plays with Gothic conventions masterfully An attempt to patch together the story of those dark years, The Accursed is the manuscript of amateur historian and descendant of a Cursed family M.W van Dyck II He presents a series of excerpts from journals, letters, newspapers, even a coded diary, written during the time of the Curse, in an attempt to piece toget [...]

    16. Judy says:

      Joyce Carol Oates She is a force to be reckoned with I haven t read her for several years but I grew up in Princeton, NJ When I learned that her new novel was historical fiction set on and around the campus of the Ivy League University where she has been a professor of creative writing for over 30 years, I knew it was time to revisit both the author and the town.I first read JCO in the late 1980s Languishing in Los Angeles, where I was involved in an attempt to go straight after years of rebelli [...]

    17. Jean says:

      This is not a modern 21st century novel To read this book, you must put yourself mentally into the style of the book If you read it this way, you will enjoy it All the bad reviews are from people who couldn t do that The book is the story of the mysterious supernatural events that took place in Princeton, New Jersey in 1905 and 1906, told from the point of view of one of the descendants of one of the families He writes as if he were discovering all of this information through accounts, notes, di [...]

    18. Imi says:

      This is a long, sprawling Gothic novel, with a mix of both fictional and historical characters, set in turn of the century, Princeton, United States It s a mass of ideas, details, genres and political commentary, and, honestly, I found myself utterly overwhelmed at points Part of me thinks that this novel needed a damn good edit, another thinks that perhaps if I was bit well versed in American political history then I would have done a little bit better at decoding the puzzles and mysteries For [...]

    19. Peter says:

      A local historian narrates this eerie tale of events in Princeton, New Jersey in 1905 The sleepy university hamlet is peopled by great figures Woodrow Wilson university president , Grover Cleveland ex US president , Upton Sinclair young Socialist writer as well as by the brahmins of New Jersey the Slades, the FitzRandolphs They are all intertwined in this ghost story starting with the abduction of a young Slade daughter from the altar at her wedding People sight ghosts of loved ones gone over, t [...]

    20. Bark says:

      Why do I continue to torture myself this way I m now on disk 13, that s over 13 hours of my life lain to waste, and still I continue to wait for something interesting to occur, for a main character to make him or herself known, for, for someone to love, dammit Hell, I ll even settle for someone that I slightly like at this point Everyone just seems so stuffy and vaguely unpleasant and or tediously long winded.The book plods on with footnotes and side plots and ramblings Hundreds of thousands of [...]

    21. nettebuecherkiste says:

      Princeton, New Jersey, 1905 W hrend Woodrow Wilson, der Rektor der Elite Uni, sich mit seinem Stellvertreter bekriegt, geschehen in dem Ort eigenartige Dinge Es gibt einen Lynchmord, dann wird ein Kind ermordet und ein seltsamer S dstaatler dringt in die gesellschaftliche Elite des Ortes ein Mit der Hochzeit von Annabel Slade, der Enkeltochter des betagten und angesehenen ehemaligen Universit tsrektors Winslow Slade, mit einem Spr ssling einer weiteren angesehenen Familie, steht au erdem ein ges [...]

    22. Lisa says:

      There is no easy way to review this book just like there is no easy way to read it.The reader has a lot of work to do it is up to you to decide exactly what happened here.Set in 1905 1906 in Princeton, New Jersey it follows the misfortunes of the Slade family with significant input from other families that surround them and including Woodrow Wilson who is president of Princeton University at the time and Upton Sinclair who had just achieved success with his book The Jungle.The prose is meanderin [...]

    23. Raven says:

      Centring on a supernatural curse affecting the immediate vicinity of Princeton University The Accursed is the latest instalment of Oates Gothic saga that began with Bellefleur published in 1980 The story runs through the period of 1900 1910 this impressive tome deals with the issue of the moral hysteria that begins to wreak havoc within this claustrophobic community.As is usual with the wonderful Joyce Carol Oates this reading experience is akin to a marathon than to a jog, and is all the sati [...]

    24. Heidi Garrett says:

      I m giving this 5 stars for the same reason I gave The Autumn of the Patriarch 5 stars Some books are just works unto themselves, and I think that is worth acknowledging However, if you ve never read Joyce Carol Oates before, I wouldn t recommend The Accursed as an introduction to her fierce, intellectual style of writing I would however strongly recommend that you pick up one of her books, she s definitely worth reading if you consider yourself a reader The Accursed is a paranormal, sort of If [...]

    25. Terri Garey says:

      As much as I adore Joyce Carol Oates, I m finding this one hard going This has happened to me before on a few of hers My Heart Laid Bare, for instance which turned out to be one of my all time favorite novels in the end , so I ll keep going The narrator s constant side tracking into minutia is extremely distracting, and I really hope to get to the meat of this story soon, and stay there.UPDATE Contains SPOILERS Sadly, there was no real meat, and I feel like I deserve a medal for persistence in t [...]

    26. Alyce (At Home With Books) says:

      What an incredible waste of time This book is written with great detail, and in the style of the period in which it is set I thought I saw the ending coming a mile away, but it was far ridiculous and far fetched than I could have imagined, and not at all satisfying.Goodness knows why I forced myself to continue reading this tedious story, but I had hoped there would be some redeeming qualities I get that the story is a metaphor, but was the intended meaning that all of the beliefs of the people [...]

    27. Brick says:

      OK, this work deserved a much higher rating for the evident craft with which it was constructed Or at least it seemed this way to me, after I endured 100 plus pages of truly excruciatingly painful reading But enough was enough, the pain was too much, the evidence of the craft insufficient reward for the pain A truly horrible narration by a historian with totally unexplainable insight into the details of the innermost thoughts and intimate actions of desperately unredeemable, but sadly believable [...]

    28. Roman Clodia says:

      Woodrow wanted to protest he was a friend to the Negro race, surely He was a Democrat In every public utterance, he spoke of equality Though he did not believe in women s suffrage certainly So long as Negroes darkies, as they were fondly called, in Woodrow s childhood knew their place, and were not derelict as servants and workers, Dr Wilson had very little prejudice against them, in most respects.No one, but no one, other than JCO could have pulled off this baroque spectacular that mixes Gothic [...]

    29. Antigone says:

      To be frank, I find the use of historical figures as fictional characters to be something of a cheat I also think it tampers unduly with the suspension of disbelief and makes it harder to immerse into a story I think it strains a boundary that really shouldn t be taxed for anything less than a clear and compelling artistic reason And there is so rarely a reason I didn t find one in Beautiful Ruins, I didn t find one in Loving Frank, and I don t find one here Perhaps someday, fifty years from now [...]

    30. Eyehavenofilter says:

      Since no one will probably read this I can say what I really want to say about this book is probably the most sterile story about New England being invaded by Vampires ever written.if you like the Jane Austin style of nothing ever happening for 400 pages at a time, then this should be your kind of heaven it was my kind of hell its like being forced to read a post mortem on a person you don t know or even care about because your degree depends on you being able to remember one small detail that w [...]

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