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Them (1969)

by Joyce Carol Oates

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wonderland Quartet (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9692015,378 (3.63)113
The members of the Wendall family struggle for thirty years to understand the obscure forces constantly tearing at their lives and happiness.
Recently added byhdunlap, kohrmanmj, private library, MizzyM, LudicDespair, jocelynelise_, dcjackson, Eandrer

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» See also 113 mentions

English (18)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Totally depressing. If I wasn't reading it for my book club I would given it up at page 50 or so. Instead I slogged through the whole depressing mess. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Sep 21, 2019 |
I started reading this book on a couple of prior occasions. Now, I've read it through; and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Oates really creates in-depth characters. The reader begins to really care about what happens. Very good book! ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Dec 21, 2017 |
I found this book to be very captivating and enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates writing very much. The books describes the turmoil of this time period very vividly and with believable characters. It is not a warm and fuzzy book but one that makes you uncomfortable with the reality of these times. I am definitely going to read some more of her books as I have found this book to be incredibly good. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
Joyce Carol Oates' "them" is a really engrossing novel, with so many layers that I think I would get even more out of it if I read it a second time.

The novel is set mainly in the slums of Detroit, following three members of the Wendall family -- Loretta and two of her children, Jules and Maureen from the 1930's to the 1960's. They live a rather downtrodden and poverty stricken life, and it's interesting to see where the years take them.

Oates' look the family was all the more interesting given her author's note indicating this story was based on people she knew.... (which she later says was just a literary device.) I liked the "us" vs. "them" set up, and how the title applies in so many ways -- to women, to the poor, to the Wendall family. Overall, this is a great book. ( )
  amerynth | Nov 5, 2015 |
Her first hit book. I enjoyed her later ones more. ( )
  S_Trenti | Jul 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
She focuses on story, with a style that cajoles the reader by regularly switching viewpoints within single paragraphs. The art is almost invisible. Her style allows the reader to focus on story without the intrusion of unfamiliar language, so artfully done, an exercise in event, an adventure in domestic darkness.

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oates, Joyce Carolprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, GregIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Showalter, ElaineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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...because we are poor Shall we be vicious? -- The White Devil -- John Webster
For my husband, Raymond
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One warm evening in August 1937 a girl in love stood before a mirror.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The members of the Wendall family struggle for thirty years to understand the obscure forces constantly tearing at their lives and happiness.

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