Thursday 5 April 2018

Oates, Joyce Carol "A Book of American Martyrs"

Oates, Joyce Carol "A Book of American Martyrs" - 2017

I have yet to find a book written by Joyce Carol Oates that I don't like. This is no exception. I was quite mad at times, not at the author but at her characters. They were so alive, so real, incredible.

Of course, I don't understand people who condone one sort of killing and then go on to do another one. Who gives someone the right to kill someone else because he has killed. That goes for those "assassins" who kill abortion doctors as much as it goes for people who kill murderers "legally". I think, that is the main thought where JCO wants us to go.

A fascinating book about a subject that should be discussed much more than "I'm against abortion". If you really want to have fewer abortions, you have to make sure fewer teenagers get pregnant. And no, "don't do it" is not a good idea. Children should be told at an early age what they should do in order to prevent a pregnancy. Then, there should be more support for parents, single mothers, anyone who raises kids. And better (preferably free) education possibilities. That all leads to a lot fewer abortions already. Just making it illegal leads to more illegal abortions and even more dead women.

You surely can tell from these few sentences which side I am on. And I am sure one of my favourite authors agrees with me. I admire her as much for her wonderful writing as well as for her courage to stand up for what she believes in. I can't wait to read her next book.

From the back cover:
"A powerfully resonant and provocative novel from American master and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates

In this striking, enormously affecting novel, Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of two very different and yet intimately linked American families. Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God's will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town while Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief.

In her moving, insightful portrait, Joyce Carol Oates fully inhabits the perspectives of two interwoven families whose destinies are defined by their warring convictions and squarely-but with great empathy-confronts an intractable, abiding rift in American society.

A Book of American Martyrs is a stunning, timely depiction of an issue hotly debated on a national stage but which makes itself felt most lastingly in communities torn apart by violence and hatred."


  1. I thought this book was amazing! JCO is a great author and underrated in the US as far as I am concerned. I think she is a contender for the Nobel Prize!
    My review:

    1. Thank you for that, Judy. I will head over there right away.

      I've said that in almost all my reviews regarding JCO, I always wait for her to be the next winner of the Nobel Prize. She really ought to get it.