In this gripping psychological thriller, Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times best-selling author and one of the most versatile and original voices in contemporary American fiction, delivers a startling, complex tale of a serial killer and the people that his ghastly crimes touch—and transform. People like Matt McBride. Matt was barely out of junior high when the mutilated body of the first victim—a popular, pretty teenager—was uncovered in the desolate New Jersey Pine Barrens. Although he had hardly known the girl, Matt has long felt guilty at not having been able somehow to prevent the atrocity. Now another attractive young woman has disappeared, and Matt knew this victim, too. Just possibly he knew her more intimately than he is prepared to admit. By degrees Matt becomes obsessed with a guilt he can neither comprehend nor assuage. His seemingly happy marriage begins to deteriorate, while his increasingly erratic behavior heightens police suspicions. It also draws official attention away from an artist—a man of limited talent but of fierce, demented vision—who signs his work Name Unknown. Under the spell of the missing woman, Matt follows a path that leads him out of the maze of tortured memory to a confrontation with not only the baleful Name Unknown but also his own long-unacknowledged self. The outcome is shattering. With “murder as an art and the serial killer as an artist,” National Book Award–winner Joyce Carol Oates shows “how a murderer’s savage creations ... transform a man’s life.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times “Oates fans may judge [The Barrens] the best Smith novel yet.”—Boston Herald
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Joyce Carol Oates is a bestselling author. Among her many books are BLONDE, BROKE HEART BLUES, BLACK WATER, THEM and FAITHLESS. She has won a National Book Award as well as the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letter. She has also had stories selected for both BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY and BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES OF THE CENTURY. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.From Publishers Weekly:
A serial killer and his pursuer engage in a lurid dance in this overextended psychological thriller written under the name Oates uses for her psycho-dramas (like Double Delight). The novel charts the emotional ruin of Matt McBride, a real estate agent in the upscale New Jersey suburb of Weymouth, where he lives with his attractive wife and their two sons. McBride has been haunted since childhood by the memory of a high school classmate whose body was found ravaged in the desolate Pine Barrens. Now, 20 years later, McBride becomes a suspect in the disappearance of local artist Duana Zwoll, a woman whom McBride knew and admired. Although McBride manages to convince the police of his innocence, he remains wracked by guilt that a second female acquaintance has met a ghastly end. As his marriage slowly crumbles, McBride fixates on finding the killer. He narrows his search to another local artist, the marginally talented yet ghoulishly eccentric Joseph Gavin, whose artwork appears to incorporate human body parts. Could he be the man responsible for the deaths of countless East Coast women in recent years? It's a testament to Oates's skill that the suspense is instant and intense. Her setting, which contrasts Weymouth's chi-chi facade with the tormented lives of its residents, is exquisite, as is her treatment of McBride's personal tailspin. Yet the motivation for his obsessive quest for the killer guilt at being unable to prevent two murders never quite convinces. Nor does the character of Gavin, whose repetitive spiritual rants and egomania bloat the story and make him more a figure of absurdity than a credible threat to human life.
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Descripción Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0786708476
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