Book #29 of 2006

Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
Rated 9/10
Started April 29, 2006
Finished April 30, 2006
154 Pages
Published 1993

Comments *warning, small spoilers enclosed*: It picked this up on a whim at the UBS last week.  This was my third book by Oates; the firsts being The Falls and First Love.  As with First Love, this felt more like an experiment with words, with sentences, with feelings and emotions, than just telling a story.  I assume, from what I've read of Oates, that this is typical of her work and I just drink it up.  I read this in less than twenty-four hours. 

The main character, a young woman named Kelly Kelleher, is going through the final moments of her life.  To me, this felt like how they say the last moments of your life are; the "your life flashing before your eyes" so to speak.  An accident occurs, and as each chapter unfolds Kelly's mind flashes back and forth from her currect situation, earlier in that day, and even as far back as her childhood.  The writing mimics how I imagine your thoughts do at that time; disjointed, tricky and confusing. 

This was a tough, gripping, creepy read.  I was already scared of drowning, it's aways been one of "those" fears I've had; now I'm terrified of it. Oates is so brilliant a writer though, that I just couldn't put it down.  Can't wait to read more by her.

3 thoughts on “Book #29 of 2006

  1. What happened between books 25 and 29?

    I love Oates. I have some short stories and The Tatted Girl to read. Can't wait. Must capitalize on fun reading opportunities this summer because I'm SO behind.

  2. I did 27 and 28 together. Maus I and II. I had thought I was going to skip this one, but decided to do it anyways. And I did 29 already too. Next up is #30. Then hopefully I'll be in order again!

    I have the Tattoo Girl to read too. Plus Haunted, a set of short stories. And one other, can't remember the name at the mo.

  3. That sounds interesting. I actually did see my life flash before my eyes, and let me tell you, it goes in reverse order, from where you currently are, backwards! It was way back when I was 15 and I was on a school bus on a snowy mountain road. The bus driver came around a sharp curve and had to hit his brakes to keep from hitting another car and we slid partially off the downhill side of the mountain. I thought I was a goner. I said to myself, "This is it!" And then, "Lord Jesus, help!" And then my life flashed backwards before my eyes – really fast. I was amazed!

    I've tried to keep up with the books I read and I'm just not disciplined enough to do it. But maybe I'll try again.

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