The Barrens by Joyce Carol Oates writing as Rosamond Smith

9 11 2007

I just finished reading The Barrens by Joyce Carol Oates, writing as Rosamond Smith.

I have never understood why famous authors sometimes write under the different names. This is my first experience reading anything written under this pseudonym.

This book is a psychological thriller, written about a serial killer and his effects on people that he encounters. Some of the concepts are interesting, but overall I didn’t really enjoy the book. The serial killer, Joseph Gavin also goes by NAME UNKNOWN. Some of the chapters are told from his perspective and the prose is totally different from the prose in other chapters. It was very hard for me to keep my focus on those chapters.

Although I really enjoy reading Joyce Carol Oates, I don’t enjoy this genre of writing. Perhaps if I had read more reviews about the book I would have realized that the topic is not for me.

For a person that enjoys the psychological thriller genre, with some gore thrown in, this might be a good book. But for me, it just didn’t deliver.

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