Customer Reviews for

Black Water

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    If you don't understand why Joyce Carol Oates is a literary pill

    If you don't understand why Joyce Carol Oates is a literary pillar of our times, then you obviously have not read "Black Water." Go, right now, run to your computer, sink your literature-impoverished fingertips into its keys. Now! Before it's too late! If you don't, then you only have yourself to blame, and, the haggard, wrinkled figures that you see in your final thoughts, just may be attending angels in disguise.

    There are great books and there are legendary books.

    The poetry of the inner world. If there is any one feature only great books lack, it is this one. The legendary book flows like black water, a rising river wrought of soul-stained ink, overflowing, flooding, off the pages and into your veins, and then all through your body, endowing your mind with a new set of eyes, your heart with fluttering wings, your soul with tangoing poetry, all riding the raging black river, seeking to flood your literary life with dizzying oxygen. Black Water.

    We are seized and yanked into the flood of a young woman's mind in the throes of an automobile accident, unnecessary, unexpected as death, her frailty, her fragility, her insecure passions, her desperate need for love and acceptance, her sensuality, her incredulity, her piteous hope, her clinging, final, muddy thoughts, her senseless tragedy, her whirling psyche, her dreams, her barrage of caressing memory, her ebullience of feeling, her tenacious stubborn final logic. Black Water.

    Joyce Carol Oates gives us a mosaic, vivid vision, a luxuriant, rare glimpse into what it was like to be Kelly Kelleher in a desperate last flickering moment of life, to be swallowed by the black water of well-disguised usury, to feel one's mind cling to the final bastions of life and hope and womanly need. Black Water.

    Why don't you see for yourself what a legendary author does with language. Read it or be forever impoverished.

    Yours in literature,
    J.G.C.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    Beautiful

    In my opinion, Black Water is a novel about inevitability and doom. With each page, the atmosphere gets increasingly overwhelming, and moving. Beautifully written, JCO's novel depicts with vivid imagery and easy-going stream-of-consciousness the thoughts and memories of a young woman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Symbolism

    I completly disagree with many of the other reviews. JCO comes back to the same scene, adding more details each time, to make a point. Most of the things that happen to kelly during that scene are symbolic to her life, society, and what it was to be a women at the time. Though this novel is short, JCO uses her symbolic messages to help the reader understand the characters more. I would only sudjest this book if you are willing to look deeper within the text to find meaning and substance. Otherwise pick up a gossip girl, there is rarley any symbolism there, and is much easier to fidjure out the characters there than in a JCO novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2007

    The Worst Book Ever!

    I really enjoyed 'We were the mulvaneys' by JCO, but this book was by far the worst book I have ever read. The 150 ish pages were complete torture during the 24 hour period it took me to read it. I am not sure where she was going with this story, but it just said the same thing over and over and over and over and over again!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2004

    Not worth the time!!

    Repetition, and nothing more. This story could have been told in a few pages and in a much better way. Don't waste your time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2003

    Understand the creativity: lost in repetition

    Oates creatively tries to bring the character's angst by returning to the scene again and again, but mistakedly repeats things over and over to the point of boredom. I couldn't wait to put this book down because I thought the organization was lacking in power. I think Oates was trying for 'power' by continually coming back to the drowning, but she loses the impact of this historic event by repeating herself rather than adding more to each of the victim's reminiscence. I became bored with it before reaching even the middle of the book. My mom let me in on the historical connection, otherwise, I would have put the book down much earlier, and I always finish a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2003

    Imagine being trapped. . .

    JCO brilliantly captures the frantic thoughts that must run through the mind of someone losing the battle against time. Fast-paced and emotional...well worth the read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2002

    Black Water

    I thought this book was kind-of pointless unless that is you want to read the same thing over and over again. The way the book was written did not please my taste although Oats is a great author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2001

    Haunting

    I read this book for the first time when I was in the sixth grade. I was impressed by the author's almost incoherent style as it helps the reader to appreciate the state of mind of the main character. I was also intrigued by the descriptions of capital punishment. They are quite appropriate as Kelly is 'sentenced' to a horrific death by a well known politician. At the time, I considered this to be one of the best books I had ever read and hurried to tell my mother about it. Only then, did I learnd the real life tragedy that inspired the book. Nine years later, I still search for that book at every bookstore, every library. I've never forgotten it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates

    The book was moderatley good, but not worth reading again. The way it's written is kind of strange, but that makes it better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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