Customer Reviews for

We Were the Mulvaneys

Average Rating 3.5
( 156 )
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5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(20)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful, poignant, insightful

This is a compelling yet completely heartbreaking novel. In We Were the Mulvaneys, Oates creates an idyllic family with a peaceful, happy life, and depicts the family members¿ simultaneous demises after Marianne, their daughter, is raped at a party after prom. As the Mu...
This is a compelling yet completely heartbreaking novel. In We Were the Mulvaneys, Oates creates an idyllic family with a peaceful, happy life, and depicts the family members¿ simultaneous demises after Marianne, their daughter, is raped at a party after prom. As the Mulvaneys fall from their previous social standing and each undergo personal struggles involving recovery and justice, Oates touches on all aspects of family issues. From alcoholism, to violence, depression, anxiety, and separation, she leaves absolutely nothing out. The effect is a book that will ¿Break your heart, heal it, then break it again,¿ as a reviewer from the Los Angeles Times Book Review put it. Though it¿s not a book to read on a sunny day when you¿re in a good mood, We Were the Mulvaneys is honest, insightful, and powerful. It will make you think about the connections between family members in ways you never have before.

posted by ar_t on December 5, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

happy, sad, good? bad?

i had to read We Were the Mulvaneys for school , and i must admit i found it hard to read. The beginning of the book, though a little too off topic at times, i found very interesting and i fell in love with not exacty a particular character, but how they all interact wi...
i had to read We Were the Mulvaneys for school , and i must admit i found it hard to read. The beginning of the book, though a little too off topic at times, i found very interesting and i fell in love with not exacty a particular character, but how they all interact with each other. The second half of the book got a little boring, but seeing the characters who seem indistrucable crumble, and the ones who seem to be weak break free of your judgments inspired me. While reading this book i felt many emotions, and it even made me cry. seeing how one person can effect the lives of so many others and watching characters struggle to grow, to become who they are in the end, was amazing. i think the books end was much to sudden, and worked out a little to well, and didnt even really tie up all loose ends. Sometimes characters especially Marianne we hard to relate to, but somehow it kept me into the bok. the book did NOT make me want never put it down, its deffintinly the type of pook you need a break from, but overall, i think it was worthwhile because the lessons in the book and the charactrs in the book have seemed to wedged themselves into my heart, and i dont think ill soon forget them.

posted by CourtRose on November 2, 2009

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Didn't like it-

    This story is a book about a family and their hardships. The daughter in the family was raped and this event changes the entire families lives. They all get angry (which is understandable) and the book goes on to talk about the revenge the family seeks. I think this book had a good idea but I thought the story was very long and drawn out. I thought this story was boring and the book was hard to get through. I usually love Oprah's book recommendations but not this one. I was disappointed, don't waste your time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    What a disappointment.

    I read this book a few years ago because Oprah was calling it one of the best she'd ever read.
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

    A friend just offered me the book (not knowing I had read it) and I said, "Thanks, but no thanks."

    I love Ms. Oates, but this was not anything she could possibly look back upon and be proud of -- tv movie, or not. No way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2005

    Disappointed

    This was the worst book I've ever read. The plot sounded interesting - I love family drama and dysfuntion - however this book was extremely boring and felt disconnected. There wasn't one single character I felt connected to - or even liked for that matter. I should have known when I prefered to watch TV over reading - usually I'm a bookworm but it took me about a month to get through this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    Who cares about the Mulvaneys?

    Being very satified, if not thrilled, with most of Oprhas book choices I picked this one up in the airport before a flight. How I wish I hadn't. The details in this book were absolutely grueling to get through and led to story of absolute tragedy that went no where. I don't have a problem with misery in books, I loved Angela's Ashes, but when in comes to no end, with no retibution I can't take it. I hated most of the characters in this book, especially MR. MULVANEY. Ususally getting through books this size in few days, I spent weeks trudging through this one. If only I couls not finish books after I started them....I think you get my drift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2002

    Much to slow...

    I bought the book 6 months ago and still cannot get through it. I have picked it up several times, only to be bored to tears as it moves at a snail's pace. I will try to finish it just for the sake of seeing if it gets any better, but at this point, I have my doubts. Don't buy this book if you can borrow it from someone. It's not worth it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    Boring!

    I agree with many of the previous reviews, this book was so slow. I usually read a book this size in one or two weeks and this one has taken almost 3 months. I always read it before bedtime because as soon as I picked it up, it put me to sleep. Learning about every single aspect of every single day for the Mulvaney's was not exciting, then when you get to the parts you do want to learn about, Oates never develops them. The family was so broken and then all of a sudden its happy again, after all they've been through. Not believable and not exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    TOO BORING!!

    I thought this book was going to definatly be a good read when I picked it up, but I was wrong. I've actually put it down and read 3 books in the week since. There was too much information!!! I kept waiting for some big climax or even something interesting to happen, but there was too much information in between to keep my interest up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    A LOAD OF CODWALLUP!

    Meaningless tale. Annoying writing. Oates keeps repeating some particular imagery which she must have written in her notes and used and then a hundred pages later forgotten that she had already used it. Terrible editing--dates never consistent. Father says he could have been drafted for Korean conflict but he married too young and had children too young. Previously Oates had written that parents had married in 1952 when the father character was 23. Korean war in 1950-53. At first two years of war, father would have been single and perfect age for draft, 21 and 22. Many instances of this-- ages of characters not consistent with previous info given. Characters absurd for 1976. Possibly should have been 1966 at latest with this kind of carryings on. Reactions self serving and ridiculous. Oates never seems to see irony of one character, who (poor thing-boo hoo) because of the reaction to things in his family, ruins a another life through his drunken behavior in a car. Really inexcusable to not document a denouement of the one character who was DIRECTLY involved in the pivotal incident. She just turns up one day with happy ending. We were the Mullvaneys? In their heyday they were never all that and a bag of chips. ZERO STARS!!!!!!!! Horrible potboiler.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002

    One star too many

    This book has an unrealistic plot, hopeless, gutless characters and a senseless tacked on happy ending. The Mulvaneys are the kind of people you don't want to know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2002

    Not Bad

    It was boring in parts and I don't think the characters were developed very well. I didn't get a good grip on what they were feeling or even what type of people they were. They seemed very shallow. Even though I read the whole book I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2002

    Don't even bother

    What a disappointment....I could not wait to find a really good book to bite into during my winter break from nursing classes and boy did I make a bad choice. Microbiology has more meaning than this book. Very repetitive, I got to the point that I no longer cared about any of the characters because I kept reading the same things over and over again. Painfully boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2001

    terrible

    I kept reading--don't know why??? I wasted my time--It could have been written in 300 pages--such a bunch of unnessary words--she kept repeating--I certainly will never read this author again--I don't even want to give this book one star.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2001

    T.M.I. (Too Much Information)

    This is one of the most boring, long winded books I have read. The author spends too much time going into details about subjects that are irrelevant from the story, that when she does get to the point I've already forgotten what direction the story was headed. Also, it didn't really answer a lot of the questions the story made me think of and the characters took too much of a dramatic turn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2001

    UGH.......

    Reading this book was like working a second job. Boring from start to finish. I only managed to get through it because it was an Oprah pick and I thought that somewhere the story had to get better.....it did not!!! Don't waste your time on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    Just Awful

    This just may be the most long-winded, boring, disappointing book I have read in a long time. The characters were not believable, the storyline went nowhere, and the author prattled on and on without ever getting to the point. I stubbornly kept reading in the hope that at some point it would finally draw me in, but NO SUCH LUCK! In addition, the ending left much to be desired. What a disappointment!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    Karen's opinion- Not worthy of one star!

    We were the Mulvaneys was pure torture! I don't even think it was worthy of one star. I felt ripped off paying $13.00 for the book I have read many books that are as detailed and loved them, but somehow the details in this book were truly annoying. The characters were ridiculous sometimes and the book never ended. Don't waste your money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2001

    Dont Read!

    I bought this book about two months ago and I believe I'm on the 3rd chapter. I finally gave up. VERY dissapointing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2001

    Not a Real Good Book

    Half way through the book I was disappointed. After finshing the book I realized there was no real substance for a story .It was a book I read in about 4 days, I couldn't put it down because I was searching for the plot. I believe that readers deserve more. A person who reads has to devote more time to reading than seeing a movie. If the movie is no good your out $8.00 and 2 hours. When a book is not well written you are usually out more than $10.00 and many hours of your time. I believe that is why we expect more from a book. We expect the character to be well rounded, the plot to take shape, unfold, have a purpose. The writer of this book barely described the main characters but, vividly described a passer-by or a distant relative of someone who had virtually nothing to do with the plot. The author had the ability to describe a setting and a character but, she chose to describe characters no one was really interested in and left the reader hanging when it came to the main characters. No details were ever given as to why the father could not face his daughter again after she had been raped. The mother and the father never discussed it, this seemed so unlikely given the time frame. This was 1976-1980 people did not live in the dark ages back then. It seemed to me if the author did not know what to do with a main character after a few sentences she would just write him or her out of the book for a while and take the reader on another journey to nowhere and then when she remembered she was writing a book about the Mulvaney family she would throw a Mulvaney back into the book again and just make up some ridiclious experience they had been through. I just thought this book started no where and ended up there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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