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D.T. Max...Dramatizes how wanting and memory compete.....how lonely, unhappy people mythologize their adolescence. (Larger cultural metaphors, as always in Oates's fiction, are invited)....Displays great inventiveness and a justified belief in its relevance to our own emotional lives. This is not a bashful or subtle book. It doesn't woo you so much as run you down....This is America, affluent, ever-adolescent America, land of ''teen-age litter,'' where, as Oates writes, ''after high school . . . everything's posthumous.''
—The New York Times Book Review