Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates ****

In case you haven't heard of Joyce Carol Oates, she is one of the stars of American literary fiction and professor of creative fiction at Princeton for over forty years. Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates is the story of a successful writer on the edge of insanity.

Andrew J Rush is bored of his successful writing career and unhappy with his designation as the "gentleman's Stephen King." His books are:
not nasty-mean, or disturbing. Never obscene, nor even sexist. Women are treated graciously... Corpses are likely to be white adult males.
In an effort to break out, he takes the pseudonym Jack of Spades, and writes extreme or x-rated noir mysteries. Over time Andrew J Rush and Jake of Spades separate with differing writing habits from location, to time of day, to plotting, and ultimately to different moralities.

As might be expected from such a proficient writer, the book can be enjoyed as a mystery or a psychological study into the mind of a writer, writing having always been just on the cusp of insanity anyway.

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