Fresh from the triumph of "We Were the Mulvaneys," Joyce Carol Oates continues her exploration of family love and possibilities of human redemption with this compelling story of how one young woman suffers profoundly in the pursuit of love, but manages to emerge safe and whole. Set in several towns on the Chatauqua River in upstate New York, Man Crazy tells the story of Ingrid Boone, who at age eight is taken into hiding by her beautiful young mother, Chloe. Sought by the men who have taunted Chloe, the authorities, and Ingrid's loving but volatile father still haunted by memories of Vietnam, Ingrid and her mother fight to survive both together and apart. "Man crazy" is the label assigned to teenage Ingrid, whose desperate need to find a substitute for her father's affection makes her easy prey for the charismatic leader of a violent cult. Eventually, the police surround the cult compound and a tense standoff erupts in bullets and flames. Ingrid escapes to rebuild her life, and Oates' depiction of this severely damaged young woman's slow but miraculous process of healing stands as one of the most brilliant portraits she has ever created.
16 pages matching cigarette in this book
Results 1-3 of 16
What people are saying - Write a review
Man crazy: a novelUser Review - Book Verdict
Ingrid Boone and her too-young momma, Chloe, live a hard-bitten life on New York's Chautauqua River as they flee Luke, a Vietnam vet who fathered Ingrid. The mostly no-account men who people Chloe's boozy existence pale beside crazed Luke, who keeps tracking down his family. Little wonder that Ingrid grows into a self-destructive adolescent, sinking into a morass of drugs and self-mutilation, believing that the path to love is lots of pain. Under the thrall of the cult leader of a motorcycle gang, Ingrid suffers a downward spiral that is nearly complete when she is gang-raped, forced to witness a decapitation, then imprisoned in a filthy basement with nothing to eat but garbage and animal waste. At the end, Oates (We Were the Mulvaneys, LJ 11/15/96) asks readers to believe that two years of hospitalization and intensive therapy bring Ingrid miraculous redemption and true love in the arms of her much older former psychiatrist. An ugly tale told, without question, by a master of evocative misery, but to what purpose? For Oates fans only.--Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., Mich.