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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.