I’m a little late in posting this, but better late than never! My third book of the year was Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates.
I picked up this book on a whim when I saw it in a list of quick reads under 200 pages (link here). I recommend this site for people who are questioning whether they’ll be able to handle 52 books this year – or more, or less, everyone reads at different speeds – it’s a list of novellas, so you can just throw caution to the wind and choose a random book. They’re so short that you aren’t going to have to devote a great deal of time into getting them read, so if you hated it, then no harm done. If you loved it, then all the better, you just practically stumbled across what could be a personal all time favourite.
I am so glad I picked Beasts because it was a fantastic and consuming read. It was an interesting look at what are basically really quite vulnerable young women vying for the attention of their college professor, whom they seem to adore and worship. I enjoyed this book because I think I formed a sort of love-hate relationship with the girls’ professor. I loved him as a character, but could see he was a vile and really quite self involved person, which of course made me feel sorry for the girls because they idolised this horrible creature! How could they possibly worship him this much? This confusion paired with the running theme of ‘ugly’ beastly carved totems (some of women, some of young girls, all distorted) posing as art installations, paired with arson (!) made for a hectic and frenzied read.
I shall most definitely be picking up another of Oates’s works in the near future!