I have yet to come across a Joyce Carol Oates story that I didn't love! Man Crazy is quite a twisted account of an unfortunate girl from childhood to her 21st birthday. This story is not for the faint of heart.
The narrator, Ingrid, comes from a broken family and spotty childhood home life, which directly impacts her outlook on life and decision-making as a young adult. Her destructive lifestyle leads her to promiscuity, drugs, and association with the Children of Satan, from which she redeems herself and comes back full circle to the woman who shaped her life from the very beginning.
I found this book to be a somwhat quick and easy read, written in free flowing verses that fit Ingrid's personality perfectly. Oates has done a great job developing this character, and will pull you close enough to love Ingrid, then push you away with repulsion before bringing it full circle once again. I think it's safe to say an open mind is required for reading this one!
I had to keep reading until I finished it. You travel from childhood through adulthood so Oates gives the background so you can understand more of why Ingrid ends up where she does. This is the Oates I want to see in every one of her books. I read Zombie and although I felt like getting sick through most of it, I still dont think anyone else could have written it. I was very pleased reading Man Crazy that I once again found the Oates I fell in love with in her short stories and earlier works. This is a must read for any women who questions why she keeps ending up in the same relationships with guys that dont treat her right. Ingrid is real and out there in the world with no one to help her, just as the Ingrid in the novel. If you want to see what a series of wrong choices made as a teenager and a mother with issues of her own will lead a woman too, read this book because Oates answers that question. It will lead to Ingrid.
This is a disturbing story, I think Joyce Carol Oates fans will appreciate it.
This book is not what you would expect from Joyce Carol Oates. It is a little dark-sided. If you are looking for a different kind of read, this is it. It is not the love story the title makes it seem to be, she means "man crazy" in a very different way.
Oates is a master of family drama. This book will break your heart again and again. It is the story of a beautiful single mom whose husband is on the run. This leaves her to fend for herself and her daughter. Ingrid is the beautiful, sensitive daughter who is the product of this unstable home life. This story leads you unerringly to her downfall but ultimately, to her redemption. The happy ending is hard won through her tragic life. Excellent read!