I adore Joyce Carol Oates. She is an amazing writer, and this is an amazing book. I couldn't put this one down. It was like a stress dream; the emotions that you live through with Corky are almost tangible. I hated him, I felt sorry for him, I kind of liked him sometimes...all at the same time. That JCO can make this so real to the reader is testimony to the masterpiece that is this book.