A major historical novel from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation) - an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-20th-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads of the powerful and the damned.
Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century: a tranquil place to raise a family, a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and dangerous lurks at the edges of the town, corrupting and infecting its residents. Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent. A powerful curse besets the elite families of Princeton; their daughters begin disappearing. A young bride on the verge of the altar is seduced and abducted by a dangerously compelling man - a shape-shifting, vaguely European prince who might just be the devil, and who spreads his curse upon a richly deserving community of white Anglo-Saxon privilege. And in the Pine Barrens that border the town, a lush and terrifying underworld opens up.
When the bride's brother sets out against all odds to find her, his path will cross those of Princeton's most formidable people, from Grover Cleveland, fresh out of his second term in the White House and retired to town for a quieter life, to soon-to-be commander in chief Woodrow Wilson, president of the university and a complex individual obsessed to the point of madness with his need to retain power; from the young Socialist idealist Upton Sinclair to his charismatic comrade Jack London, and the most famous writer of the era, Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain - all plagued by "accursed" visions.
An utterly fresh work from Oates, The Accursed marks new territory for the masterful writer. Narrated with her unmistakable psychological insight, it combines beautifully transporting historical detail with chilling supernatural elements to stunning effect.
©2013 The Ontario Review (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Yes and no. It's a good story, but it just takes so damn long for anything to happen. Then the epilogue is so long and flowery, it just drags.
Great reading of the book.
A bit of a disappointment from one of my favorite authors.
there were far too many "author commentaries" that detracted from the story. And, although I understand it was an historical novel, there we're too many present day references to women being the weaker gender.
Another historical piece.
No....very drawn out and difficult to follow.
Love Oates's work....had high expectations but was very disappointed. Made it 2/3 of the way through but finally gave up.
I am a D-Bag.
If your expecting twilight then skip this. Oates is one of the best living writers today and would not sink to that level. A fine mixture of Princeton history and fiction. I hated to see it end.
This was a tedeous book. Extraneous historical facts are interspersed with the story. These facts do not add to the book, but distract from the story. I used to enjoy Joyce Carol Oates, but will never read one of her books again.
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