I was totally turned off by a line, describing the view from an automobile window of, "white dots grazing that may have been sheep." Really? If the viewer can not tell the 'dots' are sheep, how does the viewer know that the 'dots' are grazing?
they might have been goats
I once mistook goats for sheep from a distance. A friend of mine once mistook cows for horses.
And one time I mistook a moose for a horse and thought to myself - 'Why don't they have a fence around that pasture - their horse is running right for the road.
I swerved at the last minute and missed it.
But anyway about Joyce Carole Oates: I find her writing and subject matter either intensely interesting or totally inane and irritating.
I think I like the idea of some of her plots, settings and characterizations and find them more interesting and promising than their actual manifestation.
They all sort of blend together in my head - I did read The Tattooed Girl all the way through because the two characters were so different and I had to find out what happened between them. The last one I read was The Falls - and that was interesting because it took place during the whole Love Canal era in that area and I found that part of it sort of compelling reading.
I remember reading We Were the Mulvaneys in its entirety and the one about a woman and her mother who died...but again...it's just because the plots are somewhat psychologically dense and interesting that I persevere- it's not that I particularly care for her writing.
She gets a little too gothic and fantastical for my taste- I can almost immediately tell if I will be able to read one of her books or not within the first three or four pages. I'm not at all into fantasy or the super natural.
So she's someone I will always check out of the library if she has a new one - but I probably don't end up reading her stuff more often than I do.