Books Magazine

Broke Heart Blues by Joyce Carol Oates

By Pamelascott

Brando. Dean. John Reddy Heart is right up there among them - at least in the eyes of the residents of Willowsville, New York. The handsome young heart-throb begins his bad-boy career at sixteen, the night that a man is murdered in his mother's house. Was John Reddy protecting her from rape or covering up her crime, or is he actually innocent? It may not matter - the minute the manhunt starts, the second the sensational trial begins, John Reddy Heart is front-page news, celebrated in song, and well on his way to becoming a small town's obsession.

The always inventive Oates has struck upon a truly innovative way to tell this uniquely American story.

***

[There was a time in the Village of Willowsville, New York, population 5,640 eleven miles east of Buffalo, when every girl between the ages of twelve and twenty (and many unacknowledged others besides) was in love with John Reddy Heart]

(Little Brown and Company, 7 December 2000, first published 1999, 512 pages, paperback, bought from Amazon)

***

***

This was my fourth attempt to read Broke Heart Blues. I'm glad I finally waded through it and will never have to look at it again. Note to self: if a book does not capture your interest in three attempted readings leave well enough alone.

Absolutely nothing about this book worked for me.

The POV is really strange. JCO uses 'we' and switches between different characters in a group referred to as the 'Circle', people who were obsessed with John Reddy Heart. The characters are never identified and it all becomes rather pretentious and tedious rather quickly.

I did not find the collective obsession with John Reddy Heart believable. John Reddy Heart was the school heartthrob and becomes a legend when he murders his tart of a mother's lover/business partner. The obsession of the characters borders on ridiculous.

Broke Heart Blues is basically ten different stories about the Circle's obsession with John Reddy Heart, re-told numerous times and repeated years after John Reddy Heart's infamous murders. The characters do not grow up and realise their teenage obsessions are ridiculous but still react the same. Pathetic.

The book starts to get interesting in the middle, but JCO realises we can't have people actually enjoying themselves and switches back to the odd 'we' POV that did not work in the first half of the book. WTF?

Broke Heart Blues Joyce Carol Oates

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME

Magazines