Books: The Doomed and the Damned

EXPENSIVE PEOPLE by Joyce Carol Oates. 308 pages. Vanguard. $5.95.

Bat cries in the night, cobwebs on the tower stairs—all the exquisitely accumulated gothic horrors—these are the forte of frail, large-eyed women novelists. Joyce Carol Oates, a brilliant writer, offers an updated variation on the genre by taking the American Dream and turning it into a kind of American nightmare.

Expensive People, the middle volume of a trilogy that began with A Garden of Earthly Delights, spooks the suburban-castle country of the upper middle class. Author Oates has but one message in her demonic...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!