- Hardcover: 508 pages
- Publisher: Vanguard Pr (1 June 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814906680
- ISBN-13: 978-0814906682
- Package Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 3.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 658 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Them. Hardcover – 1 Jun 1969
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 59 reviews
Fascinating characters, engrossing read, deserving Nat’l Book Award22 May 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
As if I read all the other novels or even the 1969 finalists lol. However, I couldn’t stop reading this because I cared about the characters, which is too seldom true with celebrated novels from the last 50 years. If you liked Rich Man, Poor Man, this is worthy to compare. Both are about siblings from a depressing family life told over roughly the same two to three decades vividly evoking the east coast and the Midwest, respectively. The difference is there is very little positive about Oates characters while Shaw’s novel is able to touch the tragic. My only criticism of Them is the portrayal of the faculty radicals in 1967. Having been a student radical in the late 60s in NYC, I found that to be completely unrealistic. Still, it was my first Oates novel and I’d be willing to try another.
One person found this helpful
If you like "literary" fiction, you just might LOVE this! Not for light-fiction lovers.31 January 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Joyce Carol Oates is one of the greatest living American authors. She's widely rumored to be on the short list for a Nobel prize, and she won a National Book Award for this one, for good reason. This is not an easy read. If you like breezy, exciting, plot-driven popular fiction, you might hate it. If you like "literary fiction," you're more likely to be very happy with it. I've read other books by this author, this one is rather different. Its style reminds me of Faulkner or Proust, lots of words, images and internal dialog, somewhat stream-of-consciousness, though not at all confusing or hard to follow. If you like Jonathan Franzen or Barbara Kingsolver, you will probably like this author. The characters and their circumstances come completely alive, you might never forget them. No heroes, no straight-out villains, just fully-developed characters. I never enjoy novels featuring rich, famous or powerful people. I'm ordinary, the people I know and love are ordinary, too. I want to walk in the shoes of other ordinary people, whose lives have been different from mine. Most authors avoid writing about ordinary people, because it's hard to make them interesting, unless you are brilliant. Joyce Carol Oates is brilliant. The times and locations are almost like characters they come alive, too. These lives were lived only 40 to 80 years ago, not really very long, yet their way of living seems inconceivably different, particularly to modern readers.
12 people found this helpful
Dark and energetic31 March 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
This has become my favorite by Ms. Oates. It is a grand, epic drama of tragedies, to the level of Greek mythology where the characters do not cease their toiling and rolling the boulder of life up the hill again and again. It is also very modern American story of "Love and Money" , classism, racism, elitism and many more abundant categories of "us" and "them". The high and steady level of the author's energy is felt throughout this dense book, and the story lives on.
3 people found this helpful
Good writing; depressing story30 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
This one is difficult for me. JCO writes well, but I usually find myself depressed by the story. I'd wanted to read this for 40 years, since someone told me about it then. It's set in Detroit, in an area and time I know and remember, so it definitely had that interest for me. I did love the ending when the reason for the title becomes clear. I will eventually go on to read the rest of the a Wonderland books.
2 people found this helpful
Them is a good read29 July 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
I would read anything Joyce Carol Oates wrote, including her grocery list. This book did not disappoint. It starts out as a story of young girl trapped in a miserable existence. A sudden event hurtles her into a different life, but the consequences last for generations. As always, Oates fleshes out each character to a point where loathing and sympathy combine. I loved this book and I love this author.
5 people found this helpful