THIS NOVEL IS extraordinary, possibly Oates's finest and most emotionally challenging yet. It is dark, dangerous and extremely violent. Even when feeling that there is hope of redemption, the reader is jolted again into a sense of uncertainty and despair.
Joshua Seigl is a youngish and famous author (but famous for something written many years ago, a novel of which he feels oddly ashamed). In precarious health, he realises that he must find himself an assistant; but after interviewing every hopell and admiring aspiring academic in the area he cannot