I must really love tragic tales about messed up people. I wonder if this reflects on me at all? This book is one of Oates earlier works and is part of the Wonderland Quartet. The quartet is a group of individual novels with an underlying common theme. These books explore social class by delving deep into a character growing up in America. Sounds like many books you've heard of? Well this is done by Oates and with each book my awe of her writing and stories grows. She understands that humans are not perfect but that society tries to bend us a certain way (especially Americans). What made me put this in one of my favorites was her unique way on conveying the character. She writes this as a memoir and the way she does it isn't necessarily convincing but enchanting? It's hard to describe. One of my favorite parts of the book was when she had Richard writing fake reviews for his fake memoir. This had me laughing, which isn't my usual reaction to anything I've read by her yet. She calls out every reviewer, imitates their style and then mocks them completely showing us how complete shit reviews can be (especially the ones selected for book jackets). This was such a small and insignificant part of the book but also develops the character in such a creative way. Richard stops to comment on his own work, explain something or even add which made him even more real. I can't wait to continue on the Quartet but it seems "Them" is not available on ebook anywhere! I guess I'll have to search the libraries or used book stores.