This was a short novella of JCO’s that follows college girls and their lust for a poetry professor. Simple enough plot, this was a little hard to get into at first but the ending was where Oates shined. I would recommend it, especially since it’s such a short read… however, not if it’s your first encounter with Oates (or even your 2nd or 3rd). I would wait until you start to understand Oates a little more, giving you more empathy towards her point of view.
The following is just a funny observation I made after reading the book, might only pertain to someone who has read the book.
After I finish reading a book, I like to research the book/Author on google, just one of my many quirky habits. Sometimes this can reveal very interesting things and sometimes it can be a waste of time. With “Beasts” the former is true, extremely true. I've read quite my fair share of Joyce Carol Oates, so after reading this book I was looking for something SHE had written about this book. After meeting JCO at a book reading/signing I really came to appreciate HER explanation of her own work and the process she goes through. I couldn't find anything close to this (however, if you come across it… please share with me).
What I did come across was disturbingly funny. My search was simple, “joyce carol oates beats” right into google search. If you’d like to recreate this search, the result I’ll be writing about comes from page three. I’m sure everyone knows of the site OKCupid, right? My search resulted in this result:
After reading this book, come back to this review and tell me how disturbing and funny this seems? Let’s just say that I wouldn't want to be promoting my interest in a book that had dysfunctional love as the main theme!