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Summary

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’ latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s best-selling We Were the Mulvaneys.

©2020 Joyce Carol Oates (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"The most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going." (Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl)

"Novelists such as John Updike, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer slug it out for the title of the Great American Novelist. But maybe they’re wrong. Maybe, just maybe, the Great American Novelist is a woman." (The Herald)

"Oates is an inspired writer, and a formidable psychologist. She has a thrilling way of grasping an emotion, wasting no time and launching herself straight at the aching heart of the matter." (Independent

What listeners say about Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Vivisection subplot rendered it unlistenable:(

Well, I got a few hours into this audiobook which is very well narrated and seems to be a good story. However, a vivisection subplot seemed to be developing and I couldn’t listen to any more. I don’t know if the vivisection theme runs throughout, and maybe there’s only a chapter of it. but the description of laboratory animal torture was too much for me. I am against vivisection and support anti-vivisection charities, so am not trying to pretend it isn’t happening - I just can’t listen to descriptions of it. So I’m out of this particular listen as I can’t bear such horror sneaking up on my unprepared ears, and which keeps me awake at night, and I can’t do anything to stop it.

Other listeners are advised that the book otherwise seems to be a good one, so don’t be put off. I may try revisiting it at some point.

2 people found this helpful

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brilliant family drama.

the narration occasionally lets this down, but the story more than makes up for any failings.
an incredible family drama, nuanced and powerful.

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Susan?

Is the reader Susan Sarandon? Sure sounds like her. Anyway, the Oates is in top form as per usual.

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Enjoyable .

A good story well told and extraordinarily relevant to events in USA now. But it peters out with rather a weak ending . The narrator was first class .