Patricide: A Novella

Patricide: A Novella - Joyce Carol Oates We have met Roland Marks before. Phillip Roth wrote about a character just like him in "Exit Ghost." Self absorbed. Serial womanizer because he places his needs and vanity above the needs and welfare of his family. Seeking the attention of younger and younger women as he diminishes both physically and artistically and struggles with his increasing irrelevance.

The difference here is that the perspective is not of the aging literary lion---which tends to create sympathy for him. This beautifully written novella tells the story from the point of view of his daughter. The dutiful daughter that one may say lacked the sense to move on and away from the selfish life devouring presence of her famous father. We see him in all his selfishness, his aggression used to mask his insecurities, and his overwhelming and all encompassing ego.

Good books sometimes not only make you think about what you have read, but make you re-evaluate other books that you have read. Patricide is just such a book. Told with the chilling understatement of a master.