One thought on “The Triumph of the Spider Monkey”

  1. Possibly a lot of goodreaders with similar interests to mine may find the relative populism of Oates' best-known material sort of off-putting. Which is understandable, as she's written some very popular books that, though well-composed, often don't really distinguish her from masses of other decently composed melodramatists and social reformers. But then she also writes books like this, the beautifully fractured and stylistically heightened monologues of a murderer, leaping erraticly (gracefully [...]

  2. In a conversation published in The Lost Saranac Interviews, JCO said: 'The most disgusting thing I ever wrote was called The Triumph of the Spider Monkey, which was so disgusting I could barely read the galleys, and whenever anybody mentions it to me, I kind of look away and pretend I don't know what they're talking about. It's the first person confession of the maniac Bobbie Gotteson to Joyce Carol Oates.'So, of course, I had to read it.Um, is it wrong that I kind ofked this? I think Oates did [...]

  3. Considering the incredibly large amount of books that she has published, one would expect the works of Joyce Carol Oates to be mostly bland and streamlined, as easy to consume as they are (presumably) to write. And maybe some of them are, but everything I have read by her so far (the stories in High Lonesome: Selected Stories, 1966-2006, the novel Childwold and now this novella) have swerved very far from the middle of the road and offered challenging, exciting reading experiences. I’ll likely [...]

  4. I believe this may be Oates' first "fictional biography". I think I read somewhere this is the author's story from inside the head of Charlie Manson. Not sure if that's true from reading the book, but the character is Manson-like, a creepy, sadistic psycho-killer. Very creepy read; fortunately a short book.

  5. Joyce Carol Oates, The Triumph of the Spider Monkey (Fawcett Crest, 1976)[originally posted 13Mar2001]Joyce Carol Oates' tenth novel keeps her in the same subsection of society of which she is fond of writing, but strips away the usual veneer of middle-American bourgeois life she uses to make her less savory subjects shocking. The book is told from the perspective of serial murderer Bobbie Gotteson, the spider monkey of the title. Gotteson is short, overly hairy, and extremely agile; while he is [...]

  6. I really enjoyed The Triumph of the Spider Monkey. This novella reminded me a lot of her novella Zombie which I also enjoyed. This novella isn’t an easy read. JCO offers a first person narrative from the point of view of a murderer. It’s not always pleasant being inside Bobby’s head but it’s always unsettling and interesting. The novella is the perfect length. I couldn’t have stayed in Bobby’s head for much longer and certainly not for a 400+ full length novel. I think The Triumph of [...]

  7. Back from when Oates was a creative force, fucking with ways to tell a story comes Triumph of the Spidermonkey, a weirdo little book about a murderer who was found in a locker and spends his life as a creative genius/homicidal maniac, who is simultaneously unbearably ugly and irresistibly sexy. I don't know that this is a good book, but it's one I appreciate and one that I laughed a lot at while reading. Fun and weird, and in a way that you don't really see that much anymore.

  8. This book was both a bleak and beautiful jaunt through the deranged mind of a psychopath serial killer. I didn't enjoy it.The story is beautifully crafted and well worth the read.I recommend this to anyone not who is not afraid to read a good book.

  9. A weird book. I'm still wondering whether it's simply brilliant or if Joyce Carol Oates was on something when writing this one.

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