You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This An epic novel of an American family in the s proves the tender division between what is permissible and what is taboo between ordinary life and the secret places of the heart

  • Title: You Must Remember This
  • Author: Joyce Carol Oates
  • ISBN: 9780452280199
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Paperback
  • An epic novel of an American family in the 1950s proves the tender division between what is permissible and what is taboo, between ordinary life and the secret places of the heart.

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      Posted by:Joyce Carol Oates
      Published :2019-02-23T05:47:55+00:00

    About “Joyce Carol Oates

    • Joyce Carol Oates

      Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls She is the Roger S Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978 Pseudonyms Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly.

    549 thoughts on “You Must Remember This

    • If you like moderately depressing mid 1900s tales of incest, suicide and general family dysfunction mixed in the historical facts, you'll love this book. Honestly, I'm surprised I finished it.


    • This is one of the best books I've read in recent memory. JCO's prose is so accessible her writing is easily digested by younger readers and oldies but goodies alike. The wonderful thing about that is - her writing's simplicity is perfectly layered, and when it's working, it creates a diaphanous veil of beautiful words, compelling characters, and a gripping plot line. This story in particular is a theme that one could call a favorite of JCO's - a complicated family in the 1950's. A man in love w [...]


    • When asked what this book was about, I jokingly said, "It's like Raging Bull, but with incest," and I think that's a good description of it.


    • This novel's major plotline is probably the most taboo story I've ever read. I think the manner in which Joyce Carol Oates' writes the characters, displaying and describing their feelings, but not entirely judging them (with some authors it's obvious they like this character, they don't like this one - not with Oates), made me perfectly uncomfortable, and also embroiled in their decisions. I can't stop thinking about this novel, and the characters, and the era it takes place (1950s). The descrip [...]


    • "Though it was a truth Warren had picked up somewhere that things once said within a family cannot be unsaid. And things done but never named might well be forgotten" (p. 147)."You Must Remember This" is built upon these "things." Oates flashes between these things (situations, feelings, injuries, insanities and impurities) with non-linear plotting, painting an abstract-expressionist theme. Some characters are tight strokes of insight, while others are portrayed as vaguer blurs of background. Sh [...]


    • It's been so long since I read this. But I know when I owned it I read it 3 times. I never do this. I'm not sure why I did either. Maybe to try to understand. I also remember that The relationship was SO wrong but like an accident or something on the news you just couldn't look away.



    • 400 pages of gloomy people in a gloomy world. I found it way too easy to anticipate correctly what each character was going to do. Ms Oates did not hit the mark with this one.




    • This felt like something I would call literary erotica, and not in a good way. Oates is a high quality writer, but a few brilliant passages of description and deft, penetrating phrases does not make it a great story. It felt like she was going after cheap thrills while maintaining her status as an intellectual. There was nothing compelling about the characters. They don't even make sense. I like Oates when she gets it right, and I didn't feel that she achieved that balance in this one. She is si [...]


    • Enid is a compelling protagonist, even if all too familiar: the precocious, sweet, death-obsessed ingenue has a significant amount of charm. Her inner life stops being interesting as soon as Oates permits Felix's influence to rage in full. I suppose this is some remark on the "hysterical" intersection of sex and violence that would not have seemed as feeble thirty years ago as it does now. The book loses energy soon after they ""fall in love"", starting plot points only to discard them in distre [...]


    • A sprawling, intricately woven tale of a family in the 1950s. The narrative flows from family member to family member--with the main focus on Enid and Felix. Beautifully written. This was my first time reading a book by Joyce Carol Oates, and I'm glad I did. I suppose I was offended by those who said this novel did not capture their attention, and those who said it was "creepy.' I think readers who've said the latter entirely missed the point. It is not creepy--even though the circumstances of E [...]


    • A dense, heavy book with little in the way of reprieve from the general atmosphere of impending catastrophe. I came into possession of this book by finding it on the ground, so at least one person out there decided they had enough and just left it in a parking lot. However, in spite of the rather grim tone of the book, I cannot deny that it is exceedingly well written and compelling told.This is the story of the Stevicks in the 1950s. Predominantly the story of Enid, a teenager, and her affair w [...]


    • This book is full of unlikable characters doing unlikable things. Particularly heinous is Uncle Felix, and not really because of his taboo relationship with his niece. It's more because every time the book's p.o.v. turned to him, it was just nothing but run-on sentences and paragraphs that just emphasize what an awful, awful person he is in every aspect of his life and thought. Unlikable characters are nothing new in fiction. The trick is to make the reader love to hate them so at least the ride [...]


    • Embarrassingly 70s? I could not relate. None of the characters were likable, and the ones that were really really bad didn't suffer enough. I absolutely hated the way the author used the word (view spoiler)[ heat. Body still heated from sexing. Heated blood. Her hot face. UGH double UGH. (hide spoiler)]Same with (view spoiler)[ wetness and moisture. Look, Oates, wetness is not synonymous with blurry, and a wet smile != a weak or 'watery' smile. Things get 'watered down' in a literal way and beco [...]


    • What kills this novel is that Joyce Carol Oates never achieves a consistent viewpoint about her characters. It's not like STUDS LONIGAN by James T. Farrell, where the author openly hates the characters and is trying to shock the reader into social action. And it's not like LIE DOWN IN DARKNESS by William Styron, where the author loves the characters in spite of how hateful they are and how hopeless their lives have become. I give it two stars because the boxing scenes are fairly exciting.


    • Even though certain chapters tend to get tedious, I felt the need to give You Must Remember This 5 stars because of its beautiful writing, its evocative scenes, and overall its authenticity. This is my favorite piece I've read by Oates so far. She manages to satirize the characters without poking fun at them and to really dig deep inside of their heads. Though I wasn't alive in the 50s, I felt like I was living in the decade--Oates captures 50s America so convincingly.





    • I did not like this book at all. I started the book and got about half way through and couldn't finish. As a parent I found the subject matter very hard to read.


    • 4.5. Just love Joyce Carol Oates writing! Get so caught up in her story telling. Some parts difficult to read, but captivating. This is the fourth of her books I ve read - my favorite so far. Looking forward to reading Blonde.


    • Enid Maria Stevick hatte schon als kleines Mädchen Todesgedanken gehabt. In der Bibliothek informierte sie sich ausführlich über Selbstmord und wurde in den Zeitschriften ihres Vaters mit dem Sterben im Krieg und in Vernichtungslagern konfrontiert. Enid ist eine gehorsame, fleissige Schülerin und sehr gute Sportlerin, die keine gleichaltrigen Freundinnen hat. Sie wächst in der ersten Hälfte der 50er Jahre mit drei Geschwistern in einer katholischen Familie auf. Der ältere Bruder Warren is [...]


    • I need one of two things to pull me into a book: a compelling plot; or interesting, compelling characters. I have read really great books that only had one of those, but there has to be at least one - plot or character. For the first 100 or so pages, this book had neither to me. I almost gave up on it, which I very rarely do. But I persevered, and when the book finally got into Warren, the oldest brother of this messed up 1950's family, I finally had a character I was interested in and cared abo [...]


    • If you've read Boomer-penned books, and you're younger (in my case, offspring of Boomers), then you're probably familiar with a lot of ground reporting on the 50's. Here, it's not the author's laments, but the characters harping (as the do, often, harp and go on about things) on what it was like to live in the 50's. No economic boom for everyone. McCarthyism. Cold war. Bomb shelters. Sexual uptightedness/hypocrasy.And for we-the-non-Boomers, maybe it seems like beating a dead horse. But, y'know, [...]


    • This mid-length novel details the lives of Enid, Felix and Lyle Stevick very well, weaving them together in violent, explicit and tragic ways to show a tapestry of life in America’s “golden years”. Though published in 1987, You Must Remember This exposes taboo topics from the fifties. This novel will cultivate readership today and tomorrow because these “forbidden” topics of childhood sexuality, lust, governmental distrust, death, mortality, self-control and rebellion remain relevant. [...]


    • At first I was uneasy about the writing style of this. It was almost-close-to-maybe-possibly stream of consciousness. So I had insight into what the characters were thinking and how their mind worked, but there wasn't any clear structure. Once I got halfway in I felt more at ease. I had a better grasp of the characters and their relation to each other. I also settled on this being a 'slice of life' in that it is describing this portion of this family's life without any clear centralizing event. [...]


    • I generally appreciate Oates' tendency to write with what sometimes seems like a train-of-thought style, including seemingly irrelevant or unnecessary details, going on and on, and just when my patience runs a little thin I notice that she's created such a fully realized world, and all those details made that person real and known to me and I get it. I can say she did the same this time, and while none of the characters inspired warm fuzzy respect (I don't need flawless or loveable protagonists) [...]


    • This book could've been at least a hundred pages shorter (Oates' strong suit is short stories, I hear length is an issue for a lot of her novels)--at least. The chemistry between Felix and Enid is what propelled me through it for the most part--neither are particularly sympathetic, but they're pretty interesting. The parts with the brother were also engaging. The parts with the parents aren't particularly engaging--the father is a pretentious, unhappy bore. There isn't much of a plot--it's more [...]


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