Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. In Expensive People, Oates takes a provocative and suspenseful look at the roiling secrets of America's affluent suburbs. Set in the late 1960s, this first-person confession is narrated by Richard Everett, a precocious and obese boy who sees himself as a minor character in the alarming drama unfolding around him.
Fascinated by yet alienated from his attractive, self-absorbed parents and the privileged world they inhabit, Richard incisively analyzes his own mismanaged childhood, his pretentious private schooling, his "e;successful-executive"e; father, and his elusive mother. In an act of defiance and desperation, eleven-year-old Richard strikes out in a way that presages the violence of ever-younger Americans in the turbulent decades to come.
A National Book Award finalist, "e;Expensive People"e; is a stunning combination of social satire and gothic horror. "e;You cannot put this novel away after you have opened it,"e; said "e;The Detroit News."e; "e;This is that kind of book-hypnotic, fascinating, and electrifying."e;
"e;Expensive People "e;is the second novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A"e; Garden of Earthly Delights,"e; them, and "e;Wonderland,"e; are also available from the Modern Library.