The Seafood Shack was a success! This small hole-in-the-wall is popular for a reason. They mainly sell pounds of shrimp, fish, and oysters, but they also have tasty ceviche, fish/shrimp tacos/enchiladas, and the standard fried fare. Also, their margaritas are fantastic. Natalie got a tamarind-flavored frozen margarita which was out of this world. After dinner, we drove around the corner to Braums for ice-cream.
The problem with all of these conscious intertextualities is that the originality of Oates' book, predictably, suffers. She's too busy making on-the-nose references to the originals, and when the reader has recognized these (which isn't hard since we're explicitly told so many things), there isn't much left to the story. The gimmick is too obvious to begin with, and the ending is weak. Die-hard fans of Poe might appreciate this attempted homage to (or criticism of?) the genre, and Oates' book reads so quickly that it almost feels like a short story, so that's good, right? With flat characters, little mystery, and an ending that, frankly, sucks, we all had to declare this one a dud. Oates, stop it. You're so much better than this.