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High Crime Area: Tales Of Darkness And Dread (2014)

by Joyce Carol Oates(Favorite Author)
3.09 of 5 Votes: 1
Head of Zeus
review 1: I wanted to give this book four stars out of five, and that's the way it was headed. Alas, by far the longest story in this collection, the 100-page novella "The Rescuer" didn't quite agree with me. I found the protagonist's behavior increasingly silly and hard to swallow, and though there were moments of hard-hitting descriptive power--highly immersive "urban decay" prose--there were also lots of repetitions and cliches. I enjoyed the other stories quite a bit more, particularly "The Home at Craigmillnar" and "High". On the whole the collection does an adequate job of showcasing Oates' numerous talents at shorter lengths, but one often longs for more of those moments of insight and penetrating darkness than the sometimes mundane, stretched-out "incidents" we get ... morehere.
review 2: Overall, I enjoyed these short stories, especially "The Home at Craigmillnar" and "Toad-Baby." These are stories about the horrors of real life, not the supernatural, and they are more depressing than terrifying. I liked the suspense and the deft handling of the intersection of terror and attraction, as well as guilt with both attraction and terror, that was present in this collection. I could have done with one less tale of white professor/grad student dealing with her guilt regarding interactions with other races/socio-economic classes; the individual stories were good, but having 3 of the 8 deal with this theme felt repetitive. less
Reviews (see all)
why can t modern short story writers write endings to their stories ? i don t like this trend.
Such impressive haunting short stories, I loved it.
JCO kills it again. What more can I say?
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