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The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable Dread

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable Dread

Geschrieben von Joyce Carol Oates

Erzählt von Adam Verner und Christine Williams


The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable Dread

Geschrieben von Joyce Carol Oates

Erzählt von Adam Verner und Christine Williams

Bewertungen:
4/5 (11 Bewertungen)
Länge:
11 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781611746020
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

A chilling volume of stories and novellas by Joyce Carol Oates, one of the world’s greatest and most prolific writers.

An incomparable master storyteller in all forms, in The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Joyce Carol Oates spins six imaginative tales of suspense. “The Corn Maiden” is the gut-wrenching story of Marissa, a beautiful and sweet, but somewhat slow, eleven-year-old girl with hair the color of corn silk. Her single mother comes home one night to find her missing and panics, frantically knocking on the doors of her neighbors. She finally calls the police, who want to know why she left her young daughter alone until 8:00 o’clock. Suspicion falls on a computer teacher at her school with no alibi for the time of the abduction. Obvious clues—perhaps too obvious—point directly to him. Unsuspected is Judah (born Judith), an older girl from the same school who has told two friends in her thrall of the Indian legend of the Corn Maiden, a girl sacrificed to ensure a good crop. The seemingly inevitable fate of Marissa becomes ever more terrifying as Judah relishes her power, leading to unbearable tension with a shocking conclusion.

 “Helping Hands,” published here for the first time, begins with an apparently optimistic line: “He came into her life when it had seemed to her that her life was finished.” A lonely woman meets a man in the unlikely clutter of a dingy charity shop and extends friendliness, which soon turns to quiet and unacknowledged desire. With the mind-set of a victim, struggling to overcome her shyness and fears, she has no idea what kinds of doors she may be opening.

The powerful stories in this extraordinary collection further enhance Joyce Carol Oatess standing as one of the world’s greatest writers of suspense.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781611746020
Format:
Hörbuch


Über den Autor

Joyce Carol Oates is a novelist, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories and one of America’s most respected literary figures. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.

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3.9
11 Bewertungen / 12 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates is a collection of short stories that are guaranteed to give you the chills. After just a few pages it becomes obvious that this author not only know about the stuff of nightmares, she can write about it as well. Her creative stories in this collection touch on our own worst fears and vulnerabilities and, I suspect, will haunt the reader for some time. The first story, The Corn Maiden is the centerpiece and sets the tone for the rest of the book. This tale of an evil child who with the help of her minions kidnaps a younger classmate is creepy, strange and scary. Many of these stories feature children or siblings who are seeking revenge or taking sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Whether it is a step child delivering revenge for past misdeeds, a young child who cannot accept a new baby in the family, or a brother trying to eliminate his twin by poison, these tales are dark, claustrophobic and chilling.While some of these stories are straight out frightening, others are strange, creepy and suspenseful. If these tales are showcasing Oates’ nightmares, then what an unusual mind this author has and how lucky are we that she shares her nightmares with her readers. If you are wanting to take a walk on the dark side than I would suggest giving The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares a try.
  • (3/5)
    A collection of short stories focusing on the darker side of human nature, these are chilling in subject matter but oddly unengaging in execution. I found it difficult to care about any of the protagonists/antagonists, and the lack of a final resolution in many tales didn't help. Overall, I found these unsatisfying and something of a chore to read, in spite of great initial set-ups.
  • (3/5)
    Oates' collection of short stories in The Corn Maiden are not traditional horror stories with blood, gore, and monsters, but rather unsettling tales that slowly build up tension. Of the seven stories in the collection, the strongest is The Corn Maiden, a tale of a group of teenage girls attempting an American Indian sacrifice on a classmate; other standouts include A Hole in the Head, about a bizarre medical procedure gone wrong, and Death-Cup - a story about twin brothers forever opposed.

    The remaining stories are also good, and the collection as a whole serves as a good introduction to Oates' works, most of which are short stories.
  • (3/5)
    While these stories were interesting, I must read too much horror because I didn't find them particularly horrific. All of the stories ended weirdly abruptly, and the title story in particular had some really annoying little elements that prevented me from enjoying the story (like the triple repetition of words that made me cringe every time) plus the ending was weird and tonally completely different from the rest of the story. The obsession with twins was a bit weird too, especially since both stories had very similar relationship dynamics, it felt like I was reading the same story. In short, don't think this writer is for me, but some of the concepts were very interesting
  • (1/5)
    1 Star/Fiction; Short Stories, HorrorThe Corn Maiden was not a book that I personally enjoyed. This is my first time reading anything by Joyce Carol Oates and her writing style was so different for me that I felt like I had to force myself through the pages. The stories were engaging but I never felt connected enough with any of them to truly appreciate this authors work.When I sit down to read, it is to relax after a long day. This book required more than I was willing to give in that regard. While I am sure this author has her dedicated followers, unfortunately I won't be one of them.
  • (2/5)
    I guess the publisher and myself have two entirely different ideas of "terrifying" and "nightmare". I didn't see anything in any of these stories that could have possibly been described with either of those adjectives. I can't say they were bad stories or that they were badly written...they just weren't what I was expecting.
  • (3/5)
    One of my 2015 reading goals has been to read short stories. I've read the minimalist stories of Raymond Carver and the complex, character-driven stories of Alice Munro. I was due for something dark and disturbing - thank you, Ms. Oates. Themes of malevolent children, evil twins and festering grudges run through the stories. I liked them all, but I particularly liked the title story about a girl who takes bullying to extremes, and a story about a girl who is terribly jealous of her new baby sister. Nice stuff.
  • (3/5)
    Well, what a writer. Pity about the subject. She sure knows how to write for the nightmare trade. The title story has a neat resolution and something akin to a happy ending, but after that, be prepared. I guess the subject matter wasn't really to my liking but I still admired her talent.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! I could not put this book down, finished in a span of 24 hours or so. Two stories were graphic enough, I truly thought I was either going to throw up or pass out. Not for the squeamish.
  • (4/5)
    Glad I gave this novel a chance. Entertaining in a slow-cooker kind of way.
  • (4/5)
    So this collection of short stories.. it packs a mean punch. I mean right out of the gate, Joyce Carol Oates slams her readers with a story about “innocent” young girls and the horrific acts they can commit. Seriously, people, I have goosebumps just thinking about the story and it’s been a few weeks since I read it.One after another, each story hits where you least expect to be hit. From showing the darker side of charity, the immense pain of loneliness, the all-too-human fears we face in moments when we should be thinking of other things, it’s all contained within this book.I’ve only recently become a fan of short stories – I’ve come to appreciate them for how quickly I can become immersed in the story and also appreciate just how much of a workout my imagination gets from the (sometimes abrupt) endings. I’m positive I’ll be checking out more of Joyce Carol Oates books, just because I have a think for powerhouse female writers – but I will say this…The last story in this book I couldn’t read all the way through. I was just too grossed out, and for that I blame my active imagination – although the story was pretty damn twisted.If you want the perfect Halloween read, look no further. This book will take you beyond paranormal and sometimes silly scary stories into the very corrupt and twisted mind of some very “normal” people.
  • (3/5)
    For me, these seven short stories were good, sometimes quite creepy, but never approached any sort of a promised nightmare level. With fresh descriptions and images of the Boston Marathon bombing in my head, as well as my general state of mind, these seemed more like a tame, school board-loving young adult title. Nothing threatening. The title story was a twisted story of a young girl (could she be the Corn Maiden?) kidnapped by some older girls from her school. The story has a wonderful twist in the end, but still more creepy than skin-crawling nightmare. The graphic descriptions of the procedures of a plastic surgeon in another story were closer to the "unsettling mark". Odd to think that I had considered going into medicine when I was younger — luckily that didn't happen — and I scrambled towards the vast wealth guaranteed in independent bookselling. My lack of repulsion with these stories could just be that "wrong-book-at-this-time sort of thing"...it happens.