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The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares:…

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable… (2011)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  imyril | Nov 4, 2013 |
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. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Mar 21, 2013 |
This is a good read for Halloween IF you can overlook the fact that many of the short stories appear to reach for page after page of violence or creepiness.

No stranger to the art of writing of bizarre things, people and places, Joyce Carol Oates packs a whallop with this book. She crosses a line though in balancing the intelligence of the reader with an over the top approach to continuing the story line over and over and over.

In watching or reading horror stories, we usually find ourselves saying "Oh, no, don't go down those cellar steps!" or "Don't by any means open that door!" But, with The Corn Maiden, the author seems to have too many cellar steps, too many creeps at the other side of the door and way too many victims or perpetrators.
  Whisper1 | Oct 4, 2012 |
Glad I gave this novel a chance. Entertaining in a slow-cooker kind of way. ( )
  blockbuster1994 | Aug 22, 2012 |
As an English major, I read "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates so many times that I almost have it memorized. It also happens to be one of my favorite short stories. That's why I was so excited to get this book of short stories and try it out. Sadly...it will not be replacing any of her other stories as my favorite.

The Good: Joyce Carol Oates is a mastermind of language. There is no doubt that she knows how to craft a beautiful sentence. Reading such beautifully crafted sentences was the joyful part of reading these stories. I wish she could write my life story so it would sound as lovely as this creepy novel! The good thing about this book of short stories is how fast it goes. I think I read it in a matter of hours. I'm glad, because I despise having to spend hours on books of short stories... it just doesn't jive with the whole meaning of "short" stories :)

The Bad: These stories were just plain creepy. And not that I'm opposed to that...on the contrary, I LOVE scary/creepy stories but this was just too weird... I was more baffled, confused and out of sorts while reading this than I was scared or intrigued. The premise sounded so eerie and great but maybe there was a high rhetoric element to Oates writing in this novel that just went above my head.

Overall, I'm really just ambivalent about this novel. It put me in a strange mood where I didn't love it...but it's not exactly a horrible book either. I guess it's just...there. So take that for what it's worth and read at your own risk. I'd give it a middle of the road C.

**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own ( )
  hankesj | Jun 17, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Psychologically compelling and disturbing, this volume is a strong addition to Oates's vast body of work. Short story readers and Oates fans will enjoy it.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Kristen Stewart (Oct 15, 2011)
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to Jonathan Santlofer
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Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this anthology, The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable Dread, and Joyce Carol Oates' separate short story, "The Corn Maiden." Thank you.
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A collection of six stories and novellas includes the title story, in which the disappearance of a sweet blonde-haired child is linked to her mother's indiscretions and an older student with a fascination for a Native American legend.

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