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The Corn Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates
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The Corn Maiden (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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1049116,035 (3.46)12
Member:stevenj
Title:The Corn Maiden
Authors:Joyce Carol Oates
Info:Mysterious Press (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 264 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:audio short stories horror gothic

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The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares: Novellas and Stories of Unspeakable Dread by Joyce Carol Oates (2011)

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 19, 2014 |
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. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (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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Whywhy you're asking here's why her hair.
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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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