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Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories by Joyce…
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Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories

by Joyce Carol Oates

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This is a collection of short stories. The author is prolific and has written better books than this one. She might be considered a modern day Edgar Allan Poe. Some of the stories are more interesting than others. Some are odd in than apparently the character changes from human to animal without any explanation (one story from woman to bird and in another from woman to spotted hyena). The story called Anniversary has an apparent conflicting ending. Joyce is well researched as evidenced by the stories of Black Dahlia and White Rose and that of Spotted Hyenas: A Romance. Joyce likes to deal with stories of sexual frustration and broken relationships. I liked the story entitled Good Samaritan for the interesting ending. ( )
  GlennBell | Jan 24, 2015 |
Chilling. Loved it! ( )
  leahsophia | Feb 25, 2014 |
LOVED the first story. Freakin' amazing. Gave me nightmares. The rest were tedious and I was unable to get through them.
  evforija | Apr 5, 2013 |
I picked up this collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates because of the title story, which is about the Hollywood murder of Betty Short, known as the Black Dahlia. Here, Short and Marilyn Monroe are roomates and aspiring starlets. Monroe is still innocent and holding to her principles, working hard at acting class and playing by the rules, such as they are. Short has been in town longer, is a lot less starry-eyed and more willing to take chances. Which didn't work out well for her.

The rest of the stories are astonishingly diverse. Usually, a collection of stories by a single author can feel repetitive, as stories repeat themes and word choices. JCO doesn't do this at all. The following story, I.D., is told from the point of view of a teenage girl pulled out out of her Atlantic City middle school by the police. Other stories deal with an English class in a prison, an Italian vacation, a meeting with a high school guidance counselor and a graduate school drop-out reconnecting with a TA who had helped her. Some are told in first person, others in third, but always from a close proximity to the protagonist, who changes dramatically in each story. The women are all insecure and several have Daddy issues, but all in very different ways.

There is a sense of unease running through each story or, at least, I spent much of each story waiting for something horrible to happen. Especially when things seemed to be going fine, or when the protagonist felt hope for the future. I don't think these stories are intended to make the reader feel comforted or secure. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Feb 14, 2013 |
The stories here were hit-or-miss, but it was ultimately an enjoyable collection. ( )
  JAshleyOdell | Feb 13, 2013 |
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In this work the author offers a collection of 11 previously uncollected stories, including a title piece that tracks the friendship between Elizabeth Short, famously known as the Black Dahlia, the victim of a markedly brutal murder in 1940s Los Angeles that remains unsolved, and her roommate, Norma Jeane Baker who became Marilyn Monroe.… (more)

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