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Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories by Joyce…

Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories

by Joyce Carol Oates

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707171,029 (3.58)15



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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 |
Those who know me are well aware that I am quite a fan of Joyce Carol Oates works. I was surprised to see the low average ratings for Black Dahlia & White Rose. In all fairness, I have not read the other reviews so I cannot remark on them, yet I do wonder if all the readers were familiar with Joyce Carol Oates' writing style. If, as a reader, one is looking for uplifting, fully concluded short stories, then this most likely is not the collection of stories to pick up. However, if one is looking for a book of short stories to be read slowly, savored, and fully understood, then I do recommend Black Dahlia & White Rose with one word of warning to those new to this brilliant author; the stories can appear morbid at times. ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Jan 21, 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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