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Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong…
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Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong

by Joyce Carol Oates

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Here are four tightly written tales of twisted relationships. Oates has a way of building tension and unease that's unsurpassed. That said, she's a literary, not a horror writer. Her writing can require the reader to pitch in and do a little work - Oates doesn't spell out everything. If you want an unflinching look at the dark side of human nature - homicidal rage, denial, etc., Oates' work is first-rate. ( )
  AnnAnderson | Jun 25, 2016 |
I picked this up in a hurry and was oh so glad I did. A small collection of Neat, Tidy and Quirky stories, which I never paused at any time to guess where the stories were going. Now having finished them they urge me on to read more of her other books; all of which seem to be further collections of short stories but hopefully there'll be a novel or two tucked away somewhere. ( )
  nikon | Oct 3, 2015 |
After reading Daddy Love and its endless repetition I can not believe that I was stupid enough to read another Oates book. If you enjoy reading the same story four times you might enjoy this group of four novellas. I do not know what men have done to Ms. Oates in her life but in every one of these stories the plot centers around a sick abusive man who damages an innocent naive woman. Daddy Love, of course, is about a pedophile. These are the only two Oates books that I have read but if this is characteristic of her beliefs I feel that a therapist is in order. ( )
  muddyboy | Feb 1, 2015 |
The individual stories were well written, but "The Execution" was read a little too forcefully (each short story had a different narrator) and spoiled the, otherwise, promising piece. Overall, these were brilliantly composed and read with perfected interpretation. ( )
  BALE | Mar 11, 2014 |
Wow. Joyce doesn't fail to deliver on these four gems. NOT for the faint at heart, the stories do become progressively harsh, I found myself reading more slowly as the I went from story to story. I repeat - not for the faint at heart, I won't be passing this one along because I don't want to be held responsible. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Sep 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
If any explanation exists for why and how love goes wrong, Oates implies that it lies in the fragility of our sense of self. It is the lack of a secure identity, the belief that one is “worthless” without love, that allows for others’ appropriative manipulation and haunting. The women remain in thrall to their lovers because they think, like Mariana, “without this man, I am nothing,” or take pride that their abuser “singled [them] out,” or feel, like LizBeth, even when faced with the reality of her boyfriend’s malevolence: “He loved me — he would not have hurt me.”
added by ozzer | editBoston Globe, Priscilla Gilman (Aug 31, 2013)
 
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In "Evil Eye," we meet Mariana, the young fourth wife of a prominent intellectual. When her husband's brazen first wife visits one night, Mariana learns a terrible secret that could be a harbinger of doom for her marriage and very soul. In "So Near, Anytime, Always," shy teenager Lizbeth meets Desmond, a charming boy who offers this introverted girl the first sparks of young romance. Yet just as their relationship begins to blossom, Lizbeth realizes that beneath Desmond's perfect facade lies a dark soul that could wreak havoc on Lizbeth and her loved ones. In "The Execution," spoiled college student Bart Hansen has planned the perfect, brutal crime to get back at his parents for their years of condescension. Yet what he didn't plan for is a mother whose love is more resilient than he could have ever imagined, who threatens to derail his carefully laid-out plans. And in "The Flat-Bed," childhood trauma has prevented Cecelia from enjoying the pleasures of physical intimacy with a man, but when she finally meets the love of her life, Cecelia realizes that finding intimacy will mean coming face-to-face with the despicable man from her past who robbed her of her innocence years ago.--From publisher's description.… (more)

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