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High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread…
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High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread (2014)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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The stories in High Crime Area focus on people in dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situations. In some the danger is present and immediate, but in most, it's there in the sense of foreboding and dread, or growing panic, felt by the characters and the reader. In all of the stories, the characters have gotten themselves into the dangerous situations, but in completely believable ways. Their thoughts and emotions, as described by the author, make their actions understandable, though often regrettable.
Narrators Julia Whelan, Ray Chase, Donna Postel, Luci Christian, Tamara Marston, and Chris Patton are all excellent. (Chris Patton is a new favorite narrator of mine!) Without any overacting or dramatization, each narrator brings out the gradual, subtle horror of each of these stories. Recommended for readers of psychological suspense or literary fiction tinged with horror.
For complete review, please visit the Bay State Reader's Advisoryblog. ( )
  baystateRA | Jun 28, 2015 |
You can't go wrong with Oates. I'm not usually a short story reader but these kept my interest. ( )
  elizabeth.b.bevins | Nov 4, 2014 |
Rating: 2.5 of 5

This collection (once again) featured Oates' eerie ability to explore the depths of those minds many would rather ignore or deny altogether. However, High Crime Area was just too ... bleak and hopeless - for me, right now. It took nearly a month to read all eight stories, and it was work, every single one. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Jul 28, 2014 |
Bam! 1st story of the collection, "The Home at Craigmillnar" is a 5 star, awesome read!
"Demon" gave me a severe case of the hee-bee-geebies! And, "Toad Baby" sort of freaked me out!
Sadly, I really didn't like "The Rescuer" - the longest story in the collection. And overall, I did not like the last four as much as the first four. So, I'll split the difference, and give it 3 stars! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Apr 10, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802122655, Hardcover)

Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human flaws. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individuals—a brother and sister, a teacher and student, two strangers on a subway—in the fearless prose for which she’s become so celebrated.

In the title story “High Crime Area,” a white, aspiring professor is convinced she is being followed. No need to panic, she has a handgun stowed away in her purse—just in case. But when she turns to confront her black, male shadow, the situation isn’t what she expects. In “The Rescuer,” a promising graduate student detours to inner city Trenton, New Jersey to save her brother from a downward spiral. But she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers. And in “The Last Man of Letters,” the world-renowned author X embarks on a final grand tour of Europe. He has money, fame, but not a whole lot of manners. A little thing like etiquette couldn’t bring a man like X down, could it?

In these biting and beautiful stories, Oates confronts, one by one, the demons within us. Sometimes it’s the human who wins, and sometimes it’s the demon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:17 -0400)

Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human flaws. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individualsa brother and sister, a teacher and student, two strangers on a subwayin the fearless prose for which she's become so celebrated. In the title story "High Crime Area," a white, aspiring professor is convinced she is being followed. No need to panic, she has a handgun stowed away in her pursejust in case. But when she turns to confront her black, male shadow, the situation isn't what she expects. In "The Rescuer," a promising graduate student detours to inner city Trenton, New Jersey to save her brother from a downward spiral. But she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers. And in "The Last Man of Letters," the world-renowned author X embarks on a final grand tour of Europe. He has money, fame, but not a whole lot of manners. A little thing like etiquette couldn't bring a man like X down, could it? In these biting and beautiful stories, Oates confronts, one by one, the demons within us. Sometimes it's the human who wins, and sometimes it's the demon.… (more)

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