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The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense (original 2008; edition 2007)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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1951060,388 (3.44)24
Member:RavenousReaders
Title:The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense
Authors:Joyce Carol Oates
Info:Harcourt (2007), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Pima County Public Library, pcpl, Staff Picks, short stories, mystery, thrillers, murder

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The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates (2008)

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English (9)  French (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is only the second Oates I’ve read, the first being the more-or-less conventional We Were the Mulvaneys that did not prepare me in any way for this collection of short stories, which are billed “mystery and suspense”. The suspense I get; I’m not so sure about mystery. All of the stories have an element of the criminal or the macabre.

I found “Suicide Watch” to be the most memorable: told from the point of view of a businessman who has been called to visit his son in prison(?)/ psychiatric hospital(?) The businessman’s grandson & the child’s mother are missing, and the son isn’t talking. When he does open up to his father, he tells a chilling tale of mailing the boy’s body to his father – and then proclaims it all a test to see if his father would believe such a thing of him.
I’m checking my mail every day for parcels.

Read this if: you like short stories that can make your spine tingle; or you’re a Joyce Carol Oates fan. 3 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Dec 7, 2012 |
Mostly these "tales of mystery and suspense" are stories of ordinary people pushed to a state of desperation; the “horror” arises from the realization that the world is full of terrible things (obsessive lovers, disappointing children/parents, tragic accidents, lies, cruelty, strangers who think nothing of involving you in their self-immolation) against which we have little/no defense. No one likes to be reminded that we are all just one unlucky decision/careless moment/loved one away from tragedy.

Unfortunately, many of the stories had predictable endings, which may not have robbed them of their disturbing quality but definitely robbed them of their suspense. Am glad I read to the end because the stories got a little better as they went along. Still, I don’t think JCO broke any new ground here, either in theme or literary merit, which I found slightly disappointing as JCO is usually a dab hand at melodrama.

A good short story should be like a shot of espresso – pure, concentrated emotion. These felt more like a decaf from Starbucks – scalding at times, bitter at times, uniformly tasty, but nothing that’s going to make your heart race and you won’t have trouble going to sleep later. ( )
  Dorritt | Oct 6, 2012 |
It contains ten short stories. They are of psycholocical touch in a genre of thriller and horror. I didn't like all of them. Mostly they were too weird or disgusting. The reading is easy and fast-paced. It isn't difficult getting into the story itself or following the plot but in my opinion some are nasty. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 27, 2012 |
This was an audiobook. Actors were fine, just couldn't get into the stories. Had to jet it.
  SomeGuyInVirginia | May 24, 2012 |
Joyce Carol Oates is one of America's best, and most unclassifiable, writers - she's considered a "literary" author, but writes across genres at will; I've read her short stories in mystery magazines, best-of-the-year science fiction, fantasy and horror volumes, and everyplace in-between. This 2007 volume, The Museum of Dr Moses, contains 8 short stories and 2 novellas published between 1998 and 2007, in magazines ranging from F&SF to Ellery Queen to Ploughshares to McSweeney's to Playboy, with a couple published in original anthologies edited by the likes of Otto Penzler and Dennis Etchison (separately, of course!). She is probably the only writer in the world who can take a subject that not only doesn't appeal to me, but actually repulses me (here, the world of boxing) and write a novella so intrinsically compelling that I will savour the 60 pages that it takes her to tell the story ("The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza"); yet she can tell an equally compelling story in 3 pages ("Stripping") that is, in its implications, more repulsive than anything else in this volume. She is, in short, a gem, especially in short form; I like her novels too, but she really excels in the shorter format. My favourites here include "Valentine, July Heat Wave" (which I admit I'd read before), "The Hunter," "Feral," and the title story. If you want a master class in how to inculcate deeply rooted psychological truth in short form writing, you can do no better than to study Joyce Carol Oates. She's amazing. And yeah, obviously, recommended, though you might need a strong stomach for some of her tales! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Mar 31, 2011 |
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Good-looking husky guy, six foot four, in late twenties or early thirties, Caucasian male as the police report will note, he's as solid-built as a fire hydrant, carries himself like an athlete, or an ex-athlete, just perceptibly thickening at the waist, otherwise in terrific condition, like a bronze figure in motion, sinewy arms pumping as he runs, long musceld legs, chiseled-muscled calves, he's hurtling along the moist wood-chip path at the western edge of the university arboretum at approximately 6 P.M.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151015317, Hardcover)

In "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza" a woman’s world is upended when she learns the brutal truth about a family friend’s death—and what her father is capable of. Meanwhile, a businessman desperate to find his missing two-year-old grandson in "Suicide Watch" must determine whether the horrifying tale his junky son tells him about the boy’s whereabouts is a confession or a sick test. In "Valentine, July Heat Wave" a man prepares a gruesome surprise for the wife determined to leave him. And the children of a BTK-style serial killer struggle to decode the patterns behind their father’s seemingly random bad acts, as well as their own, in "Bad Habits."

In these and other stories, Joyce Carol Oates explores with bloodcurdling insight the ties that bind—or worse. The Museum of Dr. Moses is another chilling masterpiece from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Ten suspenseful stories explore the ways in which evil enters our lives: In "Hi! Howya Doin!" an intrusive jogger meets with an abrupt fate; in "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza" a young woman's romantic view of her girlhood is devastated by her father's confession; and in "Valentine, July Heat Wave" a man prepares a gruesome surprise for the wife who has betrayed him. In the memorable title story, a young woman tries to rescue her mother from the museum of Dr. Moses-with unexpected results. And the children of a notorious serial killer struggle to "decode" the patterns behind their father's seemingly random acts in "Bad Habits."" "In this collection, Joyce Carol Oates explores the fraught relations between women and men, children and parents, and strangers whose lives briefly but fatally intersect."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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