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Faithless: Tales of Transgression Paperback – June 4, 2002
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There are 24 stories in this generous volume and while some inevitably linger longer in the memory than others, there is not a dull spot in its nearly 400 pages. The title story is a haunting tale of the disappearance of a woman as recalled by her two daughters, grown now. The ending is utterly expected but, nevertheless, comes as a shock. "The Vampire" is not at all a horror story, at least not in the sense that it involves in any way elements of the supernatural, but has a growing sense of pure terror as the reader comes to see the way in which one person can absorb all the life out of another.
In "The High School Sweetheart: A Mystery," a famous mystery writer reads a speech as he accepts the presidency of the most prestigious of all mystery organizations. The speech is delivered as a piece of fiction that appears to be a confession of a horrific crime committed during his teen years while besotted with a girl two years older than he. When the speech ends, the audience cannot imagine applauding because the story seems so true. Is it?
Once again, the incomparable Joyce Carol Oates has produced a compelling and important volume for the shelves of anyone who cares about distinguished suspense fiction. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sometimes the stories are slices of life, the simple grinds, the fears of ordinary everyday life. Example: The daily routine of an unloved and lonely young waitress. Others go deeper and darker, touching on chilling family secrets and contemporary societal evils, from a suspicious disappearance of a wife and mother, to euthanasia, to a planned murder by a spurned lover, and to the physical violation of an undercover TV reporter. These are just a few.
What is exciting and what elevates Ms. Oates' stories are that they invite endless speculation and don't give up automatic answers. The only common thread is Ms.Read more ›
Joyce's articulation of the mental processes and logic of the transgressor and the transgressed provides a window into the "existential human experience" the likes of which are only rivaled by such authors as Camus, Kafka and Sartre. The book is constructed to take the reader from self-transgressions all the way through the entire spectrum to perhaps the ultimate societal nightmare, the "faithlessness" of those sworn to "protect and serve", the police forces of the country and specifically those of New Jersey.
Joyce makes very little attempt to hide the venue of her stories, and by doing so, she makes them even more personal. Yet, her manner of writing and her incredible acumen and sensitivity allow her to write the stories in such a way as to make them timeless and placeless, so that the reader comes to understand that these things could be happening in any place, in any town, in their own backyard.
The book is perhaps the finest compilation of stories to come out this year and perhaps will remain so until the end of this year.Read more ›
Despite their dark nature, the narratives themselves are oddly compelling. While I appreciate the despair and disillusion of the characters, more than anything I continually wanted to know what happened in the end. But that rarely works out. Oates is a master of the question-mark ending, with most narratives building to a point where they simply stop without resolution. This works for this collection, because as in life, these characters' trials aren't simply resolved; in some cases, they are probably never resolved. There is a certain sense with these stories that they continue after their stopping point in the book, without the reader knowing the conclusion. Or in some cases, the narrator chose to stop sharing after a point. It's a device well-developed by the author, though it will leave many readers feeling uncertain. And this I feel is the point of Faithless: to make the reader bear witness to the characters' inner selves, placing them in the center of emotions ranging from mild discomfort and misunderstanding to outright menace and barely-controlled fear.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every story is unique. A great collection. Not all about love and infidelity, many different faithlessness explored.Published 1 month ago by eh1eh (Oshawa, ON.)
An emotional and somewhat depraved read, I've had an exceptionally difficult time putting my feelings about this anthology into words. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Crazie Betty
Some were more memorable, e.g. The High School Sweetheart: A Mystery; The Vampire; Death Watch; Faithless; What Then, My Life? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gueh Yanting, Claudine
Not having read a lot of Oates in the past, I have become a huge fan. I love the development of complex characters.Published 5 months ago by Tom Norris
Deep. Dark. Disturbing. Heavy.
An intense exploration into the heart, mind and soul of the human condition.
My first time reading this author's work. Read more
Joyce Carol Oats has been my favorite author since her first book: we were young adults and have grown in different directions over these fifty years to become Senior Citizens. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I liked the collection of short stories . The style of writing is attractive , but then Joyce Carol Oates is a good writer , introvert and intelligent . Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mariana Ciobanu