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.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is excellent literature, precisely written and with a vibrant rhythm. Deep Stories into the life of the USA that bring universal descriptions of the human condition. Read morePublished 3 months ago by FERNANDO GIRALDEZ
Another one that is good! Happy with my shopping online, love the book (one of my favorites authors!), and the price. I will continue buying books on your website in the future :-)Published 7 months ago by Beata F
Well-crafted and interesting, but deep and dark. The short story genre is appealing.Published 9 months ago by Judith Haber
Just couldn't get into her writing. I expected something different when I ordered the book. Not short stories. Morose, ehhh.Published 9 months ago by Pageflipper
Oh how I love JCO darkness, and this one is no exception - dark as a stormy winter middle of the night!! Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dogma
As a "glass is half empty" kind of gal, I found the compilation of stories in this book to be an intense "mirror" into the mind's capacity not only for generating "unhealthy"... Read morePublished 10 months ago by lplynn
Just awful. Had to stop reading after reading 50%.
Characters really sick and have no redeeming features.
Short story format so I kept on reading but each story was bad