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Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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These potboilers about murder, obsession and death have a genre funkiness, a greasy pulp seaminess, that is reminiscent of forgotten subscription serials and old Twilight Zone” installments. . . . For Oates, whose worldview is as flinty as that of any of her male peers, true horror is rooted not in the supernaturalthat would be almost reassuringbut in the things that men and women do to each other under the spell of attraction.”Washington Post
These four Gothic tales run the gamut from creepy to mesmerizing. . . . All the while, [Oates] slyly critiques our culture, from parents who don’t protect their young daughters from sexual predators to killers hopped up on prescription meds.”Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Exquisitely suspenseful. . . . The relationships between the damaged, sometimes monstrous individuals who people these pages will keep the reader riveted."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Love doesn’t just go wrong between Oates’ characters, it blows up, drips poison, tortures, kills. . . . This is among her better quick-turn efforts. Each of its novellas makes your skin crawl even as it also seems completely believable, like something you heard once, from where, you can’t remember.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
This is familiar Oates territory, mapped with artistry and care; dark, bloody, and unforgiving.”Barnes & Noble Review
Immediately engaging . . . [the] suspense is palpable.”—Shenandoah
"With her focus on deviant and twisted characters, Oates continues to be a worthy descendant of the gothic tradition of Edgar Allan Poe."Kirkus Reviews
"A quartet of shrewd and unnerving novellas. . . . Oates has a superbly disconcerting gift for orchestrating slowly coalescing realizations that something is horribly wrong."Booklist
A proper definition for the word love is as slippery and ambiguous as the future of Oates’ seemingly doomed characters. . . . Oates makes the reader feel as if an evil eye is trained upon them with the passing of each hour and the turning of each page.”Missourian (blog)
A stunningly written, disturbing masterpiece. . . . The four worlds that Oates gives us here pull in the reader until she finds herself too fascinated to leaveeven when everything gets creepy.”Bustle.com
Top Customer Reviews
Joyce Carol Oates is definitely one of the top ten novelists of the 20th (and now 21st) century: Great intelligence, great imagination and great story-telling ability. Having all three is rare indeed.
I only wish her books were kindle specials more often.
The four novellas are related in a spare prose that leaves nothing to the imagination and yet takes creativity to its limits with each story getting more and more grotesque and bizarre, yet each one is, sadly, in the realm of possibility. Simply using her gift, her ability to mold language into the shape she desires, she has constructed four short works about dysfunctional relationships and dysfunctional people, who are sometimes products of their environments, their relationships and even sometimes, simply products of their own evil nature. It is about the inability of people to either communicate accurately or to comprehend what someone is really communicating to them. They put a spin on things that puts them in the best light, rather than the harsh light of reality. They live in a world of ambiguity, fantasy, rather than clarity. Are they sane or insane? Are they simply unhappy, lost souls, who are products of their environments, innocent, in the end, of all wrongdoing and inappropriate thought? Are things what they actually seem to be? Can the characters trust what they see, or more accurately, what they think they see and surmise about each other? Is what appears to be the truth actually the truth or just perception?Read more ›
Infact, stories most people don't even want to talk about let alone to acknowledge it exists. Incest, child molestation, and suicide. Stuff that make your skin crawl.
I picked this book because of it's cover, it caught my eye. Finding out later that two of the novellas contain characters with one eye. It really doesn't explain why. I guess one of those inside jokes, you'd have to be there, played by the writer. Don't expect any conclusions to these stories because there isn't any. You just know life carries on.
The book started slow, with the Evil Eye Novella. I read it and wasn't that impressed but instead of not finishing, I'm glad I stuck with it and finished to the end. Then I reread the first chapter and it clicked. I was left wanting more.
All of them, made be gasp, like a little old lady.
I give this book 5 stars. *****
I loved it.
I'd file this book on the Odd and Bizarre shelf. Mysterious and intriguing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The weird-but-excellent Joyce Carole Oates. Love her or detest her, but the woman can write like she invented it, and her stories are always riveting and worth reading.Published 4 months ago by Susannah L. Sulzman
All four novellas are about the travails of innocent females entangled with creepy men. “Love gone wrong.” That’s for sure. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Paul Janensch
Each of the four stories are scenarios that could happen to anyone. An insecure wife, a girl's first boyfriend, a mother's love, and a daughter's revenge... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jamie