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Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  758 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
A wildly inventive new collection of stories by Joyce Carol Oates that charts the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours

The New York Times has hailed Joyce Carol Oates as "a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish." Black Dahlia & White Rose, a
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Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Ecco (first published June 6th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,570)
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Julie - Book Hooked Blog
May 15, 2014 Julie - Book Hooked Blog rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
If you are going to read Joyce Carol Oates (and you should), I absolutely insist that you start with her short stories. I haven't read enough of her novels to definitively say they don't measure up, but I simply cannot get enough of her short stories.

This collection, which includes a story that is featured in The Best American Short Stories 2011, met all of my expectations. Her title story, Black Dahlia and White Rose, traces the brief intersection in the lives of Elizabeth Short (more commonly
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Pamela Scott
May 14, 2014 Pamela Scott rated it really liked it
REVIEW

BLACK DAHLIA & WHITE ROSE: This is a great story. I love the way Oates structures this. Oates uses various first person narrators in this story including Elizabeth Short (aka The Black Dahlia) after her murder. I liked the way Oates tackles the brutal subject matter without being gory and over the top. I liked the use of different narrators that allowed Oates to explore the well-known story from different angles.

I.D: Oates leaves the ending of the story open. The teenage narrator is as
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Keith
Jan 19, 2013 Keith rated it really liked it
In the latest macabre, morbid, and masterful collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, one thing is clear: being a woman is hell, whether you’re a Hollywood starlet or a Jersey suburbanite, a teenager, a mother, a wife, a divorcee, or a widow. Throughout the book, female characters suffer relentlessly from betrayal, abandonment, neglect, trauma, and abuse, while their male counterparts are at best negligent, oblivious, and insensitive, and at worst lecherous, sadistic, and deadly. As a c ...more
Sheri
This has been on my to-read for a while and I really like Joyce Carol Oates, but also am not a huge fan of short stories and so have been kind of dragging my feet. I wanted something a bit light (this is not it) and short stories seemed like a good plan right now as my attention span has been limited. Overall the stories are okay, but I wasn't really overwhelmed by any of them. Oates collects them in sections; each of which addresses a feminist topic.

Section 1: Black Dahlia & White Rose: Thi
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Holly
I read this book for a few reasons. One, I really wanted to read the title story and thought I'd knock off an Oates offering while doing so, as if I'll ever catch up to her while she's still alive. Two, I was hankering for a short story collection, but was feeling too lazy and uninspired to venture into unfamiliar territory. Three, it was available in ebook from the Denver Public Library. A very inspired choice.

"Black Dahlia & White Rose," the aforementioned story that prompted all of this,
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Jason
Jan 06, 2016 Jason rated it liked it
When it comes to horror films I'll classify two distinct types: the slasher and the supernatural. Obviously there are more sub-genres and types, and these two aforementioned types overlap (Jason and Micheal Myers were almost immortal, so the slasher was supernatural, and many supernatural horror films do not skimp on blood and guts).

The reason I bring this up is that we can do the same break down when it comes to literature as well. While Oates and Ligotti both write atmospheric horror tales, t
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Aaron Mcquiston
Oct 10, 2015 Aaron Mcquiston rated it it was ok
I have read many Joyce Carol Oates books scattered throughout her career, so I kind of know what to expect from her short stories and novels. This is no exception to the rule. The stories in "Black Dahlia & White Rose" all have the tension that something bad is going to happen or that something bad has already happened, and it's only a matter of time before the consequences are revealed. Some of these stories are riveting. Some of these stories are junk. A typical short story collection, but ...more
Una Rose
Apr 01, 2014 Una Rose rated it it was ok
I had heard of Joyce Carol Oates and was excited to read something by her. I heard her stories were a little dark and disturbing and thats certainly true. In darkness, if there is some profound point it is an understandable and forgivable trip to take the reader on. This does not seem to be the case with these stories. I guess I was waiting for some humanity, even love to emerge from these stories but it all seemed like a thinly disguised sneer at humanity, a hysterical laugh at the murder of an ...more
L.
Dec 16, 2012 L. rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaun
Jul 17, 2013 Shaun rated it really liked it
I really liked this dark and disturbing collection of short stories and was surprised by some of the lower ratings. Although, I guess I can understand why Oates' work doesn't appeal to everyone, just like short stories don't appeal to everyone.

In addition to the grim tone, some of the later stories had more ambiguous endings, lacking closure, which is probably a bummer for those who, used to reading novels, expect a tangible and clearly defined beginning, middle, and end. I also felt the stories
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Eleanor Levine
Jul 02, 2015 Eleanor Levine rated it liked it
Good collection of short stories, some out there with hyenas, some in there with ghosts. She has a satirical thing about pharmaceutical company lawyers. Sometimes she is in Ocean County, NJ, and other times Los Angeles. CA. Readable, and if not, move on, it's easy, to another story. Love the one about the college graduation where a son (who was born out of wedlock), graduating with honors, sees his biological father (who is receiving an honorary doctorate), and doesn't say hi to him.
Kristen
Feb 18, 2015 Kristen rated it liked it
I wish I could rate each individual story in this book. Some were spectacular, while others fell short of the mark. Most of the stories did leave you wanting more - wanting some kind of conclusion or at least more resolution. I do love Oates writing style and how she captures the individual voice of each character within her stories.
Mary Taitt
Mar 18, 2015 Mary Taitt rated it it was ok
I didn't like it very much, too much scary stuff and violence against women. The stories were well-written but depressing. I usually like Joyce Carol Oates, but this is my least favorite so far. (Will not read again).
Tuxlie
Jul 14, 2015 Tuxlie marked it as to-read

A wildly inventive new collection of stories by Joyce Carol Oates that charts the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours

The New York Times has hailed Joyce Carol Oates as "a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish." Black Dahlia & White Rose, a collection of eleven previously uncollected stories, showcases the keen rewards of Oates's relentless brio and invention.

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Mary
Feb 04, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fiction-adult
I'm so disappointed because I wanted to like this, but it was only "okay." The first story, Black Dahlia & White Rose was probably my favorite because it explored the murder of Elizabeth Short from her point of view, but it also explored perspectives from Norma Jean Baker/Marilyn Monroe and a man who was more interested in Norma Jean than her, etc. I especially enjoyed the way it was written, which was refreshing... This first story is available to read online: http://celestialtimepiece.com/ ...more
Raul Clement
Jun 02, 2013 Raul Clement rated it really liked it
I read all but two stories in here and pretty much enjoyed them all. I'm deducting a star for the one story I didn't like as well as Oates's somewhat sloppy language. She'll sometimes put words in an order no sane human would use, as well as omit commas while adding unnecessary ones. It's hard to figure out her reason for doing so -- is it some obscure aesthetic statement or just that she writes too fast?



Debra Daniels-zeller
I read JCO years ago when I was in high school. Now I see why I'm not a fan. I like dark but these stories were dreary and depressing. The characters weren't very well developed and some details like cyberbullying should not include things like friending or unfriending someone. The Good Samaritan was about a poor woman who had a scholarship and something like $30 in her pocket. Only an American would call being less well off than their peers "poor." It all depends on where you're standing where ...more
Carrol
May 23, 2016 Carrol rated it really liked it
As with all of her work, Pages shows a mastery of language and writing skill in this collection. The title story was structured perfectly and each of the voices used in the narration felt real and believable. The story called "Deceit" was superb, revealing the character of a selfish, neglectful mother coming to terms with her relationship to her daughter when she begins to believe the daughter is being hurt by someone.
Most of the stories were great. I found a couple boring. This was not my favor
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Mindy Conde
May 19, 2013 Mindy Conde rated it really liked it
I recently tried reading JCO's "The Accursed" but couldn't get into it. I'm glad that I didn't let that get in my way when looking at her other works because this was a wonderful collection. JCO has quite the talent for creating these perfect little glimpses into the most intimate moments of people's everyday lives. She gives you a range of people in this collection who wouldn't seem all that interesting - until she reveals those little things that make them anything but.

A couple of my favorite
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Terri Vlasak
Dec 30, 2012 Terri Vlasak rated it liked it
These short stories were interesting reads. All were dark and somewhat disturbing, degree varying from story to story. The stories are grouped into 4 sections, each loosely related in a thematic way. The first story - the only one in section one - is narrated by two deceased celebrities - Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe) and Betty Short (the Black Dahlia). Each talks about her own dream for fame and wealth as they compare their fates and weigh in on one another. Betty wonders at her tragic fail ...more
Mitch Duckworth
Mar 31, 2013 Mitch Duckworth rated it really liked it
My favorite stories:
Black Dahlia & White Rose-*****
I.D.-*****
The Good Samaritan-*****
Roma-*****

Of the eight stories in this slight volume, I ranked four worthy of high, high praise, bestowing them each with five enthusiastic stars. The others fall short of that mark to a greater or lesser degree, but is that not to be expected? It is a rare single-author anthology that succeeds at or even approaching that level from cover to cover. Indeed, the only example of such thorough merit that springs
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Nicole Dupras
Jun 13, 2013 Nicole Dupras rated it really liked it
I have always been drawn to dark stories and because of this I love Joyce Carol Oates and her takes on dark and controversial subject matters. I became hooked after reading Blonde, the faux biography told from Norma Jeane / Marilyn Monroe's perspective (I have also always been obsessed with MM since I was a child) and then with My Sister, My Love, the fictional story of the murder of a young ice skater, told by her brother, which is, without a doubt, based on the JonBenet Ramsey murders.

The sho
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Joanna
Sep 12, 2014 Joanna rated it really liked it
I loved this collection of stories. I had never read Oats before and was amazed at both her imagination and story telling skills. The stories have little in the way of plot or action. The stories are told largely through character and dialogue. Hey Dad was a favourite. She manages to tell the stories of 3 people in six pages. Run Kiss Daddy was very disturbing to me. Daddy has some different behaviours from what you might expect. Spotted Hyenas: A Romance is similar to Roma which is one reason I ...more
Lisa
Dec 27, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There really isn't anything I can say about Joyce Carol Oates that hasn't already been said. I love short stories and dark fiction and she rarely fails to satisfy my somewhat twisted tastes. In my opinion, this isn't her best collection, but I enjoyed all the stories and several stood out for me. I have always been fascinated by the Black Dahlia murder and enjoyed Oates' take on the mystery with the title story. "Deceit", involving a selfish mother and her belated, misguided attempt to bond with ...more
David Macpherson
Jan 04, 2015 David Macpherson rated it it was ok
Why do I do this to myself. I have now read four Oates books and have only liked one. Why do I think that this time, this time, I will get the fuss about her and dig her stories. This collection was very long or it felt that way. I felt every scene was overwritten, that every story could have been half the size. But that maybe just me wanting to get it over with quicker. The sad thing is I will probably try another of her books one of these days. Pity me.
Katy Rosenthal
Feb 25, 2016 Katy Rosenthal rated it it was ok
My "two-star" review isn't objectively fair for this collection, but I can't say that I enjoyed it. Essentially the themes were overall a bit too macabre for my taste. I even skipped one of the stories because the title was "A Brutal Murder in a Public Place." In addition, Oates's style varied quite a bit, which I just found a little jarring with such short pieces (it usually takes me a while to settle in with stylized writing).
Harald
A fine short story collection showing a surprising breath of characters, situations, and richly-imagined story lines. Although some of the stories follow a realistic approach. already the first story about Norma Jeane Baker, aka Marilyn Monroe, and her Hollywood roommate Betty Short, reminds us that they are all products of her imagination, usually from the perspective of a woman.
Kathryn Yaste
Feb 06, 2016 Kathryn Yaste rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I love Joyce Carol Oates writing. It's dark,but soft rather than gritty. This is a wonderful collection of short stories. The title story about Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Short is a sad and intriguing narration of two tragic icons, both doomed in their own ways, one torn apart by a sadistic killer, the other by society. But by far my favorite story is Spotted Hyena: A Romance. It is the brightest gem in this lovely dark collection.
Myndi Keyton
Mar 01, 2014 Myndi Keyton rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories begins with the Black Dalhia telling her story. Like the rest of the world, I've always been oddly fascinated by this story. Oates' take on it is unique in that she alternates between her version and that of Norma Jean Baker's (Marilyn Monroe). From there, the book launches into a series of very short and haunting stories.
Stacey
Sep 17, 2015 Stacey rated it liked it
Good collection of creepy short stories. I really loved Black Dahlia and White Rose which the book is named after. I am haunted by the Black Dahlia and found myself researching her and staring at pictures of her murder. Gruesome and so very sad. I cannot get the story out of my head... Also really enjoyed ID. Some of the others were just ok, but overall a good book.
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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more
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“is joy in life, a terrible joy. There is joy for the taking if you are not afraid.” 0 likes
“Maybe he’d been mistaken, trying so hard to make his wife and young children happy. Maybe it’s always a mistake, trying to assure the happiness of others.” 0 likes
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