Eva Nickelson's Reviews > The Female of the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense

The Female of the Species by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

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Read in January, 2009

The subtitle for this book is "Tales of Mystery and Suspense" and I believe that it gave away the ending in most of the books. Most of the nine stories each contained characters (usually women) lashing out at their imagined abusers by abusing them. If you didn't know that these tales were just going to be about the most horrible aspects of humanity, then the stories may be shocking, but it wasn't as suspenseful as it might have been. Most of the suspense was wrapped up in the thought: I know where this is going, but will the author actually say the outcome, or will she just leave it as a thought exercise for the reader. As for the form, the short story was the medium for these stories. None of the characters was overly likable.

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