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Joyce Carol Oates
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The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  809 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
pIn "Hi! Howya Doin!" an intrusive jogger meets with an abrupt fate; in "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza" a young woman#8217;s romantic view of her girlhood is devastated by her father#8217;s confessions; and in "Valentine, July Heat Wave" a man prepares a gruesome surprise for the wife who has betrayed him. In the title story, a young woman tries to rescue her mother f ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by BBC Audiobooks America (first published January 1st 2007)
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Dear Ms Oates:

WHY DO YOU LIKE SERIAL KILLERS SO MUCH? You don't know me, but I've been aware of you for years. I knew that you were out there, amassing that massive oeuvre of yours. Racking up all that critical acclaim. I'd lose track of you for a few months and, next thing I knew, there you'd be yet again. Plastered across the New York Times book section. With three more books to your credit. The Jenna Jameson of the literary set.

It all just seemed a bit overwhelming to me. For years I was conv
Most of the one and two star reviews for this book seem to be along the lines of 'it's too dark and messed up! what is wrong with this author!' while my feelings are more 'this was so mind-numbingly dull I could hardly keep my eyes focused enough to actually get through it'. I'm not sure what exactly that says about me, but I'm also one of those people that gets hungry watching Hannibal so I guess I already knew my gore-o-meter was a bit out of whack. Yes these stories are 'gruesome' but it's al ...more
Larry Bassett
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book I obtained through GR bookswap. I am randomly picking up some JCO books based on what is available. JCO has soooooo many books. Random seems to be as appropriate a methodology as any. I hope to read her biography soon to see if I can understand what makes her tick.

The Monster at the End of This Book Storyvision Edition was, I am sure, the template for the short stories by Joyce Carol Oates in The Museum of Dr Moses. Or maybe Stephen King was the ghostwriter for this book. Y
Jan 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce Carol Oates has a dark side that I don't understand and don't particularly like. I was assigned to her in high school for an author study and so have always been interested in her work. But her horror stories seem more on terrorizing the reader than building a story. Most of her images are disturbing, not haunting. There are rarely motives involved, only violence, and the surreal stories are so surreal they seem like a convention to manipulate the reader than to explore alternate realities ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first exposure to Joyce Carol Oates and it was an enjoyable experience. Excellent short stories, some quite perfect, most very good. Her writing style is quite different from anyone else that I've read. I love how she is able to create a mood with her writing, to describe a picture. All of the stories managed to leave me feeling unsettled and there were often nice little twists that you didn't see coming. More suspenses than mysteries, but that doesn't matter. The Hunter was probably my favou ...more
Moushine Zahr
Having already read 2 novels from author Joyce Carol Oates including the 5 star rated "Blonde", I had high expectations on this novel. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I guess she's a better writer on women issues than on mystery and suspense. This book contains 10 short stories falling in the genre of mystery and suspense. However, I'm not sure short stories are really suitable to write mystery and suspense stories. This short story book is actually the first book I read that is intented for ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories that are textbook JCO. I particularly enjoyed the story about the boxer. Not her best, but definitely not disappointing.
"Hi! Hoywa doin'!"--An annoying jogger gets his. Is it what he deserves? That's the question that bugs me. Seems to be just a tale of senseless violence. The short-short has extremely good rhythm, and would make an entertaining spoken word piece.

"Suicide Watch"--A well-off father visits his meth addict son in prison, trying to uncover the fate of a missing grandson. The son is an unreliable narrator...or is he?

"The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza"--Tedious, thus far. A study in masculinity, and
Alison C
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce Carol Oates is one of America's best, and most unclassifiable, writers - she's considered a "literary" author, but writes across genres at will; I've read her short stories in mystery magazines, best-of-the-year science fiction, fantasy and horror volumes, and everyplace in-between. This 2007 volume, The Museum of Dr Moses, contains 8 short stories and 2 novellas published between 1998 and 2007, in magazines ranging from F&SF to Ellery Queen to Ploughshares to McSweeney's to Playboy, w ...more
Josh Ang
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
JC Oates has the almost creepy knack of getting under the skin of disturbed, and disturbing, characters, that throws an interesting curve to otherwise conventional tales of mystery and horror. In this collection of ten short but suspenseful stories, she sometimes assumes the perspective of criminals and twisted would-be-murderers, with the use of the second-person voice, that coerces the reader to contemplate the psyche of such personalities at close range - with often successful if unsettling r ...more
Kristin Galvin
A friend recently told me that he intellectually understands Joyce Carol Oates is a talented writer, but that it is still often unpleasant to read her work. This collection of stories epitomizes that sentiment. The subject matter is as dark as can be. She's writing about evil, after all. At times, I did have to push myself to carry on, but except for in one or two stories, I was drawn in by the characterizations and descriptive writing. The prose really does seem to flow easily from Oates' mind ...more
Vel Veeter
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbr-9
I don’t know if I trust Joyce Carol Oates. This collection of short stories was better than the title of the title story made it seem like it should. One of the issues that made me distrustful in general is that this collection had a “theme” to it, that is Tales of Suspense. But in reality the stories were better than that made it seem like they might be.

So of the stories, several stood out as being fairly strong.

The opening story “Hi How Ya Doing?” was short and impacting but more than anything
Curtis Runstedler
An unnervingly friendly morning jogger meets his fate. A man interrogates his junkie son about the whereabouts of his missing grandson, who may or not have been killed in the upstairs bathtub. After a traumatic incident, a seemingly normal child goes feral. And a pair of twins revisit their controlling father in his decrepit old house. This is just a taste of what's in store here; this is my first JCO short story collection, and it was a treat. I love her disturbing imagination and rich ideas, a ...more
Owen Townend
For some reason I struggle to focus on aspects of Oates' style.
While I appreciate her preference for the first person POV and lesser-used naive perspectives on horrifying stories, some of her more experimental descriptions and sentence structures fall flat with me.
This remains a shame as the grisly crime at the heart of this collection would normally keep me quite engrossed.
Indeed some of these stories struck a positive chord and, oddly, they all seemed to be located at the back of the book.
Jasmin Mohd-zain
Creepy. Real uncomfortable.

You read fast, hurtling into the story line because Ms Oates writes like a rapid fire gun. Sentences are short and suncint. You barely are able to keep up with the weird and strange things and atmosphere that she described and then KAPOWW the punch at the end of the storyline.

That's short story fiction for you. i guess these stories are not so much mystery stories but more of the suspense kind. Can make some people's skin crawl too.

Written on front cover of book - "Re
Carlos Diaz
Joyce Carol Oates can sometimes scare the crap out of me. I read her books in broad daylight, trust me. These tales are dark and demented yet always rooted in reality, which makes it that much more disturbing. One of the stories details the fascinating maturity of maggots and their necessity in nature. Gross and gorgeous. That is all.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I lasted through only two of these. I read a lot of dark mysteries, but these stories were too much even for me. Her descriptive talents took me somewhere I did not want to go.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not crazy about this book, but I think I could like this author.
Emi Bevacqua
Love these, especially the shorter ones! Oates is the best at creepy, creeping suspense.
4.5 stars. Suicide Watch, one of the stories in this collection, is the darkest, most horrific piece of fiction I have read. It's not that Oates' writing is more violent or gory than other writers- it's that her use of language, her psychological insight, her perception, makes her characters so real- and therefore so utterly disturbing. That people have such violent reactions to Oates' stories shows the enormity of her talent- I myself became nauseous (literally, extremely nauseous) while readin ...more
I made it though! Whoo! I almost gave up on this collection about 4 times, but I was determined to finish it because I just wanted to experience some Oates. Here's the thing, none of these stories turned out like I expected them to. I was also filled with deja vu the entire time I was reading- hadn't I read these stories before? Somewhere? I'm pretty sure I have. At least, a story with a similar plot to "Feral".

Forget the boxing story. I never skip pages, ever, but this time the temptation was s
James Perkins
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American writer Joyce Carol Oates entertains us with a selection of ten disturbing short stories. We meet runners, prisoners, boxers, divorcées, crazy children, and a sinister physician. As if demonstrating a deft literate sleight-of-hand, each tale is written in a very different style, yet still highlighting something macabre in the human mind, and somehow, through its atmosphere of cracks in the psyche, maintains her distinctive voice. Violence is usually unseen and implied rather than shown; ...more
Rachel Marie
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dreamlike and elegant. I see my nightmares in her voice. From vengeful disillusionment in "Hi! Howya Doin!" to the dramatically historical boxing mystery of "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStanza", Joyce Carol Oates captures the fragrance of disturbed, the after taste of melancholy.

In the short story mystery of boxer Colum Donaghy, Oates dips into the root of her insightful search for understanding traumatic relationships. She whispers, "Nothing so disturbs us as another's hatred for us. Our own se
Lisa Rathbun
his collection of short stories shocks and intrigues, pulling you into a warped and twisted world that is nonetheless full of real emotions and humanity. *Spoilers: what follows is a description of each story. * "Hi! Howya Doing!" is written as one long run-on sentence with an aggressively friendly jogger whose supposedly innocent friendly greeting is more like an assault. "Suicide Watch" grows more and more horrible as the urbane businessman tries to reach his drug-addled, criminal son. The mun ...more
S Suzanne
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I am a JCO fan. I would definitely tell people to try something else recommended from the monstrous oevre of this obsessive writer.

I got this with high expectations, and was turned off by the cruelty overly macabre developments. Felt sick after listening. I am a horror fan of lit and film, and some things just cross the line. The title story here was somehow one of those for me.

Just too bleak and horrid with the sense of just probing how bleak and horrid we can get. Akin to watching the film Wo
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never disappointed me, i just love the author's way of using the language, of expressing inner feelings/fears, of showing different realms of the human psychology, it is remarkable how she combine different elements and weave them into a playful? enjoyable? fabric of words and feelings. I'm not sure how to describe exactly my experience through this anthology, in certain story(ies) i wasn't sure if she was just mocking her characters/protagonists , or she was actually earnestly showing what they ...more
Dave Allen
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oates does a masterful job channeling her inner Poe here. A series of ten disturbing, disorienting shorts that stick with you long after putting the book down.

Gawd, I love this book. She finds the horror in everyday, mundane life and rubs our collective face in them. "But by random chance, this could be you." Oates is an academic, and her writing isn't always easily accessible, but it's well worth the effort. (Note: the stories aren't always wrapped up in a neat, tidy bow, and every question isn
It took a bit for me to get into this book of short stories though overall I was impressed. Although it is billed as "Tales of Mystery and Suspense" the common theme is murder. It took several stories to figure that out but even once I knew the common thread the stories were still all unique and it did not seem as repetitive as you might expect. The introductory story was quite long, maybe a little too long. Although these could be thought of a horror stories they are written in a literary mode ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second Oates I’ve read, the first being the more-or-less conventional We Were the Mulvaneys that did not prepare me in any way for this collection of short stories, which are billed “mystery and suspense”. The suspense I get; I’m not so sure about mystery. All of the stories have an element of the criminal or the macabre.

I found “Suicide Watch” to be the most memorable: told from the point of view of a businessman who has been called to visit his son in prison(?)/ psychiatric ho
May 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories are freaky deaky. I found them really suspenseful and I couldn't put it much so that my husband busted me starting another one after I'd promised to just finish this one and then turn the light out and go to bed.

But, like someone else pointed out...some of it is just disturbing. I might have given it that fourth star if there wasn't some imagery that made my skin crawl and ideas I could have done without. I'm kind of a wuss these days though.

And, some of the surreal was f
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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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