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Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque
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Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,455 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
The central haunting of this collection of 16 tales is not anything so concrete as a building haunted by a ghost, but rather the interior haunting of a human being by their ever-shifting sense of self. As Joyce Carol Oates puts it (in a fascinating afterword on the nature and history of the grotesque), "The subjectivity that is the essence of the human is also the mystery ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Dutton Books
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Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, racconti
Dove stai andando, dove sei stata?
Sei racconti scritti tra gli anni Sessanta e l’inizio del decennio successivo: la Oates stava già raccogliendo i primi riconoscimenti, il National Book Award le viene assegnato nel 1970.

Laura Dern e Treat Williams protagonisti di “Smooth Talk – La prima volta” film del 1985 di Joyce Chopra tratto dal racconto “Where Have You Been, Where Are You Going?”. Dern aveva diciotto anni.

Scrittrice molto prolifica e molto poliedrica (racconti e romanzi, poesia, saggistic
Dani Peloquin
Joyce Carol Oates' Haunted is an excellent collection of stories that, for the lack of a better word, are "scary". However, these are not "scary" in the sense that Edgar Allan Poe or H.P Lovecraft are. These tales are much more like the plot of an episode of Twilight Zone with a twist at the end. As other reviewers have stated, her stories range from traditional scary stories that could to told on Halloween, to creepy tales with psychological implications, to horrific passages of violence.

The ma
David Stephens
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
As a fan of The Melvins, I've long since gotten used to their penchant for suddenly ending songs just when they sound like they're really getting underway. And, I was quickly reminded of this aspect of their music while reading Joyce Carol Oates' stories of murder and bloodshed, which often share that truncated quality. However, when The Melvins cut a song off, they simply proceed onto the next one without any demand on listeners to understand what they have just heard. This is not quite the cas ...more
Marika Gillis
I was interested in reading something in the spirit of the season (Halloween) so I picked up this book of short stories, which ranged from creepy to downright disgusting. As an author, Joyce Carol Oates shows an uncanny ability to come up with strikingly different situations within which she weaves remarkable tales. With Oates, you never know what you're going to get because each story is completely different than the one before.

However, what is the same about each of the stories in this book is
Shawn Leslie Dixon
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mostly good or great, all unsettling, a few wonderfully horrifying.
The Doll was probably my favorite of the bunch. The terror is slow and before you know it, it has surrounded you and drifted over your head from which there is no way out. Mega heebie-jeebies.
The Bingo Master, Thanksgiving and The White Cat were fantastic as well.
Robb Bridson
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates is a fantastic writer, but I think what this anthology shows is that good writing does not always lead to a good story.

At best, some of these stories (particularly the finale "Martyrdom") are engaging, full of twisted and nightmarish scenes, containing an element of social commentary... but not really satisfying in terms of a beginning, middle, and end; like a series of scenes that exist to create a feeling but not to function as a tale. Poetry in prose form.

At their worst, an
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Heard nothing but glittering reviews for anything and everything by Oates. Perhaps I set the bar too high because I was mildly disappointed. I liked the writing style well enough but I was honestly bored and kept falling asleep while reading, halfway through I just kept hoping the next story would be the one that would validate the book for me. I wasn't expecting scary, but I just wanted the stories to go a little farther, a little something more.

I am intrigued enough and plan on reading more w
The first two stories were really good, particularly "The Doll," but it was all downhill from there with the exception of "The White Cat" (a re-imagining of Poe's The Black Cat.) If it weren't for the first two, I would have given this book only one star. Her endings are often weak and the stories just didn't do anything for me - in fact they often pissed me off because they were so ridiculous. After getting half way through the second to the last story (a re-imagining of A Turn of the Screw) I ...more
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very gripping stuff. Some of the stories are so twisted that I winced in reading them...but I kept reading.
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
Violence Against Women: The Book! Now with more rape, torture, and dead babies for your $$!
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Classic Oates: uneasy stories, unlikable characters, indeterminate endings. Amusingly, one story is essentially fanfic (though I guess with an author of Oates' stature one has to call it an homage or a riff or something): Henry James' Turn of the Screw retold from Jessel and Quint's perspective.

Best part was Oates' afterword, where she says this:

One criterion for horror fiction is that we are compelled to read it swiftly, with a rising sense of dread, and so total a suspension of ordinary skept
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird... I skimmed over my JCO "to read" list and wondered why I hadn't not marked this collection as read. I will never forget reading the last story, "Martyrdom", during my lunch at work. Warning: do not read this wrenching story while eating. The vivid, lurid descriptions made me nauseous... needless to say I didn't want to finish my meal. Trust JCO to make me almost cry over a rat's fate.

The post-apocalyptic tale "Thanksgiving" is also one not to read while eating. Come to think of it, with
Edward Creter
This collection of 16 short stories should give JCO fans the daily required allowance of Oates--all the nutrients of real life--without all the added sugar! This is NOT your honey bunches of Oates! Stories cover all sorts of Oates-related topics, and focuses on what is truly considered grotesque--not so much the physical horrors the word grotesque reminds you of, but also what grotesques the human heart. There's quite a lot of anti-Christian sentiment here, so I'd proceed with caution, but Ms. O ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really into horror books growing up. When I was in eighth grade, my mom checked this one out from the library, read it, and passed it on to me. I remember being totally engrossed by these stories. However, when I think back on what they were about, I can hardly see what my mom thought was appropriate about this book for a 13 year-old! Ah well, the fact that she didn't censor, or dumb things down for me is probably a major reason that we got along growing up. Still...

Be prepared for grotesq
Soren Narnia
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horror fans take serious note of all of Joyce Carol Oates' collections of macabre tales. She is a master of writing a story which will unsettle and disturb you, but for reasons which are difficult to put your finger on. There's always just something profoundly eerie about her not-quite-supernatural stories, and she's got plenty of them.
Kevin Lucia
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Reading this right along with EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE by Flannery O'Connor, and I highly recommend both to young horror writers trying to get at very human, everyday characters. Some of the stuff in here is speculative, some of it just stories about conflicted, troubled, burdened people...but stories about human frailties, all.
The Literary Chick
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dark
Goodreads should adjust the star system. Rather than stars meaning 'really liked it' they should be geared to judge the quality of the writing. These tales really were grotesque. 'Really liked it' isn't exactly the way I would phrase my feelings towards it.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oates is hardcore, to say the least. This is not a collection for the weak at heart or squeamish.
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
There are a couple misses but more than a few big hits in this collection, including my favorite JCO short story, "The Doll," which I think is clearly (and somewhat humorously) autobiographical.
This collection gets off to a really strong start. The title story, and to a lesser extent the one after, The Doll, is a disorienting and unsettling tale, with intoxicating prose and a really engrossing narrator. Unfortunately the rest of the collection resonated less with me than I'd hoped after those initial high-water marks. They're an ambitious and diverse set of stories, and the way they experiment feels a lot more compelling to me than the structural exercises of John Langan's short storie ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
[rating = B]
This is my first Joyce Carol Oates; I had decided to avoid her novels and so thought that short stories would be a good way to observe her writing style. Most of the stories are purely Metaphor; by this I mean that a woman might have a child that abuses her but it is really just her unconscious, or a family will be burying an animal/human and it will actually be how people treat their other people or even their own children. This is not problematic, but sometimes, Miss Oates does not
Sadie Ruin
Having enjoyed Oats work before and seeing as I enjoy horror of all varieties I found this short story collection to be a let down. The way in which the stories are "haunted" is more academic and there really isn't a grotesque about it (although you can feel it trying really hard at times to come across as 19 century gothic).
It wasn't poorly written I was just let down from what I was expecting by the blurb and title and for that reason I gave it only two stars.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when it first came out . Loved all the stories. But the one story that I just couldn’t get out of my head was Thanksgiving. And 15 years later, my entire family still talks about this story not only at Thanksgiving, but all year round. Because if we see something that might trigger our minds with something from it, we start all over talking about it. Read this book . If for any reason for the Thanksgiving story. You will see the world so different.
(in questo momento avrei davvero davvero bisogno delle mezze stelline)
Tre stelline e mezzo. I racconti sono sei, abbastanza brevi - ognuno è lungo circa trenta pagine però l'edizione è estremamente pocket - ma incisivi.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of short stories. This collection, by one of the best character writers ever, does not disappoint. I find myself thinking about her macabre people and their horrific circumstances long after finishing their tragic tales. Joyce does not uplift, but, she does entertain and challenge!
Jackie Lantern
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m just going to come right out and say it : JCA is way overrated! Most of these stories I didn’t get or their endings were awful. I’d say even more of them don’t qualify as grotesque ... unless it’s in reference to how she absolutely ruined Henry James’ Turn of the Screw.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book of short stories was diverse styles of writing, some better than others, but good overall.
Sasha Soleta
Well that was interesting.....
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Likes only one or two stories, couldn't even finish the last. Would never recommend.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read 2 stories. I read the first one and almost quit. I wish I had stopped then. I'm not reading anymore.
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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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