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I Am No One You Know: Stories

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,656 ratings  ·  143 reviews
I Am No One You Know contains nineteen startling stories that bear witness to the remarkably varied lives of Americans of our time. In "Fire," a troubled young wife discovers a rare, radiant happiness in an adulterous relationship. In "Curly Red," a girl makes a decision to reveal a family secret, and changes her life irrevocably. In "The Girl with the Blackened Eye," sele ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Ecco (first published 2004)
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Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A diverse collection from a prolific writer that got me wondering how to categorize these stories, the only common theme being that they all had been previously published in literary journals and magazines, and therefore many ran about the same length. It seems to be a pattern with Oates who periodically takes everything she has published recently and sticks them into a book, and publishers seem game to take this on for the long anticipated but hitherto unacknowledged Nobel laureate-in-waiting.

Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This JCO collection vacillates wildly between stories that have a powerful payoff and some that run around in circles going nowhere. Then again there were unforgettable tales about the disowned daughter, the deadbeat brother-in-law, the lecherous workaholic uncle and the numbskull daughter who can't identify her dead mother.

Part III of the book had the most potent stories: The Skull is the tale of a forensic scientist's obsession with the brutally murdered remains of a young girl; The Deaths, a
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror, mystery
Imagine someone serving you a scrumptious slice of chocolate cake. You then have 2 or 3 bites before it is taken away from you. Imagine that happening over and over again, maybe 19 times, to be exact. Well, that is what this book is like. Several short stories (19), with so much potential, then they just STOP! Leaving you wondering "what just happened?", "what might happen next?" Maybe this is how great authors get the starts for their books. There were several that I wish Joyce would finish, in ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This was a very powerful group of short stories, many with a twist at the end. Many of the stories were about troubled individuals in dark, intense situations. I found I could only read a few of the stories at one sitting because the author did such an excellent job of getting inside the heads of the emotionally distraught characters. There were several stories that I felt would be seeds for some very good novels.
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
OK, I'm going to cut and paste a review from Publisher's Weekly, because the worst part about reading a book of short stories is reviewing it. Oates has some dark sides to her, that's for sure. A couple stories about female teachers certainly sounded like her, or at least the descriptions did!

Never one to shy away from grim or sensational themes, Oates writes about murder, rape, arson and terrorism in her latest collection of short fiction. In these 19 stories, she evokes the underbellies of sm
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
During junior year of high school, my AP American Lit teacher told the class that Edgar Allan Poe believed short stories to be the most perfect form of fiction because they could be read in one sitting, allowing the reader to more fully comprehend the author’s intent and the nuances of the plot. So rarely do I read short stories, but after reading this collection, I get it. I get Poe. In only a few pages, Oates conveys more emotion and character development than many authors achieve in hundreds ...more
SheriC (PM)
This is my first experience with Joyce Carol Oates, so I’m not sure if this is typical of her work. I found it both compelling and frustrating. The stories were mostly character portraits, and those characters were usually damaged, isolated, seeking to explain or understand themselves. Pretty grim reading, in other words. As for frustrating, they were structured almost like flash fiction, where there is no narrative arc. Every story just… stops. I could have been okay with this through a handful ...more
Angie McCrae
Feb 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009, short-story, fiction
I Am No One You Know is a collection of short stories, which isn't my usual genre, but the synopsis seemed interesting. I got about halfway through the book and stopped reading. Aesthetically, the stories are well written, but the endings are a bit off. I believe the author intended to conclude each story in a way that would allow the reader to further contemplate the story and apply their own meaning or value. But for me, they were awkward and unfinished conclusions.

None of the stories I read d
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Leggere dei racconti in modo discontinuo così come ho fatto io, non è un problema: proprio perché storie a sè stanti, si possono leggere facendo passare anche alcuni giorni tra l’una e l’altra.
Nel mio caso però, è capitato che persino la lettura di uno stesso racconto venisse dilazionata per più giorni, nonostante nessun racconto prenda molte pagine.
Questa la premessa, per dovere di obiettività: sono infatti fermamente convinta che nessun libro meriti salti temporali di giorni, il ritmo deve es
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I've ever read by J.C. Oates, who apparently is a Great American Author. Seriously, she's a big deal. Each short story in this collection could be its own novel. Her sentences are beautiful to read. Her stories are full of suspense and will probably give you nightmares. Loved every single story in this book.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In questo momento, oltre la Tartt, non ricordo nessuna scrittrice che sappia scrivere come la Oates.
Dicono sia una delle più grandi esponenti della letteratura americana contemporanea.
E' vero.
Edwina Callan
Mar 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2018
Out of the nineteen short stories in this book there was only one that I liked.
The one about the serial killer, of course.
(And, the one about the 32-year-old teacher having an affair with her 14-year-old student just sickened me.)
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I was promised I'd be haunted, unsettled, disturbed, and heartbroken. I was indeed - all of those and more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always, love JCO. Thank goodness she has a tremendous amount of books out there because whenever I get bored I just pick one of hers up and I’m immediately entertained.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: racconti
Sono tutti racconti molto scorreveli che ti tengono incollata alla narrazione per sapere come sia il finale, peccato siano inconcludenti, lasciandoti quindi l'amaro in bocca. Il racconto migliore, a mio avviso, è " l'insegnante"
In der Reihe "Die andere Bibliothek" erscheint seit ihrer Gründung 1984 durch Franz Greno monatlich ein Buch in bibliophiler Aufmachung. Bis 1997 noch in limitierte Ausgabe im Bleisatz gedruckt, ragen die inzwischen mit modernen Druckverfahren produzierten Bücher nach wie vor durch Satz und Papierqualität heraus. Eine Sammlung bisher nicht ins Deutsche übersetzter Kurzgeschichten von Joyce Carol Oates erscheint als Band 315 der Reihe. Diese "Neuigkeit" war noch vor meiner Sammelleidenschaft Grun ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Joyce Carol Oates has a way to make you excited and slightly nervous and so very, very curious to find out what happens in each of her stories so that even when she presents the answers to you midway through, you somehow continue feeling the same, now knowing what happens in the ‘story’ but still excitedly wondering what will happen by the end of the actual story. Another thing that is a bit formidable about her talents when you think about it (because how do you get there?) is that apparently t ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
This was my first encounter with Oates, and I found her writing extremely articulate and quite disturbing. It seems clear from the nature of her stories that in her life she encountered, probably as a young girl, some sort of violent trauma; most of her stories center around death or violence. That said, though her characters find themselves in extreme situations likely difficult for the average reader to empathize with (murder, rape, acute mental illness), they are believable, and piquant. In h ...more
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am really gratified to have finally read a Joyce Carol Oates book that I love. I have read a couple of her novels and not been particularly impressed, but now I think her short stories rock. All but maybe one or two of the stories in this collection have something creepy or dark in them- death, abuse, stalking, depression, inappropriate longings, violent acts and acts of complicity in violent acts, terrible secrets, aging, etc. The stories are painful in many cases but never truly negative or ...more
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates manages to write with vivid details and a lot of suspense in most of her books. In this collection of short stories, there are characters dealing with abuse, family problems and troubled relationships. Although each story is only a few pages long, Oates has the ability to create strong characters that deserve a whole novel to be written about. I found myself upset at the end of the stories because there was no clear solution to the conflict- everything was left to the reader's ...more
Megan Jones
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Each story contains elements so typical of Oates - all the reasons to be obsessed with her writing - outstanding characterization, twisted elements of suspense, and ambiguous endings. All unforgettable, unique stories that leave me still pondering long after I've put the book down. A must read for anyone interested in short stories.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Joyce Carol Oates can never get better, she just continues to produce some of the best literature in the US. The stories in this book are of her usual caliber, insightful and amazingly true. You will find some of her recurring themes, but they are never presented in a way that makes one say, "oh, no, not again." The last story in the series is my favorite, but do start at the beginning of the book and work your way through. You won't be sorry.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved pretty much each and every one of these stories. They all deal with interesting situations, in which characters are distinct. Once finishing one, I felt compelled to read the next story, and on it went until the book was woefully finished. These stories are often dark, bittersweet, or downright disturbing. They are also wonderfully written, compelling, and will stay with you. I heartily recommend it.
Mikki Joiner
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The only selection of short stories I have enjoyed this much before now are those by Edgar Allen Poe and Kim Edwards, but this collection by Joyce Carol Oates is, by far, the stand out winner.

To read my review visit my blog at:
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you like the disturbing nature of Joyce Carol Oates- a great selection of short stories.
May 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates frightens me a little.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.
Avec un auteur aussi prolifique que J.C.O, il faut bien quelques "ratés".. première petite déception pour moi.
19 histoires, toutes restant sur les mêmes thèmes (racisme, enfants battus, parents divorcés, meurtres, abus, ..). À part 2 ou 3 qui ne m'ont pas du tout intéressée, elles partaient toutes d'un bon pied.. Et puis rien. Elles se terminent brusquement, sans réelle fin, sans explication.. vraiment frustrant.
C'est comme si, à chaque fois, on avait fait un zoom sur une histoire comp
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of 19 short stories about the lives of men, women and children...mostly tragic lives...and the endings leave you to imagine what exactly happened to the people after the written story ended. The book is divided into four parts and my favorite is the fourth part with two stories. One of the stories is about two girls encountering a movie star in their neighborhood book store and the other story is about 9-11.
Robert Hernandez
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dark short stories for sure, about the nightmare side of the American dream, of severely dysfunctional people and relationships in short stories that are more like cut off stories. Joyce will take you to climax and then stop you in your tracks right there. However the narrative ability of the author is extraordinary, she makes her short stories fly right before you. An enjoyable book.
Juliana Knight
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The stories are pretty bleak and about heavy topics, but quite a few are very well written and engrossing.
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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
“I had forgotten that time wasn't fixed like concrete but in fact was fluid as sand, or water. I had forgotten that even misery can end. ” 77 likes
“What you call your personality, you know? --it's not like actual bones, or teeth, something solid. It's more like a flame. A flame can be upright, and a flame can flicker in the wind, a flame can be extinguished so there's no sign of it, like it had never been. ” 43 likes
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