Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Give Me Your Heart” as Want to Read:
Give Me Your Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Give Me Your Heart

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  752 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
An Otto Penzler Book

In the suspenseful “Strip Poker,” a reckless adolescent girl must find a way of turning the tables on a gathering of increasingly threatening young men—Can she “outplay” them? In the award-winning “Smother!” a young woman’s nightmare memory of childhood brings trouble on her professor-mother—Which of them will “win”? In “Split/Brain” a woman who has blu
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 7th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Give Me Your Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Give Me Your Heart

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Give Me Your Heart" is a collection of ten dark short stories about people looking for love and acceptance. They are often downtrodden people who are emotionally on the edge, or teenagers who have found themselves over their heads in dangerous situations. The title story is about an older man who promised a woman student that he would love her forever--and the rejected woman is stalking him and planning her revenge years later. "Strip Poker" involves an adolescent girl getting caught up in a ca ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In this short story collection by Joyce Carol Oates, themes of love connect the stories. Obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable love. We visit forbidden and chilling places with the characters.

Most notable stories include the titled selection "Give Me Your Heart," in which a woman pursues an obsessive love...someone who shunned her years ago. Her relentless quest takes us to dark and disturbing places.

In "Smother," an unstable young artist relives bits and pieces of nightmare memories until
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Give Me Your Heart, the newest collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, shimmers with violence, actual or imagined. Reading these stories is like hearing footsteps in your home when you know you're the only one there. They're like seeing something impossible out of the corner of your eye and being sure that you've seen it no matter what your rational self tells you. The stories make your heart race and your eyes open wide in horror. They do not come to us gently. Joyce Carol Oates grabs ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates, fiction's high priestess of rape culture narratives, gives us here an uneven collection full of fractured narratives that swerve with lack of determinacy and structure. These stories rarely end, instead they push you to a point and then stop, leaving a certain amount of drama off the page. It seeks to mimic real life, or seems to, with its misremembered details and subjective interpretations, and in its best stories - Strip Poker, Bleeed - Oates acheives a gross uneasiness rip ...more
The first two stories failed miserably and the rest never improved enough to make up for that. Most were ok but still felt too much like the output from a creative writing class where angst young adults attempt to write about the dark side of human nature. When Oates hits the right cord she really nails it but that only happened for me on two of the stories. Not very many authors can pull off the macabre well and this is a prime example of an attempt can bad.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably not my best choice for a holiday read/listen. Viscerally dark collection of short stories of people on the precipice of emotional collapse. The actual bloody endings are left to the reader to interpret. Perhaps I am penalizing Joyce Carol Oates a star for the depressing nature of the tales. They are well written. Gotta search out some lighter reading material heading into the New Year. Fluff.
Thomas Strömquist
The cover text on this one led me to believe that JCO had strayed into some unexplored realm of ghost stories and haunted places or something. But, more true to form, it is a collection of stories of haunted and desperate people. She writes beautifully, as always, but the dark and depressing stories are actually a bit too alike for me to whole-heartedly recommend the book. I felt that I could really use a glimmer of light or hope... I would suggest reading one or a couple of stories at at time.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
They're not all winners, but when Joyce Carol Oates gets it right, it's spellbinding.

My favorites from this collection:
The First Husband
Strip Poker
Vena Cava

However, the highlight is "The Spill". This story was so well-crafted, dark, and genuinely shocking that I can't believe that it hasn't taken the place of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" as Oates' most famous work.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leo-autoras
He quedado totalmente maravillada. Los relatos me encantan, y estos han conseguido evadirme por completo. Me han resultado casi góticos por ese trasfondo inquietante, recóndito y violento en el andamiaje mental de los personajes, que como una traslúcida cortina, deja entrever algo oscuro y obsesivo. Son introspectivos en gran parte, pero también físicos y manifiestos. A su manera me han recordado a los relatos de Katherine Anne Porter.
Berna Labourdette
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impresionante como en estos 10 cuentos de suspenso, Carol Oates puede conjurar el terror a relaciones vacías, hijas desquiciadas, mujeres en busca de venganza y celos patológicos que terminan en tragedia. Todos son cuentos recursivos sobre amores posesivos, dementes, que arrasan con todo, incluyendo las mujeres que lo sienten (o ya no). La mayoría de los cuentos son muy buenos, aunque me gustó mucho: "Asfixia". Dénle el Nobel de una buena vez, por favor.  
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I recently read Give Me Your Heart by Joyce Carol Oates. I thought that it was excellent writing and challenging as well, but I did not enjoy reading it because it was extremely depressing. The writing was so quality that the mood of the piece affected my mood as well, and my week suffered because of it. It was often gruesome and harsh, which is normal for Oates’ work. Give me Your Heart is compiled of many short stories that were published in 2010. Oates has also written Where are You Going, W ...more
Ian Baaske
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
(One of a number of books I found for dirt cheap in the Borders meltdown. Depressingly, there were a number of copies still available. But it was heartening to see large quantities of books by Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin massively discounted and unsold.)

For several reasons, I enjoyed this book less as I worked my way through it. For one thing, I started it while on vacation by the lake and finished it on a crowded El train. But I also read Andrea Thompson’s “meh” review and, while
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Usually a fan of what others consider to be depressing, dark, or macabre, I have to say that I really only enjoyed a few of these short stories. Maybe enjoyed is even a bit of a stretch honestly. Many of the stories had no real flow or cohesiveness to them at all. By the end of the collection I felt as if I had read a collection of short stories submitted by a rather dark version of a high school creative writing class.

I found often that by the time I began to come to grips with what the some o
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Wow! I thought I liked depressing stories. They are short stories but I was bored throughout. I kept catching myself counting the pages. It feels like she really REALLY wants you to understand, these perpetrators are just normal people. They aren't Disney'ish bad guys. They are just like you and me. It takes her about 20-30 pages to assure herself that you, the stupid reader gets it. Then finally, the character does something bad and the story is over.

The abrupt ending felt contrived after the
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Well, I'll start out by saying that I didn't think any of these stories were either mysterious or suspenseful so I'm not sure why that's in the title. I personally didn't like any of the stories except for "Smother," but I only liked half of it and that was the half written from the mother's POV. I will say that Joyce Carol Oates has a knack for getting the register right but I just didn't care about any of the stories enough to recommend them.
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: do-not-own, reviewed
I listened to the audio book. I really enjoyed these short stories. I hope I can find more from Oates.
Feb 28, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

“Haunting . . . Written in the author’s classic, clear style, these narratives enchant.”—Boston Globe

The need for love—obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable—takes us to forbidden places, as in the chilling world of Give Me Your Heart, a new collection of stories by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates. In ten razor-sharp stories, children veer beyond their parents’ control, wives and husbands wake up to find that they hardly know each other, haunted pasts intrude upon uncertain futures, and t

May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El amor es un sentimiento dual, un yin y yang de sensaciones dispares que nos acompaña todo el camino. El amor duele y reconforta, enfada y alegra, escasea y abunda. El amor nos mata y nos hace estar vivos al mismo tiempo. Cuando hablamos de amor como una generalidad nos cuesta hacer referencia a esa parte lamentable, a esa visión atrofiada y a esos fantasmas que permanecen en el recuerdo, pero que nos avergüenza sacar. El amor no son solo mariposas en el estómago, miradas atontadas, sensaciones ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Joyce Carol Oates' collection of stories, Give Me Your Heart, underscores how perplexing and interesting she is as a writer. She's perplexing because she sometimes writes poorly or sloppily (probably because she writes so much so fast), and yet she is interesting--and this contributes to why she is perplexing--because her fiction is committed to the project of exploring the moral conditions of contemporary America. She doesn't explicitly target America's worst, worst situations. In a way, she's ...more
Josh Ang
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve always had a contrary relationship with Oates’s works, especially her short stories. I am both drawn and repelled by them, because they reveal the vicissitudes of human hearts with such glaring clarity that they frighten and compel me at the same time.

This collection is aptly subtitled “Tales of Mystery and Suspense”, and in each tale, a different kind of terror is confronted, revealing the darkness hidden in plain sight, looking to be unleashed with the slightest provocation, inflicting ex
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
'Give Me Your Heart' comprises ten short stories which delve into heavy subject matters such as death, murder, rape and emotional distress.

Every story was dark and well-written in terms of flow and vocabulary. I found a few stories to be somewhat dull and meandering but there were a couple of gems, most notably:

'Give Me Your Heart': A woman is still obsessed with a man who used to be her lover.

'The First Husband': A man finds photos of his wife with her first husband and can't stop thinking th
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fantastic batch of psychological suspense/crime short stories. Oates can be a chore to get through at full length novel, but her style very much suits the short story format.
Check out one of the stories 'The Spill' and see if you're not feeling different by the end.

Highly recommended to fans of Flannery O'Connor. :)
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Although strange and somewhat morbid, the stories in this book are interesting. Joyce Carol Oates really knows how to make a story scary with just normal daily occurrences. No supernatural. No unexplained phenomena. Just things that can truly happen. That is why her writing is so terrifying.
Gen Quihuis
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Really vague stories, you rarely get a full picture of things, lots of inner monologue and jumping around. Not really any suspense or mystery, it's just looking into the psyche of people who are on the verges of snapping or trauma.
Dallyce Potess
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-my-norm
3.5 *s. There were a few stories that really stuck out to me. The others seemed to drag on and on. I'm not the biggest fan of short story collections so maybe I didn't appreciate it as much as other readers because of that.
Buena coleccion de relatos aunque en este recopilatorio de relatos a diferencia de Desmembrado aquí tratan más temas de obsesiones, maltrato, traumas infantiles. Las historias están bien la verdad pero me enganchó más el otro recopilatorio de relatos.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Well written, but so dark.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ooofa Ms. Oates goes all the way to the depths of disturbing hell with stories such as Bleed & Vena Cava😱
Manda Allee
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The Spill" and "Nowhere" are the best short stories of the bunch, although the latter reads like a reworked version of "Strip Poker" (the ending of which was excellent). From what I have heard about the writing of Joyce Carol Oates, I was expecting this book to be much "darker" than what it was.
Pamela Scott
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery & Suspense is a strong collection of stories. It’s Oates’s best collection in recent years. I liked every story. Every story in the collection was strong.

GIVE ME YOUR HEART: A woman writes to an old lover. She was a young student when her much old professor seduced her. The letter is full of anger, bitterness and resentment. She believes her lover owes her for what he put her through. She wants to cut out his heart. I thought this was a powerful story.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon
  • Ending Evil (Evil Secrets Trilogy, #3)
  • Eleven
  • The Uninnocent: Stories
  • Gentleman's Relish
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2007
  • Hideout (Richard Chrisite, #5)
  • Bad Seeds: Evil Progeny
  • One Morning Like A Bird
  • Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2014
  • The Doll: The Lost Short Stories
  • Between Here and Here
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2011
  • The Figure in the Carpet
  • Bullied:  The Complete Series
  • Another Part Of The Wood
  • The Best American Short Stories 2013
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
More about Joyce Carol Oates

Fiction Deals

  • Echoes of Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Checking Out
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is the Story of You
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Outlaw
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Transit
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Class Mom
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Drawing Lessons
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Revolution 2020
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A General Theory of Oblivion
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Bloom Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So B. It
    $6.74 $1.99
  • Island Beneath the Sea
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Petersburg
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Life is What You Make It: A Story of Love, Hope and How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny
    $1.99 $0.99
  • As Good as True
    $4.99 $1.99
  • First Comes Love
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Last Telegram
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Spinning Heart: A Novel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Ocean Liner
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Every Day Is Mother's Day
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Breakdown: A Love Story
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Blaze of Glory (Civil War: 1861-1865, Western Theater, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The House Girl
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Shepherdess of Siena
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Man Who Could Be King
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Challenger Deep
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Wildflowers (Glenbrooke, #8)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Great Man
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Rainbows: A Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Vagrants
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Perfect Son
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Feathered Bone
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Things They Carried
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Reunion Of Ghosts
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Crooked Little Lies
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    $12.99 $1.99