Kathy's Reviews > The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Nov 11, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 11 to 17, 2011

Ok.....I love the way this lady writes but quite frankly, at times I wonder if she's nuts.

I.e., one of the stories was about a crazed teen girl luring her dead mother's ex into an abandoned churchyard/graveyard and then slicing his achilles' heel.

Leaving him to die.

What a sick mind! Really, ....there are times I need a break from her. After all, this is a woman who never had children and some of her stories are way way over the top.

Also, not in this particular series but another group of short stories, she had written about a little girl, taking her baby sister up on a roof and then letting go. BTW, below was an outdoor afternoon tea party of adults who didn't realize baby was missing.......gothic in a disturbing way. I don't like gothic tales involving kids and babies...life is hard enough.

Further along now....the tales def. pick up. The theme (2 stories) of twins comes up.....twins resenting each other......and yet merging.....not a happy point of view - the usual, someone understands me....we're not alone.....these twins resent each other and one tries to be dominant and/or kill the other? Yet they can't escape their fates.

Also, further along....The Widow returns. The Widow was a character in the book Oates wrote when her hubby of many years died. (Sort of another type of Didion memoir on death) (i.e., Year of Magical Thinking).....anyway, the Widow is back, donating her hubby's top-end clothes to a down at the heels veteran's thrift store. There is something about the Widow I enjoy. Her clumsiness, her ineptitude, etc. So.......the most gothic and disturbing tales involving children are at the beginning and then we veer into other areas......to me, this is less disturbing and more sort of sedate Steven Kingish?
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