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Search tags: Joyce-Carol-Oates
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review 2018-08-19 18:18
I Am No One You Know ★★★☆☆
I am No One You Know - Joyce Carol Oates

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 of stories, but I was weary of the whole thing long before I got through all nineteen.   

 

eBook, purchased via kindle.

 

 

Previous Updates:

6/24/18 – 1%

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review 2018-07-12 19:32
Living and Dying
The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi,Abraham Verghese
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Blue Nights by Didion, Joan 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)] - Joan Didion
A Widow's Story - Joyce Carol Oates
Missing Mom - Joyce Carol Oates
About Alice - Calvin Trillin
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter - Sherwin B. Nuland

So, I've been off BL for a long, long time. A lot has happened, I got pregnant and had a daughter. My mom got sick and passed away. I had to clear out and sell my childhood home and all the contents while trying to balance all of that and my full time job. It's been...something.

 

For a while, not long after my mom died (3 days before Christmas 2016 when my daughter was only 5 months old) I started searching out and reading books that dealt with death and grief. I read a lot of Joan Didion The Year of Magical ThinkingBlue Nights. I read When Breath Becomes Air and About Alice and A Widow's Story. I started Missing Mom and couldn't go any further because it was too hard and How We Die.

 

The Bright Hour is one of the most beautiful books I've read, ever. I can't possibly describe it except to use it's full title--The Bright Hour: a memoir of living and dying. It is so full of life, all the messiness and happiness and tragedy and humor and it faces death and mortality head on, unflinching. 

 

I recently reread it, now a year and a half since my mother passed, it still has such power and peace. I can't recommend it enough.

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review 2018-06-14 21:26
Night-gaunts
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

If ever a cover would catch my eye, it would be this one. It hints at a bit darkness and mystery and even the colors seem to draw the eye. That said, what I found inside didn't quite deliver for me. I usually enjoy collections of stories in one book. They're perfect for reading a story here and another there as time permits, but after reading the first in this collection, I have to say that I wasn't left with much inclination to move on to the next. I did eventually finish the book in hopes of finding at least one story that I could connect with, but only found more of the same. The writing felt choppy and abrupt, which may have played a part in my lack of connection to the characters or their stories. I also did not find anything particularly mysterious or suspenseful in these tales, which could also lead back to that lack of connection. From the ratings, I realize that I am indeed in the minority here, so I'm going to chalk this one up to not the book for me.

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review 2017-10-18 17:09
- Chodzi mi o to, że może to nielogiczne i bezsensowne, a nawet niesprawiedliwe: pokutować całe życie z powodu jednego strasznego zdarzenia...
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-09 21:54
Big Mouth and Ugly Girl - Joyce Carol Oates

Average book. A story about an American teen who loses all of his friends and becomes suicidal after an unforeseen event. Nearly kills himself but gets saved when a girl his age saves him. Everything and everyone are happy again, they kiss, the end. Pretty average storyline.

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