Synopses & Reviews
In "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza" a woman's world is upended when she learns the brutal truth about a family friend's death and what her father is capable of. Meanwhile, a businessman desperate to find his missing two-year-old grandson in "Suicide Watch" must determine whether the horrifying tale his junky son tells him about the boy's whereabouts is a confession or a sick test. In "Valentine, July Heat Wave" a man prepares a gruesome surprise for the wife determined to leave him. And the children of a BTK-style serial killer struggle to decode the patterns behind their father's seemingly random bad acts, as well as their own, in "Bad Habits."
In these and other stories, Joyce Carol Oates explores with bloodcurdling insight the ties that bind or worse. The Museum of Dr. Moses is another chilling masterpiece from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation).
"The words 'gothic' and 'macabre' rather than 'mystery' and 'suspense' might better describe the 10 beautifully told stories in this superb collection from the prolific Oates (The Female of the Species). In the startling opening tale, 'Hi! Howya Doin!,' an overly friendly jogger encounters someone with a less rosy outlook on life. In the horrifying 'Valentine, July Heat Wave,' an estranged wife finds a very unpleasant surprise in the home she once shared with her academic husband. In the haunting 'Feral,' a near-death experience transforms a much-loved only child into something wild and unknowable. The title story concerns a horrific exhibit in the home of an aging coroner in upstate New York (whose behavior is even more troubling). The book's best story, 'The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza,' about an aging boxer in a bout that will make or end his career, happens to be the least gruesome. Powerful narratives, a singular imagination and exquisite prose make this a collection to relish." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"It's almost customary, when reviewing [Oates], to get off a crack at her prodigious output. But the care and intellect she applies to all of her projects, even what is theoretically 'just' genre fare, are anything but jokes. These stories sizzle, and turning pages only fans the flames." Booklist
"Like a musician gently turning up the volume on a single note until the listener has a hard time imagining it not there, Oates is a master of suspense. She fearlessly layers and repeats phrases." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Anyone moved by Oates' classic tales of contemporary malevolence...will find much here to keep the ghoulish fires burning....Prolific as she is, can we just get over the usual comments about her productivity (usually delivered by critics with a mocking tone)? Can't we just stop and marvel at her inventiveness?" Los Angeles Times
In these stories, bestselling author Oates explores with bloodcurdling insight the ties that bind or worse.
In "Hi! Howya Doin!" an intrusive jogger meets with an abrupt fate; in "The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza" a young womans romantic view of her girlhood is devastated by her fathers confessions; and in "Valentine, July Heat Wave" a man prepares a gruesome surprise for the wife who has betrayed him. In the title story, a young woman tries to rescue her mother from the museum of Dr. Moseswith unexpected results. And the children of a notorious serial killer struggle to "decode" the patterns behind their fathers seemingly random acts in "Bad Habits."
In these and other suspenseful stories, Joyce Carol Oates explores with chilling accuracy the ways in which evil enters our lives. The Museum of Dr. Moses is another masterpiece from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation).
About the Author
Joyce Carol Oates is the recipient of the PEN/ Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the winner of the National Book Award. Among her major works are We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, and The Falls. She lives in New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Hi! Howya Doin! 1
Suicide Watch 7
The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza 25
Valentine, July Heat Wave 85
Bad Habits 98
The Hunter 146
The Twins: A Mystery 165
Stripping 182The Museum of Dr. Moses 185