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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense » User review

Somewhat Entertaining But Dark and Disturbing

  • Aug 18, 2010
I had forgotten how much I love reading short stories. There is a true art to them and a few of the stories in this collection do a great job. However, many of them just stopped, mid story with no end, no build-up, etc. It would be like watching a movie where the characters are all introduced and then the credits roll. You are left wondering, "What was the point in that?"

All of the stories had some level of creepiness, some twisted character that gave you a glimpse into their weird thoughts. Quite a few had a demented or violent sexual nature. All of them played on the relationships of the main character and their view on the world.

There was one in particular that I absolutely thought was revolting, although I understand it was written from the perspective of the offender but I thought it was filled with unnecessary detail. It had to do with a rapist/murder and a young child. It was too much for a mom (with a young daughter) to read and it turned me off of the rest of the book from there. Although I did finish, I found that the repetitive darkness of each story was a real downer, especially since the stories were often not developed enough to make them feel complete.

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Karen Groh ()
Ranked #450
I'm a work-at-home mom with two children. I've run my own graphic design and marketing company for 15 years and love what I do everyday.      My son and I are black belts in … more
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About this book


An Otto Penzler Book
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 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 blundered into a lethal situation confronts the possibility of saving herself—Will she take it? In “The First Husband,” a jealous man discovers that his wife seems to have lied about her first marriage, and exacts a cruel revenge, years after the fact. In these and other powerful tales, 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 those who bring us the most harm may be the nearest at hand.
In ten razor-sharp stories, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates shows that the most deadly mysteries often begin at home.
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ISBN-10: 0547385463
ISBN-13: 978-0547385464
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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