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Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense [Kindle Edition]

Joyce Carol Oates
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the chilling world of Give Me Your Heart, the need for love is obsessive, self-destructive and unpredictable. It takes us to forbidden places, confronts us with gruesome truths, and leads us beyond our control.

In the unsettling 'Strip Poker,' a reckless teenage girl must turn the tables on a group of threatening young men. Can she outplay them? In the award-winning 'Smother!' a daughter's nightmarish childhood memory brings trouble to the door of her bourgeois mother. Which of them will win? In 'The First Husband,' a jealous man discovers his wife lied about her first marriage, and plans a cruel revenge. Will he go through with it?

In these and other powerful tales, children move beyond their parents' reach, wives and husbands wake up as strangers, haunted pasts intrude upon uncertain futures, and lives hang in the balance.

In ten razor-sharp stories, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates shows that the most deadly mysteries often begin at home.

Product Description

About the Author

An American literary giant, Joyce Carol Oates is the author of over 70 works and the winner of a host of prizes including the National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Commonwealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. She also has been nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University. She lives in New Jersey.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1645 KB
  • Print Length: 277 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547385463
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8M9O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including 'We Were the Mulvaneys', which was an Oprah Book Club Choice, and 'Blonde', which was nominated for the National Book Award. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oates's world of violence and murder 7 July 2011
By Eleanor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oates latest collection consists of ten short stories (listed at the end), all previously published elsewhere, exploring dark themes such as jealousy, obsession, and murderous impulses.

Many of the stories are set in the same regions of New York and New Jersey, allowing the reader to make links between them and immerse themselves in Oates's world. Stephen King does a similar thing with his Maine-set tales and I think fans of that writer would enjoy this collection.

The longer stories worked best and I particularly enjoyed 'Strip Poker', in which a young girl is out of her depth having agreed to go to a deserted cabin with some drunken older men, and 'The Spill' a fifties-set story about a second wife and the family she has married into. 'Bleeed' is a terrifying tale about child abuse and murder, in which the backstory cleverly manipulates the reader's perceptions about the nightmarish present situation.

I read the Kindle edition of this book and at times the text was mangled so as to be unreadable (e.g. "He was lifted, thrown down, scramcrab-likentic and crablike on the floor" and "Sweat droplets like tearor -six is twenty-five orsix"). This happened far too often and is something the publisher should have sorted out before release. The Kindle edition also lacks a copyright page detailing where the stories were first published.

Give me your Heart
The First Husband
Strip Poker (which previously appeared in the great poker-themed anthology Dead Man's Hand)
The Spill
Vena Cava
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful short stories 15 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Joyce Carol Oates continues her marvellous stories .Her book kept my husband and me totally absorbed .We are constantly amazed at her ingenuity and her last story about a returning soldier from war is so relevant and heart rendering, as are all the stories.We don't normally read short stories but all were wonderful with twists and turns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Vena Cava' 7 Sept. 2014
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Joyce Carol Oates is the best writer practising the art in America and this is one of the most wrenching and skilful books I’ve read. It’s difficult to calculate the effect this book will have, since the triumvate of Updike, Bellow and Roth have the American high ground. The sub-title is “Tales of Mystery and Suspense” and the last story is possibly the anti-thesis of entertainment. It is possibly the most gripping and terrifying story I’ve ever read. It simply blasted to pieces the comparison I had envisaged making between this book and almost anything at all – there is something here that is so superlative that I can’t make sensible comparisons. Read 'Vena Cava' and you will see what I mean. She is inch perfect in this short story (the last in the book – talk about saving the true tale of terror for last!) which tells of the experience of a man returning from one of the wars – possibly the Gulf War. This mesmerising story embodies what can go wrong when one expects to live a normal life after war. It amazed and shocked me and left me wrecked. Forget the hyperbole – just read this story.

I’m probably not doing her justice here with my obvious bias, because most of her short stories are remarkably memorable. I’m still thinking about 'Vena Cava' – but there are other stories in this collection. There is 'Smother', a story about a cold case resurrected and bringing back terrible memories; then there’s 'The Spill' which is heartbreaking; and there is 'Bleed' a terrifying tale of a young man who tries to rescue a child he finds abandoned in a field and gets into an agonising situation where his efforts seem only to expose him as a predator. All ten of these stories have a fascinating anger and bleakness about them. This is a brave and challenging collection, but 'Vena Cava' is the best piece of short fiction I’ve read in years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read 26 Jun. 2013
By Lou Gee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A gripping and brilliantly written collection of stories. Many of them very powerful with excellently structured plots and believable characters.
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By CSPike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Disturbing, acerbic short stories, beautifully written. The writing will seduce you and draw you into Oates' twisted world!
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