I am a huge fan of Joyce Carol Oates and have always looked forward to reading her short-story collections. High Lonesome is a rather large volume full of some of Oates's best stories with some new ones that will satisfy people who have already read and own her old ones (like me). Some of the "new" stories had already been published, but the ones that hadn't been published (or that I hadn't already read) are wonderful. My favorites from 2006 are: "The Cousins," "The Lost Brother," "High Loneliness," and "Fat Man My Love." The aforementioned stories are clear reminders that Oates hasn't lost her touch in her long, brilliant writing career. Her stories are dark, surreal and somewhat disturbing at times, but that is why I read them. And then there are classic ones that I'd discovered and been reading for a few years now, like "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," "Small Avalanches," "The Knife," and "Manslaughter." High Lonesome is a wonderful addition to the spot on my bookshelf devoted to this author. My one complaint is the rather steep hardcover price. This is very expensive for a book full of mostly previously published material. I checked this one out of the library because I am now in the why-should-I-spend-thirty-dollars-on-a-hardcover-when-I-can-buy-four-mass-market-paperbacks-for-the-same-price mentality. And that is why I give this four stars instead of five. High Lonesome is something I'd like to own, but I'd rather wait for the paperback.