Tag Archives: Joyce Carol Oates

Haunted by Joyce Carol Oates

Overview
Hauntings: Datlow, Ellen: 9781616960889: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Haunted
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
In: Hauntings (Ellen Datlow) & Demons and Dreams (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Horror
Dates read: 5th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Mother didn’t like Mary Lou visiting with me when no one else was home in our house: she didn’t trust her, she said.

Synopsis

Adulthood gives us many moments to reflect on the past. But there are some ghosts that should maybe stay buried.

Thoughts

This story had so many horrible layers throughout it. Like, seriously disturbing layers. It made me very uncertain as to the amount of liking I feel for this short story.

This was brilliantly written. An adult reflecting on their childhood in that broken way we all have. After all, memories are just functions of our mind and never truly “true”.

This was a seriously not okay story. Don’t get me wrong, I seriously enjoyed it… but it was still very much disturbing and not okay.

<- The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)The Have-Nots ->

Image source: Amazon

Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Storm Constantine, Delia Sherman, Joyce Carol Oates, Tanith Lee, Edward Bryant, Garry Kilworth, Michael Swanwick, Elizabeth E. Wein, Pat Murphy, Ellen Steiber, Jane Yolen, Dave Smeds, Neil Gaiman, Doris Egan, Melissa Lee Shaw, Kelley Eskridge, Brian Stableford, Conrad Williams, Mark W. Tiedemann, Ellen Kushner, Wendy Froud & Bruce Glassco
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 6th January – 19th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She abruptly saw herself as if from another’s eyes, toiling in dirty work clothes with the sharp blades, the mirror, the powdered remains.

Synopsis

Prepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song. Lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced.

Thoughts

This collection isn’t quite toe curling, it isn’t quite horrific, but a nice mix between the two. It makes you think about the weirdness of sexuality. And the uniqueness of those things that go bump in the night. And thrive upon our sexual, deepest, darkest desires. I was honestly expecting this to be a little more of an uncomfortable read. However, mostly, I just found it intriguing.

This is a great collection of some very familiar authors, and some very new authors. It was a good way to depart from the realities of the world and be entertained by the imaginations of some very creative people. It wasn’t necessarily my favourite collection ever, the thread tying each of these tales together wasn’t as distinct as other collections. But it was a seriously enjoyable journey regardless.

This is definitely a collection that I’ll pick up again at some point in the future. It’s fun, light and easy. Also, there are a number of authors that I still need to hunt out books for… I enjoyed each and everyone of these stories.

<- ToadMy Lady of the Hearth ->

Image source: Goodreads

Black Feathers edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: Black Feathers
Author: Ellen Datlow, Sandra Kasturi, Nicholas Royle, Seanan McGuire, Paul Tremblay, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Bowes, Alison Littlewood, Jeffrey Ford, Mike O’Driscoll, Usman T. Malik, Stephen Graham Jones, A.C. Wise, M. John Harrison, Pat Cadigan, Livia Llewellyn & Priya Sharma
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 23rd January – 27th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: A sudden croaking cry, and she turns to see the great blue heron flying overhead.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

A dazzling anthology of avian-themed fiction guaranteed to frighten and delight, edited by one of the most acclaimed horror anthologists in the genre.

Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul. But there’s certainly a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds, destroy other birds’ eggs, and even have been known to kill small animals. And who isn’t frightened by birds who eat the dead – vultures awaiting their next meal as the life-blood flows from the dying.

In each of these stories, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You will see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you will be lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You will wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek – the promise of flight.

Thoughts

This is my first collection of horror stories. Actually, it’s really my first ever horror novel. So reading this has been a very interesting journey. One that I was surprised to enjoy so much. And, although I didn’t really read any of these stories late at night, I also didn’t get any horrifying nightmares from the tales either. Unlike some of the crime, mystery and thriller novels that I’ve read.

Birds have always fascinated me. And I’ve been wanting to get a parrot for a little while. This collection definitely cured me of that desire. Actually, it cured me of really wanting anything much to do with birds for a little while if I’m being honest. This story not only used the symbolism and activities of birds as a catalyst for the tales of horror, but also pulled them out of your worst nightmares.

Pick this book up if you want a great introduction to the horror genre. And if you have a bit of a fascination with the avian community…

 <- The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven ReviewO Terrible Bird Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Broke Heart Blues by Joyce Carol Oates

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Broke Heart Blues
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust
Dates read: 26th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: But I’m sorry, I guess I’ll be going with –

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

John Reedy Heart is setting everyone’s hearts, and loins, on fire. But what are the consequences to this? Does uninhibited lust create a world in which no one is safe?

Thoughts

Everyone has their first moments of lust and obsession when they’re young. And there always seems to be one boy in the entire school that inspires this feeling more than any other. That one boy that makes every girls heart beat faster as she hopes that he’ll finally notice her. So it kind of makes sense that in a collection of romance and lustful stories, there is one that features this obsessive, adolescent lust and fascination.

This is a really jumpy and kind of hard to follow story. There isn’t a specific beginning, middle and end. Or really any kind of specific storyline. But it does have a lot of emotion, activity and movement. It made a very convoluted reading, but it was one that I did seriously enjoy. One that I would like to read again and again, just so I can get a better grasp on the storyline each and every time.

<- The Faerie Cony-catcherWolfed ->

Image source: Goodreads

Great Blue Heron by Joyce Carol Oates

Overview
Image result for black feathers ellen datlow book cover

Title: Great Blue Heron
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Death, Horror, Mental health
Dates read: 30th January 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: The wife is shivering, her feet are getting wet, she would like to turn back but the husband presses forward, he has something to show her.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

The Wife is mourning the loss of her husband. The Wife keeps on remembering moments together and seeing a Great Blue Heron flying free. As her grief and love for the birds collide, there is no telling what will happen next.

Thoughts

This story had my heart racing. Something about the pace of it and the way in which it was written felt like an intense horror story. That, and the setting is based around a lake with overcast days… the perfect setting for a horror story and a horrific murder if I ever did hear one.

This is the fourth story in this series of bird-based horrors (I never knew that there was such a thing, or that it could be this TRULY scary… but I digress). And it is the second story that has an essence of grief and loss in its heart. This feeling of loss and grief is intense and the slightly broken way in which this story is told really drives this idea home. There is an almost ethereal quality to the storyline which makes it both solidly real and wispily dreamlike.

 <- Something About Birds ReviewThe Season of the Raptors Review ->
Image source: Amazon