Thank You to Grove Atlantic for providing me with an advanced copy of Joyce Carol Oates' The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT- The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror is a six-story collection from acclaimed writer Joyce Carol Oates.
LIKE- I'm a mega-huge fan of Joyce Carol Oates and I was absolutely thrilled to received an advanced copy of The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what type of stories to expect. "Tales of Terror" is so different than the type of stories that I'm used to reading from Oates. They were a refreshing and delightful change from her usual stories. Is there anything Oates can't write? She's so talented.
A common link with many of the stories is a focus on psychological torment, specifically the protagonist feeling burdened by perceived ( sometimes real) terror. The characters are tormented by their own worldview and perhaps their own proclivities, which they project on those around them. The stories all have a creepy, looming danger tone.
My favorite story was Gun Accident, where an adult narrator recalls a terrible accident that happened when she was a teenager housesitting for her favorite teacher. It's so filled with suspense, that my heart was racing during the entire read. I could not put it down.
I also enjoyed the dark humor in Mystery Inc, the story of a bookstore owner who goes around killing the competition.
DISLIKE- Equatorial, the story of a couple on a cruise didn't hold my interest. It ran long and just when it would grab my attention, just as quick, my attention would drift.
RECOMMEND- Yes. If you're a fan of Oates, this is a must. If you're not familiar with her stories, this short collection is a fine place to start.