Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
As an English major, I read "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates so many times that I almost have it memorized. It also happens to be one of my favorite short stories. That's why I was so excited to get this book of short stories and try it out. Sadly...it will not be replacing any of her other stories as my favorite.
The Good: Joyce Carol Oates is a mastermind of language. There is no doubt that she knows how to craft a beautiful sentence. Reading such beautifully crafted sentences was the joyful part of reading these stories. I wish she could write my life story so it would sound as lovely as this creepy novel! The good thing about this book of short stories is how fast it goes. I think I read it in a matter of hours. I'm glad, because I despise having to spend hours on books of short stories... it just doesn't jive with the whole meaning of "short" stories :)
The Bad: These stories were just plain creepy. And not that I'm opposed to that...on the contrary, I LOVE scary/creepy stories but this was just too weird... I was more baffled, confused and out of sorts while reading this than I was scared or intrigued. The premise sounded so eerie and great but maybe there was a high rhetoric element to Oates writing in this novel that just went above my head.
Overall, I'm really just ambivalent about this novel. It put me in a strange mood where I didn't love it...but it's not exactly a horrible book either. I guess it's just...there. So take that for what it's worth and read at your own risk. I'd give it a middle of the road C.
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own