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The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Horror by Joyce Carol Oates

The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Horror

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Highly Recommended.

Horror is about taking us to scary places, and this collection of six tales from one of the key names in contemporary American literature takes us to the most scary places of all – inside our own hearts and minds. The horror here is psychological and is very much rooted inside the events and concerns that shadow the everyday of the contemporary world. Fans of A. L. Kennedy as much as fans of Joe Hill will understand what Oates is about with this stories.

Her narrators and characters reveal themselves to the reader through measured and, to them, reasoned dialogue. Their words are clear and usually calm but as each tale unwinds things go out of kilter and with no tricks, no subterfuge we find that Oates has led us into a very dark place indeed. The prose is wonderfully clear and calm and because it avoids fireworks is even more effective.

Whether telling the story of a boy pursuing a lonely and increasingly twisted obsession with dolls or putting us inside the head of a man accused of shooting a black teenager The Doll Master never tips into sensationalism. Instead it calmly dissects how our thoughts and emotions can become skewed and dangerous. Horror often acts as a cautionary tale and Joyce Carol Oates is telling us to be careful about the experiences that alienate people from the world. The true terror here is that people includes us. ~ Simon Spanton

If you like Joyce Carol Oates you might also like to read books by Tom Wolfe, John Updike and Barbara Kingsolver.


The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Horror by Joyce Carol Oates

Six terrifying tales to chill the blood from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. A young boy plays with dolls instead of action figures. But as he grows older, his passion takes on a darker edge...A white man shoots dead a black youth creating a media frenzy. But could it have been self-defense as he claims? A nervous woman tries to escape her husband. He says he loves her, but she's convinced he wants to kill her...These quietly lethal stories reveal the horrors that dwell within us all.


'Oates is simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going, as far as I'm concerned'
Gillian Flynn

'A writer of extraordinary strengths'

'A phenomenon'
Daily Mail

About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award , is one of the most highly respected novelists, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories. Her most recent novels include ‘Break Heart Blues’ and ‘Man Crazy’. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. Her highly acclaimed last novel ‘Blonde’, published in 2000, was shortlisted for the National Book Award.

Author photo © Marion Ettlinger

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Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2016


Joyce Carol Oates

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Head of Zeus


224 pages


Short Story Collections
eBook Favourites

Horror & ghost stories
Short stories



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