Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense

NETDis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates
Published by Mysterious Press
Expected publication 6 June 2017
256 pages

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I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.


Joyce Carol Oates is renowned for her rare ability to “illuminate the mind’s most disturbing corners” (Seattle Times). That genius is on full display in her new collection of seven feverishly unsettling works, Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense.

In the title story, a precocious eleven-year-old named Jill is in thrall to an older male relative, the mysterious, attractive black sheep of the family. Without telling her parents Jill climbs into his sky-blue Chevy to be driven to an uncertain, and unforgettable, fate. In “The Drowned Girl,” a university transfer student becomes increasingly obsessed with the drowning/murder of another female student, as her own sense of self begins to deteriorate. In “Great Blue Heron,” a recent widow grieves inside the confines of her lakefront home and fantasizes about transforming into that great flying predator—unerring and pitiless in the hunt. And in the final story, “Welcome to Friendly Skies,” a trusting group of bird-watchers is borne to a remote part of the globe, to a harrowing fate.

At the heart of this meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting collection are girls and women confronting the danger around them, and the danger hidden inside their turbulent selves.


Tell us what you know. What you remember (DIS MEM BER)


Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense is another cracking collection of stories from JCO. I enjoyed every story in this collection. JCO has written numerous collections of suspense and mystery stories and this is one of her strengths. She can write cracking stories when she’s going at full throttle like she is in Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense. I enjoyed the variety of stories and the fact they were quite different and equally enjoyable. My top picks were Dis Mem Ber, The Crawl Space, The Situations and the hilarious yet unsettling Welcome to Friendly Skies! I loved this collection and would highly recommend it.




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