Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong

Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong

by Luci Christian, Joyce Carol Oates, Chris Patton, Donna Postel
     
 

Readers know that few authors are able to create an atmosphere of unease and terror as well as Oates, a fact confirmed by the four novellas presented here.

In the title story, “Evil Eye,” a young woman has recently become the fourth wife of a highly demanding man. When his first wife comes to stay with them, she warns the new bride that her

Overview

Readers know that few authors are able to create an atmosphere of unease and terror as well as Oates, a fact confirmed by the four novellas presented here.

In the title story, “Evil Eye,” a young woman has recently become the fourth wife of a highly demanding man. When his first wife comes to stay with them, she warns the new bride that her husband is insane, and that she must find a way to protect herself. In “So Near Anytime Always,” a fateful meeting in a library leads to a boy's obsessive interest in a teenage girl. In “The Execution,” spoiled college student Bart Hansen has forgotten to factor in one person in his plan to commit the perfect, brutal crime: his mother. And in “The Flatbed,” a beautiful young woman struggles with frigidity until a shocking act releases her.

All the novellas in this collection revolve around the theme of love gone wrong—horribly, shockingly wrong.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
★ 10/28/2013
The new collection of novellas from Oates presents an excellent vehicle to showcase the talents of four talented narrators. Each performer does a first-rate job of matching the unique atmosphere that Oates creates in these four works. Donna Postel’s ethereal and exotic quality perfectly fits the macabre elements of the title work, which explores the unraveling of marital secrets and the journey toward madness. For “So Near Anytime Always,” Luci Christian effectively captures both the angst and confusion of a teenage female protagonist and the creepy manipulations of her mysterious boyfriend turned stalker. Chris Patton, in “The Execution,” convincingly brings to life the dark rage of a privileged fraternity boy toward his perfectionist father and co-dependent mother. In “The Flatbed,” Tamara Marston methodically weaves together the range of emotions faced by an adult victim of child sexual abuse, from shame and repression to outrage and vengeance. The performances are gripping across-the-board making for a standout listening experience. A Mysterious Press hardcover. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“Each performer does a first-rate job of matching the unique atmosphere that Oates creates in these four works. . . . The performances are gripping across-the-board making for a standout listening experience.”
Publishers Weekly [starred review]

“These powerful, suspenseful novellas can easily keep readers awake at night and perhaps should be read in bright daylight. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal [HC starred review]

Booklist
“Shrewd and unnerving. . . . Oates’ deft tales of vulnerable women with surprisingly deep reservoirs of strength and a capacity for revenge are infused with wry and knowing commentary on the battle between the sexes, the justice system, and the consequences of entitlement.”
Booklist

Publishers Weekly
These four exquisitely suspenseful novellas from Oates (The Accursed) offer sharp characterizations, whether it be the naïve and romantic 16-year-old Lizbeth Marsh; the deeply spoiled, deeply disturbed Bart Hansen; or Mariana Mohr, the fourth wife of an accomplished intellectual. The last named is in the title story, which is by far the volume’s strongest. The eye in question is both a beautiful glass nazar—a valuable talisman that’s in Austin Mohr’s art collection—and the missing eye of his diminutive, mesmerizing first wife who comes to visit. In “The Execution,” Bart Hansen’s plan to murder his parents is as inadequate as his father believed all his plans were. “So Near Anytime Always” has a surprise ending to the relationship of Lizbeth Marsh and the unfathomable Desmond Parrish. The relationships between the damaged, sometimes monstrous individuals who people these pages will keep the reader riveted. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Four novellas--and as the subtitle informs us, in each, love has definitely "gone wrong" in perverse and creepy ways. The titular story concerns a nazar, a "talisman to ward off the ‘evil eye.' " Mariana, the narrator, is the fourth wife (almost always italicized, to emphasize her outsider status) of Austin Mohr, prominent director of an arts institute in San Francisco. Twenty-five years younger than her moody and volatile husband, Mariana is timid and conforming--until her domestic equilibrium is disrupted by the visit of Ines Zambranco, the first wife. The second narrative introduces us to Lizbeth, a 16-year-old who shyly develops a relationship with Desmond Parrish, an outgoing, brash and highly intelligent young man who's supposedly taking a gap year before continuing his academic career at Amherst. Over a period of several months, Lizbeth gets increasingly nervous about Desmond's mental stability--a valid suspicion, as she later finds out he had killed his young sister and been incarcerated in a psychiatric ward for seven years. "The Execution" puts us inside the mind of Bart Hansen, a college student seething with a monstrous hatred of his father, so he plans what he hopes will be the perfect crime--killing him with an axe. Although things inevitably go wrong (like his forgetting about the evidence provided by EZ Pay when he makes the journey home to do the murder), an exceptionally clever lawyer gets Bart his freedom since the trial ends with a hung jury. The final novella, "The Flatbed," concerns Cecelia, a woman who's not able to have normal sexual relations because her grandfather abused her when she was young. A man romantically interested in her becomes furious when he learns of this and arranges a meeting to get revenge on the old man. With her focus on deviant and twisted characters, Oates continues to be a worthy descendant of the gothic tradition of Edgar Allan Poe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611749601
Publisher:
HighBridge Company
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged; 6.5 hours
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


In addition to many prize-winning and bestselling novels, JOYCE CAROL OATES is the author of a number of works of award-winning gothic fiction. In 1994, Oates received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in Horror Fiction. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

CHRIS PATTON began his career in stage performance but later found his true calling in voice over.  In addition to his work narrating audiobooks, Chris has also voiced over 160 animated titles, and numerous national and regional commercials.  He has appeared at over seventy-five pop culture conventions internationally to discuss his craft and interact with fans of his expansive fan base.

DONNA POSTEL should have known the path she’d take by her first grade play. Instead of getting to play a duck or a tree, she was cast in the only speaking role, The Narrator. Fast forward to the present and we find Donna in her state-of-the-art studio where she has been happily talking to herself ever since. Her voice has been heard on hundreds of commercials and corporate narrations, recently expanding into audiobooks. When she’s not in the studio, Donna can be found down at the barn, cleaning up after, and occasionally riding, her horses.

TAMARA MARSTON has been an actor, singer and director for over 30 years. A career performer / musician, Tami has toured nationally with several groups and appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show and A&E’s Goodtime Café. Dividing her time between acting and singing gigs, choral conducting, music and stage directing, jingle and voiceover work, private and public teaching—and family—Tami feels very fortunate to make her living working in the arts.

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