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I'm not sure that the short story format suits Joyce Carol Oates particularly well. One of the things that draws the reader into her wonderfully dark books is her skillful character development and her grounding of the story in reality, but these elements are somewhat lacking in these short stories. The stories are all right, the title story being the longest and the best (and also the last), but they did not engross me the way most of Oates' books do.
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