Skip to content
October 17, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Evil Eye by Joyce Carol Oates

Evil Eye by Joyce Carol OatesEvil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong
by Joyce Carol Oates
Narrated by Donna Postel, Luci Christian, Chris Patton, Tamara Marston

Genre: Gothic / Horror
Publisher: HighBridge
Publish Date: September 3, 2013
Format: Audio, 6 hours | 28 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Joyce Carol Oates has proven herself one of the world’s foremost chroniclers of the darkness that lurks within the human heart. In Evil Eye, Oates offers four chilling novellas of love so powerful that people might die — or kill — for it.

Drenched with suspense and dread, and featuring the razor-sharp prose that has made Joyce Carol Oates a living legend, Evil Eye shows love as sporadically magical, mysterious, and murderous.

My Thoughts:

Joyce Carol Oates can be a hit or miss with me, but where she always excels is in the short story and gothic format. Evil Eye consists of four novellas, each a little more disturbing than the one before. They are twisted, creepy and weird but all are riveting. Are they nightmare inducing? Perhaps for some readers they could be, but I slept just fine!

In the title story, Evil Eye, Marianna is recently married to a three decades older man, Austin. When his first wife drops in for a visit she learns shocking secrets about her husband. Or does she? Who is telling the truth? This one had a Twilight Zone-ish feel which I liked, but it ended abruptly with no resolution. I went back and listened to the last few minutes again thinking I had missed something but no, it just ended. (Rating: 4)

In So Near, Anytime, Always teenager Lizbeth meets handsome Desmond at the public library. She is thrilled to finally have a boy take an interest in her until he begins to behave like a stalker. This was my favorite. Even though I anticipated the ending, the mix of suspense and tension made for a story that could have gone in several directions. (Rating: 5)

The Execution was my least favorite. It was also the most disturbing and violent of the four. Spoiled, psychopathic college student Bart Hansen plots to murder his parents to inherit their money after they cancel his credit card. What he didn’t count on was the power of a mother to forgive. (Rating: 3)

In The Flatbed, Cecelia has kept secret a childhood trauma which is preventing her from having physical relationships with men. Most of them write her off as a tease until she meets “M”, a man who finally understands her. This is the creepiest and most satisfying story of the four as Cecelia seeks revenge for what happened years ago. (Rating: 4½)

Each novella was performed by a different narrator; all were new voices for me and each did a great job with the production. Each narrator had a different style, each a good match with the tone of the story. The short story and novella genre are good choices for audiobooks, especially for new or infrequent listeners. The writing is usually tighter, the plot less complex and more direct, and the story can often be completed in one listening session.

Joyce Carol Oates knows how to spin a compelling tale. I highly recommend this to those that enjoy gothic tales. A good choice for Halloween night listening!

RIP VIII——————————–
Linked to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII event.
Source: Review copy from HighBridge Audio through Audiobook Jukebox.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. laurelrainsnow / Oct 17 2013 12:00 pm

    Like you, I love some of her work more than others…this one does sound really tempting. Thanks for sharing….


  2. Suko / Oct 17 2013 12:13 pm

    This really does sound good, Leslie. I’m a fan of this author’s books (although it’s been years since I read one).


  3. BermudaOnion / Oct 17 2013 1:37 pm

    I’ve only read one of her books. It was sad but I enjoyed it. This sounds good to me!


  4. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Oct 17 2013 6:17 pm

    Horror and Oates just don’t seen like at match. Glad you’d enjoy this one though – I hadn’t even heard of it.


  5. Beth F / Oct 18 2013 6:03 am

    I too have mixed results with Oates, but this sounds like a winner. Glad to know you recommend the audio.


  6. Mary / Oct 18 2013 6:34 am

    I haven’t listened to a collection of short stories and have read only one of JCO’s novels. I’ll keep this one in mind.


  7. Carl V. Anderson / Oct 18 2013 4:53 pm

    This sounds like a fun one to experience in audio format, and I like the idea of different narrators for each story. I’ve read a handful of Oates and enjoyed them but nothing particularly creepy now that I think of it.


Comment are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: