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Download A Fair Maiden Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Fair Maiden, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Angela Goethals Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781482979220
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Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the gracious streets of Bayhead Harbor with her two summer babysitting charges when she’s approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first, his interest in her seems harmless, even pleasant; like his name, a sort of gentle joke. His beautiful home, the children’s books that he’s written, his classical music, the marvelous art in his study, his lavish presents to her: Mr. Kidder’s life couldn’t be more different from Katya’s drab working-class existence back home in South Jersey, or more enticing. But by degrees, almost imperceptibly, something changes, and posing for Mr. Kidder’s new painting isn’t the light-hearted endeavor it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it? Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What keeps us coming back to Oates Country is…her uncanny gift of making the page a window, with something on the other side that we’d swear was life itself.”

    New York Times

  • “For forty years, Joyce Carol Oates has maintained a creative dialogue with the roiling cauldron of contemporary American culture, writing unflinchingly about the oddities that bubble up into the headlines.”

    Washington Post

  • “Fans of Oates’ gothic stylings will not be disappointed…the prose [has] plenty of punch.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 2/17/2014

    " Joyce Carol Oates is a talented writer and I really enjoy her style of writing. In this book, Katya, 16 year old nanny and Marcus Kidder, a rich elderly gentleman, become acquainted one day in the seaside town of Bayhead Harbor. Their relationship slowly and strangely evolves from that meeting and where it ends is definitely unexpected. I read this book in one day as I couldn't put it down. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenna | 2/10/2014

    " Wow. Did I read the same book as everyone else? Sorry, but I really did not care for this book! The storyline was severely far-fetched, unbelievable, and just plain wacky. Many of the major plot twists were disturbing and unreal, yet it felt like JCO expected readers to just accept the strangeness without question. The characters felt cliche, each of them seeming to belong in different worlds, not connected to one another. Hmm...I was dissapointed but will give JCO another try :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Georgina Bruce | 2/8/2014

    " Very bleak, very disturbing, extremely intimate and shocking book. The ending was a bit overdone, I thought, I wasn't convinced that Mr Kidder's ultimate purpose was... well, that. I thought in a way that let him off the hook a bit, made him more sympathetic than he had a right to be. Of course, the masterful thing about this book is the way that the characters are so complex, so real, and our real intentions are often ambiguous. I felt for Katya, and felt that her experiences were very real and relateable for most women. This is a really powerful book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dana | 1/29/2014

    " Icky, creepy. The characters did not come across as plausible. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nissanmama | 1/24/2014

    " A Fair Maiden was well written, showing the constantly changing thought patterns of a teenage girl. Overall, however, this book was just creepy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/23/2014

    " This is easily my favorite of the Oates novels I have read so far. For such a short work the narrative is highly refined. All this swirling, dark water. Hidden currents and undertow. Either hopefully tragic or tragically hopeful. The story is beautiful. Dark, but beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 1/19/2014

    " To say it's a page turner is an understatement, it takes you unexpected places! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen Roe | 1/14/2014

    " Could have almost certainly been abridged into a 20 page short story. I found the protagonist incredibly annoying, and the plot lines quite bewilderingly close to those of Lolita. Disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 12/27/2013

    " Reading it you have the feeling you are privy to something both beautiful and dangerous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hafeez Lakhani | 12/23/2013

    " flew through this. well-worn material, a young girl/older man tryst, as well as class conflicts bw old/new/no money, but still Oates manages it all with a touching freshness "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catie | 12/16/2013

    " Joyce Carol Oates writes a good story. This brief book drew me into the lives of two people - Katya, a 16-year old who wants to be really loved and Marcus - a much older man who needs her. It is a strange tale but oddly satisfying. I think all of Oate's books are like that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kris | 11/24/2013

    " A little too Lolita-ish - but truth be told it was interesting enough to finish the short novel but not enough to reread or recommend. .5 for subject matter and 1.5 for the brilliant writing. (Note: I am not a big fan of the novel, Lolita). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nettie | 10/18/2013

    " Somewhat in the vein of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been," one of Joyce Carol Oates' most popular stories, A Fair Maiden, with the use of intertextuality, illustrates the intricate webs of human relationships, and shows us that living with people is far more complex than we even imagined. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paulette Ponte | 8/27/2013

    " JCO is probably my favorite author. As usual in A FAIR MAIDEN she confuses and confounds, probably more so than usual. The story is very upsetting and at times violent, however, it'swhat I expect from this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 8/26/2013

    " This was interesting, but creepy. But that's not unusual for JCO. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bibliophile | 5/19/2013

    " Per total mi-a placut foarte mult, dar ultimele pagini pur si simplu m-au dezgustat! Nu pot sa cred ca Oates a ales evolutia asta...mi-a fost teribil de mila de bosorogul ala, chit c-o fi fost el pedofil. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannawy | 2/6/2013

    " I am ambivalent about this book. On the one hand I read it in a day because I had to know what would happen, but for me it lacked a sense of urgency in the book itself. Still not sure how I feel about the ending either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 12/2/2012

    " A creepy and insightful novel set in modern times, however inspired by fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. A great cautionary tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 11/12/2012

    " excellent story - you could really sense how creepy the man was but just how much she wanted to be loved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda Mannino | 11/8/2012

    " certainly held my interest and was not what I expected...sort of a creepy love story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 10/2/2012

    " Another great JCO book - though I feel like there was a missing chapter near the end (actually checked to see if pages stuck together).....left me with a lot of questions. All in all - great read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gewizaz | 8/23/2012

    " the book is a fast read with some perverted scences with 15 yr old and 60+ man, nothing graphic. oates is such a good writer, she scooped my up and before i knew it, the last page turned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cherie | 8/21/2012

    " B+ A babysitter finds love in a very unusual place: in an older man who is an artist, wanting to pose her. One complaint: why are all of Oates's "heroines" (and I use that term very loosely) so similar. She seems like she hates women and girls sometimes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaime | 12/21/2011

    " Short and a little disturbing--usual Joyce Carol Oates. Unfortunately found the ending predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 12/20/2011

    " This book is creepy but it is also compelling. Which is probably why I managed to read it in just three stints! It is very hard to put down. It is clear where the story is going very quickly, but despite that it still drew me in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suesaroo | 5/4/2011

    " everyone can be contemptible "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Colette | 4/30/2011

    " I thought she spent a lot of time going no where to a senseless end. Too much missing from the plot and character development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 4/18/2011

    " excellent story - you could really sense how creepy the man was but just how much she wanted to be loved. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/24/2011

    " This is easily my favorite of the Oates novels I have read so far. For such a short work the narrative is highly refined. All this swirling, dark water. Hidden currents and undertow. Either hopefully tragic or tragically hopeful. The story is beautiful. Dark, but beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 3/18/2011

    " Joyce Carol Oates puts you under the spell of a sixteen year old who works one summer as a nanny at the beach where a rich, elderly gentlemen befriends her. Things start heating up and by the end you are on the edge of your seat. (By elderly she means 67 years old - oh my!) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 3/1/2011

    " A disturbing tale told in amazing tradition. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 2/16/2011

    " Definitely the dumbest book I've read in awhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 1/31/2011

    " certainly held my interest and was not what I expected...sort of a creepy love story "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 May | 1/27/2011

    " Did NOT like this book. I shoulda stopped reading when it started creeping me out, but I foolishly kept reading.. at least, until the rape scene and then I was just done. Total waste of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/2/2011

    " Quick read, great prose. unexpected ending "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 12/30/2010

    " Page, by sinister page, I'm inching closer - I know - to a tragic end for our innocent heroine. Delicious!

    SPOILER UPDATE: Okay, now that I've finished it...spoiler...a tragic end for our anti-hero! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 11/24/2010

    " Joyce Carol Oates is always deep... Not easy. But I liked the story of the girl who is
    is flattered by the attention of an older man (old enough to be her grandfather).
    You have to like J.C.O. And it's not long. Just right. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaime | 10/25/2010

    " Short and a little disturbing--usual Joyce Carol Oates. Unfortunately found the ending predictable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carol | 10/10/2010

    " Didn't like this book at all...not quite sure why I read almost to the end! "

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