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Extended Audio Sample High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Julia Whelan, Ray Chase, Donna Postel, Luci Christian Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human flaws. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individuals—a brother and sister, a teacher and student, two strangers on a subway—in the fearless prose for which she’s become so celebrated.

In the title story “High Crime Area,” a white, aspiring professor is convinced she is being followed. No need to panic, she has a handgun stowed away in her purse—just in case. But when she turns to confront her black, male shadow, the situation isn’t what she expects. In “The Rescuer,” a promising graduate student detours to inner city Trenton, New Jersey, to save her brother from a downward spiral. But she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers. And in “The Last Man of Letters,” the world-renowned author X embarks on a final grand tour of Europe. He has money, fame, but not a whole lot of manners. A little thing like etiquette couldn’t bring a man like X down, could it?

In these biting and beautiful stories, Oates confronts, one by one, the demons within us. Sometimes it’s the human who wins, and sometimes it’s the demon.

Stories include:

  1. “The Home at Craigmillnar” read by Ray Chase
  2. “High” read by Donna Postel
  3. “Toad-Baby” read by Luci Christian
  4. “Demon” read by Chris Patton
  5. “Lorelei” read by Tamara Marston
  6. “The Rescuer” read by Julia Whelan
  7. “The Last Man of Letters” ready by Ray Chase
  8. “High Crime Area” read by Julia Whelan
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Quotes & Awards

  • “These ‘tales of darkness and dread’ won’t put you to sleep, but they’ll give you more interesting nightmares…In a way, ever story is a character study…sure to focus a basilisk eye on the weak spot that reveals our own ugly impulses and make us defenseless against the terrors of the night.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Exquisitely written…there is no better stylist alive than Joyce Carol Oates…Read High Crime Area and prepare yourself for eight surprises, the number of stories in the book.”

    Huntington News

  • “Oates offers unexpected glimmers of redemption amid the grotesquerie, degradation, and exploitation that fill this collection’s eight tales…Oates is at her best depicting characters who seem perplexed by their own needs, desires, and obligations.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “These stories take the reader to desolate intersections and grimy tenements that mirror the dark reaches of the human soul; the combined elements of literary fiction with genre fiction and true crime offer added audience appeal.”

    Library Journal

  • “Oates carries forward the great American dark-tales tradition with spellbinding craft, a cutting female eye, and a keen sense of how the diabolical infiltrates everyday existence…Powerhouse Oates brings both exterior and interior worlds into excruciatingly sharp focus, evoking dread, grim exaltation, and the paralysis of prey. Oates’ potent dark tales are addictive.”


  • “Oates’ mastery of imagery and of stream of consciousness enhances the gritty settings and the frailties of her grotesque and pitiable subjects.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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