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Download The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Audiobook, 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 (512 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Adam Verner, Christine Williams Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9781611746020
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An incomparable master storyteller in all forms, in The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Joyce Carol Oates spins seven imaginative tales of suspense. “The Corn Maiden” is the gut-wrenching story of Marissa, a beautiful and sweet, but somewhat slow, eleven-year-old girl with hair the color of corn silk. Her single mother comes home one night to find her missing and panics, frantically knocking on the doors of her neighbors. She finally calls the police, who want to know why she left her young daughter alone until 8:00 o’clock. Suspicion falls on a computer teacher at her school with no alibi for the time of the abduction. Obvious clues—perhaps too obvious—point directly to him. Unsuspected is Judah (born Judith), an older girl from the same school who has told two friends in her thrall of the Indian legend of the Corn Maiden, a girl sacrificed to ensure a good crop. The seemingly inevitable fate of Marissa becomes ever more terrifying as Judah relishes her power, leading to unbearable tension with a shocking conclusion.

“Helping Hands,” published here for the first time, begins with an apparently optimistic line: “He came into her life when it had seemed to her that her life was finished.” A lonely woman meets a man in the unlikely clutter of a dingy charity shop and extends friendliness, which soon turns to quiet and unacknowledged desire. With the mind-set of a victim, struggling to overcome her shyness and fears, she has no idea what kinds of doors she may be opening.

The powerful stories in this extraordinary collection further enhance Joyce Carol Oates’s standing as one of the world’s greatest writers of suspense.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kookie | 2/19/2014

    " The first (and title) story is terrific, the rest sort of suck. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erin | 2/6/2014

    " I found this to be jumpy and poorly written. Glad it was a library book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Marie | 2/3/2014

    " The Corn Maiden story was eerie and scary without being about anything supernatural which make it that much more scary. My favorite though was the short "Nobody knows my name" as it was about the old wives tale that we have all heard about a cat trying to suck the soul out of a baby. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 1/30/2014

    " Joyce Carol Oates writes amazing "literary" horror, tightly constructed stories with a unique voice that live inside your head for a few days after, causing you to shudder over the mundane that echoes something you just experienced in a very different context. The title story refers to the Native American folk belief that involved sacrificing a young girl to ensure good crops. A very sick young mind latches onto the idea and lures a young girl into a danger that not only threatens her life but also her sanity. All the stories in this collection leave a disturbing impression. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Zinner | 1/26/2014

    " Loved the first story ("The Corn Maiden") and was less engaged by the others. These are highly readable stories and good writing, however, and I do recommend them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Juliegsorensen | 1/20/2014

    " Joyce Carol Oates continues to demonstrate that she is a gifted writer. I just wasnt all that excited about the stories. Some were better than others; some were a bit predictable; and some ended with the reader hanging. I'm waiting for her to publish another great novel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 1/12/2014

    " Typical Joyce Carol Oates. Stylish writing and delightfully creepy plotting. Standouts in this collection include the titular story and "Helping Hands." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon Gosden | 12/11/2013

    " A splendid collection of one novella length story and six short stories from the pen of this highly talented author. Dark stories of horror, suspense and terror from a vivid imagination, they will transfix you from start to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey P. | 12/10/2013

    " Ok....not her best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 12/10/2013

    " I have been waiting for this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Need2read | 12/9/2013

    " Overall, okay, though slightly disappointing. I enjoy Ms. Oates's writing, however, so I will never complain. I'm inspired to write in her style immediately after I finish something of hers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 11/1/2013

    " Oates at her best. Loved the first story. Chilling and simply told. The whole thing kept me drawn in except for one story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 6/3/2013

    " A different kind of horror book because it doesn't take much imagination to see yourself in these situations. And often you are left to draw your own conclusion and in turn find out a little about yourself and how you would handle the events. "

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

    " Disturbing, well-written, hooks you at the first sentence, and leaves a mark on you. Seems to follow a similar formula of JCO's other novellas. A one-sit read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 1/26/2013

    " The title story was so captivating, but the others were just okay. I would recommend reading it for the title story alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn Ashenbrenner | 1/9/2013

    " I have a love/hate relationship with short stories. Some of these were good, some not so good. I didn't think any were great. Even the first one, Corn Maiden, which started out very promising, had a strange ending. I do like Oates' novels, I think I will stick to those! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeremy | 11/25/2012

    " Joyce Carol Oates needs to develop a tiny sense of humor. Watch 30 Rock or something... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 11/11/2012

    " I'd probably give this a 3.5. Some of the short stories were better than the others. The better stories in my opinion were The Corn Maiden, Nobody Knows My Name and A Hole in the Head, although the other stories were also well written, but just not as gripping to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/26/2012

    " The first story in this book is really disturbing. I had to skim over some parts that were just too hard to read. However, I did want to see how it ended. Well written and draws you in, but WOW, very disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 4/22/2012

    " Nightmares for sure! As a parent, several of these stories were hard to read. As the parent of a child with special needs, the title story was most difficult. Still, I read them all. Love her characters, and continue to believe that her short stories are better than her long fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mel | 3/19/2012

    " I love Joyce Carol Oates. I have read may of her books. I am used to her writing style. That being said I didn't love this book. The stories were just OK and not at all scary (in the traditional sense) or "spine tingling" or whatever it promised. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Helen | 2/18/2012

    " not her best collection "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/18/2012

    " A great book--but not for everyone. It's very dark. The final story literally had me squirming in my seat. "

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About the Author
Author Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger, and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

About the Narrators

Adam Verner is a full-time narrator with over 250 titles recorded for ncompanies such as HarperCollins, Recorded Books, Brilliance, Blackstone Audio, AudioGo, Tantor, Oasis, Audible, Highbridge, eChristian, Dreamscape, and Zondervan. He is the recipient of three AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for Voice Arts awards by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences. He holds an MFA in acting from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Christine Williams is a singer and actor based in Ashland, Oregon. Her performance credits include productions at regional theaters and on concert stages across the country and around the world, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Barbican Centre in London to the Aspen Music Festival and the Grotowski Institute in Poland.