Picture of author.

Stephen Dobyns

Autor(a) de The Church of Dead Girls

44+ Works 3,488 Membros 80 Críticas 7 Favorited

About the Author

Stephen Dobyns was born on February 19, 1941, in Orange, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in 1964 from Wayne State University and an M.F.A. in 1967 from the University of Iowa. He was a reporter for the Detroit News and has taught at several colleges and universities including Sarah Lawrence College, mostrar mais Warren Wilson College, the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, and Boston University. He has written about ten books of poetry and twenty novels. His books of poetry include Concurring Beasts, Heat Death, Common Carnage, Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides, The Porcupine's Kisses, and Winter's Journey. He has received several awards including the Melville Cane Award for Cemetery Nights. His novels include Saratoga Haunting, The Wrestler's Cruel Study, Saratoga Fleshpot, The Church of Dead Girls, and Boy in the Water. He is also the author of a collection of short stories, Eating Naked and a book of essays, Best Words, Best Order. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Inclui os nomes: Stephen Dobyns, Stephen Doybns

Image credit: Courtesy of Allison & Busby


Obras por Stephen Dobyns

The Church of Dead Girls (1997) 956 exemplares
Boy in the Water (1999) 372 exemplares
The Burn Palace (2013) 237 exemplares
The Wrestler's Cruel Study (1993) 158 exemplares
Eating Naked: Stories (2000) 126 exemplares
Cemetery Nights (1987) 107 exemplares
The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini (1988) 85 exemplares
Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?: A Novel (2015) 84 exemplares
Cold Dog Soup (1985) 69 exemplares
Saratoga Longshot (1602) 54 exemplares
Saratoga Swimmer (1981) 54 exemplares
Saratoga Strongbox (1998) 49 exemplares
Saratoga Headhunter (1985) 49 exemplares
Saratoga Snapper (1986) 46 exemplares
Saratoga Haunting (1993) 45 exemplares
Common Carnage (Poets, Penguin) (1996) 42 exemplares
Saratoga Fleshpot (1995) 42 exemplares
Saratoga Hexameter (1990) 36 exemplares
Saratoga Bestiary (1988) 34 exemplares
Mystery, So Long (Penguin Poets) (2005) 29 exemplares
After Shocks/Near Escapes (1991) 26 exemplares
The Balthus Poems (1982) 22 exemplares
Body Traffic: Poems (1990) 21 exemplares
Winter's Journey (2010) 20 exemplares
Dancer With One Leg (1983) 17 exemplares
A Boat off the Coast (1987) 16 exemplares
Saratoga Trifecta (1995) 16 exemplares
Concurring Beasts (1972) 14 exemplares
Heat death : poems (1980) 14 exemplares
House on Alexandrine (1990) 8 exemplares
A Man of Little Evils (1973) 7 exemplares
Griffon: Poems (1976) 7 exemplares
Skin Deep 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (2003) — Contribuidor — 774 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1999 (1999) — Contribuidor — 454 exemplares
180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (2005) — Contribuidor — 365 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1995 (1995) — Contribuidor — 303 exemplares
The Art of Losing (2010) — Contribuidor — 203 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2006 (2006) — Contribuidor — 190 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 1993 (1993) — Contribuidor — 129 exemplares
Emergency Kit (1996) — Contribuidor, algumas edições109 exemplares
The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (2012) — Contribuidor — 63 exemplares
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2004) — Contribuidor — 58 exemplares
Orpheus and Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology (1999) — Contribuidor — 48 exemplares
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contribuidor — 32 exemplares
60 Years of American Poetry (1996) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
Hebbes 1 — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Wow. That was a wild ride from start to finish. Intense, complex and unique, I thoroughly devoured The Church of Dead Girls. I often read on my walk to work in the morning but today I sat down at my desk and just had to finish the last few pages, I absolutely could not tear my eyes away from the page.

Ostensibly, The Church of Dead Girls is about the disappearance of three girls in a small New York town above the Finger Lakes. Told from the outsider perspective of a high school science teacher, the lives and secrets of his fellow citizens are revealed slowly, their layers peeled away as the tension between friends and neighbours ratchets up. The abduction of the girls is both horrific and a catalyst, the townfolk growing increasingly mad with frustration and suspicion, and fear. Not only fear of their daughter being taken next, but of their secret desires, their illicit actions being exposed and revealed to the cruel eye of the town's populace, the only judge that matters.

As I was reading I was often reminded of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, to which The Church of Dead Girls seems to be a spiritual precursor. There's a creeping, unsettling feeling that only grows as you advance in the story. Like Sharp Objects the disappearance and probable murders of the missing girls, barely in their teenage years, is only part of a larger whole. The narrator relates decades worth of information, gleaned from years of personal interactions or heard secondhand from his friends, piecing together the story from what he's been told into a rich, meaty narrative.

The real story that lurks behind the abduction of the three teenage girls is the unknowable nature of the other. Even those closest to us have their secrets, the thoughts they keep to themselves, a persona they show the world that reflects only a portion of their true self. The mercurial nature of a community influenced by gossip and speculation, suspicion and fear, is as fascinating as it is frustrating. The 'other' is always targeted, the African college professor and his Marxist reading group, gay men, anyone who stands out from the 'norm' suffering from hysterical scapegoating.

Overall, The Church of Dead Girls is slow, but taut, deftly portraying the way a small community operates, the way lives intersect and affect each other. The way the town reacts to the missing girls as scarring and long-lasting as the abductions themselves, mob mentality showing the unintended dark sides of even the innocent.
… (mais)
xaverie | 26 outras críticas | Apr 3, 2023 |
I read The Burn Palace by this author and while it was quirky it was also a very good story. Is Fat Bob Dead Yet, is also quirky, but that's it. The author will use 3 pages to tell the reader something that could have been communicated in a sentence or at most a paragraph. I made it to page 125 and realized I couldn't care less about the characters or the story. Another annoying thing about this book was the narration, it goes from person to person dialog, then into big picture narration from some third party, I don't know how else to explain it.
Lastly after I got it from Amazon I noticed on the cover that it had- for me- the kiss of death, an endorsement from Stephen King. I like King's books but with 1 or 2 exceptions I have hated any books his endorsement appears on.
… (mais)
zmagic69 | 9 outras críticas | Mar 31, 2023 |
Uit collectie 2023
Honisoitquimalypense | 1 outra crítica | Oct 18, 2022 |
Dobyns seems to produce two lines of books: his mealticket, the Saratoga Springs mystery novels, and his one-offs, the odd and varied -- but not actually experimental -- novels like Cold Dog Soup and The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini.

Burn Palace seems to combine the two approaches: a semi-supernatural police procedural which unexpectedly veers off into more cerebral territory. There were shades of The Wrestler's Cruel Study in many of the the occult digressions.

It's not perfect, and I admit that I like his one-offs much better, but this was still a fun, diverting read.… (mais)
mkfs | 19 outras críticas | Aug 13, 2022 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.6
Marcado como favorito

Tabelas & Gráficos