cover image Black Dahlia & White Rose

Black Dahlia & White Rose

Joyce Carol Oates, read by Paul Michael Garcia, Coleen Marlo, and Tavia Gilbert. HarperAudio, library edition, unabridged, seven CDs, 8.75 hrs., $59.99 ISBN 978-0-06-224615-8

With this latest collection, Oates continues to delve into the dark depths of the human condition with diverse stories of loss, regret, angst, and murder. This audio edition features a series of winning performances from narrators Paul Michael Garcia, Coleen Marlo, and Tavia Gilbert. Among the highlights are “I.D.,” “Run Kiss Daddy,” “San Quentin,” and “Anniversary,” the latter two providing different and disturbing perspectives of prison life. However, the title story shines brightest. In it, Oates fictionalizes the lives of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, and her roommate, Norma Jean Baker, soon to become the legendary Marilyn Monroe. As both women tell their stories, Gilbert and Marlo give spot-on performances. Garcia rounds out the cast with his rendition of an opportunistic photographer who may have placed the two women on their respective paths through history. An Ecco hardcover. (Sept.)