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Joseph Schneider | The Top Five Crime Stories that Made Me
Author Guest / January 18, 2021

You’ve had it, just as I have–that delicious moment when you read something that shatters you.  “I didn’t know you could do that with words,” you think, your relationship with literature forever changed. There’s a great scene in The NeverEnding Story when the bookseller tells Bastian how certain stories aren’t safe, that they won’t simply release you on your own terms. Here are five pieces that still haven’t let me go, and that’ve shaped my life as a writer of crime fiction. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates I was in 9th grade when our English teacher assigned this out of our thumping short story anthology. Oates begins her tale in the most unassuming way: Connie–fifteen, and with all the drama that entails–decides to stay home while her parents and sister go to a most uncool family barbeque. Sometime into the afternoon, two men show up in a convertible and honk the horn. Connie goes out to see what they want, and the terror begins to unspool. This story was a revelation. The idea that the most hideous things could happen in the middle of a blue day, and right where you lived, cut…