So!

Short stories!

63 posts in this topic

So! I looked back several pages in this forum but couldn't find any threads about short stories. Just wondered if anyone here had any favourite short stories or favourite short story collections?

 

Some of my favourites:

 

The Library of Babel - Jorge Luis Borges

Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius - Jorge Luis Borges

Axolotl - Julio Cortazar

The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allen Poe

The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allen Poe

A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia - Viktor Pelevin

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog - O. Henry

Voice - Margaret Atwood

 

Jim

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Welcome Jim.. I love the various Stephen King collections, plus I recently enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman. Not really like any of your favourites though! :blush:

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Thank you, Michelle! I have a friend who likes Smokes and Mirrors. I plan to read it some day!

 

Jim

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Last year I read an excellent book of short stories by Ray Bradbury, called The Small Assassin. It's a collection of 13 horror stories - not usually my thing but he's an excellent writer.

 

If you like sci-fi I can highly recommend anything by Arthur C Clarke. I have a huge book of his collected short stories and I absolutely love every single story. It's a daunting read at almost 1000 pages of small print, but it's well worth it. :blush:

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Ooh yea.. I've read some by Arthur C Clarke too. :blush: And I have The Small Assassin on the TBR pile!

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In a lighter vein I enjoyed 'Under the Duvet' by Marian Keyes a few years ago. I think the short stories were initially published in a newspaper

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One collection I read recently was called Paris Tales and including short stories about the city of Paris by writers like Colette and Guy de Maupassant, among others. I'm also about to begin a huge Poe collection, which includes the two stories you mentioned, Jim. :blush:

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I'm not really one for short stories, but I do like a lot of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - many of his are pretty short. I'm also a fan of Stephen King, although I suppose his collections are more novella-length than short stories.

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I occasionally turn to short stories, although I'm not a great fan. Last compilation I read, a couple of months back, was called Paris Noir - set in Paris, obviously, and edited by Maxim Jakubowski. I found it pretty disappointing, to be honest. The classic short story form usually has a twist, but most of these started at A and went, in a linear fashion (pretentious? moi?), straight to B. Maybe people don't understand how to write proper short stories these days.

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The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allen Poe

I remember watching a film of the same name years ago with Vincent Price in it - I guess it must be an adaptation of that story - unless they just pinched the title!

 

I'm not one for short stories. I read A Quiver Full of Arrows by Jeffery Archer (also years ago - long before all the scandal surrounding him) - I think it must have come free with a magazine. One story about two people on a train and a chocolate bar sticks in my mind, but I can't remember any of the others.

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I'm not keen on short stories, though I have read a few Stephen King ones. Those weren't too short, though. My book for the Penguin read is a collection of short stories by RK Narayan (I'm sure I've spelt that wrong :blush:). The problem with those is that some of the stories are literally 3 pages long, and I just don't see the point of them. :cry2: I need something that I can get involved in, with a plot of decent length and lots of things happening.

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I have only read a few short stories but I find them very hit & miss. Some of them are very clever and others I just don't get

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My favourite short story writer has to be Raymond Carver. The best volume of his stories is, in my opinion 'What we talk about when we talk about love'. Don't be put off by the title, the stories are not all romantic. In fact, often quite the opposite. But his stories really are brilliant, not a word wasted which is incredible.

 

If you're after something that plays a bit more with form etc, try short stories by Ali Smith. She's a Scottish writer and although she does write novels, her short stories are very, very bizarre.

 

Another book with some very unusual short stories - 'The Girl in the flammable skirt' - Aimee Bender. So, so so different.

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I've recently read Imogen Howson's short stories.. they're kinda YA, and are retellings of fairytales, myths.. that sort of thing. I really really liked them. :blush:

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Anything by Ray Bradbury. I remember reading The Pedestrian at college, and that got me hooked.

 

Someone's mentioned Smoke & Mirrors, which I loved; Fragile Things is currently somewhere halfway up Mt. TBR.

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Thanks for your replies everyone. Some good stories/collections I've not heard of, will definitely be trying to get hold of some of them, especially Arthur C Clarke; always meant to get a hold of his stuff, even if I'm not a huge sci-fi fan.

Thanks Essiotrot for the Truman Capote suggestion; I haven't read anything by him, but saw the film with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and am certainly interested.

 

It is a shame though that so many people nowadays (particularly in the UK; less so in North America and Europe) don't like short stories. I can understand why some people want to sink their teeth into something more expansive, but I think short stories are so much fun purely because in their brevity they still manage to conjure up worlds and ideas just as important or enlightening as those in bigger books, but without all the extra padding that comes with novels. Even if they don't last as long, I find them just as memorable and effective.

But then, admittedly, I have quite a short attention span, so that probably plays a large part in my enjoyment of them too. :blush:

 

Jim

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I really struggled with Borges despite loving the ideas.

 

My favourite is probably "I have no mouth but I must scream" by Harlan Ellison; almost all of my short story reading has been SF, though, so my outlook is skewed.

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My favourite is probably "I have no mouth but I must scream" by Harlan Ellison; almost all of my short story reading has been SF, though, so my outlook is skewed.

 

I got my hands on this recently - really looking forward to reading it.

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I love The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, thus my name. I am happy to have found this thread as I was looking for some other short stories to read.

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There are times when short stories are great to delve into - if you are between novels. I often pick up some. My favourites are those by Guy de Maupassant and I have a good collection of Daphne du Maurier's short stories too. The Birds being one of my favourites :)

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I cannot express why I love short stories but just the thought of them makes me smile, I am constantly on the look out for interesting collections to read and it is not because I do not like reading long stories because I read and enjoy both equally. Many short stories even consisting of only 3 pages can be more magical and memorable than a 1000 page book, that's depending on the author's talent ofcourse. :smile2:

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Thomas Hardy's short stories are very good; but are often bleak. Not recommended if you like happy endings!

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There are times when short stories are great to delve into - if you are between novels. I often pick up some. My favourites are those by Guy de Maupassant and I have a good collection of Daphne du Maurier's short stories too. The Birds being one of my favourites :)

 

I've only recently discovered Maupassant and have to agree his short stories are great! I'm also a huge fan of Daphne Du Maurier and must have read all of her short stories by now. My favourite is probably The Blue Lenses. I've also been reading some Chekhov short stories which are really good too.

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