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- Book Reviews
- Short Stories
Welcome to the Zoo
by Aimee Jodoin
Themes of cooperation and belonging run throughout the heartwarming short story collection "Welcome to the Zoo". In Paul Smith’s short story collection for children, "Welcome to the Zoo", animals face problems that require them to work... Read More
by Luke Sutherland
Challenging and exquisite, the short stories of "Domestic Affairs" demand to be met on their own terms. Daniel M. Jaffe’s charming short story collection "Domestic Affairs" depicts tender and erotic relationships between men in a... Read More
Where Can I Take You When There’s Nowhere To Go
by Anthony Hamilton
Joe Baumann’s "Where Can I Take You When There’s Nowhere To Go" collects surrealist short stories with grotesque physical manifestations of people’s emotional lives at their centers. Predicated on extended metaphors, their effects... Read More
by Elaine Chiew
In Garnett Kilberg Cohen’s expansive short story collection, some form of craving—either literal or metaphysical—factors into every person’s tale. A woman who craved olives as a child is forever cursed to flashback through the... Read More
by Jaime Herndon
"Blessed Hands" is an engaging short story collection that’s filled with glimpses into the lives of those whose voices are not often heard. Translated from Yiddish, Frume Halpern’s short story collection "Blessed Hands" captures... Read More
You Are My Sunshine
by Peter Dabbene
Octavia Cade’s "You Are My Sunshine" collects eighteen stories that cast a speculative eye on the future, seen through an ecological lens. Ecological themes carry throughout the book, which also integrates elements of horror. In “We... Read More
Her Body among Animals
by Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers
Elegant and arresting, the eleven modern fables in Paola Ferrante’s "Her Body among Animals" thrum with a desperate, racing pulse as they capture the everyday horrors women live with and the sacrifices—of personhood, opportunity, and... Read More
by Rebecca Foster
In the inventive short stories of JoeAnn Hart’s Hudson Prize-winning collection "Highwire Act", people face catastrophes and discover connections with animals. Some of the stories are set in the real world; others occupy a speculative... Read More
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BOOK REVIEWS BY KIDS
Guidelines for parents to help children write book reviews.
Book : Dog man
Author : Dav Pilkey Review by : Samar
Review : I like this book because dog man is very smart and powerful. my favorite part dog man saving the world,my not favorite part is petey tried to escape from [Read More]
Book : Cat kid comic club perspectives
Review : What i liked about this book is that melvin and naomi became happy with each other. what i dont like about this book is they keep fighting . Samar. [Read More]
Book : Geronimo stilton
Author : Elisabetta Dami Review by : Aarav Singh Kalsi
Review : Geronimo Stliton is a realy good book .it has so many adventurs featurs .I love the book most because it has funny parts in the book. [Read More]
Book : MEETING the CHALLENGE
Author : Kassymzhomart Tokaev Review by : Aiym Kakimzhanova
Review : Good morning/evening/night, I would like to share an preview of an book, it clearly shows, the progress of being diplomat, Tokaev (President of Kazakhstan) started working in a [Read More]
Book : Diary of a wimpy kid the last straw
Author : Jeff Kinney Review by : Aahana
Review : Hi my name is Aahana and today I will review the book Diary of a wimpy kid the last straw. The book is amazing and the way he tells what's [Read More]
Book : The Story of Heidi
Author : Johana Spyri Review by : Nano
Review : This book is about a girl name Heidi a 10 or 12 year old girl. The genre of this book is folklore and adventure. once upon a time there was a girl [Read More]
Book : Dog Man the Tale of Two Kities
Author : Dav Pilkey Review by : Spock
Review : Character is DOGMAN the police dog and the DOGMAN oner chief and Petty the cat. PLOT SUMMARY the book is about they have to kids named Geor and Harold they [Read More]
Book : The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Author : Emma Helbrough Review by : Poom
Review : This book is very fun I rate it for 4.5 stars. There was a grumpy king that had twelve princesses. The princesses liked to dance but the king hated it. One [Read More]
Book : Pigsticks and Harold and the incredible journey!
Author : Alex Milkway Review by : Pitipatt Nipanutiyun Pat
Review : This book is about a pig called Pigsticks who wants a partner then he founded a perfect partner called Harold and my favorite page is page 64 to page 65 because it [Read More]
Book : Masha And The Bunny
Author : Aranniyan Review by : Rajeev
Review : Once upon a time, there was a girl named Masha. She likes bunnies. She always plays with the bunny. Masha's Father Comes at 7clock. happy when she sees her father. [Read More]
Book : 101 Dalmatians
Author : Walt Disney Hard Cover Edition Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : I decided to read this book because I like dogs. I loved that every page in this book had a dog!! I was surprised to see 99 puppies. But I never [Read More]
Book : Turtle in Paradise
Author : Jennifer L Holm Review by : Ishita Padiyar
Review : The book is about a girl named Turtle who goes to her relatives’ place who she has never met before. She makes friends and finds treasure with them. Her mother [Read More]
Book : Land of Stories Series
Author : Chris Colfer Review by : Ishita Padiyar
Review : I read all 6 books in this series. The series is about twins – Alex and Conner. Their grandmother gifts them a book called The Land Of Stories. They fall into the [Read More]
Book : Matilda
Author : Roald Dahl Review by : Idhika Diwan
Review : I decided to read this book as I like the book cover. The book cover has the picture of a girl reading. I also like to read hence I chose [Read More]
Book : Queen Clara
Author : Ladybird Books Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : I decided to read this book because I want to be a king. Like a king, I want to rule everyone in the country. This book is about a queen [Read More]
Book : Big Cats
Author : Rhonda Klevansky Review by : Idhika Diwan
Review : In the first week of my summer holidays, I finished reading this book. This is a big and heavy book and is all about big cats like lion and tiger. [Read More]
Book : Daddy Pig's Office
Review : I read this book during the starting of summer holidays. It was a fun story about Peppa Pig and her little brother, George. The most fun part of the book [Read More]
Book : Cheeky Little Kitten
Author : Joan Stimson Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : I read this book, last week. It is about a little kitten and his friends. It is a very very funny book because it has so much of tickling. The [Read More]
Book : That cat with the feathery tail and other stories
Author : Enid Blyton Review by : Idhika Diwan
Review : I read this book yesterday evening. It is a collection of 15 stories. I enjoyed all the stories in this book. My favourite story was “Simple Simon goes shopping”. This funny [Read More]
Book : Pete the cat- Sir Pete the brave
Author : James Dean Review by : Aaradhya Tejas Thatte
Review : My favorite book is “Pete the cat- Sir Pete the brave”. This book is about Sir Pete and Lady Callie. One night, lady Callie plays harp beautifully and everyone falls [Read More]
Book : Some places more than others
Author : Renie Watson Review by : Jahnavigouri Panicker
Review : Some places more than others is a pretty good story about finding your roots written by Renèe Watson. Amara lives in Oregon and she want to visit New York, [Read More]
Book : Night diary
Author : Veera Hiranandani Review by : Jahnavigouri Panicker
Review : See the video review on my booktube channel https://youtu.be/q6M01lcUNOU This book is so good .Capturing writing style. Brilliant book. Must buy. The book is written [Read More]
Book : Strange birds a field guide to ruffling feathers
Author : Ceila. C.Perez Review by : Jahnavigouri Panicker
Review : ~~' Even though history is in the past and we can't do anything about what happened then we can try to make it right to day ' ~~ ■ This book Strange [Read More]
Book : Living in Space
Author : Katie Daynes Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : Last week I finished reading a book called “Living in Space”. Do you know why I read this book? I read it because I want to go to space. This [Read More]
Book : Snicker the Brownie.. and other stories
Review : This week I finished reading a collection of stories. I got this book as a present for Dussehra. There were sixteen stories in the book. Out of these, I liked [Read More]
Book : Cars 3
Author : Disney Pixar Movie Book Collection Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : Last week I finished reading a book called Cars 3. The book is a part of Disney Pixar Movie Book Collection. It is a very big book. I took one week [Read More]
Book : Finding Nemo
Author : Disney Pixar Movie Book Collection Review by : Idhika Diwan
Review : I recently finished a book called “Finding Nemo”. This book is a part of Disney Pixar Movie Book Collection. The book is about a young clownfish called Nemo and his [Read More]
Book : The Lion King
Author : Disney Review by : Ibhan Diwan
Review : I finished reading a book called “The Lion King”. It is about a lion called King Mufasa, Queen Sarabi and their son called Simba. His father told Simba that when [Read More]
Book : James and the Giant Peach
Review : Book review of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl During my Christmas vacation, I finished a book called “James and the Giant Peach”. The book was about a [Read More]
Book : Spell Bound!
Author : Nalini Sorensen Review by : Vania Vriksha
Review : Our 5.5 year old voracious reader LOVED it ! We encouraged Vania to review the book 'Spellbound!' written by Nalini Sorensen & published by Scholastic. Her observations - • The cover of the [Read More]
Book : By Royal Appointment
Author : Jeffrey Archer Review by : Vania Vriksha
Review : Our 5.5 year old daughter reviews the book "By Royal Appointment" written by Jeffrey Archer, illustrated by Priya Kuriyan & published by Pan Macmillan India. Here are her answers to our questions: 1. [Read More]
Book : Friends Behind Walls
Author : Harshikaa Udasi Review by : Vasudha Jhawar
Review : My name is Vasudha Jhawar and today I have written a book review about a book called FRIENDS BEHIND WALLS. The author of the book is Harshikaa Udasi so let [Read More]
Book : The Ickabog
Author : J.K.Rowling Review by : Vasudha Jhawar
Review : This story is about 'Ickabog', the monster, who people thought was scary and fearsome. It starts with the story of Fred, the king of Cornucopia and his Chief advisor Herringbone, [Read More]
Book : Fun in Devlok Omnibus
Author : Devdutt Pattanaik Review by : Vasudha Jhawar
Review : This book tells various stories of Indian gods and goddesses portrayed as human beings. There are stories about Saraswati, Kama, Yama, Krishna and even cows. It is enjoyable, imaginative and [Read More]
Book : Charlotte's Web
Author : E.B.White Review by : Tejas Sriram
Review : The main characters in Charlotte's Web are Wilbur, the pig, and Charlotte, the spider. Wilbur is about to be killed! Only one who can save him is Charlotte. Fern adopts [Read More]
Book : Famous Five: Five on a Hike Together
Author : Enid Blyton Review by : Tejas Sriram
Review : The Famous Five series, by Enid Blyton, is one of the bestsellers. It is extraordinary, innovative, fun and mind-blowing stories of children who solve mysteries. My favourite book is Book 10: [Read More]
Book : Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author : JK Rowling Review by : Tejas Sriram
Review : An Intro to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Dumbledore: The headmaster of Hogwarts. Being a great man, he saves Harry Potter from Voldemort. Harry Potter: The main character, Potter, [Read More]
Book : Gullivers Stories
Author : Jonathan Swift Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : Lemuel Gulliver, a voyager of the sea. He leaves his homeland, England, in search of adventure. He washes up on a strange island. The people speak a different language, have [Read More]
Book : FING
Author : David Waliams Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : FING When I was about 3 or 4 years old, I was afraid of any type of monster or weird creature. Ironically, after the age of 5, I fell in love with monsters. [Read More]
Book : Ignited Minds
Author : A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : We all have heard of the scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015). He received a number of awards like the Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997). He [Read More]
Book : Magic Tree House - Valley of dinosaurs
Author : Mary Pope Osborne Review by : Aaditri
Age : 6 years 7 months
Review : Once there were two kids Jack and Annie. Jack liked real things but Annie liked pretend things. When they were going home they saw a magic tree house. They climbed [Read More]
Book : The Jungle Storytelling Festival
Author : Janaki Sabesh Review by : Vania Vriksha
Age : 3 years 10 months
Review : The book is written by Janaki Aunty. Aunty who draws(illustrator Debosmita Mazumdar)has drawn Ostroo in pink,orange,black & white)The book cover is green because it has leaves [Read More]
Book : Something's moving !
Author : Daya Subramanian Review by : Vania Vriksha
Age : 3 years 9 months
Review : Recently, we started to ask questions after reading the book with Vania encouraging her to retell the story in her own words! Here's Vania's take on the book as she [Read More]
Book : The Case of the Stolen Smells
Author : Pankaja Srinivasan Review by : Vania Vriksha
Review : I like Bajji hand with green nail polish on the cover of the book....Raju works in Indian haircut saloon...Indian flag is there on the board...Raju was eating [Read More]
Book : Princess Easy Pleasy
Author : Natasha Sharma Review by : Vania Vriksha
Review : Review of the humour quotient in the book : Princess Easy Pleasy says 'eww I don't like this Taaza milk'. The cow drinking watermelon juice. Rabbit going inside Queen's dress. They [Read More]
Book : Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Meltdown
Author : Jeff Kinney Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : It is currently winter and one of these days I thought I was going to freeze to death but thank god it does't snow in Mumbai or I would not [Read More]
Book : The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Author : Dav Pilkey Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : I recently read a book called The Adventures of Captain Underpants.The reader of this review may think this the weirdest book on the planet, but you are wrong. The [Read More]
Book : Esio Trot
Author : Roald Dahl Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : Esio Trot (The word tortoise backwards) I recently read a book called Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. It was a hilarious and let me tell what it is all about. [Read More]
Book : Charlie and the Choclate Factory
Review : Both adults and children love chocolate. It is one of the most adored foods in the world. If you are a chocolate lover how would you feel if you entered [Read More]
Review : Books, books and more books. That would be heaven for some people, but for some kids this is normal. I read a book called Matilda sometime ago. This story is [Read More]
Book : The Creakers
Author : Tom Fletcher Review by : Mihir Garg
Age : 10 years 6 months
Review : Have you ever been curious about what makes those creaking noises under your bed? These sounds are made by the creakers. 10-year-old Lucy is astonished to find that all the [Read More]
Book : BOOKASURA
Author : Arundhati Venkatesh Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : Do you like books? How would you feel if someone came and destroyed all of them . I recently read a book called Bookasura .Yes, it is exactly how it sounds . [Read More]
Book : Tom Gates-Genius Ideas
Author : L. Pichon Review by : Aashima Nair
Review : What do you call a genius idea? Is it an amazing thought or is it an idea you thought was out of this world. I recently read a book called [Read More]
Book : The Boy In A Dress
Author : David Walliams Review by : Siddharth Sharma
Review : Here is my review of the book ‘The Boy in a Dress’ by David Walliams. The story starts with a family of three – Dennis, his elder brother and their father. [Read More]
Book : Where's the Meerkat?
Author : Paul Moran Review by : Disha Raam
Age : 5 years 9 months
Review : This book is about finding Meerkats in different places of the world. The meerkats hide in each place and we need to find them all. They hide in Cairo, Rio [Read More]
Book : Four Children and IT
Author : Jacqueline Wilson Review by : Siddharth Sharma
Age : 10 years 4 months
Review : I read a book called Four Children and It written by Jacqueline Wilson. It’s a fiction book inspired by the book Five Children and It written by E Nesbit [Read More]
Book : Horrid High
Author : Payal Kapadia Review by : Siddharth Sharma
Age : 10 years 3 months
Review : Horridness to the Core I recently read a story called Horrid High and here is my review about it. The book is about a boy named Ferg. Ferg's parents wanted [Read More]
Book : Dosa Amma Dosa
Author : Tulika Publishers Review by : Vania Vriksha
Age : 3 years 1 months
Review : Ghee roast dosa is my favorite because it is tasty. My favorite line in the book 'And one big dosa all for me'! [Read More]
Book : The Butterfly Dance
Author : Suzanne Barton Review by : Aaditri
Age : 5 years 7 months
Review : The book is about two butterflies Dotty and Stripe. Dotty was a blue butterfly and Stripe was a red butterfly. They were best friends and they shared everything. They always [Read More]
Book : Kutti and the mouse
Author : Shobha Viswanath Review by : Vania Vriksha
Age : 3 years 0 months
Review : I like the story because of kozhukaatais (they are yummy) ! Characters I like in the story are Kausi and Kumar. I can imitate Kutti and her Amma! My favorite dialog [Read More]
Book : Tonka If I Could Drive An Ambulance
Author : Michael Teitelbaum Review by : Edward
Review : He imagines that his ambulance's emergency lights flashing and siren blaring racing all over town [Read More]
Book : What if
Author : A. H. Benjamin Review by : Aaditri
Age : 5 years 1 months
Review : This story is about some farm animals and their first meeting with a kangaroo. The animals didn't know what a kangaroo could do. They were very worried because they thought [Read More]
Book : Fancy Nancy - Every Day is Earth Day
Author : Jane O'Conner Review by : Aaditri
Age : 4 years 10 months
Review : It is about Being Green.In school Fancy Nancy and her friends write down the rules for protecting the planet Earth. Then she goes home and tries to teach her [Read More]
Book : Winne the Pooh - Honey to Share
Author : Sara Miller Review by : Disha Raam
Age : 4 years 9 months
Review : Winne the Pooh loves honey. He shared his pots of honey with his friends Owl, Piglet, Tigger, Eyore, Rabbit, Kanga & Roo and Christopher. Winne the Pooh had a picture of [Read More]
Book : The Gruffalo's Child
Author : Julia Donaldson Review by : Aaditri
Review : It is a very nice story. The pictures are nice, and the Gruffalo's child looks cute. I like that the father says to his child - don't go to the [Read More]
Book : Here come the Aliens
Author : Colin McNaughton Review by : Aaditri
Age : 4 years 8 months
Review : Its a very funny book. The aliens are funny, their spaceships are funny, and the planets they come from are funny. They eat in a funny way without any manners [Read More]
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The Book Review Directory
For readers and writers, category: short story reviews, the warning signs – editorial review.
Title: The Warning Signs—Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy Author: M. Ainihi Genre: Horror / Fantasy The Warning Signs presents twelve short tales, six of horror and six of fantasy, structured in three parts, linked by the subtly recurring motif of admonition.
Sit Down and Have a Beer Again – Editorial Review
Title: Sit Down and Have a Beer Again Author: Greg Wyss Genre: Poetry / Short Stories If a man who entered a time capsule some time around December 2019 were to come out now, he would do so to a world that is almost unrecognizable.
She Receives the Night – Book Review
Robert Earle’s admirable new collection of short stories ‘tells the stories of women everywhere from New Mexico to Melbourne. They are young and old. Their lives are the landscape of the heart.’ As described by the publisher, that is an ambitious undertaking for any writer – especially perhaps for a male writer – and… Read More She Receives the Night – Book Review
Gnarled Bones – Book Review
–Guest post contributed by Jack Messenger- ‘The past does not exist, so it cannot hurt me.’ How many desperate people, I wonder, have muttered some such mantra under their breaths in the hope they can stop brooding about things dead and buried? The trouble is, of course, very few things are dead and buried.… Read More Gnarled Bones – Book Review
Something You Once Told Me – Book Review
-Guest post contributed by Jack Messenger- Trains and boats and planes – modes of transport abound in Barry Stewart Hunter’s interestingly varied collection of short stories, although the people they convey are seldom up to speed with their own lives. Persons in transit and the mental dislocations they experience are a recurring motif; thematically,… Read More Something You Once Told Me – Book Review
He Runs the Moon – Book Review
Themes of identity and belonging disturb the calm surface of Wendy Brandmark’s collection of short stories, which are set in Denver, New York and Boston in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Many of the stories concern characters who have been displaced geographically and emotionally: young or old, successful or unsuccessful, their lives have slipped… Read More He Runs the Moon – Book Review
Diaboliad and Notes on a Cuff – Book Review
These two handsome and distinctive paperbacks form part of a series showcasing the work of Russian Master Mikhail Bulgakov. Some of the stories in Notes on a Cuff appear in English for the first time, so this is a real treat for Bulgakovians. In addition, both books include valuable textual apparatus: photographs (Mikhail was… Read More Diaboliad and Notes on a Cuff – Book Review
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The Best Reviewed Books of 2020: Short Story Collections
Featuring nicole krauss, stephen king, emma cline, zora neale hurston, and more.
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2020—the longest year that has ever been—is almost at an end, and that means it’s time for us to break out the calculators and tabulate the best reviewed books of past twelve months.
Yes, using reviews drawn from more than 150 publications, over the next two weeks we’ll be revealing the most critically-acclaimed books of 2020, in the categories of (deep breath): Memoir & Biography; Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Fantasy ; Short Story Collections; Essay Collections; Graphic Literature; Poetry; Mystery & Crime; Literature in Translation; General Fiction; and General Nonfiction.
1. To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss (Harper)
18 Rave • 6 Positive • 2 Mixed
Read an interview with Nicole Krauss here
“… like talking all night with a brilliant friend … Krauss imbues her prose with authoritative intensity. In short, her work feels lived. Some of these stories appeared earlier, in the New Yorker and elsewhere. But re-encountering them in a collection lets us absorb them as siblings … Krauss’s explorations of interior struggle press on, unflinching; aperçus feel wrested from depths … With chilling casualness, Krauss conveys the murderous realities lurking behind the scrim of social surfaces, that young women routinely face … Settings range globally without fanfare, as do Krauss’s gelid portraits of modern arrangements … the hallucinatory ‘Seeing Ershadi,’ in which a dancer and her friend become obsessed with an Iranian actor, seems to distill the strange urgency of Krauss’s art … What Ershadi represents to the women slowly unfurls, and (like much of this fine collection) continues to haunt a reader’s mind and heart.”
–Joan Frank ( The Washington Post )
2. The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans (Riverhead)
14 Rave • 4 Positive
“… a new collection that is so smart and self-assured it’s certain to thrust her into the top tier of American short story writers. Evans’ stories feel particularly urgent at this moment of national reckoning over race. While they aren’t specifically about being Black any more than Alice Munro’s are about being white, many of the characters are shaped by the social, economic and cultural conditions unique to African American life … she brings an anthropologist’s eye to the material conditions of her characters’ lives … The hands-down masterpiece of the collection is the title novella … Reading these stories is like [an] amusement park ride—afterward, you feel a sense of lightness and exhilaration.”
–Ann Levin ( USA Today )
3. I Hold a Wolf By the Ears by Laura Van den Berg (FSG)
14 Rave • 2 Positive
Listen to a conversation between Laura Van den Berg and Catherine Lacey here
“The terrain of Van den Berg’s difficult, beautiful and urgent new book, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears , is an ecosystem of weird and stirring places you’ll want to revisit, reconsider, maybe even take shelter in. It’s easy to get going, because Van den Berg is such a master of setups … Possessing some of Karen Russell’s spookiness and Otessa Moshfegh’s penchant for unsettling observations about the way we live now—personally incisive but alive with a kind of ambient political intelligence—Van den Berg feels like the writer we not only want but maybe need right now … There is range here, particularly in characters and relationships: single people, mothers and daughters, loners, but also people engaged in the long dance of marriage … Van den Berg is so consistently smart and kind, bracingly honest, keen about mental illness and crushing about everything from aging to evil that you might not be deluded in hoping that the usual order of literary fame could be reversed: that an author with respectable acclaim for her novels might earn wider recognition for a sneakily brilliant collection of stories.”
–Nathan Deuel ( The Los Angeles Times )
4. Verge by Lidia Yuknavitch (Riverhead)
12 Rave • 5 Positive • 1 Mixed
Read a story from Verge here
“With the powers of her prose on full, incandescent display, 6½ pages is all Yuknavitch needs to illuminate the connections between the body and the spirit, the fists and the heart, both beating in their losing battles … In these 20 efficient and affecting stories, Yuknavitch unveils the hidden worlds, layered under the one we know, that can be accessed only via trauma, displacement and pain. There is a vein of the wisdom of the grotesque throughout … the damaged beauty of these misfits keeps the reader leaning in.”
–Nicholas Mancusi ( TIME )
5. Sorry For Your Trouble by Richard Ford (Ecco)
11 Rave • 4 Positive • 3 Mixed
“The finest and most substantial story here is ‘The Run of Yourself.’ One could say is has the richness and breadth of a novel, but that would be to slight the short-story form, of which Mr. Ford has repeatedly proved himself a master … However understated and oblique, Sorry for Your Trouble —which is what Irish people say to the bereaved at a funeral—is both a coherent work of art and a subtle and convincing portrait of contemporary American life among the moneyed middle class. None of the main characters has to worry about money, which highlights the emotional malaise that underlies their lives and their frequent and almost absent-minded couplings and uncouplings. In the background are wars, financial crises, natural vicissitudes. This is America, and Richard Ford is its chronicler. In these superbly wrought tales he catches, with exquisite precision…the irresistible melancholy that is the mark of American life.”
–John Banville ( The Wall Street Journal )
6. Daddy by Emma Cline (Random House)
9 Rave • 8 Positive
Read Emma Cline on Anaïs Nin’s erotic fiction and John Cheever’s journals here
“In an era whose ascendant short-story practitioners lean into high-concept experiments of genre and form, Emma Cline represents something of a throwback. The 10 stories that constitute her first collection, Daddy, are almost classical in structure—you won’t find a fragmentary collage, list or screenplay among them. Though she’s not one for a sudden, curious departure of voice or dissolution of the fourth wall, Cline has an unnerving narrative proprioception, and her stories have the clean, bright lines of modernist architecture … As for her style, she seems to eschew the telegraphic mode made popular by writers like Sally Rooney or Rachel Cusk for something at once direct and musical. Cline’s idiom is earnestness punctuated by millennial cool—but nothing too fussy, everything in just the right place … The aesthetic pleasure of Cline’s writing is anesthetizing. So much so that one could conceivably read these stories with the same drugged passivity with which one shuffles through a lifestyle catalog. But that would be a mistake … Cline is an astonishingly gifted stylist, but it is her piercing understanding of modern humiliation that makes these stories vibrate with life … the characters shift uncomfortably through the beautifully appointed shoe box dioramas of their lives, aware at once of their own insignificance and also of their desire for prominence. They ask if anything matters as though nothing does, and yet hope to be contradicted. But perhaps we all do. Perhaps, in these brilliant stories, that is the most daring and human thing of all.”
–Brandon Taylor ( The New York Times Book Review )
7. You Will Never Be Forgotten by Mary South (FSG Originals)
9 Rave • 6 Positive • 1 Mixed
Listen to an interview with Mary South here
“South writes as though she has always been where we find ourselves now: looking back on a world where we believed we might gain personal agency over technology’s dominion, entering one where such agency is a luxury we might never again hope to afford … stories of exceptional loss, spilling out at the point of conflict between the cool detachment of the technological world and the tender vulnerability of the users living within it … This collection’s power, though, comes from South’s dark sensibility, her comfort with brutality, and her narrative insistence that, while the nightmare of tech capitalism won’t wholly eradicate the personal and the private, it will compress beyond recognition the spaces where personal, private moments can unfold … South writes with the assurance of someone who knows she has no answers to give. But instead of resulting in a shrugging ambivalence, You Will Never Be Forgotten mounts an ever more effective critique of technology-amplified structural inequality … [the] stories are united by South’s keen examination of the thrill and risk of human connection—between lovers, siblings, parent and child, care-giver and care-receiver, and digitally connected strangers—under increasingly cruel conditions … Still, You Will Never Be Forgotten shows us there is still tenderness to be found, and protected, in the brave new world to come.”
–Jennifer Schaffer ( The Nation )
8. If It Bleeds by Stephen King (Scribner)
6 Rave • 10 Positive • 1 Mixed
“Nobody does novellas like Stephen King … a quartet of stories that are a little too long to be labelled short, all of which are packed with that uniquely King combination of fear and empathy … One of the joys of King’s novella collections is the reminder that he, perhaps more than any of his bestselling peers, has a tremendous gift for giving stories exactly the amount of space they need to be properly told. Sometimes, that results in 700-plus page epics. Other times, just 70. Whatever it takes to get the story from his head to the page—that’s what King gives you. It’s remarkable really, that an author can create stories that cause a reader to shiver, to smile and to shed a tear in the space of a few pages—but really, should anything Stephen King does surprise us anymore? … practically pulses with the humanistic empathy that marks the best of King’s work. It’s an outstanding quartet, featuring four tales that are wildly different from one another, yet undeniably bound together by the voice of our finest storyteller. There is much to fear in the worlds created by Stephen King, but even in the depth of his darkest shadows, a light of hope steadily glows. More exceptional work from the maestro … Keep ‘em coming, Mr. King.”
–Allen Adams ( The Maine Edge )
9. Show Them a Good Time by Nicole Flattery (Bloomsbury)
7 Rave • 7 Positive • 2 Mixed
“Nicole Flattery’s publisher paid big money for these debut stories (plus a novel-in-progress), and it’s not hard to see why: they’re often extremely funny—peculiar as well as ha-ha—and highly addictive … Flattery’s themes are work, womanhood and early-to-midlife indirection, all tackled slantwise … It’s easy to read but trickier to get a handle on: Flattery’s off-kilter voice blends chatty candour and hard-to-interpret allegory (think Diane Williams or 90s Lorrie Moore), with the deadpan drollery and casually disturbing revelations heightened by her fondness for cutting any obvious connective tissue between sentences … Trauma lurks in the background, with allusions to attempted suicide, abuse and a 13-year-old’s miscarriage … Yet Flattery’s stories don’t depend on bringing such things to light; they’re just there—part of a woman’s life—which ultimately proves more disconcerting … Flattery…doesn’t seem too bothered about sewn-up narratives running from A to B; it’s a mark of her art in these strange, darkly funny stories that we aren’t either.”
–Anthony Cummins ( The Guardian )
10. Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston (Amistad)
7 Rave • 4 Positive
Read a story from Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick here
“…a revelation not just in its celebration of Hurston’s lesser-known efforts as a writer of short stories but also in the subjects and settings that it takes on … Hurston’s stories do not merely document black experience in the early 20th century; they testify to larger truths about black life … tender and wry … Fans and scholars of Hurston’s work and the uninitiated alike will find many delights in these complex, thoughtful and wickedly funny portraits of black lives and communities … this book is a significant testament to the enduring resonance of black women’s writing.”
–Naomi Jackson ( The Washington Post )
Our System: RAVE = 5 points • POSITIVE = 3 points • MIXED = 1 point • PAN = -5 points
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The Best Reviewed Short Story Collections of 2022
Featuring george saunders, ling ma, colin barrett, jamil jan kochai, and more.
We’ve come to the end of another bountiful literary year, and for all of us review rabbits here at Book Marks, that can mean only one thing: basic math, and lots of it.
Yes, using reviews drawn from more than 150 publications, over the next two weeks we’ll be calculating and revealing the most critically-acclaimed books of 2022, in the categories of (deep breath): Fiction ; Nonfiction ; Memoir and Biography ; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror ; Short Story Collections; Essay Collections; Poetry; Mystery and Crime; Graphic Literature ; and Literature in Translation .
Today’s installment: Short Story Collections .
Brought to you by Book Marks , Lit Hub’s “Rotten Tomatoes for books.”
1. Bliss Montage by Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
21 Rave • 5 Positive • 2 Mixed Read an interview with Ling Ma here
“The eight wily tales mark the return of an author whose inventive debut, Severance, urgently announced her as a writer worth watching … an assured follow-up, a striking collection that peddles in the uncanny and the surreal, but it often lacks Severance ’s zest. Some stories are confident in their strangeness and ambiguity, a handful feel like promising sketches of sturdier narratives and the rest fall somewhere in between. The connections between them are loose, tethered by similar leads …
Wry, peculiar stories like Los Angeles and Yeti Lovemaking confirm that Ma’s imagination operates on the same chimerical frequency as those of Helen Oyeyemi, Samanta Schweblin, Meng Jin. Each of these stories leans un-self-consciously into the speculative, illuminating Ma’s phantasmagoric interests. They are funny, too … Despite their nagging loose ends, Ma’s stories stay with you—evidence of a gifted writer curious about the limits of theoretical possibility. They twist and turn in unpredictable ways and although the ride wasn’t always smooth, I never regretted getting on.”
–Lovia Gyarkye ( The New York Times Book Review )
2. Liberation Day by George Saunders (Random House)
16 Rave • 6 Positive • 5 Mixed (86) Read George Saunders on reading chaotically and the power of generous teachers, here
“Acutely relevant … Let’s bask in this new collection of short stories, which is how many of us first discovered him and where he excels like no other … Saunders’ imaginative capacity is on full display … Liberation Day carries echoes of Saunders’ previous work, but the ideas in this collection are more complex and nuanced, perhaps reflecting the new complexities of this brave new world of ours. The title story is only one of a handful of the nine stories in this collection that show us our collective and personal dilemmas, but in reading the problems so expressed—with compassion and humanity—our spirits are raised and perhaps healed. Part of the Saunders elixir is that we feel more empathetic after reading his work.”
–Scott Laughlin ( The San Francisco Chronicle )
3. Homesickness by Colin Barrett (Grove Press)
16 Rave • 1 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an essay by Colin Barrett here
“Its comedy stands in balance to the collection’s more tragic tenor … expands [Barrett’s] range, and though the first took place in the fictional Irish town of Glanbeigh, the books share a fabric shot through with dark humor, pitch-perfect dialogue and a signature freshness that makes life palpable on the page. The language counterpoints the sometimes inarticulate desperation of the working-class characters, and that dissonance lends an emotional complexity to their stories …
As a writer, Barrett doesn’t legislate from the top down. His unruly characters surge up with their vitality and their mystery intact. Their stories aren’t shaped by familiar resolutions—no realizations, morals or epiphanies. The absence of a conventional resolution does risk leaving an otherwise charming story like The Silver Coast with the rambling feel of a slice of life. But in the majority of the stories in this book, to reinvent an ending is to reinvent how a story is told, and overall, Homesickness is graced with an original, lingering beauty.”
–Stuart Dybek ( The New York Times Book Review )
4. Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu (Tin House)
13 Rave • 4 Positive Read a story from Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century here
“..the horrors are more intimate, smaller, and less global in scale. This is not a collection filled with fantastic beasts, although a sea monster does make an appearance, but instead illuminates the monstrous nature of humanity … Technology, rather than magic, catalyzes these changes. That is not to say there are not some traces of unexplained fantasy, such as a girl who sprouts wings from her ankles, but mostly, Fu’s monsters manifest from modernity … The success of Kim Fu’s stories is the element of the unexpected. There are surprises lurking in these narratives, whether it is a quick final plot twist or unexpected peculiarity …
Although Fu seems more concerned with alienation stemming from individual relationships, there is criticism of conventional consumer capitalism … The characters in Fu’s collection are eccentric and unexpected in their choices, and many of their stories feature unforeseen endings that strike the right tone for the dark era we live in … Fu opens a window looking onto the sad possibilities of our own failures.”
–Ian MacAllen ( The Chicago Review of Books )
5. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (MCD)
12 Rave • 4 Positive Read an essay by Jonathan Escoffery here
“Ravishing … The book, about an immigrant family struggling to make ends meet, delights in mocking the trope of an immigrant family struggling to make ends meet … There’s peacocking humor, capers, and passages of shuddering eroticism. The book feels thrillingly free … Escoffery’s protagonists, though resourceful, can’t accomplish the impossible; nor do they sacrifice themselves for the reader’s sentimental education … The prose comes alive …
These characters are strange amalgams of limited agency and boundless originality. Their survival, perhaps, comes down to their style … Escoffery deftly renders the disorienting effects of race as they fall, veil-like and hostile, over a world of children … Throughout, the refrain runs like an incantation: What are you? Escoffery, hosing his characters in a stream of fines, bills, and pay stubs, studies the bleak math of self-determination.”
–Katy Waldman ( The New Yorker )
6. The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai (Viking)
12 Rave • 1 Positive • 1 Mixed Read an essay by Jamil Jan Kochai here
“Kochai, an Afghan-American writer, shapes and reshapes his material through a variety of formal techniques, including a fantasy of salvation through video gaming, a darkly surrealist fable of loss, a life story told through a mock résumé, and the story of a man’s transformation into a monkey who becomes a rebel leader…Like Asturias, Kochai is a master conjurer…The collection’s cohesion lies in its thematic exploration of the complexities of contemporary Afghan experience (both in Afghanistan and the United States), and in the recurring family narrative at its core: many of the stories deal with an Afghan family settled in California… Kochai is a thrillingly gifted writer, and this collection is a pleasure to read, filled with stories at once funny and profoundly serious, formally daring, and complex in their apprehension of the contradictory yet overlapping worlds of their characters.”
–Claire Messud ( Harper’s )
7. Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty (Tin House Book)
12 Rave • 1 Positive • 1 Mixed Listen to an interview with Morgan Talty here
“Talty depicts the relationship between David and Paige perfectly—the siblings clearly care for each other; it’s evident beneath the bickering and the long periods when they don’t see each other … The story ends with both mother and son experiencing terrifying medical emergencies; it’s almost excruciating to read, but it’s undeniably powerful, and, in its own way, beautiful … Talty’s prose is flawless throughout; he writes with a straightforward leanness that will likely appeal to admirers of Thom Jones or Denis Johnson. But his style is all his own, as is his immense sense of compassion. Night of the Living Rez is a stunning look at a family navigating their lives through crisis—it’s a shockingly strong debut, sure, but it’s also a masterwork by a major talent.”
–Michael Schaub ( The Star Tribune )
8. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (William Morrow)
10 Rave • 6 Positive • 1 Mixed • 1 Pan Read an excerpt from How High We Go in the Dark here
“If you’re a short-story lover—as I am—you’ll be impressed with Nagamatsu’s meticulous craft. If you crave sustained character and plot arcs, well, you’ll have to settle for admiring the well-honed prose, poignant meditations and unique concepts. Hardly small pleasures … The reader might best approach the book like a melancholy Black Mirror season … This is a lovely though bleak book. Humanity has long turned to humor in our darkest moments, but levity feels absent even in a chapter narrated by a stand-up comedian. That said, the somber tone unifies the disparate characters and story lines … a welcome addition to a growing trend of what we might call the ‘speculative epic’: genre-bending novels that use a wide aperture to tackle large issues like climate change while jumping between characters, timelines and even narrative modes … Nagamatsu squarely hits both the ‘literary’ and ‘science fiction’ targets, offering psychological insights in lyrical prose while seriously exploring speculative conceits … a book of sorrow for the destruction we’re bringing on ourselves. Yet the novel reminds us there’s still hope in human connections, despite our sadness.”
–Lincoln Michel ( The New York Times Book Review )
9. Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle (Viking)
9 Rave • 5 Positive • 1 Mixed
“… a quietly devastating collection of short stories that brilliantly portrays the pervasive sense of hopelessness that immobilised us during the dog days of Covid … Lest he be accused of focusing too much on men and their sense of victimhood, the countervailing magnificence of his women is worth noting. Part of Doyle’s genius resides in a kind of bathetic amusement at the follies of his male characters and always it’s the stoical good sense of women that saves the day … Another of his great strengths is the ability to drop in those little epiphanies that resolve the tension and conflict of a story in a single significant moment … Doyle breaks our free fall into despair by emphasizing the redemptive power of humor, love and the kindness of strangers.”
–Bert Wright ( The Sunday Times )
10. Stories From the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana (Scribner)
12 Rave Read an interview with Sidik Fofana here
“… outstanding … The brilliance of this debut, however, is that Fofana doesn’t let anyone go unseen … masterfully paints a portrait of the people most impacted by gentrification … Fofana brings his characters to life through their idiosyncratic speech patterns. Auxiliary verbs are dropped, words are misspelled, prepositions are jostled, all to create a sense of vernacular authenticity…Grammar is an instrument that Fofana plays by ear, to much success.”
–Joseph Cassara ( The New York Times Book Review )
RAVE = 5 points • POSITIVE = 3 points • MIXED = 1 point • PAN = -5 points
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Home > Books > Tips on Books > Best Five Short Stories
Best Five Short Stories
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Narration of short stories is a reflection of behaviours prevailing in any society and such stories also prove themselves beacon of light for those who believe on sane observations .Whatever aor thosewho believe on sane observations .Whatever the situation is.Story is the treasure of good morals and norms.Taking a start from "Happy Prince" by Oscar Wild.A boy who spent his life in luxury and leisure as a little boy but the seeds of love., compassion and pity were secertly nurturing in his heart and by utilizing his these characteristics he became source of benefit for humanity and in this noble cause he sacrificed his precious and sensitive life.
Second story I will discuss here"Honesty is the best policy" it is giving double sorted lessons one negation of greed, which is curse and second is the reward of honesty, woodcutter enjoyed the second by receiving three axes, one of his own and two additional.
Third story which inspired me is "Thirsty Crow" this bird is the symbol of sanity and prudence and his action indicates a way of logic and wisdom that how one should overcome the difficulties by using his vigilence.
Fourth one "Friend in need is a friend indeed".Man is a social animal and without helping eachother he is just a wild one, blessing and serinity is only the secret of happiness.
Fifth one "Union is Strength" its sure that parents teach the lesson of unity for the survival in the cruel jaws of this world .At the conclusion of the fable old man's sons realized that united they would stand and divided they would fall.
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Best Five Short Stories are meaning full if human read with deep thinking. Any person read it very easily because it is very short. It saves time. person can easily and fast understand does not need to read for days, weeks and months. I think every one should read it. its help in the practical life. Help in archive your goal. I use in my life. I like it very much. I can read it with cooking, walking even brush my teeth.
As a human you need to read the books of some interesting personalities, stories of our leaders as well as stories on the scientific research, stories related to the fun, stories which shows the real life with humour and great attitude towards others. The story of a ant and monkey where the money helped the ant to get out of the floating water just by giving the leaf as a help to the ant. The story of a tortoise and a rabbit where the rabbit Rana much faster than tortoise but finally the tortoise wins the race slowing overcoming the rabbit confidence. The story of our leader A PJ Abdul Kalam depicts the greatness and his respect to the nation and one should be courageous enough to do things to the nation with a great respect and love of our country. His attitude and self motivation takes him to higher positions in his life. Ones should believe what he does and should first live his work to make acheivements.
Hello five best shot stories first is a good man is hard to find it is good and second is the looters and it is also good third is the dead and forth is the gift of magi and fifth is a rose for emily all stories is best but so many stories very long thats why I say five best short stories all stories is best to read but so many people read short stories every one read the book for free time I like read book
The Famous Five by Enid Blyton. He was the Author of the Books. These Books are the books that I Could't end with a " what's going to happen next?"It's about s family with cousin and a dog named Timothy. There are five of them all together which make up the famous five.
There is two Boys: Dick., Julian, There are two girls; one is Anne who is helpful, sensible and funny and another one is Georgina, She would like to a boyish, sometimes she had bad tempered but other time she is nice, along with them their dog " Timothy. These books are good, clean with fun and adventure.
HI today I toking about best five short stories.but everyone read stories in her childhood I thing everyone like read story in her childhood. but today I telling about best five short stories OK to first is thirsty crow second is the fox and the grapes and third is fox and the crow and fourth is greedy dog and five is honest is best policy. these stories given a something morals. I hope you like this comment thank you.
MY LIFE. THIS NOT ONLY STORIES BUT THIS IS REAL MOMENT OF BETWEEN TWO
PERSON, NISHA AND NISHITH, MEANING OF NAME NISHA. CALLED NIGHT, AND
NISHITH MEANING MID- NIGHT. NISHITH WAS VERRY ANGREE MAN, HE LIVE ONLY FOR NISHA'S HAPPYNESH, HE
COUNTINUE LIVE WITH HER BUT HE NOT PROPOSE TO HER, HE LOVE HER
SLLFLESS, HE ALWASE WANT SMILEING ON HER EYES, HE HE WANT LOOKING
SMILE NOT IN LIP BUT ON EYES, FRINDS, BUT THIS LOVE NOT A TRUE LOVE BUT THIS IS ONLY CONTRACT FOR
2 YEAR, BETWEEN ME & HER, TODAY SO FAR DISTANCE WITH NISHA & NISHITH AND GIVING CALLD EACH OTHER THAT WE WILL MEET IN NEXT LIFE NOT IN
CONTRACT BUT FOREVER.
I personally love short stories because it takes less time to finish the entertainment, suspense, emotions and learning. Short stories are perfect for snap reading while travelling, bedtime and at gym. Long stories sometime takes too much time to finish and it feels boring, that's why I prefer short stories over long one.
Here are such new collections of short stories
A Taste Of Honey :- It is written By Jabari Asim . First collection from Cultural critic Jabari Asim, portrait of sometimes tought time gone by. It is available online of$ 10.
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This :- Written By Robin Black . This is a story about a cancer cure boy who loved someone and he want to tell her. It is available online of$ 16.
Further Adventures in the Restless Universe :- Written By Dawn Raffel . It is available online of$10.
CLICK TO BUY - https://eyedlied.com/short-story/
I personally like short stories as they are interesting and not let you wait for a long time. I have read lots of short stories and I prefer it over the long boring novels. There are few stories that are very close to my heart. Talking my favorite short story there are many but here is the list of top five stories that I like the most. 1. â€œA Good Man Is Hard To Findâ€:-Â Â It has been written by Flannery Oâ€™Connor, and is published in 1953. I like this story as it relate to our life.
â€œBlack Boxâ€:- This Jennifer Egan book comes in market in 2012 and is really a very interesting story.
â€œFree Fruit for Young Widowsâ€:- Written by Nathan Englander is 2010 short story really worth your time.
â€œA White Heronâ€:- Talking about my favorite story how can I forget â€œA White Heronâ€ by Sarah Orne Jewett. It is one of my all time favorite story.
â€œThe Semplica-Girl Diariesâ€:-Â Â â€œThe Semplica-Girl Diariesâ€ is last but not the least George Saunders written this story has all the elements that is needed for a good story.
In this review I will write about best five short stories I have read.
1) " Emergency "Â Â by Denis Johnson.
2) " The Free Radio " by Salman Rushdie.
3) " Swimming lessons " by Rohinton Mistry.
4) " The Paperhanger " by William Gay.
5) " The sultan`s battery " by Aravind Adiga.
I hope you guys will enjoy reading these short stories, these are the top-most stories, ThreeÂ Â out of five stories is of Indian writer and Writing style of Salman Rushdie in'The Free Radio'Â Â is admirable
Short stories are like little gems, Cadbury Gems that look pretty, taste good and vanish without cloying. You can eat many at a time and again and again with renewed pleasure each time. Choosing
5 best short stories is an impossible task, and quite self defeating.
How can you choose 5 best pearls out of an ocean-full of treasure? It is like picking 5 best stars out of a glittering sky. Leave alone 5 best short stories, it is not even possible to choose 5 best short story writers! Anyhow, I am picking these stories strictly on basis of the ones which have lingered in my mind the most.
The only thing to do is to excuse me for the ones I have ignored and just savor the ones I list here.
Here goes my list, which is not in any order, I wouldnâ€™t dare!
The Selfish Giant â€“ Oscar Wilde
Now what can one say about Oscar Wilde? His witty writing, short stories, plays, poems are all delightful. His story, The Portrait of Dorian Grey is a masterpiece. His wordplay sparkles, makes you chuckle, and read on and on and on without tiring. But in this little morality tale, he adopts almost a biblical tone:
the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put
him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the
birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two
arms and flung them round the Giant's neck, and kissed him.â€
The repeated use of the word â€œandâ€ is in the style of the Bible. The sentences are short and descriptive â€œHe was a very selfish Giantâ€. The
simple little tale of a selfish person who realizes the importance of
sharing and loving his fellow creatures is timeless, a classic.
The Metamorphosis â€“ Franz Kafka *
If I were to choose the best short story ever, this would be it. The pathetic tale of Gregor Samsa tears your heart out. It
makes you wonder at the fragility of our closest relationships, with
our parents, our siblings, which seem so strong, but are often based on
a mutual need. Good as long as they are fulfilling, cast out the minute they are not. The story has a chilling start
â€œOne morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.â€
being a good son and brother, who works hard to support his family, he
turns into a hated creature that needs constant attention. At first, his sister pitches in lovingly to care for him. But as time passes, he becomes a useless burden and is shunned by his own loved ones. Kafka
paints an inexorable picture of Gregorâ€™s travails that take us through
emotions of pity and disgust, but also make us realize that we are
human and possess all the frailties associated with our kind.
The Necklace â€“ Guy De Maupassant
of those tales with a twist in the end, like the Gift of Magi, which
was bittersweet, borne of love, ending with a little laughter and love. But The Necklace is almost like a morality tale, chiding and punishing the heroine mercilessly for her vanity. Mathilde Loisel is a young pretty girl who yearns for good life. She is married to a poor man and is discontented with her life. Her
husband brings home an invitation to a party, and Mathilde is besieged
by the question familiar to all womenfolk, â€œWhat will I wear!â€ With great difficulty she puts together a desired ensemble that is worthy of her beauty. And for that night, she gets all that she wished for.
danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for
anything, in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in
a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration,
of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so
dear to her feminine heart.â€
Alas, this is the last happy night of her life. But then, didnâ€™t DH Lawrence say â€œLet man go on his way to perditionâ€?
Old Fashioned Farmers â€“ Nikolai Gogol*
Gogol has written umpteen, magnificent short stories. What
is so special about this one? In my mind this story is almost like a
stately painting, with lovely detailing, that brings an old couple
alive. Yes, there is a lot of romance in painting young
and beautiful figures, but the painting of the old couple is like
looking at LIFE.
Afansii Ivanovich and Pulcheria Ivanova are old-fashioned farmers. Their life has settled into a series of routines and habits. In their own way, they are a very devoted to each other. They
spend their day tending to their farming affairs and household matters.
They love welcoming guests into their house and are full of the old
world charm. What happens when one of the couple dies? Gogol compares a mad passionate love of youngsters with the staid habits of an old couple who have been together forever.
wields the most powerful sway over us, passion or habit? Or are all our
strong impulses, all the whirlwinds of our desire and boiling passions,
but the consequence of our fierce young growth, and only for that
reason seem deep and annihilating?" However that may be, all our
passion, on that occasion, seemed to me child's play beside this long,
slow, almost insensible habitâ€
A Municipal Report - O Henry
This is one story I am very very fond of. I read it through again yesterday while looking for quotes to pull out. Oscar Wilde and O Henry are the only ones on this list to have written in English. In their stories, nothing is lost in translation and we get the full impact of whatever they intend to convey. I
could wax eloquent forever about his writing style, if only I could
find words to describe it. Is it hard to sketch a character so well in
a few lines that it jumps out of the pages of the book to come alive?
Yes, but, O Henry can.
Nashville is a dull place that the narrator is commissioned to visit. He has to sign a contract with a lady, Azalea Adair, binding her to write for a journal at 2 cents per word. He
also runs into a black cab driver called Caesar whose regal ways seem
out of sorts with his ramshackle cab(horse-driven) and tattered
clothes. He also runs into a despicable gentleman called Major Wentworth Caswell. There is also a dollar bill in this story, which is almost like a character itself.
gave him two one-dollar bills. As I handed them over I noticed that one
of them had seen parlous times. Its upper right-hand corner was
missing, and it had been torn through the middle, but joined again. A
strip of blue tissue paper, pasted over the split, preserved its
Then there is button which is again a very important element in the story.
"The lone button was the size of a half-dollar, made of yellow horn and sewed on with coarse twine.
Our narrator is surprised when he finds a gem in Nashville in the shape of Ms. Azalea Adair.
she talked to me I kept brushing my fingers, trying, unconsciously, to
rid them guiltily of the absent dust from the half-calf backs of Lamb,
Chaucer, Hazlitt, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne and Hood. She was
exquisite, she was a valuable discovery. Nearly everybody nowadays
knows too much - oh, so much too much - of real life.â€
to be bored to death during the visit, the narrator finds excitement
aplenty. A murder is done, and the narrator helps in shielding a
murderer.Contd. in comments
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