What’s your favorite short story?
Well I don’t know if it will be my favorite… But it’s definitely going to go in my top 10. I am reading for the first time The diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain. It is absolutely delightful!
The Signalman by Dickens
That would make my short story short list.
Difficult one. Possibly Sherlock Holmes, the adventure of the King of Bohemia. Du Maurier’s “Ther Birds” is a very taught peice of writing – and terrifying! And if we extend to include a novella, it would be Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader. Ohh, adding Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde to the list. I was never going to manage to keep to just the one!
@Helen love The Birds. Much more terrifying than the film in my opinion. So well written! And what was it about 10 pages!? Such an amazing writer.
@Lynne I listened to it and was very glad that it was a sunny day and I was safely in my car, behind toughened glass. I’ve never seen the film and, after that, have no intention of doing so!
Helen Allton What made the short story so scary was that it was a worldwide event. In the film it’s a localized event. So they are able to escape.
The 1960s film by Alfred Hitchcock was filmed not very far from where I live… Bodega Bay, California. I have never been there and have always wanted to because of the film.
@Helen I adored The Uncommon Reader I went on to read some of Bennett’s other’s. Loved them all.
“The Soul is Not a Smithy” by David Foster Wallace. At least, that’s the first one that came to mind. Short stories are my favorite genre, so there are many I like.
Don’t think I can choose just one, but among my favourites are The Day Boy and the Night Girl, The Golden Key, The Wise Woman, The Wow o’ Rivven and The Light Princess by George MacDonald, and there are also a number of great ones by G K CHesterton, R L Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Big giant YES!
“Babylon Revisited” F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Enormous Radio” John Cheever “Good Country People” Flannery O’Connor “Beautiful Girl” Alice Adams “Sea Oak” George Saunders “Imagine Kissing Pete” John O’Hara “The Fenton Child” Mavis Gallant
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry pretty much all of his stories and The Open Window by Saki
I love O. Henry
The Lie by TC Boyle
“Sredni Vashtar” by Saki (H H Munro), though I love all his short stories. He died in WW1, and his last words were apparently: “Put out that damn cigarette.”
Long walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut
I like his story “Who am I This Time?”
@Don I will have to give that a re-read. That title sounds very familiar.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. (You can find it free online if you haven’t read it yet)
@Yuki I saw this suggested a few times in this page, and I took it upon myself to read it. And wow… talk about downright scary stuff. I’m not one to cringe at literature, but The Lottery made me feel nauseated. Very powerful albeit simple writing. I doubt it will ever leave me now…
@Stefano Shirley Jackson was a brilliant writer. A master of psychological suspense and horror! She’s influenced many writers.
@Yuki thanks for the recommendation, by the way 🙂
There are many, but “The Taipan” by Maugham takes some beating.
@Joe I am reading and loving The Razor’s Edge – will look for this story!
@Yuki I haven’t read The Razor’s Edge, but I will look out for it, thanks for this.
The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells, any by Leigh Brackett, The Sandman or Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman are very hard to best, The Room in the Dragon Volant by Sheridan Le Fanu, any Ronald Firbank, many 1001 Nights and Days.
The Cask of Amontillado
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce 1890
Tell Tale Heart, Edgar Allen Poe.
Luncheon by Somerset Maugham, The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe and Jeeves and Wooster stories by P.J.Wodehouse
The Mezzotint, also by Maugham.
Many, but one not listed here already is “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. Scared the bejeebers out of me.
Cynthia Lofay Rosiek Flannery O’Connor is brutal, and amazing! So far I’ve only read Everything That Rises Must Converge:Stories (1965). In it “Revelation” and the title story “Everything That Rises Must Converge” are the strongest. “The Lame Shall Enter First” and “Parker’s Back” are my other favorites.
Theres quite a number that come to my mind, but still I think I can easily say “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver.
Lamb to the slaughter- Roald Dahl
Roman Fever by Edith Warton. LOVE the ending!
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu although is not so short.
@Sotiris Loved Carmilla! And that it preceded Dracula. Le Fanu’s writing is mesmerizing. Over 100 pages so, yeah, more like novella.
I like it because it is very different from the usual vampire stories. It is a more romantic story, full of melancholy and tender emotions. Carmilla she is of course a creature of darkness but she is also many more things.
@Sotiris. Have you seen the TV series on YouTube? Its excellent
I haven’t seen it.
@Sotiris. Its free. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbvYWjKFvS5rX2yv-k5AJ8oxPoZ9zHcpe
Metamorphosis, Kafka; Dead Souls, Gogol [novella]
@Peter If you like German short stories, then you might want to try the works of Wolfgang Borchert, a pacifist, who was imprisoned in the Second World War, and died of TB shortly after the war. He wrote a wonderful play, too, called “Draussen vor der Tur” (Outside the Door”), about a German soldier returning home from the war. Being on the losing side, they were not welcomed back with open arms.
@Jenny ~ thanks for the tip
The Metamorphosis has such depth, it’s a study into human nature, and finds us wanting
Also, The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – is a study in how we treat the old, sick or disfigured
Maxim Gorky wrote a few good ones too.
Gogol, Pushkin, also
The Big Wave~ Pearl S. Buck
Strange Jest or The Missing Will by Agatha Christie.
The Gift of the Magi by Saki
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Don’t have a favorite short story, but one of my top five short story collections is Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and other Short Stories.
The Apt Pupil by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
I like the short stories of John Steinbeck. I don’t know if technically they would be called short stories, novellas or what. I just know that I like them!
Has anyone mentioned “The Monkey’s Paw”? I can still picture my sixth grade teacher walking around the classroom as she read this aloud to us. You could’ve heard a pin drop! It was decades ago, and thinking about it still sends chills down my spine.
@Yuki I remember that story at about the same age. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson at the same time. Thanks for bringing it up, need to revisit!
Colette Beadle Guerin I recall some good O. Henry stories too..
There’s too many great short stories; but, at this moment, I smile as I think of “Welcome to the Monkey House”, by Kurt Vonnegut.
“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen
Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin
Signs & Symbols, Nabokov.
If novellas count, Death in Venice by Thomas Mann absolutely riveted me when I first read it at sixteen. Otherwise, I’d probably say Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges or A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka.
The Minister’s Black Veil and The Rocking Horse Winner
reading the awakening now … actually so many of the classics are good: a rose for emily, that one famous by flannery o’connor that i forgot the name of. lol. Jhumpa lahiri is a lady i’ve read … yes, there are too many
There are so many. Can I name two? Greenleaf by Flannery O’Connor and The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe
Short stories by O’henry, Jack London, Mark Twin are great! My person fav also goes to Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Putois by Anatole France.
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