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Shorter Reads

Want to read a story with all the depth, questions and quality of a novel, written by highly skilled writers in about 5% of the space? Short stories can be heartbreaking, mysterious and incredibly detailed; for a perfectly formed, bite-sized smorgasbord of stories, browse our Short Story recommendations here.

Breakfast in the Ruins and Other Stories The Best Short Fiction of Michael Moorcock

Breakfast in the Ruins and Other Stories The Best Short Fiction of Michael Moorcock

Author: Michael Moorcock Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/12/2014

 From 'The Time Dweller' to 'Breakfast in the Ruins', the stories here are incredibly varied in their style, execution and subject matter.

High Crime Area Tales of Darkness and Dread

High Crime Area Tales of Darkness and Dread

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/12/2014

A collection of darkly compelling tales from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. A young professor is convinced she's being followed, but when she confronts her shadow events take an unexpected turn...A promising student attempts to save her brother from his descent into madness, but she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers...A renowned author embarks on a grand tour of Europe, but soon his bad manners threaten to cost him more than he has to give...These biting and beautiful stories force us to confront, one by one, the demons within.

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You

Author: Alice Munro Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/11/2014

'Alice Munro's stories are miraculous.' Sunday Times   'No one else can - or should be allowed to - write like the great Alice Munro.' Julian Barnes   'She sets down the pains and pleasures of living in a spare, singing prose, not a word wasted.' Daily Telegraph   'Read not more than one of her stories a day, and allow them to work their spell: they are made to last.' Observer   'She's the most savage writer I've ever read, also the most tender, the most honest, the most perceptive.' Jeffrey Eugenides

ebook of the month
The Detection Collection

The Detection Collection

Author: The Detection Club, Colin Dexter, Robert Goddard, Reginald Hill Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

Ten years since it was first published, this volume of short stories by the cream of British crime writing talent celebrates 75 years of the quintessential Detection Club. The Detection Club represents the cream of British crime writing talent. Founded on the cusp of the 1930s, the Club's first President was G.K. Chesterton, and since then the mantle of Presidency has passed to some of the most significant names inthe history of crime fiction, including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Julian Symons. The Club meets three times a year - to dine, to plot, and to exchange ideas. This anthology includes eleven new stories by the Best of British: Robert Barnard, Lyndsey Davis, Colin Dexter, Clare Francis, Robert Goddard, John Harvey, Reginald Hill, P.D. James, H.R.F. Keating, Michael Ridpath and Margaret Yorke, and has been edited by the Club's President, Simon Brett. Among the authors are a number of bestsellers, as well as winners of both Diamond and Gold Daggers. This outstanding collection is a must for crime lovers everywhere.

ebook of the month
Forgotten Fitzgerald Echoes of a Lost America

Forgotten Fitzgerald Echoes of a Lost America

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sarah Churchwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

While F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing the novels we remember him for today, he was also publishing short stories in popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Esquire. Although many of Fitzgerald's short stories are celebrated and anthologised today, more remain out of print than would be expected for a writer of his stature. Some of these forgotten stories deserve to be rediscovered by the many readers who love Fitzgerald's work. Sarah Churchwell, author of the acclaimed Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, has selected eleven forgotten stories from throughout Fitzgerald's career that refract, in different ways, his most familiar motifs: the changing meanings of America in the first decades of the twentieth century, and the desire to reconcile rich and poor through a romantic search for glamour, hope and wonder.

ebook of the month
A Twist of the Knife

A Twist of the Knife

Author: Peter James Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

With each twist of the knife, a chilling new journey begins ...From a woman intent on bizarre revenge, to a restaurant critic with a morbid fear of the number thirteen; and from a man arranging a life-changing assignation, to a couple heading for a disaster-filled vacation ...In multi-million-copy bestselling author Peter James' collection of short stories we first come to meet Brighton's finest detective, Roy Grace, and read the tale that went on to inspire James' hugely successful novel, Dead Simple. James exposes the Achilles heel of each of his characters, and makes us question how well we can trust ourselves, and one another. Each tale carries a twist that will haunt readers for days after they turn the final page ...Combining every twisted tale from the ebook bestsellers Short Shockers One and Short Shockers Two, with a never-seen-before collection of new material, A Twist of the Knife shows Peter James as the undisputed grand master of storytellers with this sometimes funny, often haunting, but always shocking collection.

Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit and Other Stories

Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit and Other Stories

Author: P. G. Wodehouse Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/10/2014

A baker's dozen of P.G. Wodehouse's finest short stories.Aunts, engagements, misunderstandings and hangover cures; this delightful collection from 'the greatest chronicler of a certain kind of Englishness'. Julian Fellowes brings together a baker's dozen of P. G. Wodehouse's finest short stories. This beautiful edition includes tales related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of the Angler's Rest; the Oldest Member at the Golf Club; the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge and, of course, the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. Features: Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit (Very Good, Jeeves); One Touch of Nature (The Man With Two Left Feet); The Ordeal of Young Tuppy (Very Good, Jeeves); Ukridge's Dog College (Ukridge); The Story of William (Meet Mr Mulliner); Uncle Fred Flits By (Young Men in Spats); How's That, Umpire (Nothing Serious); Honeysuckle Cottage (Meet Mr Mulliner); The Spot of Art (Very Good, Jeeves); The Heel o Achilles (The Clicking of Cuthbert); Indian Summer of an Uncle (Very Good, Jeeves); Romance at Droitgate Spa (Eggs, Beans and Crumpets); and Sundered Hearts (The Clicking of Cuthbert).

There is a real skill in being able to conjure a whole life in just a few pages, to be able to leave a reader with an enduring feeling in just a short time. Here you will find lasting stories about life the universe and everything, from authors you already know as novelists and some that will be knew and welcome friends. We love a good short story, not just because they provide great reading in bite-size chunks - perfect for the trip to work, or a moment when you just want a small piece of brilliance in your life – but also because they are (if they are good) a perfect piece of art, capturing the human condition in a snapshot that stays with the reader for much longer than it took to write. As Graham Greene put it; “a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov’s story, The Lady with the Dog.” From Chekhov to Julian Barnes via a whole host of other perfectionists, we have hand-picked the very best of short story collections for readers of all tastes.