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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.
A giant ape... A heartless priest... A descent into depravity under London... An immortal hound... A baby thrown up by the sea... A Voodoo prayer... A legend made flesh in the eyes of a terrified child... Monsters come in all shapes and sizes... From human individuals with an evil streak or deeply aberrant nature, to those who are simply physically wrong. From beasts of the imagination to modern myths from the big screen... In these 15 stories representing the very best recent fiction by the writer of TV's GHOSTWATCH and AFTERLIFE and the acclaimed novella WHITSTABLE, you will meet all the things that made our childhoods terrifying - and bearable... "Others had Bobby Moore or Elvis. We had Christopher Lee and Quatermass. We had monsters in our hearts forever..." ... Containing two never-before-published stories.
An easy read of fourteen short stories and a one act play, all with a mystical theme which Kate Mosse is so good at portraying. Each is accompanied by an author’s note and although some have been published before, have not appeared together as a complete work. Set in Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc, some are reworked folk legends, others original ghost tales and some reminiscent of the author’s novels. The title story tells of a young bride at her wedding feast who invites the younger guests to play hide and seek. She is never found, why and what happens is very sad.
Inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, Actors Anonymous is a dark, genre-bending work that mixes memoir and pure invention in an audacious examination of celebrity, acting and the making of fiction. Actors Anonymous is unsettling, funny and personal - a series of stories told in many forms: a McDonald's drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers putting a camera in the hands of a patient obsessed with horror films; a vampire-flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor, who may have killed his father and gone on the run. The book contains profound insights into the nature and purpose of acting. Franco mercilessly turns his 'James Franco' persona inside out while, at the same time, providing a fascinating meditation on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess. 'Hollywood has always been a private club,' he writes. 'I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, Look inside.' Franco's writing is vivid and disturbing, but what distinguishes his work is the great compassion he extends towards his characters, who he presents in all their raw humanity, while at the same time providing insight into their deeper selves.
Witty, heartbreaking, shocking, satirical: the short story can excite or sadden, entice or repulse. The one thing it can never be is dull. Now Victoria Hislop, passionate ambassador for the art of the short story, has collected 100 stories from her favourite women writers into one volume. Here are Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates, well-known feminists and famous wits, national treasures and rising stars. All handpicked by one of the nation's best-loved novelists, there's a story for every mood, mind-set and moment in life. Featuring an all star cast of authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Angela Carter, Margaret Drabble, Penelope Fitzgerald, Miranda July, Doris Lessing, Katherine Mansfield, Alice Munro, Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf, The Story is the biggest and most beautiful collectino of women's short fictino in print today.
September 2013 Short Story Book of the Month. An irresistible collection of stories of love and fidelity, mystery and unexpected lives from some of the bestselling authors writing today. And even better news is that for each book purchased £1 goes to Breast Cancer Care. Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising event wear it pink is on Friday 25 October. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Coffee Shop Book Club a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'What an amazing mix of stories - 28 in total, all of them different. It’s like opening a box of your favourite chocolates and being lost to choose which one you like best.' - Kath Thornton. Scroll down to read more reviews.
A strange miscellany – this is a collection of ten of her short stories as well as a few other musings about life. Lighter and much, much shorter than her usual blockbusting novels, fans will enjoy but those new to her should start elsewhere. Each story spins a new heroine in a new scenario from an anxious young mum to the unexpected challenges of being a grandmother via many other of life’s challenges for modern women.
The women of Reality, Reality are mesmerizing, whether in love or in solitude. Full of compassion, generosity, sorrow and joy, their fifteen unforgettable stories explore the power of the imagination to make things real, and celebrate, most of all, those who dare to dream.
The award-winning author of Room displays her prodigious writing talents in creating a gem of a short story collection that is full of memorable characters. Ann Patchett, Orange prize-winning author of Bel Canto said of Astray ‘There is such a deep and compassionate imagination at work in every story in this collection that Astray feels almost like an act of clairvoyance.'Fascinating and compelling these short stories are inspired by real life characters and events plucked from four centuries of history.
Alison Moore is an exceptional author whose writing explores the dark, unsettling and unsafe areas of everyday life. With this collection of short stories, as with her Man Booker shortlisted The Lighthouse, don’t expect cheerful redemption and sugar coated happy endings - rather powerful, affecting vignettes of other people’s lives and situations that will make you think.
From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. Tender yet unsentimental, achingly personal yet utterly universal, Summer Lies asks what it means to love, to deceive and ultimately, to be human....
March 2013 Short Story Collection of the Month. Ten elegant, witty yet unsettling short stories explore the dislocations of modern life. From the pain it can bring to the fear of not being cool or in control. Deborah Levy was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize with Swimming Home. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher on Black Vodka and Swimming Home...'In Swimming Home, the ripples just keep on spreading. What first captivated me about this novel was its sure-handed concision, which, instead of warding off strangeness, actually created a space where the real strangeness of life was allowed to show. Yet every time I hear from another excited reader, Swimming Home has shown them something else again: the place of foreignness in different characters, where the madness lies and why, who is tied to whom, new talismanic objects and words, brand-new literary connections, hooking the story back into a great history of stories. The further I plumb this slim fiction, the greater depths it reveals.Which is why Deborah Levy’s new collection, Black Vodka: ten stories, is both a joy and a relief. A joy because that same rare taste for strangeness can be savoured again on every page; a relief because my tightly plotted mental map of Levy’s fathomless world can now open out into a range of new places, new characters and new moods. Many of the stories in Black Vodka obliquely take up themes also in Swimming Home: childhood displacements, psychological connections and disconnections, the burdens of history, the difficulty of staying in love. But they give you new ways of thinking about these things. In a way, Black Vodka allows us to read Levy’s world through a fresh new set of prisms.'Sophie Lewis, Editor, And Other Stories31st January 2013
Gathering together every story he has written in a career spanning 60 years, as well as sixteen brand new tales and a host of illustrations, this is a landmark publication from one of Scotland’s greatest writers.
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.