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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.
June 2015 Book of the Month. A collection of stories giving us glimpses into the extraordinary lives of ordinary people; twenty-five stories which by turn are moving, unsettling and entertaining. Putting all that together they become very good indeed. Each story is a snapshot of the strange ways life deals with people. Swift is a great storyteller and these short pieces speak eloquently to us about life as it is lived. There are light moments, two historical tales and one about the awkwardness of love, the processes of growing up and aging and many about the intrusion of death into life. Ration yourself to one a day, to make them last. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Just round the corner from St Jarlath's Crescent (featured in MINDING FRANKIE) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy's wonderfully compelling tales: Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son. Nessa Byrne, whose aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house - and Nessa's world - upside down. Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiance not everyone approves of. And Melly, whose gossip about the neighbours leads to trouble in the form of the fortune teller, 'Madame Magic'...No one rivals Maeve Binchy for stories of warmth, kindness, love, loss - and life not always turning out as expected.
From treachery in the Caribbean to mischief in the Mediterranean, from murderous drama to sleek black comedy, from a baffling number of suspects to a single confrontation with a maniacal rapist - a collection of wittily told and deftly turned stories, with a twist.
In this collection of mysterious and thrilling short stories, Jemima Shore is at her sparkling best as she solves the case of the Parr children in a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands and elegantly deals with a missing bride in Venice.
A Twist of the Knife is Peter James' gripping first full-length collection of thirty short stories, including all the stories featured in Short Shockers 1 & 2 plus many more. 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.
Andrea Levy, author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel THE LONG SONG and the prize-winning, million-copy bestseller SMALL ISLAND, draws together a remarkable collection of short stories from across her writing career, which began twenty years ago with the publication of her first novel, the semi-autobiographical EVERY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE BURNIN'. None of my books is just about race, Levy has said. They're about people and history. Her novels have triumphantly given voice to the people and stories that might have slipped through the cracks in history. From Jamaican slave society in the nineteenth century, through post-war immigration into Britain, to the children of migrants growing up in '60s London, her books are acclaimed for skilful storytelling and vivid characters. And her unique voice, unflinching but filled with humour, compassion and wisdom, has made her one of the most significant and exciting contemporary authors. This collection opens with an essay about how writing has helped Andrea Levy to explore and understand her heritage. She explains the context of each piece within the chronology of her career and finishes with a new story, written to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. As with her novels, these stories are at once moving and honest, deft and humane, filled with insight, anger at injustice and her trademark lightness of touch.
This was first published ten years ago when it celebrated 75 years of the founding of the “Detection Club”, a club comprising the cream of British crime writers, so a very distinguished list indeed. At the back of the book is a brief history of the club by its president Simon Brett and the mystery of its origins is debated. Of the stories themselves (twelve) sadly four of the contributors are no longer with us but from P D James to Robert Goddard it is a very fine collection indeed. It is actually the fifth in the series.
From Salley Vickers, bestselling author of Miss Garnet's Angel, comes The Boy Who Could See Death, an enchanting and unsettling collection of short stories. Charming, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always well written, these are little jewels from the pen that gave us Miss Garnet’s Angel and Mr Golightly’s Holiday. She is a witty and elegant writer with a beautiful turn of phrase. A few well-placed words bring characters and settings effortlessly to life. Dip in and read one or take them all in order, either way you are in for a treat. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Containing sixteen tales that were published in 1983 with the title Unlikely Stories, Mostly, this collection also includes fifty-seven tales from later books, as well as sixteen new ones.
Lydia Davis has been universally acclaimed for the wit, insight and genre-defying formal inventiveness of her sparkling stories. The stories revel in and grapple with the joys and constraints of language - achieving always the extraordinary, unmatched precision which makes Lydia Davis one of the greatest contemporary writers on the international stage.
'She's a Queen of Words' CAITLIN MORAN. 'One of the great lionesses of modern English literature' HARPER'S BAZAAR. 'Readable, articulate and fascinating' THE SCOTSMAN. 'Outrageously funny' DAILY EXPRESS. 'Sharp, witty, incisive' THE TIMES. 'Wise, knowing, forthright' INDEPENDENT. Reviewers have been describing Fay Weldon's inimitable voice for years. Now, here is Fay Weldon in her own words. Choosing and and introducing twenty-one of her favourite short stories written throughout her fifty year career as one of Britain's foremost novelists. Included as a bonus is a new novella, The Ted Dreams, a ghost story for the age of cyber culture, big pharma, and surveillance.
'Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve - and makes you laugh along the way' Lena Dunham In the title story, we meet Maya, who is torn between her wryly funny boyfriend and the allure of her veterinarian. In Andorra, a woman's lover calls her every Thursday as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counselling. How to Give the Wrong Impression shows us a woman pining for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tell her that her palm is sweaty. In The Dive Bar a girl agrees to have a drink with her married lover's wife. Revisiting Maya in several stories, chronicling her various states of love, this is a collection about how we are unfaithful to each other, both wilfully and unwittingly. Populated with unwelcome house guests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and flirtatious older men, the stories are emotionally astute, sexy, and disarming-and they introduce us to a tart, and marvellous, new voice.
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.