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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.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. November 2015 Book of the Month. If you are an intrepid reader and delight in the creatively eerie, startling and spine-chilling, then some distinctive and perfectly crafted short stories await. Of course there are 13 tales, however there is nothing about the obvious here, as they range in length from one page to a novella, then float through history, fantasy and reality. ‘Night Music’ has the ability to encourage the imagination to go into overdrive, so it felt as though John Connolly was wielding a sharpened and potentially double-edged pen when I found further books, some alive with malice, lurking within the pages. I particularly enjoyed ‘The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository’ which will remain vibrantly alive and functioning within my mind. So from the strangely weird and wonderful, through to bitterly sorrowful, and grimly formidable, here have gathered, waiting to provoke your imagination, some wonderfully readable tales of the supernatural. ~ Liz Robinson
We think of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, but far more seductive is the pairing of Holmes and Professor James Moriarty, 'the Napoleon of crime' - a rivalry unparalleled in the world of crime fiction. Fiercely intelligent and a relentless schemer, Moriarty is the super-villain as megastar.
Welcome to the party, pull up a chair, take your ease, and join Tom, king of the Cattle Market bank branch, for a bite to eat and a glass or two of wine. Come and meet his customers, many of whom have become his friends, and listen to their tales.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The British Library series of resurrected crime classics, with its elegant retro covers and splendid revivals has proven one of the publishing hits of the last few years, with long out of print authors surprisingly outselling many modern genre practitioners. Edwards, one the leading experts on Golden Age crime and an adviser to the series has brought together a fascinating selection of Christmas mysteries that combine nostalgia and meticulous detection. With tales from Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Edgar Wallace, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L. Sayers, Nicholas Blake, Edmund Crispin and many other lesser names that deserve renewed attention, this is the perfect gift book if you enjoy your crime served the traditional way. Atmosphere, intrigue, old-fashioned sleuthing, a dagger or a drop of poison by the Yuletide tree, what is there not to like? ~ Maxim Jakubowski
What happens when mirth turns to murder? When the screams are not from joy, but flesh-ripping pain? Dead Funny: Encore is the second helping of monstrous tales from the brightest lights in UK comedy. Award winners Robin Ince and Johnny Mains team up for this second exploration of the relationship between comedy and horror, the dark follow up to 2014's smash hit debut, Dead Funny.
'The Irish do love telling stories, and we are suspicious of people who don't have long, complicated conversations. There used to be a rule in etiquette books that you should invite four talkers and four listeners to a dinner party. That doesn't work in Ireland, because nobody knows four listeners' Maeve Binchy Maeve Binchy's bestselling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also give an insight in to how Ireland has changed over the decades, but how people remain the same: they still fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they still have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and some that fall apart.
The secrets we keep and the ways in which they shape us, the impossibility of shared loss, the lengths we will go to in order to protect our families and the distance we will run to protect ourselves. This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne's finest writing to date. It includes 'Rest Day' which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.
August 2015 Book of the Month. Deaver’s third collection of short stories contains twelve pieces and every one one of them a gem of a read full of clever plotting, surprise, tension and the occasional 'I never saw that coming' moments. Six are new; one Lincoln Rhyme, one Kathryn Dance, one John Pellam and three stand-alones. Two of the older ones, The Therapist and Forever, border on the occult and one, Paradise, with its terrific twist, is the author’s favourite. It is in fact a wonderful introduction to his work that we are pretty sure you'll quickly get hooked on.
A highly anticipated collection of short fiction listed in the Guardian's 'Essential Literary Calendar' for 2015 from one of the most exciting and original authors writing today. The multi-award-winning China Mieville has been called 'the equal of David Mitchell or Zadie Smith' (Scotland on Sunday), whose 'inventiveness and precision is awesome' (Independent), and who writes with 'an imagination of immense power' (Guardian). In this extraordinary series of stories, defying definitions and literary stereotyping, he once again proves why he 'is one of the most interesting and promising writers to appear in the last few years in any genre' (Carlos Ruiz Zafon). In these stories, glistening icebergs float above urban horizons; a burning stag runs wild through the city; the ruins of industry emerge unsteadily from the sea; and the abandoned generations in a decayed space-elevator look not up at the stars but down at the Earth.
Rogues is a meaty feast of a book, stuffed full of fabulous stories from some of the best authors around (George RR Martin and Neil Gaiman to name just a couple). This isn't just about science fiction and fantasy either, there’s some great mainstream contemporary works on show too. There are twenty one stories, proper weighty stories, full of content and some of the most interesting characters around. Once you start reading, it’s difficult to stop as the next story gives a siren call to dive straight in. So…if you've always loved to hiss and boo at an irresistibly wicked and sometimes charming villain, this is the perfect book for you.
Largely written during his years as a copywriter at a Detroit advertising agency, these stories find Leonard exploring far-flung locations, from the bars of small-town New Mexico to a military base in Kuala Lumpur. They also introduce us to unforgettable Leonard characters, some of whom - like ageing lawman Charlie Martz and former matador Eladio Montoya - star in his other works but were born in these pages.
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.
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.