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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.
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.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Gosh, this is absolutely and completely enchanting. The moment I laid eyes on ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’ I knew I had fallen in love, I hugged the book before even opening the pages. I felt like a child again, it’s beautifully sized, it’s big, the cover stunning, it just invites you to pick it up. The story began when Jackie Morris created Christmas cards, one a year for Help Musicians UK, the words, while there all along, arrived later, in the creating of this book. The illustrations speak so eloquently and beautifully they brought a tear to my eye and goose bumps magically appeared on my arms. This is a book where you just sink into the pages, drift away on the words, and it feels like a half remembered dream. I whole heartedly recommend ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’, it would make a perfect gift (even for yourself), and is a fairy tale delight of a read. ~ Liz Robinson A message from the author, Jackie Morris: Between the covers of this book there is a gathering, of images* and stories. The words tell only a small part of what can be found in the images. These stories ask more questions than they answer. Look at the paintings and find within them more answers. The book is a harbour in which to rest, a catalyst for the imagination, and the stories are a series of lullabies for grown-ups. My hope is that the threads of stories will wrap around the dreams of others and spin fine gold threads to catch the imagination. * - The illustrations were originally commissioned Christmas card designs for the charity Help Musicians. The brief was always the same: anything, so long as there were musical instruments or musicians in it. A message from Jon Boden, singer, composer and musician: A tantalising glimpse into an enigmatic, free-flowing world with music at its heart... Music, painting and words have long been close acquaintances, but in The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow Morris has discovered a way of bringing the three art forms together in a truly organic, intuitive amalgam. Click here to read more about Jackie's inspiration for this title and also a word from Jon Boden.
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.
This story was submitted to The LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2019. You can listen to the People's Choice winner on the LoveReading Podcast.
Sixteen terrifying, painful, and despairing stories set in the West Indies, London, Paris, and provincial England are drawn from the experience of the contemporary novelist's life.
There are ghosts here and jovial spirits. Chances at love and tricks with time. There is frost and icicles, mistletoe and sledges. There's a cat and a dog and a solid silver frog. There's a Christmas cracker with a surprising gift inside. There's a haunted house and a SnowMama. There are Yuletides and holly wreaths. Three Kings. And a merry little Christmas time. And for the icing on the Christmas cake, there are twelve festive recipes from Yuletides past and present. Red cabbage, gravlax, turkey biryani, sherry trifle, Mrs Winterson's mince pies and more.
A Sunday Telegraph Book of the Year `Winterson's winter tales unfailingly succeed in their endeavor to leave you aglow' - Guardian For years Jeanette Winterson has written a new story at Christmas time and here she brings together twelve of her brilliantly imaginative, funny, and bold tales, along with twelve delicious recipes for the twelve days of Christmas.
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 cunning collection of short stories from the master of misdirection, including original tales featuring the hugely popular series characters Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. TENSION ...An aging actor attempts to revive his career by entering a celebrity poker game for a reality TV show. Can he outwit his devious opponents, or is his fate doomed from the outset? CONSPIRACY ...A successful crime writer dies under seemingly natural circumstances, but for one cop, doubts are lingering. There's certainly motive for murder - or is there more to the case than meets the eye? MURDER ...Lincoln Rhyme is announced dead, shot by one of his suspects in cold blood. Is this the end of the line for the criminalist, or just another twist in the tale? King of suspense Jeffery Deaver grips with every page, setting out a devilishly clever path where nothing is as it seems. If you think you know the ending, think again ...
**A Quick Read from the number one bestselling writer and author of Kane and Abel** These four short stories from a master storyteller are packed full of twists and turns. In Stuck on You, Jeremy finds out exactly the best way to steal the perfect ring for his fiancee. Albert celebrates his 100th birthday, and is pleased to be sent The Queen's Birthday Telegram. He is, however, confused ...In Russia, businessman Richard plots the ideal way to murder his wife. He begins to have a clever idea when his hotel warns him: Don't Drink the Water from the taps. And as Diana, a busy single mother, drives to have dinner with friends, she realises that a black van is following her. Soon terrified for her life, she does whatever it takes to stick to the warning given to drivers: Never Stop on the Motorway ...
This edition brings together three of Jeffrey Archer's classic collections of short stories: To Cut a Long Story Short, Cat O' Nine Tales and And Thereby Hangs a Tale, showcasing the master storyteller's skill like never before. Every reader will have their own favourites: the choices run from love at first sight across the train tracks to the cleverest of confidence tricks, from the quirks of the legal profession - and those who are able to manipulate both sides of the Bar - to the creative financial talents of a member of Her Majesty's diplomatic service - but for a good cause. In 'Caste-Off', Jamwal and Nisha fall in love while waiting for a traffic light to turn green in Delhi, and in 'Don't Drink The Water', a company chairman tries to poison his wife while on a trip to St Petersburg - with unexpected consequences ...The stories held in these pages are irresistible: ingeniously plotted, with richly drawn characters and deliciously unexpected conclusions.
If you are familiar with Eugenides’ work then these, his first collection of short stories, are probably what you would expect, i.e. not happy. They are about love, envy, regret, desire, illness and death. Only one, Baster, has any humour, albeit black. The rest are about people falling towards ruin or tragedy. Some have intriguing twists but most you must enjoy largely for the fine writing, great atmosphere and deep emotions. One, Air Mail, which has a description of the protagonist’s life slipping away is stunning and very sad. He is a much praised, prize-winning author and these certainly show his ability. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
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.