Short Stories

A lot of people don’t like reading short stories but I’ve always been quite keen on them. I find that they are good for bed-time reading and they can be handy if you are travelling. It’s also a fine way of getting reluctant readers started off, a thick book can be really daunting to some people.

If a story sticks in your mind for a good 30 years then I think it’s fair to say that it must be a success. That is what has happened to me with Somerset Maugham’s short story The Verger which you can read here. It is a very short read indeed but I think it says a lot about tolerance and also the snootiness that some so called ‘educated’ people can be prone to.

Another one which has stuck in my mind is The Alibi Machine by Larry Niven (see a description here) which I read over thirty years ago on my husband’s recommendation.

More recently I enjoyed Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories.

At the moment I’m tackling John Updike’s The Early Stories 1953 – 1975. It’s a fairly thick tome, as you can imagine and I’m finding it a bit unwieldy for reading in bed. It’s also far too big to drag around when you are travelling. I might find it easier to read out in the garden if we get some half decent days weather-wise this summer.

4 thoughts on “Short Stories

  1. I’m one of those who say they do not like reading short stories. But you’re right, I’ve had some very good ones in my mind for 25 years now: Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield, Eveline or The Dead by James Joyce (The Dubliners).
    But I actually prefer reading novels. Can’t tell you why.

    • Maria Grazia,
      I think the thing about novels is that you can completely immerse yourself in another world for quite a while. I like Katherine Mansfield too but not Joyce.


  2. Thank you for the Somerset Maugham link. I think my favourite short stories must be those by H. P. Lovecraft. I often re-read them and they always give me the creeps.

    Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges is another book of short stories which I can strongly recommend, but I’ll gamble you’ve read it?

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