Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Short Stories

I have been reading a short story a day since January 1. With three plus months left to go, what short story would you recommend I read? A few of my favorites have been A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (O'Connor) THE NIGHT IN QUESTION (Tobias Wolff) GIVING BLOOD (John Updike), UNCLE (Woodrell) WORLD OF GAS (Campbell), GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER DRESSES (Shaw), CATHEDRAL, Raymond Carver.

(I am not listing ones here from people we know here although I have read some terrific ones online and in anthologies).

What short stories should I read before the end of the year?


Kieran Shea said...



I loved his novel--Everything Matters!--(an overlooked gem of the "doomsday" genre) so I picked up this collection. Just wicked smart, profound, and funny.

Dave Zeltserman said...

The collections you listed are excellent. For something very different, and my favorite collection:

Far From the City of Class by Bruce Jay Friedman

For crime fiction, the very best sort stories are the Hammett Continental Op stories that are mixed up in a bunch of different collections.

And of course, if you haven't (and would this be possible??) read Ray Bradbury, try The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles, etc., also for sci-fi, hard to beat Harlan Ellison.

And btw. this blogger verification is evil! I'm probably going to get to the point soon where I'll have no chance of entering the verification codes.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Patti, you may have already read these short stories, but:

The Girl Who Was Plugged In, James Tiptree, Jr.
The Deluge at Norderney, Isak Dinesen (would make a great screenplay).
The Finder, Ursula Le Guin.
Windowcases, Anca Vlasopolos (online at: http://www.friggmagazine.com/volumeonearchive/windowcases.htm)

Jerry House said...

Anything by P. G. Wodehouse.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I took the WV off. Let's see what happens.
Thanks for the great suggestions. I will look online where I can.

Rick Robinson said...

I always want to tell people to read the short stories of Raymond Chandler, but I suppose you have read them. I'd second the Hammett stories too.

Short stories of Graham Green

I love Hemingway's Nick Adams stories too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read many Greene novels, but I don't think I have ever read his shorts. Great idea. The Adams's stories are my favorite Hemingway.

Randy Johnson said...

I just got a cheap book in the mail I would recommend. LOST STORIES by Dashiell Hammett. Came out a few years ago and has 21 stories never appearing in book form before. Biographical bits connected to each story are scattered along.

Anonymous said...

Ray Bradbury, The Small Assassin.
Yes to the Greene stories.

New ones to me this year:
Bruce Machart, MEN IN THE MAKING especially the first two stories

It's hard to pick out a few when you've read close to 500 stories this year.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I have a book by Emma Straub waiting at the library.
My problem is I spend way too much time every day picking the story to read. I should have just gone through the anthologies one after the other. Or looked for a story online every day.

Anonymous said...

I read Graham Greene's Complete Short Stories a couple of years ago and they are good, but I'd definitely agree that you can't go wrong with the Hammett, especially the Continental Op stories. I liked the LOST STORIES volume most for the bits Randy mentioned, the biographical stuff.

Jeff M.

Erik Donald France said...

Those are great stories, indeed ~!

I think Leila Aboulela is interesting for perspective but I don't know if she has a short story collection.

Deb said...

Not sure if you've read either of these, and i've probably recommended them before, but my two favorite short stories (highly recommended) are Rebecca West's Salt of the Earth and Connie Willis's Chance. Both are excellent.

George said...

I agree with Jerry on P. G. Wodehouse and Dave on Harlan Ellison. If you haven't read Jack Vance's short story masterpiece THE DYING EARTH, that's where I'd go next.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--should I suggest stories from the books I sent along? Still have 'em? Can I point to my recurrent reviews?

Dave Zeltserman--you could not insult Harlan Ellison more acutely as well as unintentionally as by using the "skiffy" term (as opposed to sf or fantasy) to refer to his work. He's definitely one of us who really dislike that neologism.

Charles Gramlich said...

Anything out of the SF collection called The Science fiction hall of fame. But perhaps, The cold Equations or surface tension might be particularly good,.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I have read several from those collections, Todd. Thanks!

Gerard Saylor said...

I read the Emma Straub short stories book, it was good. Straub had a novel come out this past week.

SEPARATE KINGDOMS by Valerie Laken had some good ones including a story about a lesbian couple who travel to Russia (maybe Ukraine) to adopt.

Todd Mason said...

Have you ever read Saroyan's story in essay form, "Seventy Thousand Assyrians"?


Possibly more powerful if encountered when young, but still...

MP said...

Some favorites:

"Bullet in the Brain"--Tobias Wolff

"Over the River and Through the Wood"--John O'Hara

"Friend's Best Man"--Jonathan Carroll

Almost anything by Alice Munro.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I just picked up Straub's novel. Great suggestions. Unfortunately, some would require me buying an entire collection but I am looking a the library, online, in my library.

Rick Robinson said...

One thing: the LOST STORIES Randy recommends are not mystery stories. Though I didn't read the last two, so one of those may be.