It is very difficult for me to finish full-length classic novels at a good pace; then I turn to short stories. I have read quite a few short stories by now and I have loved almost all of them. As literature students, we had them as a part of our syllabus, and that in a way started my fascination for short fiction. I have listed my absolute favorite short stories from the ones I have read so far.
1) The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
This was the first story by Edgar Allen Poe that I read and ended up loving it. The narrator of the story who has actually murdered someone is trying to convey to the readers his sanity throughout the story. The murder of the old man by the narrator is planned and then executed by him and it is hinted that the narrator suffers from some form of mental illness. The story is simply amazing with its element of thriller, and suspense mixed with the right amount of creepy.
2) Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The story which depicts the dark side of the American dream is my favorite short story by Fitzgerald. In some ways, I did find some aspects of the story similar to The Great Gatsby but that might be because read these two stories back to back. It is slightly longer than I had first anticipated but the plot has a good pace overall and it is an enjoyable read for sure. I liked the fact that we get the see Dexter, the protagonist since the age of 14 and to see the character development was a bonus aspect for me.
3) The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
The story of The Snows of Kilimanjaro is focused on the central character of Harry, a writer, who is in Africa for a safari with his wife but gets injured and is dying of gangrene. The story jumps from the present to the past a few times through its course as Harry thinks about his life. The stream-of-consciousness narration gives a deeper and complete understanding of Harry’s character with his flaws and strengths. It is one of my all-time favorite short stories.
4) The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
I read The Necklace twice, once in school and then once later. The first time honestly, I didn’t concentrate much, I read it because I had to. The second time I read it, I actually appreciated it. It is simple yet so meaningful. The theme of appearance versus reality is pretty subtle throughout the plot but it’s a constant. The ending of the story is completely unexpected, I didn’t see it coming and it elevates the story. It is a must-read.
5) The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde
A story of a lovestruck boy who must find a red rose for the girl he likes in order to win her heart. The start of the story is pretty simple but then the plot takes an unexpected turn; the nightingale decides to help the boy find a red rose for the girl after he hears the boy’s lamenting. This story shows the materialistic aspect of love. As a reader, one is left thinking if the nightingale’s sacrifice was worth it. It is one of my favorite short stories; sad yet realistic.
These five short stories are my favorite short stories of the ones I have read as of now. I am sure there will be many additions to this list in the future and there are so many more short stories I haven’t even got around to reading yet.
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A fantastic collection of short stories and to my shame I haven’t read any of these!! I’m making note of some of these right away. Terrific presentation and brief reviews and I particularly like your personal approach to each book.
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Thank you. 😊
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