For the love of Short Stories!

Reading novels is an addiction. But reading short stories is an obsession!

Knitted tightly in a handful of pages, they hold within themselves an inexplicable enigma of wonders; worlds that even mammoth novels fail to behold. The more short stories you devour, the more unceasing an appetite you develop. No? Is it just me?

Stephen King said, a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger. Maybe yes, maybe no. I am foreign to that feeling, besides I find the idea positively creepy. Now although, I love King; he tops the list of my favorite authors, but there are times I don’t quite agree with him. A kiss in the dark is like what? Done and gone? The feeling worn out within seconds? Short-stories, on the contrary, leave a deeper, a rather greater impact, one that doesn’t leave you for a wonderfully long time.

I like how short stories are less demanding in terms of my time but pleasingly overbearing when it comes to the concentration.The best part yet about short-stories is that I can begin wherever. I am the kind of a reader who doesn’t much like to follow a sequence; which novels necessitate. With a collection of short stories, I can enjoy that freedom. I love to pick random stories and commence reading which may not particularly be in the sequence they’re written. Yeah, call me weird!

2017 was a year of short stories. I was fortunate enough to hit some fabulously satisfying collections that were until now hidden from my gaze, away from my grasp. One of these books – China Girl – was a debut launch that I read and reviewed on request. Some of my favorite short story writers are Gulzar, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sir Doyle, Allan Poe, King. I never tire upon reading their works and as soon as I finish one I am hankering for next. Here’s the list I managed reading last year:

I have shared the links for you to learn more about my experience about these books or simply, more about the books. The tedious task that remains though is reviewing the books. Soon enough that shall be accomplished too. I have a good many titles trotting up the list for this year. Some of which are:

  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
  • Gooseberries by Anton Chekov
  • Harables by Haidji
  • The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Nine Stories by J D Salinger, etc.

Short stories delight me to no end; guess I can never say that enough and always leave me asking for more. For me, that feeling is the best feeling in the world. Somehow, I have always felt that with short stories you get a better, insightful peek into the writer’s mind than full-blown novels. What do you think?

As for you, dear reader, what is your choice – novels or short stories? What are some of the best short stories you have read? Who is your favorite short story writer?  I am asking around for recommendations so that I don’t miss the best of them. Now, these indeed are too many questions, but my, oh my! For the love of short stories, do share some titles below. 🙂

~~~~~

Asha Seth

37 thoughts on “For the love of Short Stories!

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  1. That was a nice list of recommendations, Asha!
    Thank you for them. I enjoy short stories as well. In fact, I tend to prefer them over novels.
    I do try my hand at writing them too.
    Could you please check out my blog, and maybe share your thoughts on my stories?
    That would be really awesome, coming from a fellow short story lover.

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  2. Your post has set my reading goals for 2018. Looking forward to it since I haven’t read short stories so far. The title “Men without Women” was the first to grab my attention. Will be starting off with that one for sure! Thanks for the list.

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  3. Horses for courses, I think. Short stories are probably the more demanding medium – no room for error or filler on behalf of the writer. Novels, in contrast, can be more forgiving of an author. 500 – odd pages allow a bit more wiggle room, along with the freedom to explore sub plots and side avenues. On the whole, however, it’s the short stories that stay with me.

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  4. I too find King’s remark about short stories over the top. I like short stories a lot though and I find Tagore’s remark about them as perfect. Loosely translated, according to him, short stories are the reflection of little worries, pains and promises of life. The main attraction lies therein the ending. The ending should be the beginning of our own thought process as we yearn for more.

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  5. Hi Asha,
    I like novel, ya. Novel is long but describe all. Short story like 20-20. Life is long, in novel write most of moment. Readers like a life part. It take a more time but interested.
    I have read only Gujarati novel(Harikisan Mehta).
    I like short story but selected writer.
    Good night

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    1. Yes, most of us are lovers of novels, because they like the lengthier bit of literature, to completely soak in. I haven’t read anything Gujrati, but I love Premchand’s Hindi stories.

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  6. I got a collection of short horror stories last year and in it I found Dracula’s Guest and Sredni Vashtar both which I loved! Also The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favourites. I need to read more short stories. I love how you talk about them here, and I would also find a kiss from a stranger in the dark creepy! 😂 Have you read Tales from a Wayside Inn? They’re actually poems but each one is a story told by a patron at the inn. Really clever!

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    1. I always get excited at the prospect of reading new stories. The Tell-Tale Heart is my favourite too. I quite loved ‘The Black Cat’ too but that I can say for most of Poe tales. Sadly, not many evoke that affection as Maurier, Poe, or Conan, when it comes to short stories, but that is my mind speaking for itself. I need to get my hands on the ones you’ve mentioned now. Tales from the Wayside Inn sounds intriguing. Are these books readily available?

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  7. This is so true Asha. Sometimes short stories can do the magic even big novels fail to do.
    They’re indeed an obsession, once you get started with them it’s hard to stop.

    Thanks for the list 😊💜

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  8. Some impressive authors there, I tend not to dabble too much in short stories, although read Night Shift by Stephen King which was good and various compilations for kids. I think the problem comes from a reviewing point of view for me. Trying to encapsulate everything into one review is a challenge, however I will gladly read more as I fear , from your words that I am missing out.

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    1. Yes, reviewing short stories is always a task, I find difficult too. I have so many of them to be reviewed yet. Just as easy and engrossing I find short stories, equally hard are the reviews to come by. I try, however, to write a short review as soon as I am done with one story in a collection, following suit for rest.
      Night Shift by King is a short story or a collection? I shall try and find it. I absolutely loved some tales from King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams. Have you read that one, J?

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      1. I haven’t read that one, Night Shift is both the collection and the name of one of the short stories, there are some really good ones in there, Very enjoyable.
        Maybe that is the key to write a review for each story but I really can’t bring myself to do so much more effort, I find it better to focus on the running themes of the collection mostly.

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  9. I so agree with you. I didn’t knew there’s a book on men without women by other than haruki. I do have uncommon type, and it’s one of those books which are witty, but the witt is Uncommon type, heavily American, and sometimes between the lines. I’m noting down other books. Thanks for sharing. I would recommend – Nine lives by William Darylmp(however that is spelled hehe)

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    1. There is and I read it first and later Murakami’s because I’d read somewhere that Murakami’s WWM was inspired by Hemingway’s. Dalrymple is a dear dear writer. I shall have Nine Lives up next right away, that is if I find it.
      Your blog is so full of life. I shall be there often. 🙂

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“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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