Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Short Stories” as Want to Read:
The Complete Short Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Short Stories

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The complete life work of Agnes Owens in short stories - everything from Gentlemen of the West, Lean Tales, People Like That and 14 brand new unpublished stories. Witty and dark, Owens’ spare prose shocks and delights. Her talent for pithy, unsettling tales is as sharp as ever, confirming her place as one of Scotland’s finest contemporary writers.

’A terrific collection,’ -
Paperback, 373 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Polygon
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Complete Short Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Complete Short Stories

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
MJ Nicholls
Read for The Dark Side, the final fourteen stories from Owens, published in this volume in 2008 (not that her work has a “light” side). These are shorter, blunter pieces than the earlier works, each offering its own miserable portrait of the murkier side of Scottish working-class existence, from the lecherous, drunken, unloving, and cruel to the even more so. Owens’s novellas and stories are some of the most incisive in the Scots canon and this volume is essential for fans of incisiveness and de ...more
After reading the first story in this collection I felt like I was on the verge of discovering a wonderful new writer. Except she's not new. The first story, Arabella, was terrific: mordantly black, funny, strong punchy narrative and descriptions.
That story remained one of the strongest, but there were many others too that delighted. The wicked black streak showed up periodically, especially in the later stories.
The writing is direct and concise. The author disappears, leaving only the reader a
Why am I giving Agnes Owen 5 stars - is she as good as Joyce or Carver? Probably not, but she does precisely what she sets out to do with mordant wit and clever understatement. These stories are wonderful, their low key scenarios of pawning a TV or violence in a bus queue perfectly illuminate the corners of working class Scotland Owen writes about. I haven't read them all yet, dipping in on bus journeys or waiting for the kettle to boil - they're all quite short - but every one hits home. A ...more
Dec 29, 2010 Tuck rated it it was amazing
i had lots to say about this at 2am, now its 10am. at work. not much to say.
one thing, "gentlemen of the west" is very much like "tortilla flat" by steinbeck.
two thing, never mess with a witch.
three thing, how can you be a misanthrope and be kind, generous, and empathetic at the same time? owens' characters can.
Apr 07, 2013 Carla rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this complete short stories book of Agnes Owen. Some of the stories have a sinister Roald Dahlness about them, which I loved. I really enjoyed the stories where the main character meets a German tourist and the one entitled Rose - definitely my favourites from the collection. I wish I could rate this more a 3.5. The stories give an insight into living in the poorer areas of Scotland, especially during the Thatcher years.
Jun 08, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing
Breath-takingly good short stories, memorable characters and once you've read these you'll be buying it for your friends' birthdays for months to come.
An absolutely brilliant and not-nearly-as-well-known-as-she-ought-to-be Scottish short story writer. It's a joy to have all of her stories collected in one volume.
Nov 01, 2010 Jaslo rated it it was amazing
wonderful, fun, Scottish, depressing, poignant, boozy, Scottish.
David Kenvyn
David Kenvyn rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2013
Shannon rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2011
Cornelius Browne
Cornelius Browne rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2013
Jan 10, 2012 Lyndsey rated it did not like it
some very odd stories...not really my cup of tea!
Gordon Miller
Gordon Miller rated it it was ok
Oct 02, 2016
Mark rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2013
Mary Anne Meyering
Mary Anne Meyering rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2014
Melissa rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2015
Kirsty rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2014
Rachel MacWilliam
Rachel MacWilliam rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2015
Jane rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2011
Vicki Jarrett
Vicki Jarrett rated it really liked it
May 05, 2013
Tom Gillespie
Tom Gillespie rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2012
Jill rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2014
Richard rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
Lewie rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2014
Caroline rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2015
Tartarine rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2014
Poptart19 rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2013
Deirdre O'Brien
Deirdre O'Brien rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2011
Pradeep Subramoniam
Pradeep Subramoniam rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2016
Robert Pearson
Robert Pearson rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2011
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Agnes Owens was a Scottish author. She was born in Milngavie in 1926 and spent most of her life on the west coast of Scotland. She has been married twice and raised seven children, also working as a cleaner, typist and factory worker.

More about Agnes Owens...

Share This Book