Collin's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 2007

The Best American Short Stories 2007 by Stephen King
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's review
Mar 10, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: short story aficionados
Read in March, 2008

This book is simply a collection of decent short stories. I love compilations like these, but until now had only picked up old copies of the O'Henry Prize stories. What really caught my eye (and made me ask for this for Christmas) was Stephen King's name as the collection's editor.

King's introduction is both sad an optimistic regarding the state of America's short story. In my opinion, the man has mastered the art of the short story himself, and the ones he has written are more consistently better than his novels, which lately have been very hit-or-miss. (I did love Duma Key, though.)

This is Heidi Pitlor's first year as series editor, replacing her predecessor who worked at the job for 16 years. She seems dedicated in her foreword (and King says so in his intro) and mentions that King helped far more than most editors have in the past.

Overall, the stories are very good. I wouldn't say there are more than one or two amazing ones, but I enjoyed reading most of them. Two very common themes in this series are family (both in love and dysfunction) and death. I was fascinated to read about both subjects and found myself feeling with the characters more than once.

One thing I didn't get that I love about short stories is the ending sucker punch. I enjoyed O'Henry's stories for that, and King does it often, too. Still, this is a decent collection, and I'd be happy to pass it on to someone if they've read this far.

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