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An Occurrence at Owl C...
Ambrose Bierce
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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  16,922 Ratings  ·  488 Reviews
Do your students enjoy a good laugh? Do they like to be scared? Or do they just like a book with a happy ending? No matter what their taste, our Creative Short Stories series has the answer.We've taken some of the world's best stories from dark, musty anthologies and brought them into the light, giving them the individual attention they deserve. Each book in the series has ...more
school binding, 40 pages
Published September 28th 1981 by Creative Education Inc. (Mankato, MN) (first published 1890)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.”

Due to unspecified reasons, Peyton Fahrquhar has never joined the glorious fight for the Confederacy, but he is a firm secessionist and is ardently devoted to the cause. He is a wealthy Alabama planter with a pretty wife and a passel load of children. When he discovers that the
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Oh My!

First published in 1890, this very dark very-short-story classic of death by hanging is loaded with atmosphere and substance.

In just a few pages, this eerie tale tells of a man who loves his wife and children, a man dedicated to the cause during Civil War time, a man who envisions ways to escape the rope around his neck, a man who under dire circumstances doesn't give up hope to return home, a man who can see his wife waiting with open arms......but there's a kicker.

My kind of read. Very E

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I read four classic short stories back to back one night in a "great short stories" reading binge, and this one was my favorite of the four. (They were all online freebies; there's a good link for this one below.) This is a memorable story that has stuck with me.


During the U.S. Civil War, Peyton Farquhar, a southern gentleman and a Confederate sympathizer, is being summarily hanged to death on Owl Creek Bridge by Union forces, after trying to sabotage the bridge. Unexpectedly the rope breaks! an
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
This story amazed me till the very end with beautiful and true-to-life descriptions.
It is almost for me an one-breath reading.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulously imaginative and creepy.

This was way, way ahead of it's time. Bierce was a masterful craftsman of the English language and here captured an idea, a concept that went on to influence scores of writers after him. I always think of the last sight of him, riding "ramrod straight" into Mexico never to be heard from again.

Want, need, to read more of his work, especially because Ray Bradbury seems to have been influenced so much by him.

Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
You can read this tiny short story for free online, which is what I did as soon as I read Jeffrey's amazing review. Here it is:

I can't come close to writing as good of a review as he did, so I won't even try. But I will say that the descriptive prose in this short story is beyond anything I've ever read from the era in which it was written. No wonder people have kept this story alive!

If you've got a few minutes, give it a whirl. It makes for a good little
J.G. Keely
In Asia, aphorism is a high art; there, the greatest of poems may be said in one breath. In the West, our greatest poems come in books numbered twelve, and only the greatest of men can remember the length of them.

However, we still maintain our aphorists, though often consider them as comical wits, would do well to remember the skill of indicating truth is with them. There is the poet, Nietzsche, who is also a philosopher and who summed up the goal of the aphorist well: "It is my ambition to say
Cathrine ☯️
A short story composed with prose at its best which can be read online at this link:

With his permission I include a link to Jeffrey Keeten’s excellent review because he wrote a good one so why should I bother. ☺ I agree with his suggestion to read the story, then a commentary to catch all the symbolism and metaphor which might be missed, then a second reading.

Further pursuits:

A link to commentary here:
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, your life doesn't flash before you as you die.

These sensations were unaccompanied by thought. The intellectual part of his nature was already effaced; he had power only to feel, and the feeling was torment.

In my opinion, it's not just the ending that makes it a spectacular short story, but the nonlinear presentation and internal struggles of our character.
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Short Fiction: January Group Reading #1 -- An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge 31 13 Feb 07, 2017 01:54PM  
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Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.

The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work – along with his vehemence as a critic, with his motto "nothing matters" – earned him the ni
More about Ambrose Bierce...
“It looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds; he could think of nothing beautiful which it did not resemble.” 7 likes
“He had power only to feel, and feeling was torment.” 6 likes
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