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

The Complete Stories

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  35,497 ratings  ·  1,667 reviews
This is the original cover edition of ISBN: 0374515360 (ISBN13: 9780374515362

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in
Paperback, FSG Classics, 555 pages
Published 1971 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (first published 1955)
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 Stories, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rui Ning It's not really a question, but thank you for sharing these quotes. I think they are quite representative of the introverted perfectionist O'Conner wa…moreIt's not really a question, but thank you for sharing these quotes. I think they are quite representative of the introverted perfectionist O'Conner was. She did not write to please the reader, or to gain recognition (like many of the characters in her stories). She dedicated her life perfecting little by little the art of translating human nature onto paper. To me, each story feels like a punch in the stomach, and reading through this complete collection feels like getting punched repeatedly. But somehow I'm loving it, and I want to keep reading.(less)
Chris No, not racist (unless you think holding to some racial stereotypes racist). She wrote about society in general, from the south where she was from, in…moreNo, not racist (unless you think holding to some racial stereotypes racist). She wrote about society in general, from the south where she was from, in a very raw way. She was also writing at a time when the civil-rights movement of the 60s was in its infancy.

I think she let her readers try to figure it out for the most part. Many of her stories have these ironies rooted in them that you have to think about. She doesn't just come out and say something should be wrong or right. But if you read some of these a few times and let them fester, I think you'll find she's saying a lot.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,497 ratings  ·  1,667 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Complete Stories
The stories in this collection were written by an unassuming yet serious Catholic woman from Georgia who, after devoting her short life to writing, died of lupus in 1964. Besides the stories, she had written two novels and started a third; one can only speculate what other masterpieces she would have written had she lived longer.

The stories are hard-bitten, bizarre and haunting. Two that I read years ago in college have stuck with me and are just as jarring today as they were then. O'Connor's th
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
- Lennon & McCartney

- T.S. Eliot

Flannery O’Connor is a Wall. And she’s each Brick in that Wall - hard-edged; uncompromising; and made out of unyielding, obdurate Faith.

She’s not a “Nice” Writer.

Nor is she trying to be. Cause she’s trying to give us the Straight Goods.

No, she’s not living the Dream. She’s living the REALITY.

And yes, we all hav
I feel like I've just been to school. (That's a good thing.) I read each of these 31 stories - a compilation of both A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories and Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories, as well as 12 other stories, 6 of which made up her master's thesis at the University of Iowa - slowly, only a few a day. I took notes as I was going and read as much analysis as I could on each story. What an experience, to immerse myself in this author's life work.

It's a dark place to
Joe Valdez
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In February 1948, Flannery O'Connor, a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Iowa, was twenty-three years old and eager to please the publishing industry with the beginning chapters of a novel-in-progress titled Wise Blood. A letter O'Connor received from one such publisher was not receptive. He commended her for being a straight-shooter and added that she was gifted, but with a loneliness in her work, as if she were writing simply out of her own experience.

O'Connor responded to a fr
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Complete Works = The complete stories, Flannery O'Connor

The Complete Stories is a collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor. It was published in 1971. It comprises all the stories in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge plus several previously unavailable stories.

The Geranium
The Barber
The Crop
The Turkey
The Train
The Peeler
The Heart of the Park
A Stroke of Good Fortune
Enoch and the Gorilla
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
A Late Encounter with the En
"Listen here," he hissed, "I don't care if he's good or not. He ain't right!
A Stroke of Good Fortune. The Life You Save May Be Your Own. The River. The Displaced Person. A View of the Woods. The Lame Shall Enter First. Two of these are contained within Everything That Rises Must Converge. A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories has the other four. Neither one would have done as much good in my estimation as the works in toto. Key word my.

Flannery O'Connor was an author whose name seeped
Vit Babenco
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange may it seem but I’ve never read anything about Flannery O'Connor and I didn’t know what I should expect so the book was like a lightning strike.
“She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of whitetrash, clean for the first time in their lives, and bands of black niggers in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and cl
May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I won't be reading this collection straight through, I figured I'd rate the first 15 stories that I have read. Except for one here or there in anthologies, this is my first time reading her short stories and I can't believe it took me this long to get to her. They are amazingly good.
April 29, 2009


April 3, 2016

Now I can't believe it took me seven years to get back to this volume, except for recognizing that O'Connor's unflinching worldview isn't always a lure and, of course, the main excu
In The Geranium, Old Dudley is the proverbial fish-out-of-water, overwhelmed by his environment, regretting his choice to trade familiar small town for a chance to see the Big Apple. To escape the constant onslaught on his senses, he’s fixated on the daily regimen of a neighbor’s geranium, the closest thing to nature, i.e., ‘back home’ he’s found. But in a twist comparable to the best of O’Henry, Dudley’s prejudice is revealed by unwelcome kindness from an ‘enemy’ and animosity comes to him from ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could write much better reviews my friends!!
Because Flannery O'Connor and his short-stories collection deserved it indeed very much..

And I also wish that she would have lived much longer..
She died 1962 from lupus at the age of 39 in Georgia!!

One of the most promising young American authors ever!!!
For O'Connor no subject was of limit!!!

Flannery O'Connor was a southern gothic writer and a master of the grotesque!!
Although she wrote two novels, she is best known for her short-stories colle
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I have just finished the book unfortunately with a lot of effort, many years ago I had already read some of these stories and I liked them very much.....
I don’t remember them being so gloomy, totally violent where men drown in their grief, totally enveloped in their circumstances of daily tragedies...
I have read many articles on Flannery O'Connor, and I understand and I see the question "God is for the violent too" but in a Catholic perspective, here everything is hopeless, confused....
the souls
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

I can't imagine what it would have been like to live inside Mary Flannery O'Connor's head, obviously. But I am damned sure it can't have been agreeable. Her world is peopled with monsters. Damaged, limbs severed. Afflicted. Not whole. Children like evil spirits that descend on the sanctimonious. Parents that neglect, or beat their children. Bigots. The cruel and the feckless and the randomly murderous. Their names are monstrous too. Mr
Jenny (Reading Envy)
One of my 2014 reading goals was to read Flannery O'Connor. It got to be Christmas 2014 and I hadn't touched her, so I have binge read all of her stories in just a few days.

It might not be the best way to do it, but some of the repeated events and themes - death, guilt, resistance to chance, issues with religion - start to become comical when repeated at such rapid frequency.

And laughter is appropriate. Flannery O'Connor is not afraid of humor, evidenced by one of the only surviving recordings o
This is one of O'Connor's first short stories, originally published in 1948, and used again in her acclaimed collection "The Complete Stories", published in 1971.
Erik F.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
An unforgettable collection of hard-hitting, caustically humorous and unrelentingly cynical stories from perhaps the strongest female voice in Southern U.S. fiction. O’Connor turns her merciless eye on religious hypocrisy, class consciousness, racism, gender roles, familial relationships, and other fertile topics, plowing them for the ugly truths they reveal about the general nature of humankind. Spending time with her characters (all of whom are depressive, delusional, misanthropic, criminal, p ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You know the cliché saying, "the moral of the story is..." Flannery O'Connor's stories all seem illustrative of this saying--in a good way. She has a way of using disgruntled characters to showcase social issues of her time. Once you get past the slurs (in most cases the n-word for me) to really read the story and see that she uses such care to highlight realism in her somewhat mystical fiction, so that you get to see the ignorance and shortcomings of her characters, you get it. How she could ha ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Flannery O'Conner (1925-1964) earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1947 from the University of Iowa, having attended the well-known writer's workshop at that institution. The first six stories in this volume were submitted as her thesis for her degree under the title 'The Geranium: A Collection of Short Stories.' There are thirty-one stories included here, twelve of which were appearing for the first time in book form, and this collection was published posthumously, winning the National Book A ...more
Tom Mathews
Flannery O’connor is an acquired taste. Her tales may not tell a linear story in the commonly accepted sense but her insightful portrayals of quirky characters are unforgettable. 4 1/5 stars.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Flannery O'Connor had a lot to be unhappy about. Dying of lupus in backwater Georgia. Or before that, being too-smart and too-ugly growing up in a time when Southern women were supposed to be seen and not heard. Or moving up North and feeling homesick for a place she spent most of her life hating and trying to escape, and them coming back sick and over-educated and feeling more out of place than ever. That stuff would have been hard enough to deal with in itself, but if you're also deeply religi ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Before I begin, let me say this: by no means is Flannery O'Conner a bad writer. She knows her quite very well. But there is a major beef I have with her stories: the repetition. Of course, some stories a true gems ("A Good man is Hard to Find", "The River"), but after making my way through about a third of the stories, the same themes started reappearing with the same type of deffiecent characters and the same kinds of endings.

That is not to say they aren't enjoyable. I laughed along with some g
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"[...] I'm the victim. I've always been the victim." ("Greenleaf")
Here's the thing: I didn't actually enjoy reading Flannery O'Connor's complete collection of short stories. O'Connor's characters are frustrated, angry, resistant to change, religiously devoted to their customs. Her writing is sparse, full of jolting similes and matter-of-fact dialogue. It's cruel and decisive. It's like quicksand, coming up from under to suffocate you.
He wondered if she walked at night and came there ever—came w
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
O’Connor won the National Book Award posthumously in 1971 for this compilation of thirty-one of her short stories. O’Connor is known for her stories set in the 1930’s through 1950’s, often in small towns in Georgia where she was born and a few take place in the big city. In her stories she did not shy away from her frequent and casual use of the n-word for which she took a lot of criticism. She often depicts her characters as poor and in most cases ignorant people. Interestingly very few of her ...more
Ronald Morton
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone this year, and that includes reading some short story collections (which I tend to not be crazy about), and in doing so I'm trying to hit some of the best practitioners (critically) of the form.

My biggest complaint about this collection is including O'Connor's early (unpublished before this collection) stuff up front. It makes sense chronologically, but they're weaker than the rest of the collection, and I would have rather read them last (but I'm OCD and
Alexa Vaughn
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Every one of these stories leaves its main character in a complete sense of doom, but there's more to it than that. There's a spiritual revelation or rebirth in the midst the character's painful stupor. What I love about these endings is that as painful as that character's state of mind is at the end, they're also seeing things more clearly and truthfully than they ever have in their life--and it's undeniably beautiful, no matter how painful the situation happens to be. And boy does she know how ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having lived with this collection for almost a year, and having read each story as slowly as possible, in coming to the end I feel I'm now grieving for all that O'Connor never wrote.

As Thomas Merton said about Flannery in 1965: "A relentlessly perfect writer, full of tragedy and irony."
May 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Southern Lit Fans
Recommended to Tyler by: Southern Lit Fans
How would you feel if you emptied your garbage can on the floor, searching through the contents for a valuable you were sure was lost there, only to end up with muck on your hands? That's how I felt after reading a collection of the author's short stories.

With a few adjustments for technology and history, the characters depicted in story after story are mostly ordinary, modern Americans. In fact, the author's benighted rookery of dim-wits and out-and-out idiots finds its voice today thoughout th
Nate D
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Misanthropes
Recommended to Nate D by: Jessica H.
Shelves: stories, read-in-2010
Flannery O'Connor is a fantastic storyteller. Her spare, precise prose renders setting and character in rapid strokes and then plunges deep into their essential character. I put off reading her for a while since realism wasn't so much my focus at present, but this isn't exactly realism, and it isn't exactly anything anyone can afford not to read immediately. More than portraiture, each story captures its subject at a pivotal moment and plunges straight into complex failings. Each coils tightly i ...more
J.W.D. Nicolello
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. Thomas Merton was right (I'm not surprised, but check it out): 'O'Connor to me will never rank among Hemingway, Porter, good writers like that. O'Connor is more like Sophocles.'

After the first eight stories this thing lights on fire. Sifting from A Stroke.. into Enoch.. into A Good Man... that alone is enough to just be completely blown away. And then there's the fury of twenty more to follow. In fact, A Late Encounter comes next!

I've put it down against my will for now because that
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
July 2009

Grim and often occasionally horrifying stories of the South and some of the people who occupy its darkest parts. Slightly repetitive, especially when read too close together--I settled for one story per day, over the course of a month, so it's probably best to take these one at a time. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and "Revelation" were especially powerful.
Daniel Chaikin
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
49. The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Introduction Robert Giroux
published: 1971 (posthumously)
format: 555 page paperback
acquired: 2006 from my neighbor, poet Larry D. Thomas
read: Jun 18-Jul 3, Jul 23-24, Aug 19-23, 30, Sep 14-17 (28 days)
rating: 5

There are judgments in our reviews, even as we try to disarm them, but here it feels very uncomfortable and kind of hinders my thought process. I'm not able to and don't want to judge O'Connor, and certainly it's not needed. I think it's best fo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Collected Stories
  • Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
  • Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories
  • Collected Stories
  • The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
  • The Moviegoer
  • The Stories of John Cheever
  • Pranks
  • Sixty Stories
  • Love in the Ruins
  • Cathedral
  • Design Of R.C.C. Structural Elements: Vol.1
  • Strength Of Materials
  • Structural Analysis, Volume 1
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
  • Suttree
  • Collected Stories
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life)
See similar books…
Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posth ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
5 likes · 6 comments
“The old woman was the kind who would not cut down a large old tree because it was a large old tree.” 210 likes
“He and the girl had almost nothing to say to each other. One thing he did say was, 'I ain't got any tattoo on my back.'

'What you got on it?' the girl said.

'My shirt,' Parker said. 'Haw.'

'Haw, haw,' the girl said politely.”
More quotes…