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

Collected Short Stories

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Includes the following short story collections:
- May We Borrow Your Husband?
- A Sense of Reality
- Twenty-One Stories
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published 1973)
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 Collected Short Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Collected Short Stories

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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Erasmia Kritikou
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 αστεράκια στην πρώτη μου επαφή με τον Γκράχαμ Γκριν.

Μου έκανε εντύπωση το πόσο ευκολοδιάβαστα ήταν τα διηγήματά του, χωρίς να του λείπουν και κάποιες διάσπαρτες, όμορφες λογοτεχνικές στιγμές και σοφίες.

Συνεχίζω να πιστεύω ακράδαντα πως το διήγημα αποτελεί το πιο δύσκολο είδος, μια δοκιμασία για κάθε συγγραφέα, ακόμη και καταξιωμένο- ίσως περισσότερο ακόμα σ' αυτόν.

Επειδή δεν ενθουσιάστηκα, όπως ακούω για τον Γκριν τιμές και δόξες θέλω να δοκιμάσω την τύχη μου για την σχέση μου μαζί του και σ
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The good thing about a collection of short stories (or short stories in general) is that you don't have to read anything in order. You can just flip through until something catches your eye and start reading it. In the event you get bored, you can go to a different story.

I've picked up, put down, picked up, and put down this book a countless number of times throughout a year and still find something new whenever I re-read a story or complete one. My favorites right now from it include "The Blue
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"What is cowardice in the young is wisdom in the old, but all the same one can be ashamed of wisdom."
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Witty, insightful, vicious, heartbreaking, believable. There are far more adjectives that I could use to describe Graham Greene’s short stories (or indeed his novels) than I would have room for on a page. This collection in particular provides a superb example of his short works—many of them extremely short, some longer, but all with near-perfect story arcs and highly developed characters. Greene has a way of being inherently English, and yet inherently universal, at the same time. Era and time ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early ones are almost unbearably grim. Latter ones are better. All are well-written, of course.
This is a very diverse collection of stories in content and theme. Largely they are haunting in some way, and thoughtfully constructed.
Connor Rystedt
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will be my first review—when I say review here, I now and forever mean my rambling reminiscence on my reading experience, hastily organized—of a short story collection, which is nice because this is probably the best collection of short stories I've ever read. (I will say that I have a published review of Ethan Rutherford's The Peripatetic Coffin in the ARCC Campus Eye, so I do have some experience in the matter, though this will be something else entirely.) I've yet to do serious research ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
Stories have been filed under 3 parts: Twenty-One Stories (3 stars), A Sense of Reality (3 stars), and May We Borrow Your Husband (5 stars). Not one story stood out among the 21 offered with the first part, and the second part, composed of just 4 stories, stands out only for its post-apocalyptic story (A Discovery in the Woods). The last part has the most memorable lines. It has 12 stories, with 3 excellent ones, my favorite being May We Borrow Your Husband, which has all the indications of a sh ...more
James Parrott
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these stories are just horrible (myself and a friend I gave a spare copy to agreed), reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. Fortunately Graham Greene has written other really really good books. Whatever you do, don't read this collection, but do, please do, read Graham Greene. Take your pick from the popular ones. Don't have to judge Graham Greene for this or by this!
Alistair Leadbetter
I can't pretend that there's a lot in here to really enjoy. There's a couple of good stories but there's some pretty mediocre stuff in here.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok I know I read this book, not sure why it didn't show up on this site and yes it's good.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene
Fabulous Story

When pigs fly means never- usually.
But in this comic short story, there is a pig travelling through the air
The start of the tale is not announcing the animal and its travails–
- Jerome was called into his housemaster's room in the break between the second and the third class on a Tuesday morning. He had no fear of trouble, for he was a warden...
After this gentle introduction, there is a steep increase in tension:
- I have bad news for you
And as we
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
“The Destructors” is one of my ur stories: a story that made me want to write stories, a story that I reread frequently to reconnect with what stories are all about. It’s one of those stories that can have an immediate impact: a gang of kids destroying an old miser’s house. Yet on repeated readings the story gains in power because it works on so many levels. Old Misery locked in the loo; the Christopher Wren (builder of St Pauls and the house, both of which were among the few buildings in that a ...more
Harry Burnside
I am dismayed that I could only give these stories two stars but they were pretty poor. I have always enjoyed reading Greene's novels but as the saying goes being a great novelist doesn't mean you can write good short stories. Obviously a different discipline.
What annoyed me about the stories was the fact that only a couple had decent endings. For me the best short stories are those that surprise you and/or have a neat twist at the end that you wouldn't expect. Not these dull tomes. I struggled
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of stories about unappealing people behaving badly. Similar characters people Graham Greene's novels, but in the novels you have more time to get used to them.
There is not much humor here, and what humor there is tends toward the morbid, as in this from "A Shocking Accident":

"I'm afraid your father was very seriously hurt indeed."
In fact, Jerome, he died yesterday. Quite without pain."
"Did they shoot him through the heart?"
"I beg your pardon. What did you say, Jerome?"
I am not rating this book because I have decided to stop reading it. I am about 70 pages in and I'm just too bored. And for anyone for knows me and my reading habits, I usually just put my head down and power through, despite boredom. But I can't hang in there on this one. I have absolutely no problem dropping this title. And I was so excited with all of the good reviews and high star ratings. Sorry Graham, you didn't convince me that you are the greatest short story writer of all time. I tried ...more
Jul 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's definitely a master of short stories and flash fiction. Several stories were stunning in how well he could create character attachment and plot in such a short space. There was a lot of misogyny, and after reading about his life, I'm not surprised. I enjoyed the middle much more than the ends, and my favorites were: "A Little Place Off Edgeware Road", "A Drive In the Country", and "A Discovery In The Woods."

Jun 02, 2009 rated it liked it
A good collection of stories written over quite a long period of time. Read them all fairly quickly and some of them were very short. My favorite story was The Blue Film. Other good ones included The Destructors, The Hint of an Explanation, Across the Bridge, The Basement Room and A Chance for Mr. Lever. Some of the stories that delt with the supernatural reminded my of Ambrose Bierce especially Proof Positive, and The End of the Party. Nice stories that made me want to read more Graham Greene.
Milagros Lasarte
It is the first time I encounter Graham Greene and I must say I am quite pleased with what I have read (the amount of sentences I have noted down are proof of that). As many have said it, GG is a master of storytelling. I particularly enjoyed the irony with which he described many of his characters, though this didn't prevent him for showing sympathy as well. Perhaps next time I will attempt to indulge in one of his novels.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant writer! Graham Greene was a recommended Author on my reading list and this was the first book I decided to tackle and it was delightful! His writing is at times, sporadic, yet it comes together perfectly. His tales are humorous with drama and morbid endings but they never fail to shock!
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
A master of the sinister, Greene's stories have wonderful twists and shocking turns. A simple encounter on a train is unsettling; another in a movie theatre is macabre. The writing seems deceptively straight-forward, which makes the unexpected twists all the more thrilling. Great good fun. (Excellent plane / train reading - lots of short tales.)
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this collection of short stories. I'll admit, I've tried to read "The Power and the Glory" about a million times and I just can't get through it, but Graham Greene's short stories are a much easier read for me. "The Destructors" is my favorite story in here.
Aug 06, 2010 rated it liked it
I like Graham Greene's writing. I like the time period. I like that they're short little glimpses into the lives of interesting people. Sometimes the material is a little, shall we say, naughty. Not explicit just alluded to.
Feb 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
The stories in this book deserve something between 3-4 stars. Some are really good and stick with you, e.g. "The End of the Party". Others are mediocre, such as "The Destructors". Most of the are OK though.
Rob Maynard
I have an acquaintance who is trying to write short stories, something I'm interested in as well. I also want to read Greene. So I expect this to be a good beach book for the next few days. The first story "Destroyers" is wicked.
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Graham Greene is one of the best short story writers - ever. He has interesting characters, tight dialogue, and ingenius insight. His stories are everyday yet remarkably interesting. Just flip through the book, pick a story and read it. You won't be disappointed.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I really just don't like short stories. I love Greene's novels so I thought this might do it for me but as a whole (there were a few individual stories I liked a lot) this didn't do it for me.
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Janet, James
Mortmain, The Destructors, The Hint of an Explanation and A Day Saved - enough said
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
this book made me like graham greene as much as i once did (back when i first read The Quiet American. greene is here much more whimsical, and often as profound, as he is in his novels.
Nov 06, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Finished 21 Stories, time for a break.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Ca