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Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Since its original publication in 1966, this volume has attained classic status. Now its contents have been updated and its cultural framework enlarged by the orginal editors. Many of the 44 stories come from a new writing generation with a contemporary consciousness, and this brilliant blending of masters of the past and the brightest talents of the present achieves the g ...more
Paperback, Revised, 608 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Signet (first published January 1st 1956)
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May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
1. Who the f!#& wrote this book?
Points of View is an anthology, so, um, lots of people wrote it. It features some of the greatest, sharpest gems of short fiction from the first six decades of the 20th century, and some older stuff as well. As far as I know, these are the people who made short fiction what it is. I mean these folks are the serious heavyweights. The dudes and ladies who invented the kinds of endings that leave you gasping. The people who figured out how to make ten pages pack
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2013
my mate found this in his attic, left by previous residents, and gave it me, knowing I love (and write) stories. His (now mine!) copy is an earlier 1966 paperback edition with small print. It's small but chunky, 500 pages. It feels great in your hand. I've read a lot of the pieces (eg Flowers for Algernon) and know most of the classic authors (from Chekhov to Updike) but many stories are new to me. It's organised in sections from - as the title implies - different points of view. Ideal for the f ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Sep 06, 2014 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: (serious) readers/writers
Wish I still had my copy of this. Apparently it has been new versionize'd :: Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories (1995) ;; a different clutch of authors. What you get are story instances of --:: Interior Monologue, Dramatic Monologue, Letter Narration, Diary Narration, Subjective Narration, Detached Autobiography, Memoir (or Observer Narration), Anonymous Narration (Single Character Point of View), Anonymous Narration (Dual Character PoV), Anonymous Narration (Multi-Character PoV), Ano ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-class
I was so excited when I learned that one of my classes' required textbook was only TEN BUCKS?????? WHAT? So, yeah, I actually paid attention to this one since they weren't trying to scalp my education.
Fantastic anthology. I loved the layout, first of all- let's start with that. The book is divided into sections of different narration styles which was SUPER helpful to my Short Fiction course and also a great way to group the stories together.
I've read work by some of the authors that are in here
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to convey the spectrum of point-of-view. The best part is the author's short overviews of the different types (i.e. interior monologue, dramatic monologue, letter narration, diary narration, subjective narration, detached autobiography, memoir or observer narration, anonymous narration -- single character point of view, anonymous narration -- dual character point of view, anonymous narration -- multiple character point of view, anonymous narration -- no character point of view) an ...more
Jeanne Cavelos
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely helpful book for writers wanting to understand point of view. It explains the different options in a way I haven't seen in other places, and then provides several sample stories using that particular point of view, so you can really understand how it works.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
As the title implies, this is a collection of short stories, organized by their different points of view. As any English major worth his salt will tell you, point of view (POV) has to do with what relationship the story's narrator has to the events being related. Is the narrator recounting events that happened to him personally? Then he tells the story in first-person POV. Is the narrator recounting events that happened to the reader? Second-person POV is the route he takes. And so on. The antho ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This anthology originally appeared in 1966 and has since undergone revision to add more stories from the 1970's and 80's.

It was developed to aid in a creative writing class since its form is to move from one style of narration to another.

Styles of narration featured by section:

Interior Monologue, Dramatic Monologue, Letter Narration, Diary Narration, Subjective Narration, Detached Autobiography, Memoir, Anonymous Narration: 1, 2, 3 or more, and No Character Points of View.

Some of the stories inc
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy short stories
Recommended to Dianne by: read for the Sunnyside book group
This collection of short stories by numerous famous authors was very challenging for me, and I dare say, my entire book club. It helped to be able to discuss each story with others, and I understood the pieces better in this framework. I believe characters need to be developed quickly and every word counts in a short story. I don't think I'm a student of this genre, preferring instead to spend more time with the characters and plot.
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some of the stories were boring but others were really interesting.
Sidik Fofana
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SIX WORD REVIEW: The Almanac for short story writing.
Marilyn Lagier
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
So, many years ago I was cleaning out the English office at the school at which I taught. I was tossing old books left and right. They hadn't been used for years. I grabbed this particular book just because it sounded as though it would have interesting short stories. I think it was used at one time in our AP classes, but obviously not for long. Finally, I got around to reading the stories...and I've been retired for going on 5 years now. It was OK--there were some really good short stories and ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent review of narrative styles in fiction with many thought-provoking, sometimes uncomfortably so, short stories. Very interesting afterword linking narrative styles with individual and historical development. A good review for me as a non-literary reader
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Some shorts are suspenseful, some emotive, others are humerus while a few are tedious. However, the anthology is intended less to entertain than to teach the variations in the craft of writing.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read the first edition. Second edition has modifications to the original notes on various points of view.
Dave Schumacher
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of some classic short stories through the years
Isaac Miller
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great anthology of stories geared toward both readers and writers interested in the craft of storytelling.

This collection is unique because the 44 classic stories in it are organized not by date, author, or subject, but the way that they're told, or, as the title suggests, their point of view. Sections are divided up into categories like "Interior Monologue," "Diary Narration," and "Anonymous Narration–Dual Character Point of View" (a much more interesting system than the standard firs
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I love this book beyond any anthology of short stories I've read, and a lot of that is the concept, and not just the content. Point of view makes such a big difference in fiction. I've loved playing with it in my (decidedly amateur) fiction and I love to read stories that play with it--I've been known to read entire novels written in second person ("you")--though that rare point of view isn't included here. There are 44 short stories here, from less than two thousand to over 10,000 words. The po ...more
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
+Been reading this one for quite awhile. Picked it up at a used-book sale, turned out to be a GEM! This is, I believe, a textbook for an upper-level English course (besides the stories, of which there are 44, there are a couple of very scholarly essays regarding not only child development but the development of fiction in more and more narrow "points of view." This looks at fiction from various perspectives, from essentially interior monologue/soliloquy to the anonymous narrator of several chara ...more
Anthony Panegyres
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been dipping in and out of this anthology for a few years now and it’s been an enjoyable journey for the most part. Exploring what points of view spark your own interest also makes for captivating observation.

Dramatic monologue along with anonymous narration (with no character point of view) I ultimately found far less engaging but what surprised me was that letter narration did little for me as a reader - despite the fact that I enjoy an array of Victorian epistolary novels (along with th
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of short stories to buy if you are a writer of short stories or even a careful reader who is curious about how writers work very diligently to maintain the point of view of one or two characters in a short story. There are examples of writing Interior Monologue, such as Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing," subjective narration such as the wonderful funny "My Side of the Matter" by Truman Capote where you can easily tell the narrator is unreliable, single character po ...more
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The copy I have is actually the original 1966 edition, but I couldn't find that edition on here. Anyway, I loved this book. It contained the first story of John Steinbeck's that I've ever enjoyed reading, as well as contributions by such literary giants as James Joyce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe and Joseph Conrad. Some of the stories were rather boring and some were not at all my taste, but I found some new favorites-"The Iliad of Sandy Bar" by Bret Harte and the frankly disturbing "Th ...more
What a fascinating collection, to have various forms of narrative in one collection is a journey through some of the forms of story, of communication. I wish there was some introduction to each of the stories, sometimes of the author, as they were unfamiliar to me from time to time. I also have heard that later editions included more variety of authors (most of what we have here is dead old white guys), which is great, but i think today, 2015, an entirely new worldview anthology would be even be ...more
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i've been trying to find this listed...i believe it is the same one i owned at one time. what i liked about it is that it contained a pile of stories, and as i recall, each one had a different kind of narration. or there might have been groups of stories w/the same kind of narration and included with each grouping there is a kind of description for that particular p-o-v.

but don't ask me to define them all...i'd sound like polonius...comical-tragic, travesty-floor shaking...tragicrash-comical....
Dec 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a struggle to get through this (11 months!), so much blatant and casual racism across the collection, it's sickening. A handful of gems, such as "Bad Characters", "The Stone Boy", "Flowers for Algernon", "The Lottery" and a few other well-written but forgettable pieces, but for the most part - well, I think I'm actually going to throw this book away, it can neither live on my shelf, nor does it bear donation for consumption by others. What a terrible waste - so much potential that was just ...more
Mr. Brammer
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent anthology that organizes short stories by narrative perspective. Used Irwin Shaw's "'Act of Faith" in conjunction with our reading of Elie Wiesel's "Night" to practice synthesizing ideas and writing thematic statements.

The afterword is also insightful, in that it summarizes the development of the complex individual point of view, with internal voice and conflicts. Basically, Moffett contends that this way of telling a story is very modern and comes from our increasingly individualisti
This book was the bane of my freshman year of high school. I remember we had to purchase just for about four stories we probably could have found online (thank you, Mr. Morgan), and I'm not ashamed to say I ripped pages out of my copy to try and avoid a quiz. It didn't work, and I'm not proud of it. I've read short story collections since, but I don't think I'd ever try to read this all the way through. There are just too many familiar stories, and also I don't want to. I'll let you guess what ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most challenging and imaginative collections of short stories I have ever read. It's organization is based on Moffett's and NcElheny's philosophy of grouping literature by various narrations. I laughed out loud reading the Dorothy Parker selection and am still pondering many of the other's. If you can find a copy, do. If you want to borrow mine, I will gladly share when I'm done.
Sep 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is an anthology of short stories. I haven't read a book of short stories since high school, in fact it was this one. I thought I might get bored, but most of them kept my interest. I think I skipped 2 or 3 out of 40. I give it 3 stars because a lot of the stories were kind of depressing. But overall I enjoyed it because a well written short story shows a lot of talent in a writer. Especially when it is a story that you don't want to end.
Vivian Valvano
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was searching for a good collection of short fiction for a contemporary literature class, and the selections here provide the best array I could find, definitely better than any collection labeled "contemporary". Some of the stories pre-date my chosen 1950 cut-off, but those that do are classics of the genre and will not waste anyone's time. The title does not lie; stories are categorized by type of narration/point of view, which can be useful to the reader.
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