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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 28, 2011 03:46PM) (new)

I read Russell Banks' The Moor today, and its 10 pages were all it took to move me to tears. It reminded me of how much I love short stories and their brevity of expression; of course, this love is also partially because they are best suited to my own erratic reading habits. Anyway, I guess a good idea would be to list 10 (or 5, or 2) personal favorites off the top of your head. I'll begin...

1. The Moor (Russell Banks)
2. Honey Pie (Haruki Murakami)
3. The Renegade (Albert Camus)
4. Master and Man (Leo Tolstoy)
5. The Nose (Nikolai Gogol)
6. In a Bamboo Grove (Ryunosuke Akutagawa)
7. The Tell-Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe)
8. The Dancing Girl of Izu (Yasunari Kawabata)
9. In the Penal Colony (Franz Kafka)
10. La Horla (Guy de Maupassant)


message 2: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Mostly short stories were limited to high school. Recently, however, I did lay my hands on a couple of short stories. Some stories that really I liked, though the collection would be limited, would be

* The Blind Dog (R. K. Narayan)
* The Gift Of The Magi (O'Henry)
* The Overcoat (Nikolai Gogol)
* Love Across The Salt Desert (K. N. Daruwala)
* God Sees The Truth But Waits (Leo Tolstoy)

Can't recollect at present any further.


message 3: by Anbu (new)

Anbu (Anbutheone) | 4469 comments Just completed R.K.Narayan's Malgudi Days.. I liked the simplicity of the stories.. Nothing like great twists in the end, but some incident that could happen to anyone in real life. Nice stories..

Other than this and Sherlock Holmes, I don't remember of reading any short story collection in English. But I have read a great number of short stories in Tamil.


message 4: by Harsha, on maternity leave (new)

Harsha (harshau) | 1404 comments Mod
I like Ruskin Bond's short stories... very simple style, but they do not leave ur thoughts easily...
Night Train at Deoli, Woman On Platform 8, The Eyes Have It, and many others....

And I have read some of Guy de Maupassant's stories too...

And I have studied some of R.K. Narayan's in highschool.. I remember a story called Missing Mail...

Other than that my short story reading in English has been limited.. In malayalam I have read many...


message 5: by Anbu (new)

Anbu (Anbutheone) | 4469 comments Harsha wrote: "Other than that my short story reading in English has been limited.. In malayalam I have read many..."

Looks like when it comes to short stories, we have plenty in the regional languages compared to English. :)


message 6: by Harsha, on maternity leave (new)

Harsha (harshau) | 1404 comments Mod
Anbu wrote: "Harsha wrote: "Other than that my short story reading in English has been limited.. In malayalam I have read many..."

Looks like when it comes to short stories, we have plenty in the regional la..."


Yes, that is true... Most of the accomplished novel writers in regional languages (well i am talking abt malayalam...cos i know only that) are great short story writers too..


message 7: by Anbu (last edited Aug 28, 2011 11:45PM) (new)

Anbu (Anbutheone) | 4469 comments Harsha wrote: "Most of the accomplished novel writers in regional languages (well i am talking abt malayalam...cos i know only that) are great short story writers too.. "

Same in Tamil.. Almost all the renowned writers written short stories also..


message 8: by Sudhang (new)

Sudhang Shankar | 130 comments A Clean, Well-Lighted Place - Ernest Hemingway
Swaddling Clothes - Yukio Mishima


message 9: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
Gift of Maggi has been my all time favorite


message 10: by Sudhang (new)

Sudhang Shankar | 130 comments you can even read it in 2 minutes


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 29, 2011 02:03PM) (new)

I've been reading this anthology of short stories compiled by Murakami (The Moor is one of the shorts in this collection) called "Birthday Stories", all centered around birthdays of course. The ones I have read so far have middle-aged, some even old, protagonists, so the passage of time and aging are themes that are evoked. Very unusual stories too. One is about a person who, on his birthday, accidentally shoots his friend. Two others have characters gifting their spouses a "lover for a night" as a birthday present. Good stuff! :)


message 12: by Mansee (new)

Mansee | 2036 comments Am not big on short stories but some of them which I liked:

The Diamond Necklace- Guy De Maupassant
The Gift Of Magi - O'Henry
The Japanese Wife- Kunal Basu


message 13: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments Parikhit wrote: "Mostly short stories were limited to high school. Recently, however, I did lay my hands on a couple of short stories. Some stories that really I liked, though the collection would be limited, would..."

All my favourites! The Gift of Magi was actually the inspiration behind my novel Dream's Sake :) (I even stated that in the book's preface)

Dream's Sake


message 14: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments Last year I was told to develop a collection of short stories (abridged version of classics) for kids. Here are some of my favourites that I selected for it:

1. Pigs is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler (It was hilarious!)
2.Beggar, by Anton Chekov
3. Mrs. Packletide's Tiger, by Saki(a very famous story)
4. A Defensive Diamon, by Saki
5. The Ransom of Red Chief, by O.Henry (Hilarious!)
6. A Retrieved Reformation, by O. Henry


message 15: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
I have read Mrs. Packletide's tiger and the ransom of Red Chief and loved it. Jyoti, if you dont mind which is this book which you have abridged. Has it been published yet? I may like to buy it for my son if its available in Indian market.


message 16: by Jyoti (last edited Aug 31, 2011 10:16AM) (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments Smitha wrote: "I have read Mrs. Packletide's tiger and the ransom of Red Chief and loved it. Jyoti, if you dont mind which is this book which you have abridged. Has it been published yet? I may like to buy it for..."

I wish, I wish, I wish, it had been published, and the several other books that I wrote too for Reading Treasure. They all were to have many illustrations and interesting exercise kits (written by me, as well) But before that could happen Reading Treasure halted their operations, taking a break for some time (or years!). So all these books are in cold storage now. I developed two collections of such classics, two collections of inspirational stories, collection of stories from Sherlock Holmes, made suitable for preteens, some very short stories for young kids, two adventure novels for pre-teens, even one light and fun teen fiction! All lying in cold storage now :(


message 17: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments As all these were written on 'for hire' basis, I can't claim them back either. They belong to Reading Treasure whether they use them or not.


message 18: by dely (new)

dely | 4735 comments I like short stories because they are perfect when I have only few time to read.
I have read a lot of short stories by Russians (Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Bunin, Gogol...) but I like a lot also a German writer who perhaps is not very famous but he wrote really good stories. He is E.T.A. Hoffmann. His most famous short story is perhaps The Sand Man but also Nutcracker. If I don't remember wrong he has written only one novel, The Devil's Elixirs and it is really very good but he is more famous for his collecions of short stories.


message 19: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
Jyoti wrote: "As all these were written on 'for hire' basis, I can't claim them back either. They belong to Reading Treasure whether they use them or not."

@Jyoti, its really a pity. So much work wasted.


message 20: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments Smitha wrote: "Jyoti wrote: "As all these were written on 'for hire' basis, I can't claim them back either. They belong to Reading Treasure whether they use them or not."

@Jyoti, its really a pity. So much work ..."


Yeah, had they been published as per schedule, I could have claimed that I'm author of multiple fiction books, instead of just one novel. But anyway, it was fun writing them. And the experience also increased my confidence in my writing.


message 21: by Siddharth (new)

Siddharth Sharma (TheGreyShades) | 405 comments I like the short stories of O. Henry and Ruskin Bond. O. Henry's 'After twenty years' and 'The eyes are not here' by Ruskin Bond being my all time favourites.


message 22: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Siddharth wrote: "I like the short stories of O. Henry and Ruskin Bond. O. Henry's 'After twenty years' and 'The eyes are not here' by Ruskin Bond being my all time favourites."

Totally agree. O Henry is an all time favourite. And love the stories by Ruskin Bond. Can't recollect any right now! I was, however, disappointed by "Ghost Stories from the Raj" by Ruskin Bond. But to my relief, it was only edited by Ruskin Bond. I have started reading P. G. Wodehouse off late. I must add that the stories are tremendously amusing.


message 23: by Divya (new)

Divya | 837 comments I love short stories n i've a gud collection.Ruskin bond,R.K narayana,O. Henry n H.H Munro r my favourite.
1. The last leaf by O.Henery
2. Ranga's marriage by M.V Iyenger
3.Malgudi days by R.K Narayana
4.The open window by H.H Munro(saki)
5.women on platform 8,No room for a leopard by Ruskin bond


message 24: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) | 591 comments Divya wrote: "I love short stories n i've a gud collection.Ruskin bond,R.K narayana,O. Henry n H.H Munro r my favourite.
1. The last leaf by O.Henery
2. Ranga's marriage by M.V Iyenger
3.Malgudi days by R.K N..."


I've read, and totally loved, The Last Leaf and The Open Window.


message 25: by Kunal (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments 1. Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut- J.D. Salinger
2. Hell-Heaven- Jhumpa Lahiri
3. The Mystery of Marie Roget- Edgar Allan Poe
4. Birthday Girl- Haruki Murakami
5. A Temporary Matter- Jhumpa Lahiri
6. A Girl I knew- J.D. Salinger
7. Binya passes by- Ruskin Bond
8. Harmony of the Spheres- Salman Rushdie
9. Ratan Babu and that other man- Satyajit Ray
10.The Japanese Wife- Kunal Basu


message 26: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
haven't read any of the above, but for the Japanese wife


message 27: by Kunal (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments Did you like it? I personally thought the story was amazing (what an amazing first line: "She sent him kites."- blunt, classy)

Having said that, apart from this story and 'Long Live Imelda Marcos', the rest of the stories in the book were unbelievably boring.


message 28: by Mansee (last edited Oct 19, 2011 08:08PM) (new)

Mansee | 2036 comments We had "The Japanese Wife" in one of our group reads sometime back...I (and some others too) were of the opinion that the entire book is on "The japanese wife" ...what a rude shock it was....but "the Japanese wife" was quite a sensitive read...i liked the movie too!

as about the other stories in it- the less said the better :P


message 29: by Kunal (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments [Spoilers Alert]

The film was very well made, I thought. Bose, though perhaps miscast, pulled off Snehamoy laudably. Moushumi I thought was the best actor. The film was quaintly, outstandingly shot and the kite-flying scene is so well brought out. My big problem was with the ending. The story's ending (in Basu's book), I thought, is deliberately ambiguous. Her shaved head is either a result of her illness or a symbol of a widow. In the second interpretation, there is a kind of hope, hope that Miyage did indeed recover even after her last letter (the book doesn't explicitly show her suffering still, does it?). Aparna Sen, doesn't give the viewer the second alternative though whereas THAT actually might have been incredibly bittersweet and ironic (Snehamoy dying and Miyage living on). But all in all, a very good literal adaptation.

agree about the 'other stories':) I think the tile story would remain Basu's one and only prodigious fluke.


message 30: by Syl, #madbibliophile (last edited Oct 20, 2011 10:34AM) (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
currently reading Unaccustomed Earthand am enthralled by the stories, especially the first one. Why is it always that with anthology collections, the first one is the best of the lot?


message 31: by Kunal (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments great to hear.... in case of this book though, i liked the second story the most, i.e. 'Hell-Heaven'. Stories 3 thru 5 are quite weak in my opinion but then we move into book two 'Hema and Kaushik' where every page is resplendent with courage, profundity and wisdom.....ok, I'll shut up now....can't wait to discuss the book though :)


message 32: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
am on story no. 4, though.
Hell-Heaven is good, but for me the first was more riveting. Maybe because Ruma's father reminded me of my own - always there to help and organize my life.


message 33: by Kunal (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments let me know when you're finished with it and would also thank you to post a mini-review of the book as well ....look forward


message 34: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
loving the stories so far - have reached the one about Amit and Megan (am not sure of her name though) attending Pam's wedding.


message 35: by Siddharth (new)

Siddharth Sharma (TheGreyShades) | 405 comments Has anyone read Franz Kafka's 'The Judgement'? Its a masterpiece!


message 36: by Ruchik (new)

Ruchik | 32 comments Smitha wrote: "loving the stories so far - have reached the one about Amit and Megan (am not sure of her name though) attending Pam's wedding."

Jhumpa Lahiri is a remarkable short story writer; the best story for me in the book was the series on Hema and Kaushik; pure gems; however her novel Namesake was a little weak; it starts of well but loses steam; do read these two stories she wrote for the newyorker if you haven't

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001...

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003...


message 37: by Syl, #madbibliophile (new)

Syl | 43595 comments Mod
thanks, will do so.


message 38: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Mohor wrote: "i liked katherine mansfield's short stories too, specially 'the fly' and 'the garden party'.even roald dahl's short stories are very entertaining!
n ruskin bond, maupassant,o.henry, oscar wilde n ..."


Checkhov and O'Henry absolutely.


message 39: by Siddharth (new)

Siddharth Sharma (TheGreyShades) | 405 comments Why do people forget Franz Kafka??


message 40: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Siddharth wrote: "Why do people forget Franz Kafka??"

There Siddharth you have added Kafka. I don't remember reading his stories though. Any suggestions??


message 42: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Siddharth wrote: "Read this:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Kafka"

Checked it as soon I chanced upon your post :)


message 43: by Siddharth (new)

Siddharth Sharma (TheGreyShades) | 405 comments I really admire his works.'The Judgement' is one of the best works ever to come out in the literary world.

Sadly, he got the ever deserving attention and admiration only after his death.


message 44: by Parikhit (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Siddharth wrote: "I really admire his works.'The Judgement' is one of the best works ever to come out in the literary world.

Sadly, he got the ever deserving attention and admiration only after his death."


Some of the short stories by Kafk are available for download at the GR ebooks link.


message 45: by Siddharth (new)

Siddharth Sharma (TheGreyShades) | 405 comments Sadly, Kafka remains lost in the shadows of others like O. Henry and PG Woodhouse.

Thanks, for the link anyway. :)


message 46: by Kunal (last edited Oct 28, 2011 08:42AM) (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments i think it is more by default. Kafka's novellas and novels are so highly acclaimed (and rightly so, 'Metamorphosis' and 'The Trial' being two works of such sublime, encompassing beauty and vision and I love 'The Castle') that his short stories end up getting overlooked sometimes unlike someone like an O. Henry who was chiefly just a short story exponent, albeit a much lesser talent than Franz Kafka.


message 47: by Parikhit (last edited Oct 31, 2011 03:15AM) (new)

Parikhit | 3935 comments Siddharth and Kunal, I can't thank you both enough for recommending Kafka. I just finished 'The Metamorphosis' and was amazed to find that this novella has such supreme ideas hidden. Beautiful writing, humourous yet heart-rending and a surpassing intelligence. I can't wait to begin 'The Trial'.


message 48: by Kunal (last edited Oct 31, 2011 09:16AM) (new)

Kunal Sen | 504 comments Kafka is the master key to entire existence! Good luck excavating. :)


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

"Sadly, Kafka remains lost in the shadows of others like O. Henry and PG Woodhouse."

Hmm, that might be true in terms of popularity, but Kafka has been, and perhaps continues to be, one of the most read, studied and influential authors of the last century.

Anyway, I'm really glad he is being discussed here. I had included In the Penal Colony in my first post, which is my favorite Kafka short story, along with A Country Doctor and The Judgement. Of course, among longer works, The Metamorphosis is a perfect introduction to his unique world (the very first line itself is a perfect embodiment of the adjective "Kafkaesque), and The Trial remains perhaps the most unforgettable reading experience of my life (rivaled only by Camus' The Fall).


message 50: by dely (new)

dely | 4735 comments Vikram wrote: ""Sadly, Kafka remains lost in the shadows of others like O. Henry and PG Woodhouse."

Hmm, that might be true in terms of popularity, but Kafka has been, and perhaps continues to be, one of the mos..."


Mmm, I have read this topic in the past days and didn't want to say anything but now I have changed idea and so here I am.
I think that it depends a lot where we live. I mean this: Kafka is here very famous and he doesn't live in the shadow of nobody. Instead I have never heard something about O. Henry or Woodhouse. Never studied them at school and never heard of their books.
Now, perhaps it is me that is ignorant (very probable) or perhaps the fame of the writers depends of where we live. Is this possible? What do you think?


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Books mentioned in this topic

Dream's Sake (other topics)
Nutcracker (other topics)
The Sand Man (other topics)
The Devil's Elixirs (other topics)
Unaccustomed Earth (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

E.T.A. Hoffmann (other topics)