Favorite Short Story Collections

Again, here’s a list, in no particular order, of my favorite Short Story Collections:

  • The Roald Dahl Omnibus by Roald Dahl. If you like his children’s stories, you will like this. It has the same inane sort of humor with just the right amount of darkness. This version is out of print. But I suggest looking at Amazon, Powell’s or Abe Books.
  • Blood by Janice Galloway. Ms. Galloway implements the same eerie, dark and mesmerizing tone in this collection of short stories. Certainly worth a read. If you like it, I’d also suggest The Trick is To Keep Breathing and Clara.
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Yes, technically this is a novella and a collection of short stories. But I had to include it. If you watched that mediocre transfer to the big screen with kick-ass action star Will Smith, just put that experience away for the time being. Matheson’s I Am Legend is cerebral and dark, and definitely deserves your attention. (Why is it that the only version of it in print is the one with aforementioned action star hunk on the cover?)
  • A Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon. Chabon captures what it’s like to be  an adolescent, a man, an individual in America. He does this so eloquently and with such ease, it seems- better than anyone over the past 10 years. I also recommend Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories.
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway. I remember reading the title short story during my freshman year in college. Shortly thereafter, I pined for a journey to Africa and a long trek up Kilimanjaro. Someday, I tell myself. Someday.
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Nobody intertwines the  fallible, emotional and psychological attributes of human life and the fantastical, ethereal and fleeting attributes of science fiction better than Mr. Bradbury.
  • A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works by Jonathan Swift. Such wit! Such hilarity! Such political intrigue! Mr. Swift is certainly one of my favorite satirists.
  • Hawthorne’s Short Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Two short stories that come to mind are The Celestial Railroad and Rappaccini’s Daughter. The former is a spiritual allegory and the latter is a bizarre tale of good versus evil.
  • Dubliners by James Joyce. The only Joyce I’ve ever read. This saddens me. Dubliners is brilliant.
  • Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe. Creepy and evocative. Mr. Poe was certainly versatile. And he proves this over and over again in this collection of macabre tales and poems.

What are your favorite short story collections? Or, if you don’t have a collection in mind, name a few of your favorite short stories. I’d like to hear from you.

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3 thoughts on “Favorite Short Story Collections

  1. tannen says:

    Love Roald Dahl. I especially liked the BFG.

  2. Jessica says:

    “Poetics for Bullies” by Stanley Elkin is my all time favorite. There is also “City Boy” by Leonard Michaels, anything by Raymond Carver, “A&P” by John Updike, and Lorrie Moore’s collection Birds of America. I’m sure I am missing so many.

  3. I remember you reading “Poetics for Bullies” in the car, during that storm in Alaska. A good memory.

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