Short Story Compilation: Drama (Volume 2)

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Plot, in the context of short stories is less important than mood, which should dominate clearly and consistently. One of the reasons why there is such an appetite for this type of fiction is that they are almost always easily devoured in one sitting. They require intense bursts of attention and reward readers handsomely with plenty to think about.

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Our roundup features the best short story collections released so far this year. We wanted to give a full flavour of what these collections offer readers when it comes to tone and style, but also in terms of plot. You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers , but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Each of the stories in this anthology have been commissioned especially — which is a real treat for short story lovers. The first story, about a woman who falls in love with a dead man, is an immediate challenge to what we might think it means to be Irish. Written by Yan Ge, we see Ireland through the eyes of an immigrant, from someone who straddles two worlds and cultures.

Each story jolts you far from the previous one. This is a full house of brilliance — not a dud work in sight. Buy now.

Akbar Birbal Animated Moral Stories -- The Forgotten Promise -- Hindi Vol 2

The work here show she is anything but a one hit wonder. These are creepy, dark, nasty little tales that are brilliantly executed, leaving the reader unmoored somewhere between nervous and totally freaked out.

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The first story — of a couple who use sex to emotionally torture a vulnerable house guest is shocking, and yet we knew it was coming. She pushes the form of the traditional fairy tale — writing of a queen who essentially falls in love with herself disguised inside an actual load of old rubbish. She leaves plenty of things unsaid, asking readers to let their own minds fill in the blanks. These stories might seem disparate in terms of tone, style, subject matter and even voice — but when you look closely, you see that they are all telling the story of women in modern life. Women who are by turns angry, imperfect, guilty and repulsive.

And it feels so relatable. Yet this is a set of unnerving, creepy and otherworldly stories where you second guess what to take literally. Armfield has the ability to make the surreal feel typical — her storytelling is so assured that you accept her backdrops and characters — from a Catholic schoolgirl who morphs into a huge predatory insect and devours a boy to the personification of sleep — without question.

She wore green velvet loafers year round, pinned her hair in the shape of a pumpkin, spoke like her molars were made of glass. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Because this cover with its hazy rainbow smear and trite title, seems totally incongruous to its contents — which are clever, unusual and highly original.

Hughes-Hallett has taken characters from ancient mythology, fable and folklore and dragged them kicking and screaming into the here and now. She retells these stories against this modern backdrop. At the end of the book is a section in which Hughes-Hallett summarises the fables from which she derived the stories retold in Fabulous. You might find yourself comparing the two tellings of the same tale, noticing how Hughes-Hallett treats certain elements — how she molds them to suit her new story.

This certainly adds another layer of appreciation for what is already excellent writing. His boss is called Diana — and Diana was, in ancient mythology, a goddess who was stared at as she bathed in the nude by an ill-fated hunter. This is a strange and rather brilliant collection — and if you knew nothing about fable or myth before, your appetite will be well and truly whet. These stories are all set in and around the favelas of Rio de Janiero, and are all told from the perspective of boys coming of age there.

Race and class are central themes here, although the stories are also of love and family and friendships. The dialect is colloquial, urban and with an exclusive subtext. This is a language of secrecy — the verbal code used by the subculture of the streets. Each story differs in tone and style — so much so that you wonder if they really have come from the same author. But what binds the tales here is the voice — with its street-smart bravado, bitter edge and an emotional intelligence that proves compelling.

Books Fiction Western Short Stories. Ages 9 - 12 Years Teens. Add to Wishlist Read an excerpt of this book! Law of the Desert Born.

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The Iron Heel. Jack London. Works of Mark Twain. Virginia Woolf: The Complete Collection. Lewis Carroll. Joseph Conrad. John Avlon. Complete Works of Mark Twain Illustrated. Gothic Fiction Collection.

Various Authors. Thomas Malory. Mark Twain: all eight novels. Allan Dunn.

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Henry James. To the Lighthouse. The Werewolf Megapack. Jay Lake. Wilkie Collins. Oscar Wilde.

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The Complete Guy de Maupassant. Guy de Maupassant. Alice in Wonderland. Brenna Chase.

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Zane Grey. Ambrose Bierce. Young Goodman Brown. Nathaniel Hawthorne. The great English short-story writers. John Brown et al.