Short Stories

I have to do an oral and written critique on a short story for this coming Friday and am stuck for a short story to use.
Any help would be appreciated and it would be a plus if I could find the story on the net.


Ever tried, like, going to a library or sumpin’? I feel fairly sure they might have something there.

As far as recommendations go … try one of Harlan Ellison’s compilations. Up Christopher to Madness or “Repent Harlequin”, cried the Ticktockman are two very good stories by him.

Hills like White Elephants is a good one by Ernest Hemmingway. Heh, try to figure out what they’re talking about in it :slight_smile:

Of course I have been to the library and I have actually taken out several different short stories. Polling the members gives me a few more options that I could try, however.

Not to mention I am unable to frequent the library as often as I used to, .’. any stories on the net would help.

Well, there is a guy, who is most prolific at writing stories, and especially short ones, and the characters in these stories are generally found in the vicinity of Broadway, which is in New York.

These characters exist mainly on the margins of the law, and are involved in such activities as running scotch and beer into the city, and touting at the racetrack, or maybe they are in the banking business, such as robbing these banks, and never returning the money.

Other personalities in these pages are found in clubs, or they are newspaper scribes, or maybe they are both, and some are fond of playing a little craps, or stuss, or pinochle and some are just around doing the best they can.

I find these stories very pleasant stories indeed, as stories go, and I am a great hand at reading them for as long as I remember, which is a long time, at that.

I wish I know the name of this writer, as in my book he is a prominent guy in this writing dodge, and he is a writer who continues to please many readers, even now, and all these years after he puts his checks back in the rack.

When this guy’s name comes to me, you are the first to know, and I hope and trust this information will be of much use to the original poster, who is Big Nasty, and who is by no means out of place himself in these stories, as his name indicates.

If you check out the thread called “Books that disturbed you as a child” or something like that, there is a link to a Bradbury story. Of course, everything else on that site is in Russian except the other Bradbury story. Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

Thanks, TroubleAgain, I’ve read that thread but nothing jumped out at me in particular.

You didn’t say what kind of story you were looking for. I’ve been trying to read a least one short story per week since 1999 and I quite purposefully attempt to read a range of styles and genres. So here goes:

My first recommendation would be for Jorge Luis Borges. He has many good short stories. Literary, but slightly off from the center. “The Garden of Forking Paths” is, perhaps, his best known, so I’d suggest doing something else besides that. “Tlõn, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” or “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim” might be worth a read.

For a story that only looks like a science fiction story, “The Immortals” by Martin Amis.

For a feminist or woman’s story, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is very short and has a surprise ending of sorts. “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton might also be a good choice in the same vain.

For an experimental story, “Lost in the Funhouse” by John Barth.

For a humorous story, “Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell” by Dan Simmions. Also kind-a-sort-a fits the science fiction genre.

For a multicultural story, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin. Or maybe “Amor Divino” by Julia Alverz.

For the classic mainstream literature, “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner. Or for a touch of the truly macabre, “A Rose for Emily.”

Raymond Carver’s short stories are good for this as they make great use of techniques such as telling detail, fantastically tight syntax - ahhh just so good. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please is a wonderful collection.

Tutors also tend to love Anton Chekov, a big champion of the genre. Lady with a Lapdog is a good start. T Corregesan Boyle [sp? not sure] is an interesting writer with lots to comment on in his short stories, as are many of the ‘Magic Realists’ - I would also recommend Isabel Allende. Emily Perkins, Not Her Real Name[/], is a strong short story author; simple, straight-forward and lots to get your teeth into.

When we read this story my senior year of high school, this one girl in the class, swear to God, tought they were talking about getting breast implants.

Rold Dahl has a lot of really great short stories. I’m brain dead from working since 6 this morning so I can’t think of any titles except for one, “The Boy who talks to Animals” or something like that. Also, Edgar A. Poe, good stuff, that.

Also (trying to remember back to high school english) some stories I’ve liked:

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by, um, James Thurber maybe.

“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

“A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

“To Build a Fire” by Jack London

Something else I’ve read recently was a collection of short stories by Jim Harrison (a.k.a. the author of “Legends of the Fall”) called “The Beast God Forgot to Invent.” It includes the title story as well as, “Westward Ho,” and “I Forgot to Go to Spain,” all of which I liked. Good luck!

Nostradamus said

I think you mean Damon Runyan. His stories were used in the musical Guys and Dolls

I’d second any votes for Jorge Luis Borges, though he doesn’t really write short stories. They’re definitely short, but not always ‘stories’. A better word is ‘fictions’, since sometimes they consist of fictional reviews of books (Borges didn’t feel competent enough to write novels so if he had an idea for one he’d write an imaginary review of it), or potted biographies or something. Very good though.

Alex B

We’ve been discussing a few authors here, though not specific stories.

Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is often held up as the quintessentially structred short story. I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, but it is certainly one of my favorites. It’s also among the most analyzed; so finding an original take on it might be difficult.

Another is Fitzgerald’s “The Ice Palace”. The symbolism is brilliant, and the prose is so multi-layered that it reads like a great dessert.

Shirley Jackson–“One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts”

Ray Bradbury–“There Will Come Soft Rains”

Ray Bradbury–“The Other Foot”

E. A. Poe–“The Cask of Amontillado”

E. A. Poe–“M.S. Found in a Bottle”

F. Scott Fitzgerald–“He Thinks He’s Wonderful”

Kate Chopin–“The Story of an Hour”

“I am Legend” Richard Matheson

It’s a LONG short story but my all time favorite is “The Snow Goose” by Paul Gaugin(last name may be wrong/misspelled).