• Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Who is the best short story writer?

steffee

Active Member
I love short stories, they are so memorable! You can usually only remember a vague outline of many books you've read, other than a certain few, and often nothing much at all, but short stories really capture your imagination.

I like:

The Yellow Wallpaper (not sure)
James Joyce (Dubliners)
Joanne Harris (Jigs and Reels)
Edgar Allen Poe

But always on the look out for more, who do you like?
 

Shade

New Member
Anton Chekhov
Richard Yates
Tobias Wolff
George Saunders
Raymond Carver
Kurt Vonnegut
 

Morty

New Member
Anton Chekhov is widely considered one of the greatest short story writers. Others I'd recommend you look at are W. Somerset Maugham, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jorge Luis Borges, Saul Bellow, John Updike and Ian McEwan.
 

pontalba

Well-Known Member
Lawrence Block put out recently a collection of all his short stories. If you like detective stories, this is it. I warn you, ya won't like all the endings though. Some are quite depressing. But well written.

I think its called Enough Rope.
 

wilderness

New Member
Shade said:
Anton Chekhov
Richard Yates
Tobias Wolff
George Saunders
Raymond Carver
Kurt Vonnegut


I'm studying a collection of Raymond Carvers short stories for my year 12 literature class. (The collection is called 'Will you please be quiet, please.')
I am not liking them at all! They have an interesting beginning and middle (most of them) but get NO WHERE!! We havent studied them yet but from what I have read, they arent very good. The writting is basic and they seem very dull.

Peter Goldsworthy has a TERRIBLE collection of short stories! Stay away from from.

Elliot Perlman, The Reasons I Won't Be Coming, is a GREAT collection of short stories. I read most of them and liked them. I love that author.

Lani
 

jaybe

Member
I don't appreciate the work of Raymond Carver either.

Best short story writer for me is Charles Bukowski.

I recommend you start with 'Tales of Ordinary Madness.'

Funny, straightforward to read and with has deep insight into life's problems.
 

Wabbit

New Member
Mari said:
Ray Bradbury.

A damn fine writer. He is also really great with short stories. Most of his work is very short. Has he actually ever written a "long" book?

I'll vote for Hemingway. After all, The Old Man and the Sea is considered by many to be the finest short story ever written.
 

Shade

New Member
I'm studying a collection of Raymond Carvers short stories for my year 12 literature class. (The collection is called 'Will you please be quiet, please.') I am not liking them at all! They have an interesting beginning and middle (most of them) but get NO WHERE!! We havent studied them yet but from what I have read, they arent very good. The writting is basic and they seem very dull.

This is a common reaction to Carver, and indeed the one I had when I first read him. I think he's an acquired taste, plus it has to be said that Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, his first collection, is not his best work. Try something like A Small, Good Thing from the collection Cathedral, or indeed the title story from that book, which is one of my personal favourites.
 

novella

Active Member
Shade said:
Anton Chekhov
Richard Yates
Tobias Wolff
George Saunders
Raymond Carver
Kurt Vonnegut

I like Shade's list.

I think in this league or better yet are:

Robert Graves
Jean Stafford
Ring Lardner (for those who like Hemingway or N. West)
John Cheever

Somone fairly new who I'm planning to read soon is:

Mark Helprin, Pacific and Other Stories

Just read Alice Munro's new collection, Runaway, which got raves, and--sadly--I was disappointed with both her pacing and overall narrative arcs, which seemed to be bitter, hopeless turns on the vain promise of the 'weaker sex."

Also, I think Salinger's short works deserve a mention. Though some do not care for them, I think the best of them are skeletal, poignant meditations on class and post-WWII malaise. They are also deceptively 'simple,' one of the hallmarks of a brilliant short story, IMO.
 

novella

Active Member
lethaldose said:
Anything by Joyce Carol Oates especially The Lottery


Isn't that by Shirley Jackson? Also, Oates isn't really known for her short stories, though I've read 6 or 7 of her full-length novels.
 

novella

Active Member
Ha. I don't even try to keep up with what she's done lately. I just occasionally pick up one of her books. Among others, I remember reading American Appetites, Because It is Bitter, and Triumph of the Spider Monkeys. Half of what she's written is already out of print.
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
What a good choice!

Morty said:
Anton Chekhov is widely considered one of the greatest short story writers. Others I'd recommend you look at are W. Somerset Maugham, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jorge Luis Borges, Saul Bellow, John Updike and Ian McEwan.

Chekhov has bene a personal favorite of mine for a long time. He can connect the reader with strong emotions in a story in less pages, than some authors attempt to do in four-hundred. I second this(actually, third it, as Shade mentioned him)
 

DiscoDan

New Member
Annie Proulx is really good at writing short stories. I haven't read her novel, but it won a pulitzer so it must be good.
 

steffee

Active Member
Oh I forgot about Chekhov, I am reading one of his collections now, and that is who the Lottery Ticket in my first post is by, not Poe. I am reading The Wife.

Some brilliant suggestions on this thread, I can see I'm going to be Amazoning for a good couple of hours tonight now :D
 

ja9

New Member
Saki is my favorite, but I'm a sucker for those Edwardians and Victorians. His stories are usually very short, and often have a twist at the end. Here's one that you can try, it's very short (only about a page), but will give you the full flavor:

http://www.classicreader.com/read.php/sid.6/bookid.1636/

And, here is a little biography - no wonder he became a story teller! If your mother is killed by a wayward cow, I think it's probably the law.

"Saki was born Hector Hugh Munro in Akyab, Burma (now Myanmar), the son of Charles Augustus Munro, an inspector-general in the Burma police. Munro's mother, the former Mary Frances Mercer, died in 1872 - she was killed by a runaway cow in an English country lane. Munro was brought up in England with his brother and sister by aunts who frequently used the birch and whip. He was educated at Pencarwick School in Exmouth and Bedford Grammar School. From 1887 he traveled with his family in France, Germany and Switzerland. After the outbreak of World War I, although officially too old, Munro volunteered for the army as an ordinary soldier. He was killed by a sniper's bullet on November 14, 1916 in France, near Beaumont-Hamel. Munro was sheltering in a shell crater. His last words, according to several sources, were: "Put that damned cigarette out!" After his death, his sister Ethel destroyed most of his papers and wrote her own account of their childhood. Like her brother, Ethel never married."
 
Top