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Recent Reading: Short Stories

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories recently.

A row of books in a bookshop.
Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories recently, so I figured I would group them all together in one post. Here we go.

Beauty” by David Barr Kirtley

A contemporary, ironic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a funny delight.

Power Armor: A Love Story” by David Barr Kirtley

Another very fun and funny story. It develops very quickly, so to tell you about it might spoil some of the fun. So just go ahead and read it.

“Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions” by Jeffrey Wells

This short story is part of a fantastic anthology I read a couple years ago called Machine of Death. All of these short stories feature a device which tells you how you are going to die. It’s completely accurate, but also awfully cryptic. In this fun story, a telemarketer has discovered that he’s going to be torn apart and devoured by lions, and … he’s incredibly excited about it.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

What a fun story! A classic tale of an unreliable narrator torn apart by his own madness. It’s such a brief story with such gorgeous prose that it almost feels more like a narrative, prose poem than a short story.

“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe

Another fun tale of a murderous, unreliable narrator. The prose is less delectable than “The Tell-Tale Heart,” but this story arguably has more suspense, which is appreciable.

“Dog Star” by Arthur C. Clarke

A short story about a dog, earthquakes, and the moon. It’s nothing special, but it’s not bad.

“Beware of the Dog” by Roald Dahl

This story was really something special. It starts with a WWII RAF pilot in a crashing plane. It’s arguably just historical fiction, but it reads like a creeping horror story. I really enjoyed it.

Apparently before Roald Dahl wrote a fantastic library of children’s books, he wrote adult stuff, including a collection of ten short stories about flyers and flying, inspired by his own experiences in the RAF. Reading “Beware of the Dog” makes me want to check out more of his lesser-known stuff.

“Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes

In this story, a boy tries to steal a lady’s purse and gets an unexpected response. I haven’t read a lot of Langston Hughes, but I always like what I read by him. This story is no exception. I should really pick up a book of his short stories one of these days.