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by Polly Whitney

Home Forums Unrestricted Forum: The Kaboom Room Best Short Stories?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Adam Brandenburg 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #351

    Adam Brandenburg

    I’m interested in adding to my short story reading list. What are some of the best short stories you have read? I’m especially interested in anything written in the past decade.

    My current top 5:

    1. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
    2. The Lottery
    3. The Odour of Chrysanthemums
    4. A Good Man is Hard to Find
    5. Babylon Revisited

  • #352

    Polly Whitney

    Hello, Adam!
    I’d especially recommend a volume of short stories by B.J. Novak called ONE MORE THING.
    Amongst the best of these bests are “Julie and the Warlord” and “Kellogg’s (or The Last Wholesome Fantasy of the Middle-School Boy.” In that same volume, there’s even a short story consisting of only two sentences. Something very new is happening with Novak’s short stories, and I’m not sure yet what that newness consists of. ONE MORE THING was published in 2014 by Knopf. I have a signed first edition, which cost me $24.95. I’ll bet you could do better at Amazon. Or, you could borrow my copy.
    I’ll add to your list soon, once I have time to think, but the D.H. Lawrence story on your list is a must. Also, the Jackson story, “The Lottery.”
    Oh. I would like to add that the Novak collection was blurbed by Joshua Ferris, one of our best new writers. Ferris is a novelist, truly funny, truly scary, truly smart, truly of our time.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  Polly Whitney.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  Polly Whitney.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  Polly Whitney.
  • #357

    Polly Whitney

    I think that any list of the greatest short stories must include almost any of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short fiction. It’s hard to choose amongst so many masterpieces, but I’ll nominate “Young Goodman Brown.” Also, the very greatest short stories are almost diminished by the existence of James Joyce’s “The Dead,” published now as the last story in DUBLINERS, a collection of Joyce’s stories. They are all exceedingly good, but “The Dead” towers over them all. It might be the greatest short story ever written. If you haven’t read it, don’t be put off by the title. This story is uplifting, not gloomy or frightening.

  • #379


    I’ll nominate “A Lone Pilgrim”, the only collection, I believe, of stories by Laurie Colwin:


    Bet you can’t read just one.


  • #422

    Adam Brandenburg

    Fantastic, thanks! I’ve read through Dubliners, but I’ll definitely check out this “A Lone Pilgrim” series.

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