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Short Story Masterpieces: 35 Classic American and British Stories from the First Half of the 20th Century

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Since its first printing in 1954, this outstanding anthology has been the book of choice by teachers, students, and lovers of short fiction. Surveying stories by British and American writers in the first half of the twentieth century, editors Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine selected stories that broke new ground and challenged the imagination with their style, subjec Since its first printing in 1954, this outstanding anthology has been the book of choice by teachers, students, and lovers of short fiction. Surveying stories by British and American writers in the first half of the twentieth century, editors Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine selected stories that broke new ground and challenged the imagination with their style, subject matter, or tone: the unforgettable, enduring works that shaped the literature of our time. A truly exceptional collection of great stories, including: The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D. H. Lawrence Barn Burning by William Faulkner The Sojourner by Carson McCullers The Open Window by Saki Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter The Boarding House by James Joyce Soldier's Home by Ernest Hemingway The Tree of Knowledge by Henry James Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty . . . and twenty-five more of the century's best stories!


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Since its first printing in 1954, this outstanding anthology has been the book of choice by teachers, students, and lovers of short fiction. Surveying stories by British and American writers in the first half of the twentieth century, editors Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine selected stories that broke new ground and challenged the imagination with their style, subjec Since its first printing in 1954, this outstanding anthology has been the book of choice by teachers, students, and lovers of short fiction. Surveying stories by British and American writers in the first half of the twentieth century, editors Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine selected stories that broke new ground and challenged the imagination with their style, subject matter, or tone: the unforgettable, enduring works that shaped the literature of our time. A truly exceptional collection of great stories, including: The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D. H. Lawrence Barn Burning by William Faulkner The Sojourner by Carson McCullers The Open Window by Saki Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter The Boarding House by James Joyce Soldier's Home by Ernest Hemingway The Tree of Knowledge by Henry James Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty . . . and twenty-five more of the century's best stories!

30 review for Short Story Masterpieces: 35 Classic American and British Stories from the First Half of the 20th Century

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    So, folks, I'm trough !! Excellent collection of short stories. One of my favourites was "The Flight" by Steinbeck. You have here a variety of topics intertwined in the human experience. I liked how the stories unfolded and the fact that it compels you to linger and think about. I loved all the stories, and they for sure have changed me in different ways, I won't give nobody some spoiler, who want to read this collection. Maybe I should say that I had the impression during my reading experience, these So, folks, I'm trough !! Excellent collection of short stories. One of my favourites was "The Flight" by Steinbeck. You have here a variety of topics intertwined in the human experience. I liked how the stories unfolded and the fact that it compels you to linger and think about. I loved all the stories, and they for sure have changed me in different ways, I won't give nobody some spoiler, who want to read this collection. Maybe I should say that I had the impression during my reading experience, these stories comes to you like flash of light full of life. So, I catch myself pondering about the stories and having the "Aha" revelation as the thru dropped with a rattle in my consciousness. I recommend these collection of short stories with 5 stars, and I love this stories each of them. So, enjoy and plunge into it. You will not regret it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    As this was published in 1954, I knew going into it that it would pretty much be dominated by white men. In the end I counted 8 out of 36 stories by women, and I'm fairly certain every author included was white (some of the authors I was unfamiliar with, but I would highly doubt I'm wrong in this). Now. Most of the stories included here were written fairly early in the last century, and so none of this was a surprise. It doesn't lessen any of the stories, but I do feel that the subject matter an As this was published in 1954, I knew going into it that it would pretty much be dominated by white men. In the end I counted 8 out of 36 stories by women, and I'm fairly certain every author included was white (some of the authors I was unfamiliar with, but I would highly doubt I'm wrong in this). Now. Most of the stories included here were written fairly early in the last century, and so none of this was a surprise. It doesn't lessen any of the stories, but I do feel that the subject matter and tone of the stories fell into just a few narrow categories, and it was disappointing that these few styles were apparently all that constituted "masterpieces" in the eyes of readers in the 50s. There were some gritty Westerns about becoming a Man on the frontier. There were tales of ennui and bitter marriages, and subsequent divorces. There were tales about African colonialism dripping with unveiled racism. And there were tales about boys with Mommy complexes. And that was pretty much it. There were some really worth while things here. But the bulk of the collection, in my eyes, has not stood up well to time. My favorites were the Cheever, the Faulkner, the D.H. Lawrence, the Welty, and, oddly enough, the Salinger (I've never been a big Salinger fan, but the story included stuck me for some reason). It's a good choice to get an overview of early 20th century literature, but thankfully these stories are no longer representative of the whole of worthy literature.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Ivester

    In 1975 I left home for the first time with a new mechanical engineering degree and moved to a small town in Alabama to work at a nuclear plant that was then under construction. Moving from the big city to a small southern town was a huge culture shock, and I was very lonely. There was a small bookstore on the town square where I went one day and bought this book. The first story I read was Carson McCullers' "The Sojourner." I was already depressed and lonely, and this story shattered me. I put In 1975 I left home for the first time with a new mechanical engineering degree and moved to a small town in Alabama to work at a nuclear plant that was then under construction. Moving from the big city to a small southern town was a huge culture shock, and I was very lonely. There was a small bookstore on the town square where I went one day and bought this book. The first story I read was Carson McCullers' "The Sojourner." I was already depressed and lonely, and this story shattered me. I put the book away, and in nine months had quit my job and moved back home. It has taken me 36 years to finally finish reading this book. It was worth the wait. These are by-and-large brilliant examples of the form by some of the preeminent writers of the first half of the 20th century. Every story has a quality that recommends it, but I find myself most often telling people about "The Open Window" by H.H. Munro. I think though that F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams" has the most delicious writing. Here is my favorite quote. "He knew the sort of men they were-the men who when he first went to college had entered from the great prep schools with graceful clothes and the deep tan of healthy summers. He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than these men. He was newer and stronger. Yet in acknowledging in himself that he wished his children to be like them he was admitting that he was but the rough, strong stuff from which they eternally sprang." Gives you goosebumps, huh? -David

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Rae Henry

    been cleaning out the bookshelves. make space for new words. they just put up a little free library box on my street. right on my street! i shall write a song about it and avoid the urge to carve 'joy!' in a tree. https://littlefreelibrary.org/ many books went to the work office. many went to people i know. some will be popped into that box in the hopes i can leave more than i take. one of my books about fire was just in a leaky, floody storage unit. [chicago really needs to do something about the been cleaning out the bookshelves. make space for new words. they just put up a little free library box on my street. right on my street! i shall write a song about it and avoid the urge to carve 'joy!' in a tree. https://littlefreelibrary.org/ many books went to the work office. many went to people i know. some will be popped into that box in the hopes i can leave more than i take. one of my books about fire was just in a leaky, floody storage unit. [chicago really needs to do something about the leaky structures.] it was soaked and ruined for reading, but i intend to make a rock-book out of some of it and paint post cards with other pages. that won't work with this book. the glue is completely done with the binding. only the force of the stories themselves keeps it together in a form that can be considered a book. i like things and art and art and things that challenge the idea of what a book is. if the words are all dumped into my head, is it still a book? i'll have to let it go. so i read a few pages here and there. at the beginning of the century, there were still books that came out requiring a knife to cut the pages into turnable pages. [i have one written by a lost love's pariente and i've not cut the pages yet and swear it is not symbolic of anything other than lack of a proper book-knife.] now, to turn a page is to set it free. it's like playing loves me/not. i hope the book ends on 'loveme.'

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Best collection of short stories I've read to date. Authors include Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner with stories set in the early 1900s. Best collection of short stories I've read to date. Authors include Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner with stories set in the early 1900s.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    ~ Open Winter by H.L. Davis 2* ~ The Tree of Knowledge by Henry James 2* ~ Innocence by Sean O'Faolain 3* ~ Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter 2* ~ The Outstation by W. Somerset Maugham 3* ~ Torch Song by John Cheever 4* ~ Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald 4* ~ Witch's Money by John Collier 4* ~ A Country Love Story by Jean Stafford 3* ~ A Bottle of Milk for Mother by Nelson Algren 2* ~ You Could Look It Up by James Thurber 2* ~ The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D.H. Lawrence 4* ~ Liberty Hall by Ring ~ Open Winter by H.L. Davis 2* ~ The Tree of Knowledge by Henry James 2* ~ Innocence by Sean O'Faolain 3* ~ Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter 2* ~ The Outstation by W. Somerset Maugham 3* ~ Torch Song by John Cheever 4* ~ Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald 4* ~ Witch's Money by John Collier 4* ~ A Country Love Story by Jean Stafford 3* ~ A Bottle of Milk for Mother by Nelson Algren 2* ~ You Could Look It Up by James Thurber 2* ~ The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D.H. Lawrence 4* ~ Liberty Hall by Ring Lardner 5* ~ The Open Window by "Saki" (H.H. Munro) 5* ~ Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty 4* ~ Barn Burning by William Faulkner 1* I had to stop this one over halfway through because I was not interested at all. ~ Impulse by Conrad Aiken 3* ~ The Egg by Sherwood Anderson 4* ~ An Outpost of Progress by Joseph Conrad 4* ~ The Third Prize by A.E. Coppard 3* ~ The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane 3* ~ Soldier's Home by Ernest Hemingway 4* ~ The Boarding House by James Joyce 3* ~ Virga Vay & Allan Cedar by Sinclair Lewis 4* ~ "Cruel and Barbarous Treatment" by Mary McCarthy 3* ~ The Sojourner by Carson McCullers 4* ~ My Oedipus Complex by Frank O'Connor 4* ~ The Nightingales Sing by Elizabeth Parsons 4* ~ Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut by J.D. Salinger 5* ~ The Eighty-Yard Run by Irwin Shaw 5* ~ Flight by John Steinbeck 3* ~ A Red-Letter Day by Elizabeth Taylor 4* ~ A Spinster's Tale by Peter Taylor 4* ~ The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams 3*

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    Only a few of these short stories have stood the test of time - largely because of the quality of the writing rather than the subject. My favorites include "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" by D.H. Lawrence, a surprising love story, and "Flight" by John Steinbeck, a coming-of-age story. Nobody writes more vividly of repressed desire than Lawrence, and nobody does man against land better than Steinbeck. In this case it's a kid fleeing into the high California chaparral, his face set as relentlessly a Only a few of these short stories have stood the test of time - largely because of the quality of the writing rather than the subject. My favorites include "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" by D.H. Lawrence, a surprising love story, and "Flight" by John Steinbeck, a coming-of-age story. Nobody writes more vividly of repressed desire than Lawrence, and nobody does man against land better than Steinbeck. In this case it's a kid fleeing into the high California chaparral, his face set as relentlessly as the granite mountains, where big spotted wildcats creep, belly to the ground, moving like thought, and the quails come running out of the brush, calling clearly to one another, and in the air red-tailed hawks sail over close to the ridge and scream angrily. Poor Pepé doesn't stand a chance. Many of the stories in this collection come from the 1930's and feel dated rather than timeless. Like Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O.", a humorous sketch of dysfunctional family life in China Grove, Mississippi. Some like Hemingway's "Soldier's Home" suffer from typical stylistic tics - simple sentences, tiresome repetitions ("He liked...", "He did not want...", "It wasn't any good"). I'm not sure what makes a classic, or a masterpiece, but there's enough variety in this collection of 35 short stories to let you sample many different types of writers who know how to convey what the editors call "the movement and color of life".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Some good stuff here, and a lot of other stuff that seemed to spend time contemplating navel lint. The best story by far is "The Open Window" by Saki. I found "An Outpost of Progress" by Joseph Conrad and "The Eighty Yard Run" by Irwin Shaw to be very strong. "Flight" by John Steinbeck was beautifully written and started out very strong but collapsed toward the end. Stephen Crane's "The Bride came to Yellow Sky" was good. A few tales I didn't care for, "A Spinster's Tale" by Peter Taylor, and "W Some good stuff here, and a lot of other stuff that seemed to spend time contemplating navel lint. The best story by far is "The Open Window" by Saki. I found "An Outpost of Progress" by Joseph Conrad and "The Eighty Yard Run" by Irwin Shaw to be very strong. "Flight" by John Steinbeck was beautifully written and started out very strong but collapsed toward the end. Stephen Crane's "The Bride came to Yellow Sky" was good. A few tales I didn't care for, "A Spinster's Tale" by Peter Taylor, and "Why I live at the P.O," by Eudora Welty. I've liked other stuff by Welty but not this. We also have stories by Faulkner and Hemingway but not their strongest offerings, I thought.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    Started last night after work and have read the first four so far. All of them have at their center men with weak characters which, together with life circumstances, will cause them trouble. Not necessarily a "common theme". Just coincidence... I've never heard of a number of the represented writers: John Collier, A.E. Coppard, H.L. Davis, Elizabeth Parsons, J.F. Powers, Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Taylor(?), Peter Taylor... not ringing any bells. The majority of the writers here are pretty famous Started last night after work and have read the first four so far. All of them have at their center men with weak characters which, together with life circumstances, will cause them trouble. Not necessarily a "common theme". Just coincidence... I've never heard of a number of the represented writers: John Collier, A.E. Coppard, H.L. Davis, Elizabeth Parsons, J.F. Powers, Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Taylor(?), Peter Taylor... not ringing any bells. The majority of the writers here are pretty famous even if I haven't read a lot(or any) of their work. Not many women writers included. The best story so far? "A Bottle of Milk For Mother" by Nelson Algren. Day two and several more stories read. The theme of men behaving badly continues with Conrad and Crane but we also get some "positive" stuff as well. "Open Winter" by H.L. Davis is a great western tale of cultural transition in Eastern Oregon and how men of solid character(for a change) can behave and be rewarded. I wonder if Cormac Mccarthy is a Davis fan(we know he's a Faulkner fan). That followed by "Barn Burning" by Faulkner with more bad behaviour, this time by Abner Snopes(really bad attitude), a perfectly wrought portrait of relentless cracker meanness and resentment. The character of his son, a sort of hero, is I believe the same person that Paul Newman, Roy Thinnes and Don Johnson played as an adult in versions of "The Long, Hot Summer". In the Newman version at least the time setting was boosted to post-war (50's) rather than the 20's /30's. Another ongoing thread woven through many of the stories: the effect of human culture(or lack thereof[Conrad]) and changing culture on the characters. Day three and three more read. The first was "Winter Dreams" by Fitzgerald. A love for a woman with a short romantic attention span: "He loved her, and he would love her until the day he was too old for loving - but he could not have her. So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness." and then at the end: "... long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more." Now THAT is sad. Next up come Hemingway in a story with a flat prose style to match the depressed soul of the young man returned from the horror of war: "He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences." Reminscent of "Three Lives" by Gertude Stein but more effective. And finally I ran into an almost impenetrable thicket of prose from Henry James. Made me wonder how he ever got published. I'll let P. Roth have a word through his mouthpiece Word Smith from the Prologue of "The Great American Novel". WS quoting his pal "Hem"(on James to the "slit from Vassar"): "Polychromatic crap, honey! Five hundred words where one would do!" Amen to that, though I'm not sure what polychromatic means. As much as I was able to understand the point of the story(and I'm not sure I was) it was a pretty sly and interesting Masterpiece Theater kind of thing. Day three and the imbalance between male and female has been somewhat ameliorated. Stories by Lardner(wry), Joyce(observant), Lawrence(emotional), Lewis (ironic), Mansfield(bitter), McCarthy(sarcastic) and McCullers (loneliness) all contain significant if not dominant female characters. The Maugham story was reminiscent of the Conrad; all-male, out "there" and nasty. McCarthy seems to have suffered from a mid form of Henry James Syndrome. Last night's winner was "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" by Lawrence. In "Women in Love" two lovers die entwined in each others arms at the bottom of a pond. In this story future lovers have a similar traumatic experience and find themselves overwhelmed by emotions that their culture works so hard to repress. The McCullers story "The Sojourner" is one I may have already read but didn't remember. Reminiscent of a short novel/long story by Richard Ford(I think it's "The Womanizer" in "Women With Men"). Many more to go... Now back at it after a few days off for Al Franken and Christmas. 36 stories is a lot. I read a few more last night. This book is enlarging my awareness of some sort of forgotten writers. More... "The Open Window" - only OK. "Innocence" - didn't get it(not a Catholic). "The Nightingale's Sing" - vague and lyrical. "Flowering Judas" - intense, mysterious and well-written by KAP. "My Oedipus Complex" - a spoiled Little Prince learns some hard lessons. Very funny. "The Valiant Woman" - didn't really get this one either(it's about Catholics again). "The "Eighty Yard Run" - in a similar vein as "Winter Dreams" and "The Sojourner". And the winner for last night and probably for the whole book: "Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut" - sad and funny and by far the most modern sounding of all the stories so far. "Jimmy Jimmereeno" and "Mickey Mickeranno"... Salinger. And now for the wrap-up. I finished a couple of nights ago in a marathon reading session. "A Country Love Story" by Jean Stafford is a perfect example of New Yorker fiction from the period(I assume). "Flight" by Steinbeck is vivid and somewhat pointless(to me) and reminiscent of "The Pearl". "A Red-Letter Day" By "another" Elizabeth Taylor and "The Spinster" by Peter Taylor are both well-crafted tales of middle-class female woes, English and American. The Thurber baseball story is laugh out loud funny and a highlight of the book. He uses the phrase "bad-mouthed" in a 1941 story. I didn't realize it went back that far. Eudora Welty goes all Hollywood wacky-screwball and it seems a bit strained and finally William Carlos Williams offers a brief tale of a mighty battle between Doctor and kid-patient that is almost surreal in it's blend of comedy and violence. Overall this is a great book. Just a few too many so-so entries to give it a 5* rating. Back again for some other thoughts. I've been Wiki-ing the authors I hadn't heard about and it's very interesting. The world of mid-20th century English and American writers... Can't seem to find out anything about Elizabeth Parsons. 20+ stories in the New Yorker in the 40's and 50's.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Some memorable, some forgettable. Some did not age well with language and references.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Oussama Nakkal

    A very compelling selection of short story classics. Not just for short stories enthusiasts but for all English readers ,for all the literary works featured in this collection are selected on purpose for having all in common a certain element that gets you gazing in the wall in front of you and let your consiousness wander.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    I first read this collection of stories in an English class in college, and just reread it more than a decade later. Some of the selections are real classics: John Cheever's 'Torch Song,' Hemingway's 'Soldier's Home,' Frank O'Connor's, 'My Oedipus Complex,' and my favorite, 'Flowering Judas,' by Katherine Anne Porter. It is interesting how certain passages will stay will you over the years. One for me was this description of a Mexican revolutionary by Porter: "He is rich, not in money, he tells I first read this collection of stories in an English class in college, and just reread it more than a decade later. Some of the selections are real classics: John Cheever's 'Torch Song,' Hemingway's 'Soldier's Home,' Frank O'Connor's, 'My Oedipus Complex,' and my favorite, 'Flowering Judas,' by Katherine Anne Porter. It is interesting how certain passages will stay will you over the years. One for me was this description of a Mexican revolutionary by Porter: "He is rich, not in money, he tells her, but in power, and this power brings with it the blameless ownership of things, and the right to indulge his love of small luxuries. 'I have a taste for the elegant refinements,' he said once, flourishing a yellow silk handkerchief under her nose. 'Smell that? It is Jockey Club, imported from New York.'" This, from Sherwood Anderson's 'The Egg,' was another one that has resonated with me, maybe as a rural-born kid who moved around a lot: "I went to school in the town and was glad to be away from the farm and from the presence of all the discouraged, sad-looking chickens. Still I was not very joyous. In the evening I walked home from school along Turner's Pike and remembered the children I had seen playing in the town school yard. A troop of little girls had gone hopping about and singing. I tried that. Down along the frozen road I went hopping solemnly on one leg. 'Hippity Hop to the Barber Shop,' I sang shrilly. Then I stopped and looked doubtfully about. I was afraid of being seen in my gay mood. It must have seemed to me that I was doing a thing that should not be done by one who, like myself, had been raised on a chicken farm where death was a daily visitor."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer

    Overall, pretty unimpressive. Thirty-six short stories arranged (how imaginative!) alphabetically by author's last name. The time span for these stories is from 1921 ("The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson) to 1953 ("Torch Song" by John Cheever; "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemingway; and "A Country Romance" by Jean Stafford). Eight were written by women, and with very few exceptions they seemed very interchangeable. Almost like they were TRYING to fit some writer's mold. I recently read Truman Capote's s Overall, pretty unimpressive. Thirty-six short stories arranged (how imaginative!) alphabetically by author's last name. The time span for these stories is from 1921 ("The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson) to 1953 ("Torch Song" by John Cheever; "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemingway; and "A Country Romance" by Jean Stafford). Eight were written by women, and with very few exceptions they seemed very interchangeable. Almost like they were TRYING to fit some writer's mold. I recently read Truman Capote's short stories and there was more imagination, exploration and diversity in that collection from one author than in all these put together. There were five of the Thirty-six I couldn't finish and four that I could actually give a five-star rating to; "An Outpost of Progress" Joseph Conrad "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" Stephen Crane "The Nightingale Sings" Elizabeth Parsons "A Country Love Story" Jean Stafford

  14. 5 out of 5

    Waven

    This collection of short fiction contains stories written by some of the most famous authors of the 20th century. Dating between roughly 1920 and 1955, the stories span genres and topics, from humor and romance to social division and the fallout of war. Authors include William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, J. D. Salinger, and John Steinbeck, among many notable others. I found this quite a good collection though I wish more female au This collection of short fiction contains stories written by some of the most famous authors of the 20th century. Dating between roughly 1920 and 1955, the stories span genres and topics, from humor and romance to social division and the fallout of war. Authors include William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, J. D. Salinger, and John Steinbeck, among many notable others. I found this quite a good collection though I wish more female authors were included.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Lofgren

    Some interesting choices from 35 amazing authors. I read the ones that interested me most (or that I probably read in school, but forgot!). My favorite being "The Open Window". Gotta love Saki. "The Egg, as well as "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" made me laugh out loud. "The Third Prize" by A. E. Coppard I liked the least. Had no real meaning nor symbolism, in my opinion, and quite an odd choice to include in a book of "masterpieces". Overall, a good book to peruse. Some interesting choices from 35 amazing authors. I read the ones that interested me most (or that I probably read in school, but forgot!). My favorite being "The Open Window". Gotta love Saki. "The Egg, as well as "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" made me laugh out loud. "The Third Prize" by A. E. Coppard I liked the least. Had no real meaning nor symbolism, in my opinion, and quite an odd choice to include in a book of "masterpieces". Overall, a good book to peruse.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mars

    A collection of thirty five classics, exactly two of which I really liked, a handful which weren't bad, a large bunch of stuff which left me utterly indifferent, and a few which I couldn't get past the first page of. The first of those I've liked is John Collier's "Witch's Money", which shows you the ways of thinking of people other than you. The second is Saki's (alias of H. H. Munro) "The Open Window", which is a horror tale of untold proportions, and delightfully executed. A collection of thirty five classics, exactly two of which I really liked, a handful which weren't bad, a large bunch of stuff which left me utterly indifferent, and a few which I couldn't get past the first page of. The first of those I've liked is John Collier's "Witch's Money", which shows you the ways of thinking of people other than you. The second is Saki's (alias of H. H. Munro) "The Open Window", which is a horror tale of untold proportions, and delightfully executed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adelaide

    I don't often delve into the short story genre, since I tend to enjoy very extensive characterization á la Tolstoy. This book came to me through my Great Aunt Peg and has been sitting on my shelf for some time. It turned out to be perfect reading when I was back in her former home in Illinois on a trip this summer. The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D.H. Lawrence was a highlight for me, but I was a bit sad when it ended. I kept thinking how nice a novel it would have made! I don't often delve into the short story genre, since I tend to enjoy very extensive characterization á la Tolstoy. This book came to me through my Great Aunt Peg and has been sitting on my shelf for some time. It turned out to be perfect reading when I was back in her former home in Illinois on a trip this summer. The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D.H. Lawrence was a highlight for me, but I was a bit sad when it ended. I kept thinking how nice a novel it would have made!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Much fun to read. Many wonderful, interesting and amusing tales written mostly in the first half of the last century. Fascinating snippets of perspectives of society in general and at that time in particular.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Loved these stories. One of my favorites and most hilarious was The Open Window by "Saki" (H.H. Munro). Loved these stories. One of my favorites and most hilarious was The Open Window by "Saki" (H.H. Munro).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meg Clayton

    stories

  21. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    There were just to many authors that I didn't care about to really get into this collection. The Cheever story was pretty good. There were just to many authors that I didn't care about to really get into this collection. The Cheever story was pretty good.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Good collection, maybe a little old fashioned for younger readers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Nice variety of short stories, none too modern and disillusioning and a few rather charming.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Bohnert

    As a result of reading this book, I discovered three authors I really like reading --- W. Somerset Maugham, Saki (H.H. Munro), and Frank O'Connor. As a result of reading this book, I discovered three authors I really like reading --- W. Somerset Maugham, Saki (H.H. Munro), and Frank O'Connor.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris Allen

    This was a pretty cool collection of stories from some really big name authors. I got it at the friends of the library sale and it was well worth it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Hobbs

    Read so far: *Impulse / Conrad Aiken -- *A bottle of milk for mother / Nelson Algren -- *The egg / Sherwood Anderson -- *Torch song / John Cheever -- *Witch's money / John Collier -- An outpost of progress / Joseph Conrad --4 *The third prize / A.E. Coppard -- *The bride comes to Yellow sky / Stephen Crane -- Open winter / H.L. Davis -- Barn burning / William Faulkner --2 *Winter dreams / F. Scott Fitzgerald -- *Soldier's home / Ernest Hemingway -- *The tree of knowledge / Henry James -- *The boarding house / Read so far: *Impulse / Conrad Aiken -- *A bottle of milk for mother / Nelson Algren -- *The egg / Sherwood Anderson -- *Torch song / John Cheever -- *Witch's money / John Collier -- An outpost of progress / Joseph Conrad --4 *The third prize / A.E. Coppard -- *The bride comes to Yellow sky / Stephen Crane -- Open winter / H.L. Davis -- Barn burning / William Faulkner --2 *Winter dreams / F. Scott Fitzgerald -- *Soldier's home / Ernest Hemingway -- *The tree of knowledge / Henry James -- *The boarding house / James Joyce -- Liberty Hall / Ring Lardner -- The horse dealer's daughter / D.H. Lawrence --3 *Virga Vay & Allan Cedar / Sinclair Lewis -- *Marriage a la mode / Katherinie Mansfield -- *The outstation / W. Somerset Maugham -- *Cruel and barbarous treatment / Mary McCarthy -- *The sojourner / Carson McCullers -- The open window / Saki (H.H. Munro) --3 *My Oedipus complex / Frank O'Connor -- *Innocence / Sean O'Faolain -- The nightingales sing / Elizabeth Parsons -- *Flowering Judas / Katherine Anne Porter -- *The valiant woman / J.F. Powers -- Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut / J.D. Salinger -- *The eighty-yard run / Irwin Shaw -- *A country love story / Jean Stafford -- *Flight / John Steinbeck -- *A red-letter day / Elizabeth Taylor -- *A spinster's tale / Peter Taylor -- *You could look it up / James Thurber -- Why I live at the P.O. / Eudora Welty --3 The use of force / William Carlos Williams--2

  27. 4 out of 5

    Seema Dubey

    The edition I have has 36 stories, and only 2 editor. But, when I scanned the barcode in the inside of front cover, this one came up. The Scan failed to read the barcode on the back of the jacket cover.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Derek Davis

    Excellent stuff from the first half of the 20th century. Since the stories are presented alphabetically by author, you get a wonderful run of Faulkner ("Barb Burning"), Fitzgerald ("Winter Dreams"), Hemingway ("Soldier's Home") and James Joyce ("The Boarding House"), though rudely interrupted by Henry James. Toward the end of the alphabet, it drags a bit. Except that J.D. Salinger's "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" reminded me with a gut punch how stunningly he changed the direction of short story Excellent stuff from the first half of the 20th century. Since the stories are presented alphabetically by author, you get a wonderful run of Faulkner ("Barb Burning"), Fitzgerald ("Winter Dreams"), Hemingway ("Soldier's Home") and James Joyce ("The Boarding House"), though rudely interrupted by Henry James. Toward the end of the alphabet, it drags a bit. Except that J.D. Salinger's "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" reminded me with a gut punch how stunningly he changed the direction of short story writing, from the author's knowing explication of his characters' inner workings, to superb raw dialog that tells all you need to know. Probably no short work in history has so influenced the writers that followed as his Nine Stories. Nice pieces too by writers who have gone more or less out of favor, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Stafford, J.F. Powers and the always delightful A.E. Coppard. The choice of stories, though, reflects oddly on editors Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine. You would be hard pressed to fine a more downbeat collection, almost all the endings ranging from sad to internally catastrophic. Not the collection you'll want for a pep-me-up.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    I liked some of the stories and not others, hence the 3 star rating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Filled with the finest in short stories from decades ago.

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