Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Each of the stories are told in a first-person style from the point of view of Dr. Watson, Holmes' associate and sidekick. The stories detail Holmes and Watson's various adventures in solving cases that befuddle others within law enforcement. This book is a collection of twelve of Doyle's favorite Sherlock Holmes stories.
A group of Dubliners gather together for a Christmas celebration in James Joyce's transcendent tale of the mundanity and magic in life and death. "The Dead" is taken from Joyce's collection of short stories Dubliners.
This novella is the final story in Joyce's collection Dubliners. It describes a Christmas party given by Kate and Julia Morkan, two elderly Dublin ladies, that is attended by their nephew, Gabriel Conroy, and his wife. While the party is festive, full of dancing, drinking, and eating, it is also pervaded by political, religious, and sexual tensions, as well as memories of loss. When Gabriel and his wife go home at the end of the night, she reveals a long-kept secret that leads to an epiphany.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Monday, January 19, 2009 marked Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Though these tales need no introduction, the rationale for starting with volume two is threefold: many of the best-loved (and best) tales are included, the vast majority run from 15 to 30 minutes, and the other volumes can then be recorded without repetition, if there is interest in doing so.
Collection of children’s stories written in 1888, dealing primarily with love and selfishness. These stories are generally sad, with a moralistic message. The collection includes: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend, and The Remarkable Rocket.
The Happy Prince and Other Tales (also sometimes called The Happy Prince and Other Stories) is an 1888 collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde. It is most famous for The Happy Prince, the short tale of a metal statue who befriends a migratory bird. Together, they bring happiness to others, in life as well as in death.
The stories included in this collection are:
The Happy Prince
The Nightingale and the Rose
The Selfish Giant
The Devoted Friend
The Remarkable Rocket
The stories convey an appreciation for the exotic, the sensual and for masculine beauty.
Everyone knows the story of the Headless Horseman but perhaps you, like me, did not remember what a marvelous story teller Washington Irving was. He observed human nature closely and like any good humorist, lets us laugh at our own silly and superstitious sides through the joy of having strangers be the ones to display them. If you, like me, have only vague and muddy memories of this story, you owe it to yourself to listen and laugh along with the rest of the world. My High School English teacher who could never interest me in 'literature', would be proud.
The Just So Stories for Little Children, first published in 1902, were written by British author Rudyard Kipling. They are a collection of fantastic stories, typically about how various animals came to be the way they are today.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.
These two stories by Kurt Vonnegut were written over a decade apart but they are definitely connected. The Big Trip Up Yonder, published in Galaxy Science Fiction January 1954 is a comical yet scary description of what over population was going to do to society after aging was conquered and a simple daily dose of "anti-gerosone" would keep you forever the same age. Would Gramps EVER take 'That Big Trip Up Yonder', or would his hordes of descendants be stuck with him forever in a tiny apartment!? 2 B R 0 2 B, published in Worlds of If, January 1962 takes this basic situation many years into the future and a solution has been found. The population of the US has dropped from 80 billion to 40 million. Not what everyone would call a pretty solution, or the best solution, but nevertheless a solution to the population problem. I believe this is the type of story it is best to listen to, not describe, so enjoy.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the first of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 8 of his short stories as well as reflections, critiques, and eulogies by others.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Sherlock Holmes, a fictional character of the late 19th and early 20th century created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a brilliant London-based "consulting detective" famous for his intellectual prowess and renowned for his enormous scope of observation, his astute logical reasoning and forensic science skills in solving difficult crimes. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, including The Final Problem in which Holmes confronts his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty, originally published in 1894, which are preceded by The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and followed by The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Here's a Mark Twain story that's very unlike those he became famous for, but when I read it back in Catholic high school, it left a deep impression. It concerns the deeply religious residents of a small village in Austria during the late sixteenth century, and what happened to several of them when a strange man began to visit their insulated homeland. There's little of Twain's humor here; this is a horror story, a parable. . . and a warning.
Katherine Mansfield was prominent Modernist writer of short fiction. This a ninety minute story from her collection of The Garden Party.
Although Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a wealthy landowner, in his later life he had what was considered a “religious awakening.” This experience went on to inform his writing and his lifestyle in profound ways. His views transcended the specifics of religion, as known in his day - so much so he came to be a helpful guide both to Mohandas Gandhi and to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The four stories in this collection ask profound questions and gently supply helpful, non-dogmatic hints to their answerings: What is the most important thing to do? Who is the most important person? When is the most important time? What is worth owning? What is the most profound religion? What rules should men live by? How much land does a man need? Who is God? What should we bother to discuss? How should we act towards one another? How should we respond to cruelty and violence? And many more. Wonderful stories written in a relaxed style. Summary by Alan Drake.
Eve’s Diary is a humorous monologue about Eve’s experiences at the dawn of creation. She is fascinated by every aspect of the new world around her and… Adam! The following is an extract from Adam:
“She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world is to her a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can’t speak for delight when she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it and smell it and talk to it…. And she is color-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage, blue sky…none of them is of any practical value, so far as I can see, but because they have color and majesty, that is enough for her, and she loses her mind over them…. If there is anything on the planet that she is not interested in, it is not in my list.”
Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,— such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudare, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuke," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it… One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitama-gori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village. Whether it has ever been written in Japanese I do not know; but the extraordinary belief which it records used certainly to exist in most parts of Japan, and in many curious forms… The incident of "Riki-Baka" was a personal experience; and I wrote it down almost exactly as it happened, changing only a family-name mentioned by the Japanese narrator.
Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first was published in the spring of 1837, and the second in 1842. The stories had all been previously published in magazines and annuals, hence the name.
The Gift of the Magi is an O. Henry short story in which a young couple are very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. For Christmas, they each make a sacrifice to purchase a gift for the other, with ironic results.
The moral of the story is that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things. The true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Della, share is greater than their possessions.
O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Della and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi. The Gift of the Magi features O. Henry's characteristic twist ending and use of flowery diction.
O. Henry wrote over 600 short stories. Naturally I have my personal top 20 stories that just seem to stand out because of their form, writing style and ability to convey real personalities in a very few words. From these 20 I've chosen five that seem outstanding examples of the short story art form. Stories like The Gift of the Magi; The Cop and the Anthem; Man about Town; A Cosmopolite in a Cafe and Mammon and the Archer. So this is a collection of just five O.Henry stories that many people, including me, have loved and remembered over the years. And this time, thanks to LibriVox, I have the enormous pleasure of not just reading them to myself, but also the joy of reading them aloud! What fun, eh?
Born in 1862 and died in 1910, O. Henry’s birth name is William Sydney Porter; however, he adopted the pen name O. Henry while in prison. He published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime.The Four Million is the second book written by O. Henry while he served time for embezzlement in a penitentiary in Ohio. The book is a series of short stories which take place in New York City in the early years of the 20th century and are representative of the surprise endings that popularized O. Henry’s work. They also capture his use of coincidence or chance to create humor in the story. O Henry wrote about ordinary people in everyday circumstances. He is quoted as once saying, “There are stories in everything. I’ve got some of my best yarns from park benches, lampposts and newspaper stands.”I hope you enjoy the following readings as much as I enjoyed recording them.
The man with the surprise endings: that was O. Henry's trademark. This is the second published collection of short stories by O. Henry originally released in 1906. There are twenty five stories of various lengths including several of his best known works such as "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Cop and the Anthem". The book's title refers to the then population of New York City where many of the stories are set. Some society snobs has the opinion that there were only 'Four Hundred' people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But O. Henry felt that every person in New York was worth noticing and had their own story which is explains the title of this collection little stories of the 'Four Million.'" To O. Henry, everyone in New York counted. And everyone had a story.
Apart from "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - the pieces which made both Irving and The Sketch Book famous - other tales include "Roscoe", "The Broken Heart", "The Art of Book-making", "A Royal Poet", "The Spectre Bridegroom", "Westminster Abbey", "Little Britain", and "John Bull". His stories were highly influenced by German folktales, with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" being inspired by a folktale recorded by Karl Musäus. Stories range from the maudlin (such as "The Wife" and "The Widow and Her Son") to the picaresque ("Little Britain") and the comical ("The Mutability of Literature"), but the common thread running through The Sketch Book — and a key part of its attraction to readers — is the personality of Irving's pseudonymous narrator, Geoffrey Crayon. Erudite, charming, and never one to make himself more interesting than his tales, Crayon holds The Sketch Book together through the sheer power of his personality - and Irving would, for the rest of his life, seamlessly enmesh Crayon's persona with his own public reputation.
Nine Gothic Horror Tales by the author of Dracula.
Very brief, well-crafted stories, many having surprise endings, all steeped in the dye of myth and calling to every reader's neglected imagination.
The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles is a novella by American author Herman Melville. First published in Putnam's Magazine in 1854, it consists of ten philosophical "Sketches" on the Encantadas, or Galápagos Islands. It was collected in The Piazza Tales in 1856. The Encantadas was to become the most critically successful of that collection. All of the stories are replete with symbolism reinforcing the cruelty of life on the Encantadas. (Introduction excerpted from Wikipedia)
The Man Who Would Be King tells the story of two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. It was inspired by the exploits of James Brooke, an Englishman who became the "white Raja" of Sarawak in Borneo, and by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan, who claimed the title Prince of Ghor.
The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Tales (Volume Five of the Indian Railway Library, published by A H Wheeler and Co of Allahabad in 1888). It also appeared in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories in 1895, and in numerous later editions of that collection.
It is the basis for John Huston’s 1975 film of the same name, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine as the "kings", and Christopher Plummer as Kipling.
As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen.
This collection of 63 writings by Mark Twain was published in 1875. Among other sketches, it contains "The Jumping Frog" in the original English, followed by a French translation (read here by Caroline Mittler) which Twain re-translated into English, showing how the French translation of his work was "badly flawed." In many of these sketches, Twain shows his talent for outrageous and hilarious inventiveness, often in reaction to current events.
An autobiographical short story written in 1898 and included as the first story in the 1902 volume Youth, a Narrative, and Two Other Stories. This volume also includes Heart of Darkness and The End of the Tether, which are concerned with maturity and old age, respectively. "Youth" is narrated by Charles Marlow who is also the narrator of Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance. Youth depicts his first journey to the East."
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group.
The slim book Monday or Tuesday offers an excursion into Virginia Woolf's early excursions in "stream of consciousness" writing she was to become famous for; including her so-termed "Moments of being," in a format of a collection of short stories mainly concerned with people's thoughts as well as psychology in general, the human and particularly female condition, and aesthetics which inspired and engaged her much of the time helping other writers to find publication through her and her husband Leonard Woolf's "Hogarth Press."
The town of Hadleyburg had the reputation of being the most honest town in a wide area, indeed an incorruptible community. The elders took this reputation so to heart that they brought up their children shielded from all temptation and trained thoroughly in total honesty. However, a stranger passing through the community was seriously offended by the actions of residents of this Utopia, and he vowed to gain revenge. After several years he came up with the perfect plan to embarrass the town and expose its hypocrisy.
Poe, Edgar Allan
This, the third of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 6 of his short stories as well as Poe's only complete novel, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. In it, Arthur Gordon Pym stows away on a whaling vessel and experiences shipwreck, mutiny, and other adventures in typical Poe fashion.
"To any one who would like to look somewhat into the inner soul of the Oriental, and see the peculiar spiritual existences among which he lives, the following stories will serve as true interpreters, born as they are of the three great religions of the Far East, Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism." Manuscripts by two of Korea's (possibly) most famous authors, dating from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were uncovered in the early years of the twentieth century. Translation revealed stories that are not for the faint-hearted: gruesome, harsh, unlovely, depicting scenes of the day, as well as the hope for better things.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in "Tales of Terror and Mystery", a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion.
Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is a collection of short stories written by the nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The stories contained in this volume were translated by several hands. The version of The Victory is the author's own work. The seven stories which follow were translated by Mr. C. F. Andrews, with the help of the author's help. Assistance has also been given by the Rev. E. J. Thompson, Panna Lal Basu, Prabhat Kumar Mukerjii, and the Sister Nivedita.
This is the fifth collection of short stories by Saki (H.H. Munro), and was published posthumously in 1923. Even so, many of the stories are quite up to the standard of those collected earlier.
The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories is a 1906 collection of 30 comic short stories by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. Published just 4 years before his death, this was the last time he chose works from throughout his career, in an effort to show the diversity of his style and the breadth and depth of his interests.
Baum, L. Frank
This collection of fantasy stories was originally serialized in regional newspapers, prior to being published as a complete volume. The stories, as critics have noted, lack the high-fantasy aspect of the best of Baum's work, in Oz or out. With ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends, their tone is more satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek than is usual in children's stories; the serialization in newspapers for adult readers was appropriate for the materials.
H. A. Guerber
This book is a collection of stories and histories about the Ancient Greeks, including many of their famous myths!
This is the third collection of short stories by Saki, following on from “Reginald” and “Reginald in Russia”. Although some of the stories have characters that do not appear elsewhere in the collection, many of them are loosely centred round the young Clovis Sangrail (effectively a reincarnation of Reginald).
Maugham, W. Somerset
One of Maugham's most famous short stories, Rain unfolds in a soggy tropical paradise marred by self-righteous hypocrites trying to force their moral beliefs on a girl who basically just wants to have fun. At a running time of approximately 2 1/2 hours, it is too long for inclusion in a Short Story collection.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Jungle Tales of Tarzan is a collection of twelve loosely-connected short stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, comprising the sixth book in order of publication in his series about the title character Tarzan. Chronologically, the events recounted in it actually occur between chapters 12 and 13 of the first Tarzan novel, Tarzan of the Apes.
Prince Stepan Kasatsky experiences a disappointment with his fiancé and decides to become a monk! There is a story line, but beneath it, Father Sergius struggles to find peace and, if not happiness, then at least contentment. But he is always disillusioned and ultimately unsatisfied. Only in the end does he find his way by letting go of what he struggled to attain all his life, i.e. to be better than everyone else in whatever he did, and settle for the mundane.
Hodgson, William Hope
Thomas Carnacki was a detective of the supernatural, created for a series of short stories by Wiliam Hope Hodgson. Hodsgon, also a noted photographer and bodybuilder, might have created more stories for this intrepid sleuth of the occult, but he unfortunately died at the youthful age of 40 in World War I.
This was the last story published by Twain, a few months before he died. The story follows Captain Elias Stormfield on his extremely long cosmic journey to heaven. It deals with the obsession of souls with the "celebrities" of heaven, like Adam and Moses, who according to Twain become as distant to most people in heaven as living celebrities are on Earth. Twain uses this story to show his view that the common conception of heaven is ludicrous and points out the incongruities of such beliefs.
A lot of the description of Heaven is given by the character Sandy McWilliams, a cranberry farmer who is very experienced in the ways of heaven. The heaven described by him is similar to the conventional Christian heaven, but includes a larger version of all the locations on Earth, as well as of everywhere in the universe. Once in heaven, the person spends eternity living as he thinks best, usually according to his true (sometimes undiscovered) talent. According to one of the characters, a cobbler who "has the soul of a poet in him won't have to make shoes here", implying that he would instead turn to poetry and achieve perfection in it.
As Stormfield proceeds through heaven, he learns that his pre-conceptions of "heaven" are all wrong and a good part of the fun of the tale comes from Twain's revealing the "true facts" about what heaven is and how it works.
The fable is a small narrative, in prose or verse, which has as its main characteristic the aim of conveying a moral lesson (the "moral"), implicitly or, more normally, explicitly expressed. Even though the modern concept of fable is that it should have animals or inanimated objects as characters - an idea supported by the works of famous fabulists such as Aesop and La Fontaine - Phaedrus, the most important Latin fabulist, is innovative in his writing. Although many of his fables do depict animals or objects assuming speech, he also has many short stories about men, writing narratives that seem to the modern eye more like short tales than fables.
Despite many other fables being attributed to Phaedrus, only five books are considered by scholarship to have been written by him. Phaedrus' five books of fables are here presented in a translation to English prose by Henry Thomas Ridley.
Born in 1862 and died in 1910, O. Henry’s birth name is William Sydney Porter; however, he adopted the pen name O. Henry while in prison. He published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime.The Trimmed Lamp follows The Four Million and provides another series of short stories that take place in New York City in the early years of the 20th century and are representative of the surprise endings that popularized O. Henry’s work. They also capture his use of coincidence or chance to create humor in the story. O Henry wrote about ordinary people in everyday circumstances. He is quoted as once saying, “There are stories in everything. I’ve got some of my best yarns from park benches, lampposts and newspaper stands.”I hope you enjoy the following readings as much as I enjoyed recording them.
The second of Crompton's series of 39 books about William Brown, our cheeky 11 year-old protagonist. A hero to some, a dastardly villain to others, this book is structured round a year in his life. Starting with William waking up on Christmas morning and ending with him going to sleep the following Christmas Eve, there are the usual round of misadventures, misunderstanding and general mayhem in between. When a boy like William wakes up under a motto that says "A Busy Day Is A Happy Day" alongside a copy of "Things A Boy Can Do", the chaos is just around the corner. Includes the very first William short story - "Rice Mould". Often dismissed as childrens literature, the first few books of William stories were probably aimed more at an adult audience. They resonate with a distinctly English humour, but there are obvious echoes from 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn'.
More William is the second William collection in the much acclaimed Just William series by Richmal Crompton. It is a sequel to the book Just William. The book was first published in 1922,
Fifteen short stories by Algernon Henry Blackwood, CBE (1869 – 1951), an English short story writer and novelist, one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. He was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator. S. T. Joshi has stated that "his work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer's except Dunsany's…"