Friday, July 27, 2012

Short Stories

first day of summer by paul bica, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  paul bica 

Before I start this post, I have to ask, did anyone notice the adorable background on Google today? Anyways, today I'd like to stray off the path of books for a moment to talk about some classic short stories. Unfortunately, I read a piece about how short stories are becoming less and less popular (I believe it was an essay written by Stephen King), but if you want a break from reading novels they're definitely something to take a look at. There's some wonderful books out there that house the best short stories, etc. So if you looking for a few quick reads take a look at some of these:

"The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe - Yes, this story is incredibly sick as so many of Poe's stories are, but it's interesting and kept me intrigued. I promise I'm not some weirdo who craves morbid stories, but this story is a classic of Poe's, so I figured I'd share it. The story is narrated by an alcoholic (so we don't know how reliable the narrator is), but according to his story he used to love animals, but becomes so aggravated by his first cat that he takes his eye out, then hangs him. His wife still loves animals and tries to protect them. Some supernatural occurrences after the first cat is gone, including a second cat the narrator finds that looks very similar to his first cat Pluto. At first the narrator likes this cat, but notices this cat's fur is the exact shape of a noose and becomes further disconcerted and bothered by the cat. He plans to kill this cat with an ax, but is so angered by his wife trying to protect the cat that he kills her with the ax instead and hides the body in his walls. The police come and don't find anything, but the narrator opens his mouth and says something about the basement walls. When he taps on the walls, he discovers the second cat was trapped in there with his wife because it makes a tortured meowing sound.
Maybe it was my hilarious professor who made me really enjoy this story with his comments such as  "A little wife beating, I don't see what's wrong with that," or "Maybe the bitch deserved it." He was kidding of course, so please don't take offense!

"Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Dexter Green works on a golf course and meets a spoiled young girl named Judy who is with her nurse. Dexter quits and later goes to college in the East. Dexter then goes on to own a chain of laundries. He is invited back to the golf course he used to work at and there, Miss. Jones (the same girl who was at the golf course years ago) strikes a man in the stomach with her golf ball, but wishes to keep playing. Luckily many of the men find her beautiful. Dexter meets her again on the lake where she leaves her date on a motorboat and asks Dexter to help her water ski. Dexter has his first date with Judy, who is very wealthy, on her porch and they continue dating, but Judy dates many other men as well. When he becomes engaged to another woman, Irene, Judy tells him he should marry her instead. But within the month she ditches him and he's left with nothing. After he comes back from WWI he learns Judy married his friend, but her husband cheats on her and she isn't very attractive anymore. Dexter is deeply hurt because his dreams of her are gone.

"The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber" by Earnest Hemingway  - Francis Macomber goes on a safari with his wife. However, she is embarrassed when their tour guide has to take over because Francis was too afraid of shooting a lion and ran away. She ignores him for much of the trip and winds up sleeping with the tour guide. Francis tells her to stop her "bitchery" and admits that the reason they stay together is because his wife is beautiful and he is wealthy/it is too late for her to find someone better. After this act with the tour guide however, Francis gains his masculinity back and does an excellent job on the next day of hunting. His wife seems very disconcerted by this new confidence because before, she had him whipped. When it appears an animal is about to attack her husband, she shoots, but winds up shooting her husband Francis in the head. The tour guide thinks she did this deliberately because she couldn't handle his newfound courage, but it is left open to the reader whether she killed him or saved him.

What are some of your favorite short stories?

Also, one more follower and we've reached fifty followers (the halfway mark to getting some guest posts and contests on here!) Thank you readers!

sunset at peggy’s cove by paul bica, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  paul bica 


  1. Very nice choices here! One of my favorite short stories is The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield.

    1. Thanks so much! I'll def have to check that one out :)


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