As the title reveals, these stories are a collection of some of Mark Twain's more fanciful and eccentric works. They run the gamut from political commentary to our species' need to "be remembered" somehow. Taken as a whole the stories are "whimsical". Taken individually, they speak the truth in different ways.
Saki (December 18, 1870 - November 14, 1916) was the pen name of the British author Hector Hugh Munro. His witty, biting and occasionally odd short stories satirised Edwardian culture. Saki is considered a master of the short story and has been compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker as well as Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde (who clearly influenced Saki.) His first collection of short stories, Reginald, was published by Methuen Press in 1904 though these stories first appeared in the 'Westminster Gazette'. The stories in this collection are a foil for allowing the jaded and insider/outsider figure of Reginald to comment on some ridiculous or provincial attitude prevelant in upperclass Edwardian society, although one can easily recoginize these same attitudes in our society today. Long popular and well known, Saki's brilliant humour is as enjoyable now as it was almost a century ago.
Short stories by a colleague of Jerome K. Jerome, and friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Barr probably wrote the first parody of Sherlock Holmes (included in this collection). He co-edited "The Idler" with Jerome.
Edmond Hamilton (1904 – 1977) had a career that began as a regular and frequent contributor to Weird Tales magazine. The first hardcover publication of Science Fiction stories was a Hamilton compilation, and he and E.E. “Doc” Smith are credited with the creation of the Space Opera type of story. He worked for DC Comics authoring many stories for their Superman and Batman characters. Hamilton was also married to fellow author Leigh Brackett. - Published in the May, 1962 issue of Amazing Stories “The Stars, My Brothers” gives us a re-animated astronaut plucked from a century in the past and presented with an alien world where the line between humans and animals is blurred.
This is the fifth published book of Owen Wister, author of the archetypical Western novel, The Virginian. Published in 1900, it comprises eight Western short stories.
This is Irish folklorist Padraic Colum's masterful retelling of many Greek myths, focusing on Jason and the Argonauts' quest to find the Golden Fleece. He also includes the stories of Atalanta, Heracles, Perseus, Theseus, and others.
Chesterton, G. K.
Three trees, known as the Peacock trees, are blamed by the peasants for the fever that has killed many. Squire Vane scoffs at this legend as superstition. To prove them wrong, once and for all, he takes a bet to spend the night in the trees. In the morning he has vanished. Is he dead, and if so who has killed him? The poet? The lawyer? The woodsman? The trees?
Lincoln, Joseph C.
This book (eleven short stories) was also published under the title of “The Old Home House”. Joseph Crosby Lincoln (1870 – 1944) was an American author of novels, poems, and short stories, many set in a fictionalized Cape Cod. Lincoln's work frequently appeared in popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and The Delineator.... Lincoln claimed that he was satisfied "spinning yarns" that made readers feel good about themselves and their neighbors. Two of his stories have been adapted to film. Lincoln's literary career celebrating "old Cape Cod" can partly be seen as an attempt to return to an Eden from which he had been driven by family tragedy. His literary portrayal of Cape Cod can also be understood as a pre-modern haven occupied by individuals of old Yankee stock which was offered to readers as an antidote to an America that was undergoing rapid modernization, urbanization, immigration, and industrialization.... Lincoln died in 1944, at the age of 73, in Winter Park, Florida.
Who ever heard of a plain and downright homely heroine? Isn't a heroine by definition beautiful? Well, Edna Ferber, in her well known style that later produced Show Boat and Giant, tells us about just such a heroine in the first of these four special short stories. They are special to me because of their insight into the deep courage and faith of 'ordinary' people, people like most of us. And of course our failings and frailties and sometimes, the prince does not marry the right person. The other stories are A Bush League Hero, What she Wore and The Man Who Came Back.
A collection of Twain short stories including:
The Loves Of Alonzo Fitz
Clarence And Rosannah Ethelton
On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying
About Magnanimous-Incident Literature
The Grateful Poodle
The Benevolent Author
The Grateful Husband
Punch, Brothers, Punch
The Great Revolution In Pitcairn
The Canvasser's Tale
An Encounter With An Interviewer
Legend Of Sagenfeld, In Germany
Speech On The Babies
Speech On The Weather
Concerning The American Language
These 22 stories are told by the Goblin to the King Vikram. King Vikram faces many difficulties in bringing the vetala to the tantric. Each time Vikram tries to capture the vetala, it tells a story that ends with a riddle. If Vikram cannot answer the question correctly, the vampire consents to remain in captivity. If the king answers the question correctly, the vampire would escape and return to his tree. In some variations, the king is required to speak if he knows the answer, else his head will burst.
This work is taken form baital pachisi and One of its oldest recensions is found incorporated in the Katha-Sarit-Sagara ("Ocean of the Streams of Story"), a work in Sanskrit compiled in the 11th century by Somadeva. (Wikipedia)
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa's army.
Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members ... usually the murderer himself.
A well-to-do French farm family is destroyed by a flood. The story, thrilling to the very end, is told from the point of view of the family's 70-year-old patriarch. The story speaks of the helplessness of mankind in the face of the forces of nature.
Cory, Charles B.
This is a collection of weird tales inspired from the natural history expeditions of the author, an independently wealthy bird collector, Olympic golfer, writer of many books on birds of the world, and, as evidenced in these pages, a fine storyteller to boot.
Abbott, Eleanor Hallowell
Three fellow travelers on a train enter into a discussion concerning what they would call an 'indiscreet letter.' The discussion albeit short, produces some rather interesting revelations during the journey and at journey's end.
Green, Anna Katharine
A valuable ruby is lost during a disturbance in the snow before a ball at The Evergreens. A detective is called for right away to recover it, but who, of the few guests, might have the jewel, and how to solve the mystery without causing a scandal?
Hale, Lucretia P.
The Peterkins were a lovable but comically inept family that possess ingenuity, logic, resourcefulness, and energy--but not common sense. The general formula is that the family tries to solve some problem in an appealingly roundabout way, fails, and is eventually rescued by "the wise old lady from Philadelphia" who always cuts the Gordian knot with some effective but prosaic solution. The charm of the story is not in the plot, but in the telling, with the building up of layers of complication, and the affectionate fun poked at the not-quite-cartoonish characters. The "wise old lady's" solution is usually obvious to the reader, or even the young listener, from the start.
Davis, Richard Harding
"This is a true story of a search for buried treasure. The only part that is not true is the name of the man with whom I searched for the treasure. Unless I keep his name out of it he will not let me write the story, and, as it was his expedition and as my share of the treasure is only what I can make by writing the story, I must write as he dictates. I think the story should be told, because our experience was unique, and might be of benefit to others. And, besides, I need the money."
van Dyke, Henry
A short Christmas book by American author, educator, and clergyman Henry Van Dyke, including a short story, two essays, and two prayers for the season.
Davis, Richard Harding
On the steamer on his way to London, Austin Ford meets a young woman, who is going to London to find her missing husband. Being a specialist in finding people, Mr. Ford agrees to help her in her quest. However, something appears to be not quite right about the lady and her story...
Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins
This is a long short story from 1899, approximately 95 minutes more or less, about a mysterious woman living virtually alone on the outskirts of a small New England town in a mansion with a magnificent garden.
From the cave man to Santa Claus; spies, know-it-alls, and journalists: all are fair game for Leacock’s special brand of humor. He touches on the changes time has brought about in the city, education, and work habits. Among the other topics in this work are nature, fishing, gardening, success, and spirits--both of the departed and of the variety Prohibition prohibited.
Each chapter of this book is a standalone story and if you love a good laugh, these stories are for you. In me, Leacock’s wit produced the full range of laughter: smiles, chuckles, guffaws, and some uncontrollable giggles. Also, occasionally, I found myself shedding a tear or two. (Review by Debra Lynn)
Porter, Eleanor H.
These 18 wonderful short stories by Eleanor H. Porter, the author of Pollyanna, deal with those marvelous and maddeningly frustrating creatures: human beings. As always, Porter describes real people with sensitivity and an insight into all of their variety that makes you say "I knew someone just like that". She is able to capture the faded, but not quite extinguished, dreams of the elderly and the bright hopes of youth. The theme of this collection is how we humans deal with life and love throughout our lives, "Across the Years", no matter where we are or what era we live in.
McCutcheon, George Barr
The Graustark novels are stories of court intrigue, royal disguise, and romance similar to Anthony Hope's 1894 novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, and its sequels. They were popular best-sellers at the time they were published and the original editions are still readily available in used book shops. The novels gave their name to a fictional genre called Graustarkian: this genre contains tales of romance and intrigue usually featuring titled characters in small, fictional, Central European countries.
During the 1870's, Graustark's ruler, Prince Ganlook, was killed in a war with neighboring Axphain. As part of the ensuing peace treaty, Graustark agreed to pay a large indemnity to Axphain, to be due, with interest, in fifteen years.
Foreword from the author, Edna Ferber - "And so," the story writers used to say, "they lived happily ever after."
Um-m-m—maybe. After the glamour had worn off, and the glass slippers were worn out, did the Prince never find Cinderella's manner redolent of the kitchen hearth; and was it never necessary that he remind her to be more careful of her finger-nails and grammar? After Puss in Boots had won wealth and a wife for his young master did not that gentleman often fume with chagrin because the neighbors, perhaps, refused to call on the lady of the former poor miller's son?
It is a great risk to take with one's book-children. These stories make no such promises. They stop just short of the phrase of the old story writers, and end truthfully, thus: And so they lived. E. F.
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character experiences self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence, and maturity.
Chambers, Robert W.
Chambers, Robert W.
Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80's and early 90's, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of "The King In Yellow". This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author's life as an artist in France.
Only the first half of the collection of stories is presented here: the earlier stories are all coloured by the background presence of a play, "The King In Yellow" itself, which corrupts those who read it, and opens them to horrible experiences and to visions of a ghastly other world, lit by dark stars and distorted skies. This half of the collection is completed by a few very short pieces and two rather strange and beautiful stories of love and time, loneliness and death.
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.
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.
A collection of short stories on a variety of subjects, by one of New Zealand's premiere female writers.
Eighteen short stories by famous and little known authors compassing the period 1839 - 1914. The editor's very extensive introduction is omitted from this LibriVox audio book.
Ivan Matveich, the most ordinary person you might hope to meet, is swallowed alive by a crocodile at a sideshow. Finding life inside the belly of the beast quite comfortable, he makes a home for himself there. His disquisitions on the state of the world from inside the crocodile make him quite a name for himself; while all the while the discussion rages outside as to whether the beast is going to be cut open to release him or not, its value as a sideshow attraction having massively increased owing to the presence of the human voice buried inside it. One of Jorge Luis Borges' seven most favourite stories.
This is a collection of short stories written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Dostoevsky), who is arguably better-known for his lengthy, contemplative novels. Several of his trademark philosophical, political and religious themes are interwoven throughout these short stories, for example: "Dream of a Ridiculous Man" critiques European nihilism; "The Crocodile" has notes of Russian political commentary; and "Bobok" is critically acclaimed as top-rate Menippean satire. Dostoevsky also provides a Christmas story ("The Heavenly Christmas Tree") with a biting social commentary.
Dunsany, Lord (Edward J. M. D. Plunkett)
"Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here." - Lord Dunsany, the preface to "The Book of Wonder"
Before becoming the author of such classics as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma, Jane Austen experimented with various writing styles as a teenager in the early 1790s. This is a collection of her juvenilia, including the epistolary novels Love and Freindship, Lesley Castle, and Lady Susan, as well as her comic History of England and some shorter pieces.
"The Gods of Pegana" is the first book by Anglo-Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, published on a commission basis in 1905... The book is a series of short stories linked by Dunsany's invented pantheon of deities who dwell in Pegana. It was followed by a further collection "Time and the Gods" and by some stories in "The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories".
Saki (December 18, 1870 – November 14, 1916) was the pen name of British author Hector Hugh Munro. Saki's world contrasts the effete conventions and hypocrisies of Edwardian England with the ruthless but straightforward life-and-death struggle?????s of nature. Nature generally wins in the end.
Very brief, well-crafted stories, many having surprise endings, all steeped in the dye of myth and calling to every reader's neglected imagination.
"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.
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)
A selection of five short stories with the theme of courtship, written during the Victorian era and previously published elsewhere.
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.
Published in 1919, and listed on the Modern Library roster of the 20th century's 100 greatest novels in English, Winesburg, Ohio presents a series of loosely related character studies of the inhabitants of a fictional Midwestern town that together form a novel of unusual unity and vision. The inarticulate and lonely citizens of Winesburg, each with his or her own secret tale to tell, frequently relate those tales to, or through their interactions with, the character of George Willard, a young Winesburg citizen on the cusp of manhood with dreams of becoming a writer. Thus Winesburg tells the story of the townspeople's loneliness and alienation in parallel with the tale of George's own coming of age. The citizens of Winesburg are described obliquely as "grotesques," but as the introductory chapter makes clear, "The grotesques were not all horrible. Some were amusing, some almost beautiful . . ." (Description by Stewart Wills)
Viking tales are tales from Iceland, featuring the king Halfdan and his son Harald.
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories is a collection of short semi-comic mystery stories. This collection exemplifies Wilde's sharp wit and dark humour. Stories in this collection includeLord Arthur Savile's Crime,The Canterville Ghost,The Sphinx Without a Secret, The Model Millionaire, and The Portrait Of Mr W H.
In January of 1930 a new magazine with a flashy color cover appeared on newsstands, Astounding Stories of Super-Science. Filled with stories of adventure, sometimes with only a tinge of science, this magazine was to host and nurture many science fiction giants like Murray Leinster and Ray Cummings and would help inspire many of the writers of the "Golden Age of Science Fiction". This inaugural issue includes stories by Murray Leinster, Ray Cummings, S. P. Meek, Victor Rousseau and others.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) is a collection of eleven short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Divided into three separate parts, according to subject matter, it includes one of his better-known short stories, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Several of the stories had also been published earlier, independently, in either The Metropolitan, Saturday Evening Post, Smart Set, Collier's, Chicago Tribune, or Vanity Fair.
Twenty-four short stories by famous and not-so-famous British authors.
A collection of early writings of Charles Dickens under his early pseudonym, "Boz." They first appeared in various publications from 1833 to 1836. Divided into four sections, "Our Parish," "Scenes," "Characters," and "Tales." The first three sections are descriptions of various people and places, and the final section contains fictional short stories.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.