Best Short Stories Ever

And the Three Best Short Stories Ever Are…

There’s a longer list of short stories we could go into but if you are just getting acquainted with short stories, why not start with these classics?

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First up is GUY DE MAUPASSANT by Isaac Babel. This is a short story about the experience of being a really horny guy surrounded by rich women that are out of your league. What’s that? You didn’t think they wrote about cool stuff in short stories? Well, they do.

To the right, your peepers may discern an eloquent bottle of yella catsup. This picture is provided to elicit a WTF experience similar to what you will experience after reading Guy de Maupassant.

Isaac Babel’s last name probably should have been something like ‘Wordsmith’ or something so don’t let that fool you. He write good. You dig? But don’t take my word for it when his own words could do a little dance:

“No iron can stab the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.”

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Next up is Gooseberries by Anton Chehkov. Now, keep in mind that Chehkov is a master of subtlety so this short story is not exactly a handful of blue pills.

What is Gooseberries about? Everything. Discuss. Sip that wine. Yeah, baby, yeah. Try some a that fancy cheese. How come you didn’t tell me how good the cheese is?!

Chehkov likes the whole story within a story, within a story, within a shoebox angle, so watch out for that. He rants in this one also, which is why I am fond of it. Tell ’em something, Chekhov:

“…so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition.”

Sometimes when I’m thinking of tales, I think of this list of short stories, which, for some conspiratorial reason, contains none of the gems on my list :-(  The Best Short Stories


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In the Penal Colony is a Kafkaesque story by… errr, Franz Kafka. It’s about wondrous things of which I will say little. Hint: Death Machine.

See this little plastic guy to the right inside the barrel-lookin’ contraption? Do you think that’s gonna work? I’d hate to be that guy. But wait? We are all that guy, every moment of our lives, always testing out this new experiment of life, society and technology.

Kafka, could you explain the death machine a little for the kids?

“On the Bed here the condemned man is laid – I’m going to describe the apparatus first before I set it in motion.”

That’s considerate of you, thanks!

Perhaps there are more story adventures for you beyond this mere blog post. Online Classes has a nice list of The 50 Best Short Stories of All Time.

About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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One Response to Best Short Stories Ever

  1. Mason says:

    Thanks for sharing the information. I plan to read a few.

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