Classics & Cult Books / Reviews

Book Review: Great Short Stories of the World (Reader’s Digest)

Great Short Stories of the World (selected by editors of The Reader’s Digest) is a perfect book to introduce newbies to the works of classic short story writers. You would find some of the finest writers of early 20th century in this book. This book is bound to make you wonder how complete in itself a short story can be. And yes, it is a testimony to the fact that short stories can be as much fun as reading a novel.

This is a 800 page book with 71 stories (a dozen abridged by the editors) in it. Finishing it off at one go might ruin the experience. So come back to it once in a while.


The Leader of the people / John Steinbeck
Mr. Know-All / W. Somerset Maugham
Vanka / Anton Chekhov
The Happy prince / Oscar Wilde
The Old demon / Pearl S. Buck
The Sailor-Boys’s tale / Isak Dinesen
Young Archimedes / Aldous Huxley
Butch minds the Baby / Damon Runyon
Suspicion / Dorothy L. Sayers
Hautot and his son / Guy de Maupassant
The Open boat / Stephen Crane
My Oedipus complex / Frank O’Connor
The Snows of Kilimanjaro / Ernest Hemingway
A Letter to God / Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes
The Little Bouilloux girl / Colette
The Ruby / Corrado Alvaro
Six feet of the country / Nadine Gordimer
The Boarding house / James Joyce
The Brute / Joseph Conrad
A Double game / Alberto Moravia
Maternity / Lilika Nakos
Lead her like a pigeon / Jessamyn West
God sees the truth, but waits / Leo Tolstoy
The Walker-through walls / Marcel Ayme
The Lottery / Shirley Jackson
The McWiliamses and the burglar alarm / Mark Twain
The Augsburg chalk circle / Bertolt Brecht
The Overcoat / Sally Benson
Blind MacNair / Thomas H. Raddall
The Procurator of Judaea / Anatole France
The Open window / Saki (H. H. Monro)
Maria Concepcion / Katherine Anne Porter
My Lord, the baby / Rabindranath Tagore
The End of the party / Graham Greene
Modern children / Sholom Aleichem
Babylon revisited / F. Scott Fitzgerald
Carrion Spring / Wallace Stegner
Just lather, that’s all / Hernando Tellez
The Secret life of Walter Mitty / James Thurber
The Rocking-horse winner / D. H. Lawrence
The Sunday menace / Robert Benchley
The Mezzotint / Montgue Rhodes James
The Alligators / John Updike
Pelageya / Mikhail Zoshchenko
Haircut / Ring Lardner
The Burning city / Hjalmar Soderberg
Fireworks for Elspeth / Rumer Godden
The Old Chief Mshlanga / Doris Lessing
Who cares? / Santha Rama Rau
Over the river and through the wood / John O’Hara
Dental or mental, I say it’s spinach / S. J. Perelman
The Drover’s wife / Henry Lawson
The Huntsmen / Paul Horgan
The Guest / Albert Camus
Patience / Nigel Balchin
Among the paths to Eden / Truman Capote
Admiral’s night / Machado de Assis
The Bet / Anton Chekhov
The Man who could work miracles / H. G. Wells
A Country love story / Jean Stafford
A Worn path / Eudora Welty
The Outstation / W. Somerset Maugham
A Prist in the family / Leo Kennedy
The Cop and the anthem / O. Henry
Marriage a la mode / Katherine Mansfield
The Nightingale / Maxim Gorky
The Launch / Max Aub
The Wreath / Luigi Pirandello
The Eighty-yard run / Irwin Shaw
You were perfectly fine / Dorthy Parker
Luzina takes a holiday / Gabrielle Roy

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