Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read

Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read-featured

Finding outstanding storytelling without committing to a full-length novel? Then go no farther than a collection of short stories. Reading a short story is a great way to pass the time before bed, on the subway, or in the doctor’s office.

We’ve compiled 31 of the greatest short story collections from a wide variety of genres, authors, and publications to add to your ever-growing reading list.

This article is split into two parts for your reading convenience: Part 1 will list the ten finest free short tales available online right now, and Part 2 will include the top short story collections. You may skip around to the parts that interest you the most.

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Free Short Stories to Read Right Now

You may read the greatest of the best short tales right here, right now, and the best part is that you don’t even have to pay anything to do it. Here are five of the best short tales ever written, all available for free online. They range from early 20th-century literary masterpieces to a modern-day sensation.

“Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

This Dahl short story is not a political or philosophical fable like the previous two, but it does explore some morally ambiguous themes. Mary Maloney, a doting wife and mother, is presented. In only a few pages, Dahl has us feeling sorry for Mary as she greets her returning husband, but then she does something hasty that completely changes her life and brings us along for the ride.

We won’t give away the ending for those who haven’t read the book. On the other hand, Dahl certainly presents a devilish turn.

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“THE LOTTERY” BY SHIRLEY JACKSON

Even though I read this when I was a freshman in high school and was taken aback by the story’s conclusion, I still have fond memories of it and consider it one of my favourite short stories of all time. For some reason, I never forgot it.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

This book is a masterpiece that will never go out of style since it addresses universal themes such as human nature and the collective conscience of the twentieth-century Deep South. You’ll laugh your way through this fantastic tale about hypocrisy, bigotry, hate, love, and innocence.

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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson’s best-known short tale, “The Lottery,” meticulously explains a peculiar ritual that takes place in a tiny community, and it has been a mainstay on the curricula of many high schools for decades. The Lottery doesn’t have a very complex narrative, but in only a few pages, Jackson manages to capture the collective madness that may lead otherwise decent individuals to do unspeakable actions.

“IN THE PENAL COLONY” BY FRANZ KAFKA

This tale has the chills. The Traveler, an unknown individual, visits a foreign jail colony and is shown an unusual execution device. Until the prisoner dies, the machine will permanently tattoo the details of their crime into their flesh (this may sound similar if you’ve read the fifth Harry Potter book). The tortured prisoner finally gives up the ghost after twelve long hours. I warned you it would be chilly!

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

You won’t find a more thrilling and heartbreaking novel than The Great Gatsby. Published in 1925, the story is a wonderful representation of the decadence of the Jazz Age. As a result, you’ll learn that romance isn’t guaranteed for everyone.

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Final Thoughts

There’s an old saying that goes “so many books, such little time.” While that’s true, at least you won’t have to worry about missing any of the classics if you read the books on our list of must-reads before you die. What should I read? Is a question that may arise from time to time? We should initiate action at this moment. It’s possible that one or more of these engaging novels may change your life forever.