Kim du Toit presents a list of his favorite short stories. While not a true “best of” list, compulsion to convince you, gentle reader, that I have read some things has lead me to reproduce this list with the items I have read highlighted with bold font:
- Boule de Suif – Guy de Maupassant
- The Sniper – Liam O’Flaherty
- An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge – Ambrose Bierce
- Sredni Vashtar – Saki (H.H. Munro)
- The Magic Barrel – Bernard Malamud
- Lamb To The Slaughter – Roald Dahl
- The Lottery Ticket – Anton Chekhov
- Squire Petrick’s Lady – Thomas Hardy
- The Bet – Anton Chekhov
- A Parricide – Guy de Maupassant
- Bartleby, The Scrivener – Herman Melville
- Shooting An Elephant – George Orwell
- A Simple Heart – Gustave Flaubert
- The Pit And The Pendulum – Edgar Allen Poe
- The Shot – Aleksandr Pushkin
- The Cop And The Anthem – O. Henry
- A Fight With A Cannon – Victor Hugo
Short stories are harder to recollect than novels if you’ve merely read them in passing, as part of a survey course, or as part of a collection or anthology.
I’d also like to point out that I have a collection of Guy de Maupassant on my to-read shelves, so at some time, this personally annotated list will be more impressive.
Of all those I’ve read, I’d have to say that the “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is probably my favorite, and I’ve sort of got the idea for a story that has it in a twist of sorts. Sort of a combination of that and O. Henry’s A Retrieved Retribution.
But that’s neither here nor there.
So how well would you hold a conversation with Mr. du Toit on his favorite stories?