Stories is a groundbreaking anthology that reinvigorates, expands, and redefines the limits of imaginative fiction and affords some of the best writers in the world—from Peter Straub and Chuck Palahniuk to Roddy Doyle and Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan and Joyce Carol Oates to Walter Mosley and Jodi Picoult—the opportunity to work together, defend their craft, and realign misconceptions. Neal Gaiman, a literary magician whose acclaimed work defies easy categorization and transcends all boundaries, and "master anthologist" (Booklist) Al Sarrantonio personally invited, read, and selected all the stories in this collection, and their standard for this "new literature of the imagination" is high. "We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all.”
Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man's descent into evil in "Devil on the Staircase”. In "Catch and Release", Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in "Unwell”. Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in "Wildfire in Manhattan”. Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams's "The Knife”. Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in "The Therapist”. A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”.
As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume—sure to become a classic—will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction.
©2010 Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
I really enjoyed a few of the stories in this collection, but many were shockingly weak. A coincidence that Mr. Gaiman's story was particularly good, while the stories that immediately preceeded & immediately followed his story were both unsoesj as by bad?
The preface was very interesting and intelligently written. However, the first story was full of foul language and the "f" bomb throughout so I hardly noticed if the story was of any quality. I tried to listen to the second story, but it too was loaded with unnecessary expletives as thought the author was too lazy to find more descriptive words. Very disappointing!
In the introduction the writer said words to the effect that there is a four-word question that a good storyteller hopes will enter the mind of the reader. The question is "And then what happens".
Unfortunately, the four-word question that entered MY mind while listening to this book was "What was the point?"
I found perhaps 3 or 4 of the stories mildly engaging, and I listened to the bitter end out of stubbornness and the hope it would get better. It didn't.
I actually purchased this title on the strength of the fact that one of my favorite authors - Joe Hill - was among the writers. What I didn't realize is that his was the very last of the short stories, and it only ran slightly over 30 minutes. While that piece was okay, it wasn't really worth suffering through the other 17 hours and 45 minutes of less than stellar stories.
Some narrations and stories were spectacular. However some descended to a droll narrative, leading me to either skip to the next, or impatiently wait for the story to finish.
This collection of stories is frustrating and entertains. Frustrating in that it brings you to a certain point... And stops. The introduction is a clue: and then, what happened? You supply your own continuation of the theme. Very different concept in storytelling.
An extreme mix of interesting, well-written stories and overwrought, badly-written cheese, with more of the latter than the former. A few of the narrators are particularly awful, one does a terrible fake southern accent for every story, another does a clipped toneless robotic voice, and another chooses the oddest inflections that make no sense.
Like Audio books, love to be read to. Am retired, spend a lot a time at pool so listen to music, & audio books when have them, now I will have ones I like.
Least is some of the stories were to short, 6 minutes here & there. Some an hour. More was likes than some, but so many to name best, do not remember the titles. Am still finishing up the stories.
Well reminded me more of Hitchcock stories leaves you wondering
Well since so many stories was listening 1 after another, so do not remember titles
Yes May Be
This set of stories is very well narrated, but the actual tales are either not interesting or have no closure. There were 3-4 stories that were captivating, but then I was disappointed when they would stop at some arbitrary point with no real ending. I kept asking "But what happened after THAT??" Neil Gaiman mentions the concept of "what happens next?" as an essential part of a good story, but I also prefer stories that have some sort of ending, even if it is just "They lived happily ever after" or "And he was never seen again..."
Definitely recommended due to the variety of the subject matter and the audio delivery of the short stories. Every one of the stories were well written and worth listening to both in terms of content and the enthusiasm shown by the narrators in their delivery. All the stories had my interest, most often in terms of the descriptive text, dialogue and interest build up.
There were a number of memorable moments in all the stories due to the excellent nature of the delivery. Specific stories that had a good build up to the climax were The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains in which the story and characters followed a journey which included many questions raised. Let the Past Begin builds up through a number of humorous but favorable observations of the girlfriend, with some amusing, but well written dialogue, plus brings in an interesting theme with respect to unusual occurrences.
All the narrators were enthusiastic about their subject material. Most had interesting accents that suited the story and provided greater variation. Interestingly, they were forthcoming in changing accents with new characters in the story and this most often added value to the story line. I particularly enjoyed the change from male to female vocalization in Let the Past Begin as well as the Scottish accents in The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains.
Clearly, a single tag line is difficult for a book on short stories: Mysteries Extraordinary
I have found this short story book particularly enjoyable. My thought is that it would be useful to have a downloaded and printable PDF that provides information on each of the short stories especially with respect to title and author. Perhaps a very short description would also be useful. I would expect the description may be useful for novels as well. I was going to rate the performance down to a four on this factor i.e. the fact that with audio one does not have a record of the chapters names etc. in the same way that one would have with a hard-copy, instead I have rated performance at a five with the recognition this is a technical matter for Audible to consider for the future.
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