The Best Short Story Audiobooks to Immerse Yourself In Now

From short-form writers to famous novelists, these best short story audiobooks showcase some of the greatest short literature around.

Short stories have had a huge impact on the canon of great literature. In fact, some of the most historically revered novelists wrote short stories, which make excellent introductions to their work. Plus, these bite-size listens are the perfect way to get a big dose of literary inspiration even when you’re short on time. Here, we’ve compiled a list of small-but-mighty short stories and outstanding short story collections to get you started. From a wide variety of genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and more, here are the best short story audiobooks available.

 

Best Short Story Audiobooks

Smoke Signal

Two beloved historical fiction authors, Marie Benedict and Kate Quinn, team up to tell a fictionalized tale of two very real women who lived during WWII: Osla Kendall and Agatha Christie! With war raging in Europe and beyond, Osla works as a code breaker at Bletchley Park. When she gets her hands on Agatha Christie's newest manuscript, N or M?, her code-breaking mind notices something that is definitely mysterious, and might even be significant. Osla gets in touch with Mrs. Christie via her unconventional book group, and they strike up an unlikely friendship as they pursue a mystery that could make all the difference in the war efforts. If you're a fan of Benedict's The Mystery of Mrs. Christie and Quinn's The Rose Code, Smoke Signal is perfect for you. Bonus for listeners: the narrator of each of those novels, Nicola Barber and Saskia Maarleveld, have teamed up for this short story too.

Refresh

Futuristic tech and current events collide in Salim Lemelle's thrilling short story about a young Black man living in a future where everyone uses Refresh, a virtual reality app that lets you augment your life via computerized contact lenses. Our protagonist hatches a plan to raise his profile by staging a confrontation with a police officer, but nothing about his performance goes exactly as planned, leaving him to reckon with the consequences of the app and reality he lives in. This short story is perfect for fans of Black Mirror.

Dispossession

Written by Tayari Jones and performed by Gabrielle Union, this short story reveals the complicated life and history of Cheryl, a Black mother who sacrificed so much to send her son Javonte to a boarding school in New England in order to save him from a harder life in Atlanta. But that sacrifice comes at the cost of a relationship with her son. After Javonte cancels a trip to Atlanta, Cheryl is forced to confront her past when a last-minute job opens her eyes to a complicated situation in her own neighborhood.

The Didomenico Fragment

Percival Skinner is a retired art appraiser in New York City who finds himself fallen on hard times after a market downturn, uncertain of how he'll be able to recoup his losses. Then, someone approaches him about a painting by Giuseppe Didomenico, which has been in Skinner's family for generations. If Skinner can arrange a sale, his money problems will be solved...but he's not the only one with an eye on the fortune. John Lithgow narrates this charming and humorous story about art, history, and second chances, written by a master of literary fiction, Amor Towles.

Grieving Conversations

Set in the snowy mountains of Bowie, Wyoming, this atmospheric listen follows County Sheriff Brody Hayes, who finds more than he bargained for when he answers a missing-persons call. An infant has disappeared, and the conditions for a search couldn't be worse. As Brody races against the clock and the raging snowstorm, he is forced to confront his painful, conflicted memories about his own family. With emotional narration by Neil Hellegers, Chris Cander's short story will take listeners on an eventful journey they won't soon forget.

Something That Cannot Die

For a beautiful story about a strong woman narrated by award-winning actor Cynthia Nixon, listen to Paula McLain's fictionalized story of Georgia O'Keefe at a crossroads. At 42, Georgia feels stagnant in her life and career, and painting flowers no longer brings her the joy it once did. Leaving behind New York and her unfaithful husband, Georgia travels to New Mexico where the sweeping new scenery and a relationship with an adventurous young woman reignite the artist's creativity and change her life forever.

Zikora

In this moving short story by the author of Americanah, Zikora is a successful Nigerian-American lawyer living in Washington DC who is stunned when her boyfriend abandons her after she informs him she's pregnant. When her mother comes to visit and help her prepare for the baby's birth, Zikora feels like a lost and helpless child once more. Yet, Zikora begins to examine her mother's experiences and sacrifices, and her own wants and needs, in order to become the kind of mother she wants for her new baby. Short but satisfying, this highly rated listen is stunningly narrated by Adepero Oduye.

Half Light

Identical twins Cam and Lia couldn't be more different, although they've always had each other's back. When Lia's marriage falls apart, Cam serves as her divorce attorney...and, later, becomes her accomplice when Lia decide it's time to forcibly take back an irreplaceable family heirloom that she gifted her husband years earlier. From Tayari Jones, the master of engrossing stories about the contemporary Black experience in America, comes yet another incisive short story about family, marriage, and history, narrated by the talented Bahni Turpin.

The Myth of the Self-Made Man

In The Myth of the Self-Made Man, Ruben Reyes delivers a compelling sci-fi short story with echoes of current events. Tomas is a graduate student intent on uncovering the history of Felipe, a cyborg that once worked to maintain American homes. The only clue Tomas has to go on is a voice clip of Felipe reciting that he was made in America, but Tomas has his doubts. His search leads him across South and Central America, and straight to a New England warehouse where cyborgs were reprogrammed—with shocking consequences. The story is narrated by award-winning narrators and actors Inés del Castillo, Eric Yves Garcia, and Christian Barillas.

Smoke Signal

Two beloved historical fiction authors, Marie Benedict and Kate Quinn, team up to tell a fictionalized tale of two very real women who lived during WWII: Osla Kendall and Agatha Christie! With war raging in Europe and beyond, Osla works as a code breaker at Bletchley Park. When she gets her hands on Agatha Christie's newest manuscript, N or M?, her code-breaking mind notices something that is definitely mysterious, and might even be significant. Osla gets in touch with Mrs. Christie via her unconventional book group, and they strike up an unlikely friendship as they pursue a mystery that could make all the difference in the war efforts. If you're a fan of Benedict's The Mystery of Mrs. Christie and Quinn's The Rose Code, Smoke Signal is perfect for you. Bonus for listeners: the narrator of each of those novels, Nicola Barber and Saskia Maarleveld, have teamed up for this short story too.

Refresh

Futuristic tech and current events collide in Salim Lemelle's thrilling short story about a young Black man living in a future where everyone uses Refresh, a virtual reality app that lets you augment your life via computerized contact lenses. Our protagonist hatches a plan to raise his profile by staging a confrontation with a police officer, but nothing about his performance goes exactly as planned, leaving him to reckon with the consequences of the app and reality he lives in. This short story is perfect for fans of Black Mirror.

Dispossession

Written by Tayari Jones and performed by Gabrielle Union, this short story reveals the complicated life and history of Cheryl, a Black mother who sacrificed so much to send her son Javonte to a boarding school in New England in order to save him from a harder life in Atlanta. But that sacrifice comes at the cost of a relationship with her son. After Javonte cancels a trip to Atlanta, Cheryl is forced to confront her past when a last-minute job opens her eyes to a complicated situation in her own neighborhood.

The Didomenico Fragment

Percival Skinner is a retired art appraiser in New York City who finds himself fallen on hard times after a market downturn, uncertain of how he'll be able to recoup his losses. Then, someone approaches him about a painting by Giuseppe Didomenico, which has been in Skinner's family for generations. If Skinner can arrange a sale, his money problems will be solved...but he's not the only one with an eye on the fortune. John Lithgow narrates this charming and humorous story about art, history, and second chances, written by a master of literary fiction, Amor Towles.

Grieving Conversations

Set in the snowy mountains of Bowie, Wyoming, this atmospheric listen follows County Sheriff Brody Hayes, who finds more than he bargained for when he answers a missing-persons call. An infant has disappeared, and the conditions for a search couldn't be worse. As Brody races against the clock and the raging snowstorm, he is forced to confront his painful, conflicted memories about his own family. With emotional narration by Neil Hellegers, Chris Cander's short story will take listeners on an eventful journey they won't soon forget.

Something That Cannot Die

For a beautiful story about a strong woman narrated by award-winning actor Cynthia Nixon, listen to Paula McLain's fictionalized story of Georgia O'Keefe at a crossroads. At 42, Georgia feels stagnant in her life and career, and painting flowers no longer brings her the joy it once did. Leaving behind New York and her unfaithful husband, Georgia travels to New Mexico where the sweeping new scenery and a relationship with an adventurous young woman reignite the artist's creativity and change her life forever.

Zikora

In this moving short story by the author of Americanah, Zikora is a successful Nigerian-American lawyer living in Washington DC who is stunned when her boyfriend abandons her after she informs him she's pregnant. When her mother comes to visit and help her prepare for the baby's birth, Zikora feels like a lost and helpless child once more. Yet, Zikora begins to examine her mother's experiences and sacrifices, and her own wants and needs, in order to become the kind of mother she wants for her new baby. Short but satisfying, this highly rated listen is stunningly narrated by Adepero Oduye.

Half Light

Identical twins Cam and Lia couldn't be more different, although they've always had each other's back. When Lia's marriage falls apart, Cam serves as her divorce attorney...and, later, becomes her accomplice when Lia decide it's time to forcibly take back an irreplaceable family heirloom that she gifted her husband years earlier. From Tayari Jones, the master of engrossing stories about the contemporary Black experience in America, comes yet another incisive short story about family, marriage, and history, narrated by the talented Bahni Turpin.

The Myth of the Self-Made Man

In The Myth of the Self-Made Man, Ruben Reyes delivers a compelling sci-fi short story with echoes of current events. Tomas is a graduate student intent on uncovering the history of Felipe, a cyborg that once worked to maintain American homes. The only clue Tomas has to go on is a voice clip of Felipe reciting that he was made in America, but Tomas has his doubts. His search leads him across South and Central America, and straight to a New England warehouse where cyborgs were reprogrammed—with shocking consequences. The story is narrated by award-winning narrators and actors Inés del Castillo, Eric Yves Garcia, and Christian Barillas.

 

Best Short Story Collections

Fragile Things

Fragile Things is a New York Times best-selling compilation of 32 short stories by Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman. While selections range from ghost stories to love stories and from drama to comedy, Gaiman’s witty storytelling style remains constant throughout the collection. These short stories vary in length, but they’re all sure to have you utterly enraptured, due in large part to Gaiman’s effortless narration of his own stellar stories. He adds the perfect amount of mysticism into his voice, highlighting the fantastical nature of each story in a way that makes for an excellent listen on misty-morning drives and late-night walks.

Tenth of December

Tenth of December offers 10 short stories, and each one is a delight that you’ll want to listen to again and again. Some of these tales use suspense to hook you, like Escape from the Spiderhead, told from the perspective of a convict trapped inside a prison that forces its inmates to take experimental drugs. Others are more slow-paced, like Al Roosten, which revolves around the owner of an antique store. What each has in common is a wildly creative storyline and quirky characters. George Saunders writes in a style conducive to spoken word, making his stories perfect for listening. And these best-selling stories are narrated by the author himself, ensuring that the words are read with their intended tone and rhythm.

Interpreter of Maladies

Revolving around Indian immigrants in America and Americans of Indian descent, the nine stories in Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies are instantly relatable to anyone who has ever felt like a foreigner in their environment. Lahiri, author of the acclaimed novel The Namesake, follows the emotional journeys of characters seeking love, belonging, and a sense of identity in a strange land. The result is a passionate, gorgeous collection of stories that, when coupled with Matilda Novak's gentle narration, offer a melodic and emotional tribute to the process of finding familiarity.

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a literary classic and has been a best seller since its publication in 1990. The collection of stories, which follows the on-the-ground experiences of Vietnam War soldiers, is made more credible and emotive by O’Brien’s personal experiences fighting in the Vietnam War. Brought to painful, vivid life by Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston, perhaps best known for his starring role in the television series Breaking Bad, this listen is marked by an indisputably captivating performance. This edition also feature an exclusive recording of The Vietnam in Me, O’Brien’s account of his visit back to Vietnam in 1994, read by the author himself.

Everything That Rises Must Converge

While Shirley Jackson was known for her horror, Flannery O’Connor is famed for her social commentaries surrounding American morals and ethics. Her characters can be described as grotesque and intrinsically flawed. (For instance, the main character in one of the stories, The Comforts of Home, has an Oedipus complex—which leads to a tragic accidental murder.) The audiobook highlights the levity and satirical moments of each searing tragicomedy. Each skillful narrative performance brings O’Connor’s intricate language to life, leaving listeners raving that the well chosen cast managed to capture the biting tone of some and the simpering of others, underscoring both the range of stories in this collection and the talent of the narrators who perform it.

Edgar Allan Poe - The Complete Short Stories

This 16-hour, Audible exclusive collection offers 29 short stories, including all of Poe’s most well-loved works—The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven, and The House of Usher—as well as lesser-known gems like the satirical The Angel of the Odd and the terrifying The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The collection's narrator, Bob Thomley is a veteran voice actor, whose training and extensive experience allow him to understand and showcase the rhythm, tone, and illusion that are so important in Poe’s writing.

Bloodchild and Other Stories

The Audible exclusive Bloodchild and Other Stories features seven of celebrated sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler’s short stories plus two of her essays. The title story, Bloodchild was the winner of both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award in 1985. It is set on an alien planet where humans are kept in a preserve for the protection of the species and breeding. While not necessarily set in space, the remaining short stories also revolve around apocalyptic plot lines—and are as thought-provoking as they are creative and colorful. Narrator Janina Edwards, who was classically trained in drama at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, lends a theatrical touch to the performance of Butler’s world.

Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of Ted Chiang’s first eight published stories. Chiang won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1992; since then, his works have continued to be lauded—in fact, the title story for this collection won the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 2000. Though definitely different in terms of plot and characters, the stories all share a common thread: each follows a character who is forced to deal with a sudden change. The two narrators, Abby Craden and Todd McLaren, offer precise and authentic performances. Their vocal variations throughout the collection link the tales together, while giving each an individual feel and personality.

The Refugees

The Refugees is the second published work of fiction by author Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his debut novel, The Sympathizer. It is an assembly of stories about immigration, confronting questions of identity, diaspora, and nostalgia. Each story follows the life of a different character, usually a Vietnamese immigrant in America, through their struggles and successes. Nguyen writes in beautiful, staggering prose, and hearing him read his own work is truly exquisite. His voice perfectly captures the emotion ingrained in his words, while his gentle tone makes the stories approachable to those who may not understand the complexities of being an immigrant.

Men Without Women

Men Without Women is a collection of seven short stories written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, translated into English by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen. The stories are all true to Murakami’s dreamlike tone, while staying grounded and relatable to the listener. Kirby Heyborne narrates Murakami’s work with authenticity and warmth. His congenial voice allows the listener to enter the wonderful, meditative world of Murakami, crafting what one listener called poetic recital, almost effortless to absorb.

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden showcases the very last short stories written by prolific American author and National Book Award winner Denis Johnson. This collection brings together five short stories that, while not connected in plot, are linked by the themes of misconception and identity. Each short story is read by a well-known screen actor, including Nick Offerman, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, Liev Shreiber, and Michael Shannon. Though vastly different in style and tone, each actor highlights his narration of a powerful story with an excellent performance, demonstrating his mastery of the spoken word.

The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories

Widely considered one of the greatest writers of all time, Russian playwright Anton Chekov had no shortage of incredible stories. Best known for works such as The Seagull, his first play, and The Lady with the Dog, Chekov was an expert at crafting short but gripping stories that have stood the test of time and become classics in their own right. The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories culls together some of the best works from the writer, including Ward 6, The Black Monk, The Student, and more—each made better by the masterful narration of Richard Armitage, who also introduces each selection with a brief but enlightening overview. This Audible Original collection is a can’t-miss listen for fans of Chekov or anyone who appreciates fine storytelling.

Fragile Things

Fragile Things is a New York Times best-selling compilation of 32 short stories by Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman. While selections range from ghost stories to love stories and from drama to comedy, Gaiman’s witty storytelling style remains constant throughout the collection. These short stories vary in length, but they’re all sure to have you utterly enraptured, due in large part to Gaiman’s effortless narration of his own stellar stories. He adds the perfect amount of mysticism into his voice, highlighting the fantastical nature of each story in a way that makes for an excellent listen on misty-morning drives and late-night walks.

Tenth of December

Tenth of December offers 10 short stories, and each one is a delight that you’ll want to listen to again and again. Some of these tales use suspense to hook you, like Escape from the Spiderhead, told from the perspective of a convict trapped inside a prison that forces its inmates to take experimental drugs. Others are more slow-paced, like Al Roosten, which revolves around the owner of an antique store. What each has in common is a wildly creative storyline and quirky characters. George Saunders writes in a style conducive to spoken word, making his stories perfect for listening. And these best-selling stories are narrated by the author himself, ensuring that the words are read with their intended tone and rhythm.

Interpreter of Maladies

Revolving around Indian immigrants in America and Americans of Indian descent, the nine stories in Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies are instantly relatable to anyone who has ever felt like a foreigner in their environment. Lahiri, author of the acclaimed novel The Namesake, follows the emotional journeys of characters seeking love, belonging, and a sense of identity in a strange land. The result is a passionate, gorgeous collection of stories that, when coupled with Matilda Novak's gentle narration, offer a melodic and emotional tribute to the process of finding familiarity.

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a literary classic and has been a best seller since its publication in 1990. The collection of stories, which follows the on-the-ground experiences of Vietnam War soldiers, is made more credible and emotive by O’Brien’s personal experiences fighting in the Vietnam War. Brought to painful, vivid life by Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston, perhaps best known for his starring role in the television series Breaking Bad, this listen is marked by an indisputably captivating performance. This edition also feature an exclusive recording of The Vietnam in Me, O’Brien’s account of his visit back to Vietnam in 1994, read by the author himself.

Everything That Rises Must Converge

While Shirley Jackson was known for her horror, Flannery O’Connor is famed for her social commentaries surrounding American morals and ethics. Her characters can be described as grotesque and intrinsically flawed. (For instance, the main character in one of the stories, The Comforts of Home, has an Oedipus complex—which leads to a tragic accidental murder.) The audiobook highlights the levity and satirical moments of each searing tragicomedy. Each skillful narrative performance brings O’Connor’s intricate language to life, leaving listeners raving that the well chosen cast managed to capture the biting tone of some and the simpering of others, underscoring both the range of stories in this collection and the talent of the narrators who perform it.

Edgar Allan Poe - The Complete Short Stories

This 16-hour, Audible exclusive collection offers 29 short stories, including all of Poe’s most well-loved works—The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven, and The House of Usher—as well as lesser-known gems like the satirical The Angel of the Odd and the terrifying The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The collection's narrator, Bob Thomley is a veteran voice actor, whose training and extensive experience allow him to understand and showcase the rhythm, tone, and illusion that are so important in Poe’s writing.

Bloodchild and Other Stories

The Audible exclusive Bloodchild and Other Stories features seven of celebrated sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler’s short stories plus two of her essays. The title story, Bloodchild was the winner of both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award in 1985. It is set on an alien planet where humans are kept in a preserve for the protection of the species and breeding. While not necessarily set in space, the remaining short stories also revolve around apocalyptic plot lines—and are as thought-provoking as they are creative and colorful. Narrator Janina Edwards, who was classically trained in drama at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, lends a theatrical touch to the performance of Butler’s world.

Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of Ted Chiang’s first eight published stories. Chiang won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1992; since then, his works have continued to be lauded—in fact, the title story for this collection won the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 2000. Though definitely different in terms of plot and characters, the stories all share a common thread: each follows a character who is forced to deal with a sudden change. The two narrators, Abby Craden and Todd McLaren, offer precise and authentic performances. Their vocal variations throughout the collection link the tales together, while giving each an individual feel and personality.

The Refugees

The Refugees is the second published work of fiction by author Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his debut novel, The Sympathizer. It is an assembly of stories about immigration, confronting questions of identity, diaspora, and nostalgia. Each story follows the life of a different character, usually a Vietnamese immigrant in America, through their struggles and successes. Nguyen writes in beautiful, staggering prose, and hearing him read his own work is truly exquisite. His voice perfectly captures the emotion ingrained in his words, while his gentle tone makes the stories approachable to those who may not understand the complexities of being an immigrant.

Men Without Women

Men Without Women is a collection of seven short stories written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, translated into English by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen. The stories are all true to Murakami’s dreamlike tone, while staying grounded and relatable to the listener. Kirby Heyborne narrates Murakami’s work with authenticity and warmth. His congenial voice allows the listener to enter the wonderful, meditative world of Murakami, crafting what one listener called poetic recital, almost effortless to absorb.

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden showcases the very last short stories written by prolific American author and National Book Award winner Denis Johnson. This collection brings together five short stories that, while not connected in plot, are linked by the themes of misconception and identity. Each short story is read by a well-known screen actor, including Nick Offerman, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, Liev Shreiber, and Michael Shannon. Though vastly different in style and tone, each actor highlights his narration of a powerful story with an excellent performance, demonstrating his mastery of the spoken word.

The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories

Widely considered one of the greatest writers of all time, Russian playwright Anton Chekov had no shortage of incredible stories. Best known for works such as The Seagull, his first play, and The Lady with the Dog, Chekov was an expert at crafting short but gripping stories that have stood the test of time and become classics in their own right. The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories culls together some of the best works from the writer, including Ward 6, The Black Monk, The Student, and more—each made better by the masterful narration of Richard Armitage, who also introduces each selection with a brief but enlightening overview. This Audible Original collection is a can’t-miss listen for fans of Chekov or anyone who appreciates fine storytelling.

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