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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Story
  • Diane
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 09-27-12

Tales of the Macabre

Fall is the time for spooky stories and this collection suits the season well. Not tales of horror or ghost stories per se, these stories all deliciously skirt along the borderline between reality and unreality, the natural and the supernatural, wonder and horror. Almost all succeed in evoking an eerie dreamlike surrealism in settings ranging from an ancient Celtic island to modern day NYC.

As in any collection of stories, there will be some that appeal more than others. I was going to list some of my favorites, but the list got too long (although Gaiman's The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains is exceptional). The various narrators are each wonderfully suited to and adept at the stories they read.

If you prefer high levels of action and graphic horror, this book is probably not what you're looking for. But if you like stories which could be told around a fire on a stormy fall night and which will leave you with a prickly feeling on your neck, you will find this collection quite to your taste.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

overall it's art,worth a credit few duds expected

i found it pleasant and conforting to be taken on a new journey by new authors, 8/10 were 4 stars or better. this book it setup to last a while, im on the hunt now for more like it.

quite a few of these authors were extremly gifted, the short story format allows some to twist a perfect tale. thanks for organizing these poets neil gamen.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Something for Everyone

There are 27 short stories in this collection, along with an introduction by Neil Gaiman. Each story has its own chapter. I found it incredibly frustrating that Audible did not provide information on the individual stories, so I put together the following list of Chapter numbers, story titles, authors, narrators, and story lengths. My favorites include "Blood", "The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains", "Juvenal Nyx", "Goblin Lake", "Catch and Release", "Loser", "Unwell", "A Life in Fictions", "Let the Past Begin", "Parallel Lines", and "The Devil on the Staircase".

1. “Introduction – Just Four Words” by Neil Gaiman – narrated by Neil Gaiman – 8:23

2. “Blood” by Roddy Doyle – narrated by Euan Morton – 22:24

3. “Fossil-Figures” by Joyce Carol Oates – narrated by Anne Bobby – 37:02

4. “Wildfire in Manhattan” by Joanne Harris – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 50:53

5. “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” by Neil Gaiman – narrated by Euan Morton – 1:03:19

6. “Unbelief” by Michael Marshall Smith – narrated by Peter Francis James – 16:33

7. “The Stars are Falling” by Joe R. Lansdale – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 1:10:39

8. “Juvenal Nyx” by Walter Mosley – narrated by Peter Francis James – 1:15:55

9. “The Knife” by Richard Adams – narrated by Euan Morton – 6:42

10. “Weights and Measures” by Jodi Picoult – narrated by Anne Bobby – 37:08

11. “Goblin Lake” by Michael Swanwick – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 35:04

12. “Mallon the Guru” by Peter Straub – narrated by Peter Francis James – 14:42

13. “Catch and Release” by Lawrence Block – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 34:04

14. “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” by Jeffrey Ford – narrated by Peter Francis James – 34:41

15. “Loser” by Chuck Palahniuk – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 16:50

16. “Samantha’s Diary” by Diana Wynne Jones – narrated by Katherine Kellgren – 35:36

17. “Land of the Lost” by Steward O’Nan – narrated by Anne Bobby – 12:22

18. “Leif in the Wind” by Gene Wolfe – narrated by Katherine Kellgren – 27:56

19. “Unwell” by Carolyn Parkhurst – narrated by Anne Bobby – 27:51

20. “A Life in Fictions” by Kat Howard – narrated by Katherine Kellgren – 11:21

21. “Let the Past Begin” by Jonathan Carroll – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 31:13

22. “The Therapist” by Jeffrey Deaver – narrated by Peter Francis James – 1:25:59

23. “Parallel Lines” by Tim Powers – narrated by Anne Bobby – 26:34

24. “The Cult of the Nose” by Al Sarrantonio – narrated by Peter Francis James – 22:58

25. “Human Intelligence” by Kurt Anderson – narrated by Katherine Kellgren – 45:04

26. “Stories” by Michael Moorcock – narrated by Euan Morton – 58:39

27. “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand – narrated by Jonathan Davis – 2:23:02

28. “The Devil on the Staircase” by Joe Hill – narrated by Peter Francis James – 39:06
(The last 4:50 of this chapter is the end credits for the audiobook)

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Paes
  • Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
  • 11-16-10

Loved it!

Amazing stories with wonderful readers. I recommend it. It has been a wonderful company for lonely times.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Story titles better than "Chapter 1" etc.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

On the basis of content and narration, yes I would reccomend to a friend. There were a few duds (I'm looking at you, Michael Moorcock), but most of the stories were entertaining and thought-provoking

What did you like best about this story?

It wasn't one story, it was anthology of stories. A few had a Christmas theme, but it wasn't a Christmas-themed anthology overall.

Any additional comments?

Please consider listing story titles instead of merely chapter headings for anthologies such as this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent way to past the time

If you could sum up Stories in three words, what would they be?

The stories are varied and they're all well acted. There are a lot of stories of varying lengths so there is something for everyone.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite story is about Deel and his return form the war

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

There are several really good narrators- all gave a really great performance

If you could rename Stories, what would you call it?

Moments to Ponder

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

“And Then What Happened?”

The stories are good. The story by Neil Gaiman is ok. There is another story set in a world similar to American Gods (not by Gaiman) that is very good. I did not like the abrupt ending to most of the stories. I like stories with ending. Heck, I like stories with epilogues that wrap everything up into a nice neat package. If you like stories that leave you thinking about what happened next, you’ll love this collection.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly Entertaining

What made the experience of listening to Stories the most enjoyable?

All the stories were unique, some of them where quite odd. I found myself wishing some of them would continue.

What did you like best about this story?


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • TRACY, CA, United States
  • 10-15-12

I Love This Book! They really are All-New Tales.

What did you love best about Stories?

The stories are brand new...really new! A fresh take on "unusual" characters and plots with really good narration.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There is such a varied collection of stories it is difficult to speak of them as a whole but I enjoyed the mystery, humor, sass and the pure creative spirit of this audio book.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

There are multiple narrators. These stories uncannily have the right narrator for each one.

Who was the most memorable character of Stories and why?

Joyce Carol Oates' "Fossil Figures" a story of twins was a favorite as was "Wild Fire in Manhattan" by Joanne Harris, "Juvenal Nicks" by Walter Mosley plus "Catch and Release" by Lawrence Block, Actually too many characters over-all to list.

Any additional comments?

Lots of listening time. I have listened to these stories multiple times and probably will continue to do so. This is a favorite "travel buddy". Of at lease 25+ audio books, this is the only one to which I repeatedly return.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Jessica
  • GLEN BURNIE, MD, United States
  • 09-25-12

A pleasure

Where does Stories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my top 3

What did you like best about this story?

Well, it is a collection of stories from a variety of authors which makes each a unique and worthwhile listen. There is a wonderful dearth of literary perspective each author presents.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It is a cast reading, and each gave life to the story that he/she was reading.

If you could rename Stories, what would you call it?

I would, the name piques curiosity in such a way as to draw the reader in. Besides, each story is different and there is no better unifying title than the name of the collection.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Daniel Crussell
  • 08-31-10

Gaimen entertains again

I am a great fan of Neil Gaiman so I had to listen to the stories as soon as possible. The audiobook is read by a host of different people which helped to keep me interested in the many different stories.

The biggest disappointment for me was that Gaiman does not read his own story which is one the best in the book. I feel that Gaiman adds somthing to his stories when he reads them.

Overall I felt that the book had many more great stories than poor ones but there where a few that I felt like fast forwarding through.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nigel
  • 04-11-12

All new, all memorable

Weeks after listening to the book, stories and scenes keep on coming back to me. This is an artful collection of short stories, selected not around a genre or theme, but around the idea that good stories hold a magical power to create worlds in the reader' s mind, regardless of their subject matter.
OK, there may have been a couple that I wished were shorter stories, and one I wished wasn't there at all, and for that I'd have dropped it to four stars ... but then the choice of readers and their engagement with the texts was so enjoyable, I put the missing star back in again just for the audio experience of it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • T. Hewison
  • 03-24-16

Don't be fooled by Neil Gaiman's name on this!

What disappointed you about Stories?

Most of the stories were complete bilge - depressing, uninspiring with few likable characters. And actually most of the stories were pretty similar. The benefit of a collection of short stories is that if you don't like one, you can skip to the next. But in this case, the next was usually just the same.

What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Better selection of stories, better readings

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

Many were read in a flat monotone American accent, which even played at 1.25x speed was still dull.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There are a couple of very good stories - in particular the one by Neil Gaiman, but that does not warrant the purchase of the whole collection

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Russell
  • 04-23-13

Stronger on ambition than achievement

This is the first short story collection I've downloaded on Audible and while a few of the stories have made it feel worthwhile, there were a good many that didn't. For me, the most successful ones seemed to follow in a kind of folk tradition - The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, The Stars are Falling and The Devil on the Staircase all have an eerie resonance while The Therapist and The Cult of the Nose have more of an urban legend feel. These 5 stories are the page-turners the editors claim for the collection - the others, with the possible exception of Elizabeth Hand's atmospheric Bellerophon, failed to sustain my interest.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-21-17

starts off strong but quickly becomes boring

too abstract and repetitive. great if you want to say "I read something weird" but not good if you want to get lost in a story. there's at least two stories where the twist is it was Santa all along.