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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Better selection of stories, better readings
Many were read in a flat monotone American accent, which even played at 1.25x speed was still dull.
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
"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.
"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.
Amazing stories with wonderful readers. I recommend it. It has been a wonderful company for lonely times.
"Excellent way to past the time"
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.
My favorite story is about Deel and his return form the war
There are several really good narrators- all gave a really great performance
Moments to Ponder
All the stories were unique, some of them where quite odd. I found myself wishing some of them would continue.
"I Love This Book! They really are All-New Tales."
The stories are brand new...really new! A fresh take on "unusual" characters and plots with really good narration.
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.
There are multiple narrators. These stories uncannily have the right narrator for each one.
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.
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.
"“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.
In my top 3
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.
It is a cast reading, and each gave life to the story that he/she was reading.
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.
"Not at all what I expected..in a bad way."
All the stories gave detail and all that, building up some of the endings.. but then when it ended it left me asking either what happened to a certain person or thing, why did it end like that you still don't know what's happening, or just: there's no point to that story and it ended in the middle of nowhere.
I got it because I figured the Joe Hill story would at least be good and it kind of was but it just read like a Greek tragedy and not any kind of suspenseful scary weird story. Disappointed.
The description of this book says that they're all stories of supernatural or paranormal or weird background, but I don't know if I even consider that to be a factual statement. Some of them had weird aspects to them but then they just ended in the middle of nowhere and left you wondering why you even bothered.
I did not like this book some of the stories were amusing while you are in it but then they would just end & you're like, why did it end like that what happened to this person, what happened to this item, what happened to the people that the story took time to introduce to you.
"Story titles better than "Chapter 1" etc."
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
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.
Please consider listing story titles instead of merely chapter headings for anthologies such as this.
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