World's Shortest Stories: Murder. Love. Horror. Suspense. All This And Much More... Paperback – Feb 26 1998
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From Library Journal
A short story in 55 wordsAimpossible! Yet these stories, the world's shortest, have setting, characters, conflict, and resolution. They address murder, love, suspense, horror, betrayal, and often end with a catchy turnaround. The answer lies in the author's ability to write with amazing compression and economy, making each word count. These bite-sized stories, the haiku of short fiction, can be one long sentence or can begin every word with the same letter. As exercises for writers, they can be fun and challenging; as literature they are nibbles. One noteworthy example tells of a man seeking a hit man to kill his wife only to find out she has hired his girlfriend for a similar purpose. These stories demand considerable concentrationAone missed word and the meaning is lostAmaking them perhaps more effective in a print format. The performers, all professional actors, read with clarity and feeling, increasing the drama. At the conclusion, directions and encouragement are offered to all would-be writers of this new genre. Recommended with some reservations for public libraries.ANancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
"The perfect gift for those who claim to be too busy to read. For the rest of us, these stories are like literary canapes . . . Irresistible." -- Sue Grafton --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A SECOND CHANCE: His love had gone. In despair, he flung himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. Coincidentally, a few yards away, a girl made her own suicide plunge. The two passed in mid-air. Their eyes met. Their chemistry clicked. It was true love. They realized it. Three feet above the water.
Some of the more enjoyable stories in this collection add additional restrictions - all nouns, words all starting with the same letter, etc. - in a manner similar to the Oulipo group.
The stories that work best are one's where the surprise ending is not one of identity ... e.g. the stories work better if the surprise is not who is attempting to murder you but one of that they are trying to kill you. Bedtime Story by Jeffrey Whitmore is a memorable story that succeeds on this basis.
Another type of story that seems to work as literature are those that are not artificially compressed but which could easily be passed on in daily conversation in as compact a from as they are written. A Second Chance by Jay Bonestell fits in this category.
I am less impressed by stories such as Rites of Passage which reminded me too strongly of the Country song "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight" - the story set up the misconception that "He" refers to lover or would-be-lover that the actual identity of "Father" only half takes hold.
I can recommend this book as a bridge between poetry and prose, as inspiration for writing exercises etc., but I only recommend it as literature for about a quarter of its content.
Most recent customer reviews
So many of these short stories made me stop and think when they "ended" - In other words, they didn't really end on the written page! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christy Birmingham
I am amazed at how truly entertaining these stories can be in such a short space of time. The tricky endings on some came as such a surprise, that I found myself rewinding the tape... Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003 by powwowhappy
This book was so inspirational that I plan to submit some 55 Fiction for the next version.Published on April 29 2002
Perhaps we should all limit our book reviews to 55 words... Like haiku, this genre is minimalist. Like haiku, the best is eternal; the worst is DOA. Read morePublished on June 24 2001 by Thomas J. Brucia
Wonderful little treats, each one of them. Like nibbling at candy. I tried to read just a few at a time, to savour the experience, but they were just too addictive. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2000 by Kindle Customer
I loved this book. Even though each story is only 55 words long they have a twist. A good read. I think other teens will love it. I'm buying my own copy.Published on Oct. 29 1999 by Emily, 16
I found myself laughing out loud at many of these clever stories. Not every story is equally good, but those which are good, are really, really good.Published on Sept. 21 1999
This book is a refreshing little dip for an author looking for some snap. About one in four are really good one way or the other. Read morePublished on July 20 1999 by Andrew Shields
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