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World's Shortest Stories: Murder. Love. Horror. Suspense. All This And Much More... [Paperback]

Steve Moss
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 26 1998
This is a quintessential short story book fo r everyone who thinks they don't have any time to read. Each story is less than 55 words long - ideal for the beach, bus , train, anywhere.

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Product Details

Product Description

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
How short can a story be and still be considered a story? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One example of the greatness this book has to offer Sept. 20 1999
By A Customer
Thanks to Jay Bonestell:
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars As uneven as any anthology Oct. 18 2000
Short-shorts are a natural story form - parables, fables, religious teaching tales, jokes ... Stories in 55 words or less, however, are artifical - essentially placing restrictions on the story as a challenge or exercise. Such exercises are useful as they develop a sense of the raw materials - words; but as literature only a few succeed.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and haunting! May 5 1999
By A Customer
I read this book last summer and some of the stories are still lurking in my head... quite an amazing feat for tales only 55 words long! Each story (with few exceptions) made me feel as if I had just read a novel. This book is essential to any story-lover's library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small short story masterpieces. Dec 8 1998
By A Customer
Each selection is a jewel- proving that a few words can speak reams about love, hate, jealousy and humor. A must for any budding writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gems. June 11 1998
By A Customer
A life of education hasn't hurt me none: you can read a short story in a single setting. Moss's whole anthology meets that criterion; collected gems of succinct fiction. Can't beat the dawning terror of "Bedtime Story" or the wrenching sadness of "Like Ships" and "Lost" even at Mitchneresque length. Wonderful cure for writer's block.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Complete stories all on only 55 words each June 6 1998
By A Customer
This one is a must for every library. All kinds of settings - love, murder, intrigue, irony. These stories are fun to read! Only a few stories left me asking "What did the writer mean here?" Some left me laughing, some left me thinking, but all were a joy to read. Loan it to only your most trustworthy friends, or you may not get it back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!! It shows less is MORE!!! Sept. 8 2003
This book contains incredibly complete and haunting 55-word stories (this review is 55 words). Horror. Romance. Mystery. Crime. Many have trick endings. You'll read this wonderful book repeatedly. I've always wanted to write a 55-word story about a hideous monster who devours people who write too many reviews for Amazon but no one would believe
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent class exercise Oct. 4 2000
I have used this book as an example of concise but riveting writing skills for my communications lectures. Student held their own competition using this format. Their work was exhibited in the hallways and caused much excitement on campus. This exercise led to excellent year end exam results. I recommend it as class material.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"
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 more
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by powwowhappy
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
This book was so inspirational that I plan to submit some 55 Fiction for the next version.
Published on April 29 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars A new genre -- tight writing
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 more
Published on June 24 2001 by Thomas J. Brucia
5.0 out of 5 stars Like candy
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 more
Published on Nov. 21 2000 by Roslyn Carrington
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Short Story Book Ever!!!!!
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and often hilarious
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A most excellent tease.
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 more
Published on July 20 1999 by Andrew Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This book is meant to be "read" in print, not listened to on a tape. I love books on tape and I adore Frank Muller, but this is a book to savor with the eyes. Read more
Published on June 2 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring.
Almost all the stories end with a twist. After reading about fifty of these, it starts becoming boring and excessive.
Published on May 22 1999
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