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World's Shortest Stories: Murder. Love. Horror. Suspense. All This And Much More... Paperback – Feb 26 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (Feb. 26 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762403004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762403004
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #505,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

"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

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 20 1999
Format: Paperback
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.
Breathtaking!
MW
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Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on May 5 1999
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on Dec 8 1998
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on June 11 1998
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on June 6 1998
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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