Regular readers (hello Mum!) will know how much I love short stories. So imagine my dancing feet when I heard that Penguin were publishing two volumes of collections of short stories this month.
The Penguin Book Of The British Short Story Volume One takes us from Daniel Defoe to the hilarious Mrs Badgery by Wilkie Collins and the charming The Magic Shop story by H. G. Wells; Volume Two happily marmalades through Roald Dahl, Angela Carter and Ali Smith.
It’s an absolutely wonderful collection, very thoughtfully curated, and two beautiful books to cherish. The anthologies are something to read over time. At over 700 pages each, you’ll want the space and time (short story concerns!) to immerse fully in short stories over wintery weeks and months. I was chatting to a couple of friends last week and both said that they felt dreadful for not having picked up a book for months as they hadn’t had the time to commit to a novel – I completely understand – so many people wander home from gruelling 10 hour days at the office and can’t face following a long, meandering plot. Short story solution! De-stress over a glorious five page short story one night. And then the next evening, a 12 page masterpiece.
A veritable literary smörgâsbord, bound.
This is an aptly concise review as I have no intention of divulging any more: but I wager that trying to choose just one volume to buy would be impossible. Buy one now and ask for the other for Christmas.
The Penguin Book of the British Short Story Volume One and Volume Two, published by Penguin Classics on 5 November, £25 each (hardback).
I was kindly sent the Advance Reading Sampler by Penguin.