Short Stories

Our range of short novels and short story books will delight readers who love powerful stories. From Stephen King to Hilary Mantel, Roald Dahl to Lynda La Plante, these books all have one thing in common - they're all wonderful!

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    Those Were the Days (Hardback)

    Sir Terry Wogan, OBE

    Hand-picked favourites
    For the first time in his successful career, broadcasting legend and national treasure Terry Wogan turned his attention to writing fiction in Those Were the Days.

    Tom is king of the Cattle Market branch and meets so many interesting people on a day-to-day basis - and they all have stories to tell. In this book, Tom looks back at the places he's been, the people he has met and the laughter and tears that accompanied his journey from humble blank clerk to branch manager...

    Containing several short stories full of laughter, love and loss, this heart-warming book will make a perfect gift for any fan of the much-missed Terry, beloved presenter of Eurovision and Children in Need.
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    Chance Developments (Hardback)

    Alexander McCall Smith

    (2) Hand-picked favourites
    Inspired by a selection of vintage photographs, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith presents a selection of short stories about all kinds of love in Chance Developments.

    With a die-cut jacket and all five black-and-white photographs lovingly reproduced throughout the book, this is a gorgeous gift for any fan of the popular author. He looks at each photo and comes up with stories about the people captured in them.

    From an estate in the Highlands of Scotland to a Canadian travelling circus, the stories are captivating from start to finish. They'll make you smile, laugh and cry and hope these characters find the love they're after - whether that be romantic, platonic, passionate or familial.
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    The Vigilante (Paperback)

    John Steinbeck

    'Everything was dead, everything unreal; the dark mob was made up of stiff lay-figures'One of America's greatest writers explores mob violence, voyeurism and betrayal in these unforgettable tales of Californian life.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    Death at Sea (Paperback)

    Andrea Camilleri

    Adapted for BBC4's Inspector Montalbano. A collection of eight ingenious short stories following Inspector Montalbano's investigations into Sicily's murky underworld, all served with Camilleri's trademark wit, and Montalbano's typical appetite. From the title story, Death at Sea, in which the alleged manslaughter of an engineer upon a fishing trawler leads Inspector Montalbano to uncover an even more sinister crime, Andrea Camilleri takes his readers through eight cunning cases from the Vigatan police files. Starting with an arson attack on a hotel which leaves the distraught owner as the chief suspect; to the mysterious case of a woman who goes missing in an underpass with a million lire in her handbag; to a threat on Montalbano's own life, as an anonymous motorcyclist takes a shot at the detective. Featuring stories adapted for BBC4's Inspector Montalbano, this is the perfect place to start reading Sicily's favourite crime author.
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    Roar (Paperback)

    Cecelia Ahern

    Cecelia Ahern's Roar is a collection of witty and original stories about - and for - women.

    It contains a story for every moment, whether you want to laugh or be moved, to love or to feel less guilty. There are also tales to make you cry and comfort your mood.
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    The Missing Girl (Paperback)

    Shirley Jackson

    ' "Of course, no one would want to say anything about a girl like this that's missing..." 'Malice, paranoia and creeping dread lie beneath the surface of ordinary American life in these chilling miniature masterworks of unease.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    The End (Paperback)

    Samuel Beckett

    'They didn't seem to take much interest in my private parts which to tell the truth were nothing to write home about, I didn't take much interest in them myself.'From the master of the absurd, these two stories of an unnamed vagrant contending with decay and death combine bleakness with the blackest of humour. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    The Tell-Tale Heart (Paperback)

    Edgar Allan Poe

    'Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a groan of mortal terror ...the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul.' Stories about murder, mystery and madness, portraying the author's feverish imagination at its creative height. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Poe's works available in Penguin Classics are The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Portable Edgar Allan Poe and The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe.
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    The Wandering Earth (Paperback)

    Cixin Liu

    NOW A #1 BLOCKBUSTING FILM. The Sun is dying. Earth will perish too, consumed by the star in its final death throes. But rather than abandon their planet, humanity builds 12,000 mountainous fusion engines to propel the Earth out of orbit and onto a centuries-long voyage to Proxima Centaurai... Cixin Liu is one of the most important voices in world Science Fiction. A bestseller in China, his novel, The Three-Body Problem, was the first translated work of SF ever to win the Hugo Award. Here is the first collection of his short fiction: ten stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners. This collection's title story, The Wandering Earth, is the biggest SF movie ever to come out of China - taking the world's #1 box office ranking in February 2019. Liu's writing takes the reader to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined. With a melancholic and keen understanding of human nature, Liu's stories show humanity's attempts to reason, navigate and, above all, survive in a desolate cosmos. 'Cixin's trilogy is SF in the grand style, a galaxy-spanning, ideas-rich narrative of invasion and war' GUARDIAN. 'Wildly imaginative, really interesting ... The scope of it was immense' BARACK OBAMA, 44th President of the United States.
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    Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults (Hardback)

    Various

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    'Dreamy' STYLIST 'Calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep... the most beautiful book that will, without a doubt, put you in the mood for some zzzzzs.' the SUN 'Hurrah for a book that draws us away from the cold blue light of the smart phone and into the soothing glow of poems, short stories and extracts' The Simple Things magazine Introduced by Lucy Mangan * * * Tales to soothe tired souls. A night time companion for frazzled adults, including calming stories and poems for a good night's sleep. * * * This cheering book of best loved short tales, extracts and poems will calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep. A good night's sleep is essential for our well being and our health, but in our busy lives sleep is often poor and overlooked. Now is the time to stop a while and find consolation and wonder in other worlds where all is well and sleep just a page or two away. From classic stories by Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant and Katherine Mansfield, to friendly tales of our childhoods, to poetry that reminds us of the simple joys of life, this lovingly curated book will soothe a tired mind and gently carry you to the peaceful land of sleep. So switch off, snuggle down and allow yourself to escape into new worlds and old; magical, mysterious and tender realms that will accompany you to your own sweet dreams.
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    The Three Electroknights (Paperback)

    Stanislaw Lem

    'What use to a being that lives beneath a sun are jewels of gas and silver stars of ice?'From a giant of twentieth-century science fiction, these four miniature space epics feature crazy inventors, surreal worlds, robot kings and madcap machines.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    The Custard Heart (Paperback)

    Dorothy Parker

    'She felt a cozy solidarity with the big company of the voluntary dead.'Wise-cracking and heartbreaking, these tales of women on the edge by the legendary wit Dorothy Parker show the darkness beneath the surface of the Jazz Age.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    The Lost World and Other Stories (Paperback)

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    With a new Introduction by Cedric Watts, M.A., Ph.D., Research Professor of English, University of Sussex. These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. The Poison Belt presents an eerie doomsday scenario, while The Disintegration Machine satirically comments on scientific cynicism. In When the World Screamed, the planet responds violently to an experimental incursion. The strangest item is The Land of Mist, which seeks to reconcile science with spiritualism. This memorable collection provides imaginative entertainment, entrancing escapism and bold provocation.
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    Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories (Paperback)

    Andrea Camilleri

    Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories is a brilliant collection of short stories, personally chosen by Andrea Camilleri, following Inspector Montalbano from his very first case in Vigata, in which he stumbles upon a young girl lurking outside a courthouse with a pistol in her handbag. When she is taken in for questioning and won't utter a single word, Montalbano must find another way to learn who she is trying to kill, and why ...Other cases include a missing woman who has run away from the love of her life; an old married couple who appear to be rehearsing their suicides; and a crime so dark there's only one person the inspector can call for help. With twists and turns aplenty, these short stories have all the wit, mystery and culinary gusto that Camilleri's fans have come to love him for.
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    The Complete Father Brown Stories (Paperback)

    GK Chesterton

    With an Introduction by David Stuart Davies. Father Brown, one of the most quirkily genial and lovable characters to emerge from English detective fiction, first made his appearance in The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911. That first collection of stories established G.K. Chesterton's kindly cleric in the front rank of eccentric sleuths. This complete collection contains all the favourite Father Brown stories, showing a quiet wit and compassion that has endeared him to many, whilst solving his mysteries by a mixture of imagination and a sympathetic worldliness in a totally believable manner.
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  • ATOMS

    Selected Stories (Paperback)

    Anton Chekhov

    With an Introduction and Notes by Joe Andrew, Professor of Russian Literature, Keele University. Anton Chekhov is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of short stories. He constructs stories where action and drama are implied rather than described openly, and which leave much to the reader's imagination. This collection contains some of the most important of his earliest and shortest comic sketches, as well as examples of his great, mature works. Throughout, the doctor-turned-writer displays compassion for human suffering and misfortune, but is always able to see the comical, even farcical aspects of the human condition. Chekhov sees and depicts life with unwavering honesty and truthfulness, although a clear moral sense can be detected beneath his apparent objectivity.
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    The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story (Paperback)

    Philip Hensher

    'Sometimes - not often - a book comes along that feels like Christmas. Philip Hensher's timely, but timeless, selection of the best short stories from the past 20 years is that kind of book. His introduction is as enriching as anything that has been published this year' Sunday Times A spectacular treasury of the best British short stories published in the last twenty years We are living in a particularly rich period for British short stories. Despite the relative lack of places in which they can be published, the challenge the medium represents has attracted a host of remarkable, subversive, entertaining and innovative writers. Philip Hensher, following the success of his definitive Penguin Book of British Short Stories, has scoured a vast trove of material and chosen thirty great stories for this new volume of works written between 1997 and the present day. Includes short stories by A.L. Kennedy, Tessa Hadley, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jackie Kay, Graham Swift, Jane Gardam, Ali Smith, Neil Gaiman, Martin Amis, China Mieville, Peter Hobbs, Thomas Morris, David Rose, David Szalay, Irvine Welsh, Lucy Caldwell, Rose Tremain, Helen Oyeyemi, Leone Ross, Helen Simpson, Zadie Smith, Will Self, Gerard Woodward, James Kelman, Lucy Wood, Hilary Mantel, Eley Williams, Sarah Hall, Mark Haddon and Helen Dunmore.
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    Listening In (Paperback)

    Jenny Eclair

    In this addictive short story collection, twenty-four very different women reach a pivotal moment in their lives. A widow is liberated by a new job, but keeps it secret from her family. A date in suburbia has dramatic results. A seamstress takes revenge on an unsuspecting customer, while in France, a mother is promised 'fantastic news' - and lets her imagination run away with her. With each story, Jenny Eclair introduces a fascinating new character. And behind each woman lies a gripping tale - of betrayal, of love, of hope and defiance. Funny, heart-breaking, inspiring - and packed with wicked one liners - this wonderful collection shows Jenny Eclair's exceptional talent for observation at its very best.
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    The Gospel According to Blindboy (Paperback)

    Blindboy Boatclub

    Sunday Business Post Book of the Year Blindboy Boatclub is one half of the Rubberbandits, Ireland's foremost satirist and now the talented author of a collection of brilliant short stories and visual art. Published to critical acclaim, his first collection is powered by big themes and even bigger ideas. There are stories about a van fuelled by Cork people's accents, Tipperary's first ISIS recruit, a sexually aggressive banshee and a fridge dragged heroically through the streets of Limerick. The Gospel According to Blindboy questions and challenges the complacencies and contradictions at the heart of modern Ireland. Whip-smart, provocative and animated by his unmistakable dark wit, it is one of the most original collections of short stories to emerge in recent years. `Mad, wild, hysterical, and all completely under the writer's control - this is a brilliant debut.' Kevin Barry `There is genius in this book, warped genius. Like you'd expect from a man who for his day job wears a plastic bag on his head but something beyond that too. Oddly in keeping with the tradition of great Irish writers.' Russell Brand `If you've ever witnessed (there's no other word for it) a Rubberbandits video you'll be anxious (there's no other word for it) to read this collection of short stories from one of the originators. I hesitate to use the word author as the experience is as close to reading a traditional short story as being burnt by a blow torch. Essential, funny and disturbing.' Danny Boyle `One of Ireland's finest and most intelligent comic minds delivers stories so blisteringly funny and sharp your fingers might bleed. In language so delicious you can taste it, we're shown holy and unholy Ireland: a land of lock-ins, nettle stings, stone-mad Cork birds, gas cunts and Guiney's jeans. No one is safe - we all have the unmerciful piss ripped out of us and there's no escape from the emotional gut punches, expertly dealt.' Tara Flynn `Demented, dishevelled and deeply surreal - Blindboy Boatclub's book will shock and delight.' Irish Independent `It's not for the faint-hearted.' Joe.ie `You won't be disappointed. It will take you to places unexpected.' Ryan Tubridy
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    The Distance of the Moon (Paperback)

    Italo Calvino

    'Time is a catastrophe, perpetual and irreversible.' Science and fiction interweave delightfully in these playful Cosmicomic short stories.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    The Skeleton's Holiday (Paperback)

    Leonora Carrington

    'Ring for your maid, and when she comes in we'll pounce upon her and tear off her face. I'll wear her face tonight instead of mine.'These dreamlike, carnivalesque fables by one of the leading lights of the Surrealist movement are masterpieces of invention and grand-guignol humour.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    Snowdrift and Other Stories (includes three new recently discovered short stories) (Paperback)

    Georgette Heyer (Author)

    Previously titled Pistols for Two, this collection includes three of Heyer's earliest short stories, published together in book form for the very first time. A treat for all fans of Georgette Heyer, and for those who love stories full of romance and intrigue. Affairs of honour between bucks and blades, rakes and rascals; affairs of the heart between heirs and orphans, beauties and bachelors; romance, intrigue, escapades and duels at dawn. All the gallantry, villainy and elegance of the age that Georgette Heyer has so triumphantly made her own are exquisitely revived in these wonderfully romantic stories of the Regency period. 'Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us aspire to.' Katie Fforde 'My favourite historical novelist - stylish, romantic, sharp and witty. Her sense of period is superb, her heroines enterprising and her heroes are dashing. I owe her many happy hours.' Margaret Drabble 'Georgette Heyer is unbeatable.' India Knight
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  • BIHIR

    Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories (Paperback)

    Sheridan Le Fanu

    In 1888 Henry James wrote 'There was the customary novel by Mr Le Fanu for the bedside; the ideal reading in a country house for the hours after midnight'. Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories are tales selected from Le Fanu's stories which mostly appeared in The Dublin University Magazine and other periodicals, and their haunting, sinister qualities still have an enormous appeal for the modern reader. The great M.R. James, who collected and introduces the stories in this book, considered that Le Fanu 'stands absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories.'
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    The Tell-Tale Heart (Paperback)

    Edgar Allan Poe

    'Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a groan of mortal terror ...the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul.' Stories about murder, mystery and madness, portraying the author's feverish imagination at its creative height. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Poe's works available in Penguin Classics are The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Portable Edgar Allan Poe and The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe.
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