“Enough nostalgia!” was the title of the email from The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. I am to write about something anything that doesn’t involve me as a child.*  So be it. 

In the 70s/80s after her parents died Mother took from their library twenty small red books of short stories. I don’t know why she took these tomes; I don’t recall her ever reading them. They have stayed untouched on a shelf in the guest room for thirty years until last month when I took them.  

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“The World’s 100  best short stories” and “The world’s 100 best short novels” are lofty titles. Mind! these tomes were published nearly 100 years ago in 1927. I love a short story especially if it brilliant in prose and (better yet) it ’moves me’ in some way. ** For Spo-fans fond of literature, think quickly –  what short stories would you list as ‘the world’s best’?***   I am curious to see about three matters:

1 – Do I recognize any short stories still read in the present, the ones that have stood the test of time and why is that so?

2- Do I recognize the authors but not the compositions included in the elect?

3- The authors and titles unknown to me: lost masterpieces or dated duds?

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The first volume’s table of contents suggests some of each of the three categories. I recognized right away “Luck of Roaring Camp” and “The most dangerous game” having read them myself in high school. I don’t remember ‘why’ they are good so they will be worth a reread. I recognize the names of Victor Hugo and O. Henry and Mr. Stevenson – but not these stories. The other names and titles are unfamiliar. 

I suspect I am going to encounter a lot of disappointments; I fancy keeping ‘score’ as how many are ‘good’ vs. forgettable. I have my fingers crossed I will come across a few gems.

Later: I just finished reading the first short story “The two-gun man”. Page 71indeed!  It is a simple cowboy story with a plot twist ending that is quite predictable. One wonders how this  got in among the ‘Top 100’. I hope it doesn’t portend how things are to be. After all I have 99 more to read. I will keep you posted if I find any TGRs (thumping good reads).

 

*Vikings are notoriously non-sentimental beings although they are wildly superstitious about change. They will hang on to something old and long past its prime on the grounds ‘it is custom’. One shouldn’t try to update their wardrobe especially their Mack Weldons which haven’t been undated since the Punic Wars. 

**My list of my best short stories is available upon request for thems interested.

***Please list in the comments any short stories you believe are must-read-or-perish.