Top Ten Tuesday: Short Stories/Prose Available Free Online

Top Ten Tuesday: Short Stories/Prose Available Free Online

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Broke and the Bookish runs this business.

This week is a freebie, which obviously immediately filled me with fear and anxiety. Like most healthy human beings, I am infinitely more comfortable being told what to do. So after a few hours of sitting at the computer paralyzed, I decided to just look at the list of old topics and choose one of those. But none of them really spoke to me. And I noticed something. None of them specifically mentioned short stories.

Short stories are my shit. I am endlessly impressed by writers who can leave a huge impact on me with a minimal amount of words. Often, I feel like I enjoy short stories more than novels. I don't know. Don't ask me to back that up with logic. Free things on the internet are also my shit. So here is a list of my top ten favorite short stories that I was able to find published online. Spreading the wealth or something. I'll try not to list anything you read in high school.

Short Stories/Prose Available Free Online

1. The Second Bakery Attack by Haruki Murakami. Not my absolute favorite from The Elephant Vanishes, but one of the better ones. Murakami has an amazing way to make magic in the mundane. Dreamy and weird story about married life and armed robbery of eating establishments.

2. Healthy Start by Etgar Keret. Probably one of the first stories to get me really into short stories post-high school. Keret's writing is fresh, and the ending of this story about stolen identity always gets to me.

3. The School by Donald Barthelme. If you haven't read Barthelme before, read this. It's short, I promise. One of the forefathers of experimental literature, his stories are strange and often funny. This is one where he doesn't do experimental formatting, but the story is mildly demented and great.

4. A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger. Ok, this might be high school territory. But if you haven't read this Salinger classic, you have to. Even if you are over liking Catcher in the Rye. I mean it. Very powerful story.

5. Escort by Chuck Palahniuk. This dark story, which I believe is at least inspired by Palahniuk's real life, gets me in the heart. As always, Palahniuk is creepy and almost gruesome. But despite the disturbing content, this story is heartfelt and very real. And super short!

6. Brita's Holiday Village by Karin Tidbeck. Weird, magical realism/sci-fi. Tidbeck is incredible at writing surreal, very Scandanavian fiction. And she translates it to English herself! Creepy and dreamy. I don't even know how to describe what this story is about. If you like this, check out her other short stories in Jagannath.

7. The Summer People by Shirley Jackson. If you liked The Lottery, you have to check out this horror story by Shirley Jackson. She is the master of suspense. The Summer People is about a vacation by a lake that isn't quite what it seems. It's slow and creeping, filling you with a sense of unease when nothing is really happening. But it's well worth the wait. Stick with it, it pays off!

8. This Person by Miranda July. So twee, and I don't even care. Miranda July's stories are refreshing. This story from No One Belongs Here More Than You is quite short, but it packs a heavy punch at the end of it. Prepare for some self-reflection. She's good.

9.  The Youngest Doll by Rosario Perre. A great feminist piece, that's also surreal! Objectification of women and marriage gone horribly wrong. Very powerful piece. Could only find a slightly blurry copy of it, sorry!

10. Billennium by J.G. Ballard. Maybe not my favorite, but I just read it recently and thought I'd include it. Classic sci-fi piece confronting the future issue of overpopulation. Made me feel very claustrophic. It definitely felt important to read.

Bonus: 20 Reasons Why I Want to Fuck my Cat by Mira Gonzalez. Perhaps not a short story, but I think listicles count as prose. Especially when by an alt-lit writer. So hilarious. Don't be frightened by the title, it's a good time. I feel Mira's feelings. And I want to post this to my facebook, but I also want to get hired for jobs in the future.

Happy reading! Do you normally read short stories? What are your favorites?


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