Tagged: short stories

Lord Peter Views the Body 9 of Clubs

Deal Me In Story #7: The Learned Adventure of the Dragon’s Head by Dorothy Sayers

I don’t think he’s a very nice man. I hate people who ask you to decline nouns for them. Card Drawn: 9♣ Anthology: Lord Peter Views the Body Story: “The Learned Adventure of the Dragon’s Head,” 1928 It’s taken seven weeks, but I finally drew a club, the suit I’ve assigned to Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy Sayers. I don’t know if I’ve ever read anything by Dorothy Sayers that I haven’t liked, and I’ve been looking forward to this anthology since the year began. Her stories featuring Lord...

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

Deal Me in Stories #5 and #6: Two Bradbury Tales from The October Country

Card Drawn: 3♦ Anthology: The October Country by Ray Bradbury Story: “The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse,” 1954 When we first meet George Garvey he is nothing at all. Later he’ll wear a white poker chip monocle, with a blue eye painted on it by Matisse himself. Later, a golden bird cage might trill within George Garvey’s false leg, and his good left hand might possibly be fashioned of shimmering copper and jade. But at the beginning–gaze upon a terrifyingly ordinary man. So begins “The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse”...

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 12 Stories for Late at Night

12 Stories for Late at Night is the second of three anthologies edited by Alfred Hitchcock that I read for the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge this year. It contained some of the creepiest stories of the year, including “The Cocoon” by John B. L. Goodwin, “Vintage Season” by C. L. Moore, and “Our Feather Friends” by Philip McDonald. I always enjoy these Hitchcock anthologies, but this is one of the better collections, especially since it contains several top tier authors including Ray Bradbury, M. R. James...

Alfred Hitchcock’s Hard Day at the Scaffold

Hard Day at the Scaffold is a solid collection of short stories edited by Alfred Hitchcock that I read over the course of a year for the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge. Hitchcock’s anthologies always feature darkly humorous stories with a generous dose of creepiness, and this one was no different. Though this collection had fewer memorable stories than others I’ve read, it was still enjoyable. My favorite was “One on a Desert Island” by Donald Westlake, the tragicomic story of what can happen to a man’s...

M. R. James Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M.R. James

All this time a growing feeling of discomfort had been creeping over him—nervous reaction, perhaps, after the delight of his discovery. Whatever it was, it resulted in a conviction that there was someone behind him, and that he was far more comfortable with his back to the wall. I read Ghost Stories of an Antiquary over the course of this past year as part of the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge. Each week I would draw a card from a deck of playing cards, and if it...

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Deal Me In Challenge Status Report

One of my favorite reading challenges this year has been the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge. Every Sunday I look forward to drawing a random card from the deck to see what story I’ll be reading this week. At this point in the year I only have nine cards left, which means I’ve read 43 stories. I’ve enjoyed this challenge so much that I’m already looking at anthologies to use for next year’s challenge. If you’ve been following along, you might remember that my theme is year...

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. I agree with Julie Davis: the less said about The Yellow Wallpaper the better, so that you can read it fresh, without any baggage or imposed interpretations. This horror classic gave me chills. It reminded me a little bit of The House on the Borderland, and it fits right in with the Alfred Hitchcock stories I’ve been reading for my...

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Deal Me In Challenge: Stories #3, #4 and #5

The Deal Me In Challenge continues with three more macabre stories, each from a different one of Alfred Hitchcock’s anthologies. Over the past three weeks I drew the K♦, 7♦ and 2♥, which were assigned to the following stories: K♦ – “Prolonged Visit” by Hal Dresner from Alfred Hitchcock’s Hard Day at the Scaffold (read January 15, 2017): This was a pretty mediocre story about a mother-in-law who comes to visit and overstays her welcome. Besides perpetuating the stereotype of the intrusive mother-in-law, the story did not interest me at all. 7♦...

Deal Me In Reading Challenge

Deal Me in Challenge Stories #1 and #2

I love the concept of the The Deal Me In Challenge, hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. For this challenge you choose 52 short stories for the year, reading one each week. What makes this challenge more fun is that you assign each story a different card from a deck of standard playing cards. Then each week you draw a card at random and read the story assigned to it. This is my first year participating, and I decided that my theme for the year would be “The Macabre.”...

Black – A Short Story

Black by Nick Senger Johnny wore black to school every day. Black pants, black t-shirt, long black trenchcoat. “You’re a nice boy, Johnny,” his teacher would say. “Why do you always wear black?” “It suits me, Mrs. Parker,” Johnny always replied. “I’m nobody.” “No one’s nobody, dear,” she said. “God has plans for everyone.” “Not me.” As Johnny went through junior high Mrs. Parker would see him on the playground or in the detention room, always wearing the black pants, the black t-shirt and the long black trenchcoat....

Fantasy Short Short Stories

5 Great Books to Read Aloud at the Family Dinner Table

One of my favorite things to do is share stories with my family at the dinner table. A few years ago when I was reading Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series my boys asked me each night at dinner to tell them what had happened to Captain Aubrey and his friend Stephen Maturin. It gave me a chance to share the joys of reading with my sons, and it also encouraged me to keep reading. Another great way to encourage reading in your kids is to read to...