Best-Selling Short Stories Books of All Time

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 Short stories are a powerful medium to convey emotion and capture a reader’s imagination. Whether they’re situated in a unique time and place or on the vastness of space, these stories take readers on an emotional journey. Reading short stories can be uplifting, tragic, humorous, and educational.

Fortunately, there are many wonderful short stories available to readers. Here are some of the best-selling short stories of all time. This article will highlight some of the greatest works in the genre to help spark your imagination and get you reading.

The Best Short Stories of All Time

  1. “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” is an excellent example of a short story. The story follows Mary Maloney, a devoted and kind-hearted housewife whose world is turned upside down when her husband Patrick announces his intention to leave her. Determined to keep her marriage alive, Mary decides to take matters into her own hands by killing Patrick.

  1. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Considered one of the most classic and iconic short stories of all time, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a chilling and disturbing parable about the dangers of tradition and the power of superstition and religion. The story follows a small village’s intimate and annual lottery, which culminates in the traumatic death of one of its members.

  1. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous works. A psychological horror story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” tells of a man who is driven to madness by the sound of his victim’s beating heart. It is a great example of Poe’s classic style of writing and is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

  1. “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is a tragic and heartbreaking Christmas story about a poor couple, Jim and Della, who desperately want to give each other the perfect present for Christmas. Despite their poverty, they manage to buy each other the only gift that matters — the gift of love. It is an inspiring and heartwarming tale about the power of love.

  1. “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs

W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” is a classic horror story about a family that comes into possession of a mummified monkey’s paw. The paw is said to have the power to grant its owner three wishes, each with a terrible and unexpected price. It is sure to have readers on the edge of their seat in anticipation.

  1. “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s other most famous work, “The Masque of the Red Death”, is a horror story about a prince who attempts to outwit Death by hosting a luxurious masquerade ball within a fortified castle. When the Red Death arrives, it brings with it chaos and tragedy. This is a classic horror story filled with suspense and foreboding.

  1. “The Lottery Ticket” by Anton Chekhov

“The Lottery Ticket” is one of Anton Chekhov’s most beloved short stories. It follows a humble family man who buys a lottery ticket and dreams of what he would do if he won the jackpot. The story is a classic example of Chekhov’s fascination with the power of luck and fortune.

  1. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” is a classic tale of pride and vanity. Set in the Paris of the late 19th century, it follows a middle-class woman who dreams of living the life of luxury. When she borrows a necklace for a special occasion, she must pay a much steeper price for her extravagance.

  1. “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury’s classic science-fiction tale “A Sound of Thunder” is about a group of hunters who journey to the distant past in order to hunt dinosaurs. When one of the hunters accidentally kills a butterfly, a catastrophic chain of events is set in motion. It is a powerful and thought-provoking story about the fragility of life and the dangers of tampering with the natural order of things.

  1. “The Lady or the Tiger?” by Frank R. Stockton

Frank R. Stockton’s “The Lady or the Tiger?” will surely have readers guessing until the very end. The story follows a young man who is accused of a crime and is forced to make an impossible decision. Will he open one door, and face his certain death, or will he open the other, and discover what lies in wait for him?

Short stories offer a glimpse of the world in a few thousand words. They provide readers with a way to escape from the mundane, or transport them to some far-flung place. These classic works continue to stand the test of time, and will likely remain best-sellers for years to come.

So, if you’re looking for a great short story to read, look no further than this list. From Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” to Frank R. Stockton’s “The Lady or the Tiger?”, these stories will take you on a thrilling ride and open your mind to new experiences.

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