Treasury of Great Short Stories

A Review By Phaidra Robinson

During a period of high stress, reading can sometimes be an escape, or it can be difficult to focus on the book in front of you.

I tend to fall into the second category, so I found myself reading more short stories over lockdown, thanks to an impulse purchase of the "Treasury of Great Short Stories" from my local charity bookshop.
I have always enjoyed short stories. I like the quick pace, the twists and how it usually leads me to learn about new authors, especially in a collection like this. The authors included in this collection include greats such as Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Daphne Du Maurier.

Also included are some of the best thriller and crime writers of all time, such as Stephen King, P.D. James, Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe. A surprising inclusion under the thriller genre is Roald Dahl – known more for his imaginative children’s books than crime stories. His children’s works do include some disturbing imagery for kids (the girl who disappears in the picture in The Witches is still spine-chilling), but his short story The Landlady is a more intense story all together. Lasting only ten pages, Dahl details how a young man travels to Bath on a work trip and checks into a bed and breakfast that has only had two previous guests over the past three years. This story is the epitome of what I love about short stories as its pacing is fantastic.

Overall, some of the short stories in this collection are weaker than others, with others standing out in such a way that I know they will stay with me for a while.