There’s something about truly great short stories (OK- that’s rather subjective!) that touches me deeply, and drives me to immediately reread everything. Perhaps it’s because the first time I might read a little bit too quickly, and miss certain important aspects, but I think it might also be due to some other reasons, which include:
- I don’t want to leave the world of the story so soon.
- I want to see the way the story is woven together, to inspect the thread and weave of it.
- The twist has brought about some new understanding of the events in the story, and I want to reread the story after knowing what happens at the end.
- Confusion because I didn’t pay attention enough the first time around and I think I’ve missed something essential.
- Various other whims and reasons.
Stories that I have read in the past few months that have encouraged the rereading instinct in me include the following:
Roald Dahl: ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’, ‘The Butler’, ‘Royal Jelly’
Neil Gaiman: ‘The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains…’, ‘Click-Clack the Rattlebag’, ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’
John Collier: ‘Are You Too Late Or Was I Too Early’, ‘The Touch of Nutmeg Makes It’, ‘Without Benefit Of Galsworthy’, ‘Ah the University’, ‘Back For Christmas’, ‘The Chaser’, ‘Special Delivery’
Ray Bradbury: ‘The Veldt’, ‘Homecoming’, ‘All Summer in a Day’, ‘The Pedestrian’
Joyce Carol Oates: ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’
Shirley Jackson: ‘The Lottery’
Isaac Babel: ‘The Story of My Dovecot’