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The Collected Short Stories of Conrad Aiken…

The Collected Short Stories of Conrad Aiken

by Conrad Aiken

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These are poetic tales from an author who, while primarily known for his poetry, was a novelist and critic as well. The scope of the stories collected here range from the familiar to the bizarre, the mysterious to the romantic. Included are the well-known frequently anthologized stories like "Mr, Arcularis" and "Silent Snow, Secret Snow", but also some not collected previously with all selected by the author with the wish that it includes those stories he desired to preserve. The result is a magnificent and absorbing volume that should delight all lovers of short stories. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 16, 2013 |
Some of the stories may jar one's view of the everyday world. One almost starts to regard them not as stories, but as gateways.
  jjmiller50fiction | Nov 7, 2012 |
Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) was an accomplished poet and novelist, but his short stories also make for fascinating reading. This collection covers most of his career and includes some of his more famous works. The standout here is "Mr. Arcularis," a masterpiece of foreshadowing and perhaps one of the most frequently anthologized stories in all of American literature. Equally transfixing is "Silent Snow, Secret Snow," a creepy psychological suspense story in which a boy's imaginary world consumes the rest of his life. The remaining stories hit and miss and sometimes the narrative mannerisms seem dated, but Aiken was a master of characterization, and his comedies of manners hit the mark more often than not. Pieces such as "Thistledown," a tragic tale of dissipation, and "Bow Down, Isaac!" which recalls Shirley Jackson at her most enigmatic and menacing, have stood up well over time. But the entire collection is well worth the effort of seeking it out. ( )
  icolford | Aug 3, 2011 |
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This indispensable volume, which includes the classic stories "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" and "Mr. Arcularis," is a testament to the dazzling artistry of one of the twentieth century's most influential writers A young woman passes through the countryside to visit her dying grandmother for a final time. A cabbie, exhausted from a long day's work, fights to get an intoxicated woman out of his taxi. A man on his way to a bachelor party tries to come to grips with the brutishness that lies within every gentleman-and finds that Bacardi cocktails do nothing to help. A master craftsman whose poetry and prose offer profound insight into the riddle of consciousness, Conrad Aiken thrills, disturbs, and inspires in all forty-one of these astute and eloquent tales.… (more)

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