TELEGRAPH, INDEPENDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES AND OBSERVER BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015
Hilarious, exuberant, subtle, tender, brutal, spectacular, and above all unexpected: these two extraordinary volumes contain the limitless possibilities of the British short story.
This is the first anthology capacious enough to celebrate the full diversity and energy of its writers, subjects and tones. The most famous authors are here, and many others, including some magnificent stories never republished since their first appearance in magazines and periodicals. The Penguin Book of the British Short Story has a permanent authority, and will be reached for year in and year out.
This volume takes the story from its origins with Defoe, Swift and Fielding to the 'golden age' of the fin de siècle and Edwardian period.
Edited and with an introduction by Philip Hensher, the award-winning novelist, critic and journalist.
As books, as objects, they are as good as it gets, quality paper, thick-set, sewn, and handsome enough to hang on a wall. . . Hensher's anthology is bigger, better and broader in several senses than anything else currently available
Like one of the legion of cantankerous, eccentric hosts we meet across this generous terrain, Hensher knows how to lay a grand spread...so enjoy the feast
Anyone reading this collection jsut for pleasure should start at the end of the second volume and work backwards...it would quickly bring you to four outstanding stories by women...each of these, though quickly over, leaves a lasting mark in the mind
Big and clever...three cheers then, for this chunky two-volume anthology, edited by Philip Hensher with imagination and a dash of mischievous wit
Made me shiver with pleasure
Charted a very personal view of the form's development from the early 18th century to the present day'
It's been a big year for anthologies and few come bigger than The Penguin Book of the British Short Story. Philip Hensher's introduction is spiky and thought-provoking and Volume I: From Daniel Defoe to John Buchan and Volume II: From P.G. Wodehouse to Zadie Smith (Penguin Classic, £25 each) offer readers the chance to enjoy the varieties and mutations of British stories across four centuries.
In two handsomely designed volumes ... you have to admire Hensher's championing of unfamiliar names alongside established greats