Free Audio Books: Short Stories
Many short stories can now be found online for free, in an audio format. Listed in this article are a few popular short stories from different authors, from America, Europe and Russia. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Listening to Short Stories for Free
Once only found in published collections or literary journals, many short stories are now also available as free audio books. These range from classics to contemporary stories written by a wide array of authors.
To Build a Fire by Jack London
First published in 1908, To Build a Fire portrays a man struggling against nature for survival. Traveling in the Yukon with his dog, the man begins to realize the dangers posed by the extreme cold. He attempts to build a fire to keep himself warm. However, the forces of nature conspire against him as he grows increasingly imperiled by the freezing weather and snow.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes includes 12 stories about the famous London-based detective. In each tale, Holmes is called upon to solve a crime, often aided by his assistant Watson. Holmes' vast intellect helps him solve a variety of bizarre and mystifying crimes. Among the stories in this collection are A Scandal in Bohemia and The Adventure of the Red-Headed League.
Solution to Saturday's Puzzle by David Sedaris
Originally published in the 2008 Sedaris collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, this short story is loosely framed by the narrator's work on a New York Times crossword puzzle while on a short flight to Raleigh, North Carolina. He's sitting next to a woman, Becky, with whom he has an argument. She wants him to switch places with her husband, but the narrator is reluctant to sit in the bulkhead, which makes him uncomfortable. The story contains Sedaris' typical dry wit and thoughtful observations of the people around him.
Nightfall by Isaac Asimov
Nightfall is a science fiction story about a planet called Lagash. Existing in a stellar system with six suns, Lagash never experiences darkness. Several scientists discover astronomical anomalies, leading them to forecast an impending nightfall. There's much speculation about how the darkness will throw the world into devastating chaos. Yet the arrival of nightfall enables the population to see the night sky's stars, which were previously unknown.
Where is the Voice Coming From? by Eudora Welty
Where is the Voice Coming From? was published in 1963, shortly after the murder of Medgar Evers, an African American civil rights activist. In the story, Roland Summers is the victim meant to invoke Evers. This stream-of-consciousness story is told from the point of view of a fictional character based on the real-life assassin, Byron De La Beckwith. The narrator recounts a series of conversations he had with his wife regarding the man he would murder, as well as the events surrounding the murder.
The Beauties by Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekov's story is divided into two parts. In the first, the narrator recalls an episode from his childhood when he was traveling with his grandfather. When they stopped at an Armenian family's home to rest, the boy was captivated by a beautiful young woman. In the second part, the narrator describes an incident from his university years. While the train he was on is stopped at a station, he observes another beautiful young woman and again is awestruck.
Emergency by Denis Johnson
Published in 1991, Emergency is a surreal story narrated by a man working in an emergency room. He is accompanied by his friend Georgie, an orderly who steals drugs from the hospital, which they both consume. When a man arrives with a hunting knife stuck in his eye, Georgie inexplicably is able to remove it. Later, the narrator and Georgie get lost while driving and hit a jackrabbit. Using the hunting knife from earlier in the story, Georgie cuts open the animal, only to discover it was pregnant.
If you're a writer, you may benefit from online tools like StoryMill.
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