Five great American short story writers, dating from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, are represented here. Different in atmosphere and writing style, they nevertheless caught the mood and concerns of the day in a way that was distinctly American. Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge leaves echoes in the imagination; the stories by Crane and London recall the themes of the Civil War and the Klondike for which they are well known. Twain's humor is to the fore in The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and O. Henry's sharp observation make his neat tales a joy to listen to. An attractive and accessible collection!More
Being a "classic" doesn't automatically make a story good, and one can't listen to the second-rate Jack London dog story and four predictable O.Henry stories without wondering how many of our classic authors would find a publisher today. William Roberts is an excellent narrator, and given a true classic, like Bierce's "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" or Twain's "Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," he achieves the subtlety and concentrated dramatic force that are the hallmarks of the American short story.
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