Great Short Stories

A selection of classic shorts from 'the top 75 great short stories', as chosen by the Reading Agency's short story project.


AR01The Pit And The Pendulum20070115

By Edgar Allan Poe.

David Horovitch reads Poe's chilling tale of a man held prisoner by the Spanish Inquisition.

AR02The Gypsy's Baby20070116

By Rosamond Lehmann, read by Teresa Gallagher.

In a tale first published in 1946, the familiar harmony of Jess and Rebecca's comfortable, middle class childhood is disrupted by their encounters with the Wyatt children from the back lane.

AR03The Gardener20070117

By Rudyard Kipling.

Patricia Hodge reads Kipling's poignant account of Aunt Helen's grief for her nephew, Michael, killed by a shell-splinter on the Somme.


By Raymond Carver, read by William Hope.

Carver regarded this story, about a man meeting with a blind friend of his wife, as a turning point in his writing career.

AR05 LASTHeavy Weather20070119

By Helen Simpson, read by Suzanna Hamilton.

A young couple face up to the stress, exhaustion, and emotional shock of early parenthood.