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Home » Audiobook Genres » Short Stories

About Short Stories

The short story is probably the most difficult of  literary disciplines-every word has to count and Silksoundbooks has collections suitable for any mood.

Our exclusive recordings available for download are of some of the best examples of this genre and are perfect for that short trip or relaxing half-hour.

Short Stories audio book downloads:

The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Audiobook

The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Audiobook
Written by Geoffrey Chaucer
Read by Terry Jones

Our recording of The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales is a translation from the Middle English into modern language. It is translated by the leading Chaucerian enthusiast Terry Jones, yes the Monty Python one, who adds to his truly scholarly rendition of the text a smattering of vital and fascinating notes, recorded as he read.

A meeting between pilgrims at the Tabard Inn on the road to Canterbury provides the linking narrative for The Canterbury Tales. A group of pilgrims swap their tales, with a thoroughly human competitiveness and retaliatory jousting. The choice of pilgrims for his characters allowed Chaucer to put together types that wouldn’t usually associate let alone talk. This allowed him to put a tale of courtly love along side a political treatise, and in this case a filthy and very funny tale of adultery, the feared coming of the second flood and burnt bums.

Download "The Prologue" and get "The Miller's Tale" Read by Terry Jones Absolutely FREE!

The Miller's Tale Audiobook

The Miller's Tale Audiobook
Written by Geoffrey Chaucer
Read by Terry Jones

Our recording of The Miller’s Tale is a translation from the Middle English into modern language. It is translated by the leading Chaucerian enthusiast Terry Jones, yes the Monty Python one, who adds to his truly scholarly rendition of the text a smattering of vital and fascinating notes, recorded as he read.

A meeting between pilgrims at the Tabard Inn on the road to Canterbury provides the linking narrative for The Canterbury Tales. A group of pilgrims swap their tales, with a thoroughly human competitiveness and retaliatory jousting. The choice of pilgrims for his characters allowed Chaucer to put together types that wouldn’t usually associate let alone talk. This allowed him to put a tale of courtly love along side a political treatise, and in this case a filthy and very funny tale of adultery, the feared coming of the second flood and burnt bums.

Download The Miller's Tale audiobook today and get The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales Free!

The Just So Stories Audiobook

The Just So Stories Audiobook
Written by Rudyard Kipling
Read by Art Malik

‘In the High and Far off times…’ begins Rudyard Kipling’s ‘How the Elephant got his Trunk’, read by star actor Art Malik in this unabridged audio book. Then off we are taken, by one of the greatest storytellers, into a world where children’s questions are turned neatly on their heads and questions provided which far from stopping the stream of enquiries only serve to make it gush faster.

These astonishingly funny and remarkably clever tales follow on directly from the tale told to Mowgli in the second ‘Jungle Book’ (1895) of ‘How the Tiger got his Stripes’.

Art Malik reads The Just So Stories brilliantly, with the perfect soft and gentle voice… an absolute must for any child (or adult!)

We have embedded Kipling’s own original illustrations into this audiobook so that they will appear on your screen with each chapter, whether you are listening on a computer or your iPod.

The Garden Party and Other Stories Audiobook

The Garden Party and Other Stories Audiobook
Written by Katherine Mansfield
Read by Lindsay Duncan

The Garden Party, read in this unabridged audio book by the great English actress Lindsay Duncan,  has often been held up as an example of the near perfect short story.

Virginia Woolf once said that Katherine Mansfield’s was “the only writing I have ever been jealous of”.  Mansfield’s short stories are some of the best examples of this fiendishly difficult from of literature.  Her style, with its seemingly haphazard stream of consciousness and deliciously funny surprises follows directly from that of Anton Chekhov, whose stories she admired greatly, but her own stories were to become just as influential in the formation of the genre.

The acerbic and startlingly accurate snippets of people’s lives that Mansfield shows us in these stories have many resonances in her own life.  Although a central member of the exciting and extraordinary Bloomsbury set at the turn of the twentieth century, Mansfield was born and brought up in New Zealand and The Garden Party first published in 1923, harks back to her time in Wellington with her socially ambitious parents and the society that surrounded them.  At The Bay follows this train of inspiration with Mansfield’s childhood beach home providing the back drop for this icy little number.  The Daughters of the Late Colonel with its exquisite and agonisingly wicked descriptions of the “old tabbies” dining off their terrified white blancmange, was the only story Mansfield ever professed herself satisfied with – “to any extent”.  The nail biting tension in Mr Hammond’s jealous insecurity about his oh-so popular wife in The Stranger reveals a side of Mansfield which must have made her somewhat varied sex life rather harder than it appeared.

These are a collection of wonderfully vicious portraits and seriously infectious emotions.

Download The Garden Party audiobook from Silksoundbooks today!

Plain Tales from the Hills Audiobook

Plain Tales from the Hills Audiobook
Written by Rudyard Kipling
Read by Tim Pigott-Smith

Award winning British actor Tim Pigott-Smith reads this unabridged audio book of the wry, evocative and extremely witty stories of the British at play in the hills of Simla, escaping the fire of the Indian high summer.

Author Rudyard Kipling’s love for the society he was born into and worked with shines out of the tales with the heat of the Indian sun.

His enthusiasiasm has often been taken to be an endorsement of the English Colonial system - George Orwell called him the “prophet of British Imperialism” and he did indeed revel in the eccentricities and peculiarities of the ex-patriot community.

Markheim Audiobook

Markheim Audiobook
Written by Robert Louis Stevenson
Read by Alan Howard

The stabbing of an antique dealer on Christmas Day leads the murderer, Markheim to try to justify his life to the devil in an in depth discussion about the nature of good and evil. His evening ends quite differently from how he'd planned it and results in him making an admission of guilt for the killing...

Alan Howard's magnificent performance really brings out the mystery of this story.

Free with this audiobook we have included “The Pavilion on the Links” by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Alan Howard.

Download both for just £7.95 direct to your computer
.

A Lodging for the Night Audiobook

A Lodging for the Night Audiobook
Written by Robert Louis Stevenson
Read by Alan Howard

In A Lodging for the night, a dissolute Parisian student finds himself forced into accepting the favors of a venerable and respected knight on a cold winter's evening in 1456. The ensuing dinner conversation is spellbinding.

Download this book and receive Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, also read by Alan Howard, absolutely FREE !

The Dupin Mysteries Audiobook

The Dupin Mysteries Audiobook
Written by Edgar Allan Poe
Read by Bill Nighy

The Dupin Mysteries is the unabridged audio book read by the one and only Bill Nighy that introduces the brilliant detective C. Auguste Dupin. There are three gripping tales in this work by Edgar Allan Poe.

Murders in The Rue Morgue
Dupin is in Paris, and decides to solve the mysterious brutal murder of two women after a suspect has been arrested. Numerous witnesses are quoted as having heard a suspect, though each think they heard a different language. At the murder scene, Dupin finds a suspicious hair that does not appear to be human...

The Mystery of Marie Roget
The body of Rogêt, a perfume shop employee, is found in the Seine River and the media take a keen interest in the mystery…

The Purloined Letter
A letter, the contents of which - if revealed - would be highly compromising, has been stolen from the private sitting room of the Queen… police are baffled as to the whereabouts of the letter despite knowing who the culprit is. Once again Dupin has solved the mystery…

Bill Nighy adds his own suspense and tension in these detective mysteries, available for download - The Dupin Mysteries audiobook.

Love Among the Haystacks and Other Stories Audiobook

Love Among the Haystacks and Other Stories Audiobook
Written by D H Lawrence
Read by Geraldine James OBE

This is a selection of D H Lawrence’s short stories, mostly about women. Although much wider known for his novels and in particular for his forthright attitude to sex, and its description, in literature, it is for his short stories that Lawrence has most commonly gained critical acclaim.

Set, as was Lawrence’s habit, within sight of the ‘great blue heap of Nottingham’ Love Among the Haystacks introduces us to the character of the wild and disobedient German governess mostly referred to as ‘the Fräulein’, whose passion and rarity drive two brothers to distraction with somewhat disastrous consequences.

Mother and Daughter is portrayal of that most difficult of roles, the mother-in-law, and The Rocking Horse WinnerThe Odour of Crysanthemums explores the other side of the equation with a son’s desperate attempts to help his overly acquisitive mother creating a sharply painful, almost parable-like tale. is one of Lawrence’s most famous short stories. It marked the beginning of his literary career when it was published in 1909 in the hugely influential magazine The Literary Review.

Beowulf Audiobook

Beowulf Audiobook
Written by Anonymous
Read by Julian Glover

Julian Glover’s audio book version of Beowulf takes the poem back to its origins as a spoken tale. He has taken the essence of the poem and with a scholarly eye to the British Museum’s manuscript, created a truly Bardic performance. Beowulf’s battles against Grendel (the monster who takes you in your sleep) and the original lethal female – his mother who comes to avenge her son’s killing, are faithfully transformed into a roaring reality.

The Chronicles of Clovis Audiobook

The Chronicles of Clovis Audiobook
Written by Saki H H Munro
Read by Ian Richardson CBE

The Chronicles of Clovis, published in 1911, was the third in Saki (H H Munro)’s series of delightfully vicious stories. As an insider, Saki was ideally poised to eviscerate the Edwardian middle class way of life, and his pitiless and magnetic sense of humour teamed with an ability to wield that sharpest of writer’s tools, the (very) short story, make these some of the funniest and most quotable of tales. Ian Richardson is simply stunning in what has become one of his last works - The Chronicles of Clovis audiobook by Saki (H H Munro)

The Real Thing and Other Short Stories Audiobook

The Real Thing and Other Short Stories Audiobook
Written by Henry James
Read by Jeremy Northam

A sense of humour runs blithely through The Real Thing and these other stories with Henry James’ ability to mix tragedy and comedy making for a superb set of tales. With one of James’ favourite themes, illusion and deceit, running though this specially selected collection of unabridged stories, and an exclusive recording by the inimitable Jeremy Northam with a wit that would cut glass, this is a classic audio book available for download immediately in MP3 or iPod audiobook format.

Tales of Terror and Mystery Audiobook

Tales of Terror and Mystery Audiobook
Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Read by Bill Paterson

Trapped by the strength of the public adoration of his character Sherlock Holmes, Conan-Doyle was desperate to write other works not involving the sleuth. The Tales of Terror and Mystery have all the recognisable qualities that made Conan-Doyle’s work so popular, the attention to gruesome detail the meticulous logic and the intricate and wittily bemusing plotting, yet they are free of the constraints put on Conan-Doyle by Mr Holmes.

These stories let loose the adventurous side of the rational and logical mind that many associate with Conan-Doyle - the side that pulled him away from his medical studies as a young man to the Arctic Circle on a whaling ship and more importantly the side that led him to a firm belief that grew throughout his life in the occult and the spiritual.

Displaying 1 to 13 (of 13 exclusive audiobooks)