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The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce Paperback


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The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce + The Devil's Dictionary (Dover Thrift Editions) + Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803260717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803260719
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In her foreword, Cathy N. Davidson, author of The Experimental Fictions of Ambrose Bierce, shows that Bierce, in form and mood, left behind the writers of his time and anticipated those of our own.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Bierce's pen was dipped in wormwood and acid said H.L. Mencken.
Doug Anderson
He's not for all tastes, and I'm not generally big on short stories, but I like him.
Orrin C. Judd
Ambrose Bierce was a fine writer and this is a good sampling of his short stories.
Tom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ambrose Bierce's most famous story is An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and many of his stories follow that same kind of pattern: an event is related with some surprising or revelatory twist at the end. The stories of the Civil War are especially interesting as they are not at all typical writings about war. Bierce does not see the battle so much as one of North against South rather he sees the war as the child sees the war in his story Chickamauga, his attitude is one combining fascination at the spectacle and utter disgust. Life is an unresolved jumble of confused forces and mixed emotions for everyone in Bierce's haunting tales that read like dreams but dreams informed by much contact with reality as Bierce was wounded twice(once in the head)in the war he describes. The descriptions of Civil War battles are told with great precision(and alone make this volume worth having) though there is always an additional element to make them more than war reportage, Bierce turns his accounts into stories because he sees through all the cannon smoke to the small detail which encapsulates the essential thing about an event. In one of my favorites, Killed at Resaca, a courageous captain gallops across a field to deliver a crucial message only to find the field is impassable because of a deep gully, instead of turning around however he merely waits for the enemy to shoot him. Going through his personal things a fellow soldier, the narrator of the story, finds a letter which explains this resolve. The letter reads:"...I could bear to hear of my soldier- lover's death, but not of his cowardice." Later, when the narrator has a chance to return the letter to its author he is asked by her how her soldier-lover died. "He was bitten by a snake,"is the narrators reply.Read more ›
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Tom on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ambrose Bierce was a fine writer and this is a good sampling of his short stories. It is not, however, a complete collection of his short stories. I particularly missed "One Summer Night" and there are a number of other stories that could have been been included. Still, this collection is well worth reading.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By glamarama on August 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ambrose Bierce was the one of the 2 writers of major significance to fight in and survive the Civil War (the other being Sidney Lanier). He was bitter to begin with, but the experience changed him into an even more cynical man. An eloquent writer, his best subject is fear: his ghost stories are dark and spooky - the civil war stories are as well, but with the added horror of a very real war and fear of battle. "Chickamauga" is one of my favorites - Bierce was actually at the battle but the story is fictional, and adds a supernatural angle to an infamous time and place. His writings are ghostly and vivid tales of America in the mid 19th century. The horrific experiences encountered in his tales are both real and imagined. If you are a ghost story fan or an American history/Civil War buff, you'll enjoy Bierce.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
To anyone interested in the English language and its application by a master story teller, this author must be read. Bierce is an American wit equal to (and contemporary of) Mark Twain, and he writes not with a pen dipped in ink but with a scalple dipped in bile. Prepare to be scathed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By anne g. watson on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase
The book is fine. But your title states this is a book of the complete short stories and it is not. Your editor states that five of the war stories are not included.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AmericanMe on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Truly an impressive collection of this wonderful author.

Readers will quickly see why Ambrose Bierce was one of Ernest Hemingway and Kurt Vonnegut's favorite authors.

Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is regarded by many as the most important short story in American Literature.

I believe Ambrose Bierce took the foundations left by Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker and continued to build upon them. There are some great stories here that can be read aloud to a group or enjoyed silently by the fireplace. Bierce was a veteran of the American Civil War so his experiece shows in many of his stories like "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", "Killed at Resaca", and "Chickamauga".

The subject of Bierce's own death is a mystery. He went missing in 1914, possibly to join up with Pancho Villa and was never heard from again.

Anyone looking for some classic reading material that only a handful of true American Literature fans know about, you've come to the right place in Ambrose Bierce's writings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Smith on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
From his acerbic and cynical wit to his brilliant use of irony in storytelling, Ambrose Bierce can tell a novel in a few pages. Each of the included short stories evoke genuine emotions, and contain the depth other authors can only achieve through multiple tomes. His mastery of the English language is evident in his ability to say so much with so little, and his calculated word choice only adds to his already fantastic storytelling abilities. If you enjoy Mencken, or other brilliant cynical authors, this is one to add to the shelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne C. Carper on March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase
This fellow had a most unusual way of looking at things. Extraordinary. I'm not surprised that some of his short stories are included in high school text books.
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