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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Great Short Works of Stephen Crane (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – July 6, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The stories and novels representing Stephen Crane's art at its finest. Includes The Red Badge of Courage, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, The Monster, The Blue Hotel, and other short stories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1871. He died in Germany on June 5, 1900.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reissue edition (July 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060726482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060726485
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jerry Clyde Phillips on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Anybody who has graduated from an American high school, or taken an introductory course in American literature at the college level, has been exposed to The Red Badge of Courage. This story of cowardice, courage, and self discovery is often ranked with the hallmarks of American literature. However, after this story has been read and discussed, all too often the author of this work is soon forgotten. This is unfortunate. Crane produced an amazing amount of work, some equal to or superior to The Red Badge, but very few contemporary readers are aware of these writings. This collection of short works and stories group together the very best of Crane's work and hopefully will help bring him to the attention of a new generation of readers.
Although Crane wrote some of the best descriptions of warfare ever written, not to mention other forms of action from gunfights to the power of sea and fire, his main interest was always concerned with how the individual reacts to the various challenges posed by a flatly indifferent universe. His characters invariably react with the egotistical assurance that they are in control of their destiny only to be knocked flat by life's viscisitudes. The character that can strip away his illusions finds redemption; those that don't are simply condemned to repeat the patern over and over again.
Two stories in particular deserve renewed attention. The Blue Hotel and The Monster rank with the very finest short stories ever written by an American. Both deal with false impressions and how these fallacies eventually lead to the ruin of the characters who hold them. In the two stories, one dealing with 19th century romantic notions of the American west, and the other with the unseemly side of American small town life, Crane combines realistic dialogue with his wonderful descriptive powers to create a world of his own making, one in which assumptions and prejudices are ever bit as powerful as decent behavior and civil responsibility.
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Format: Paperback
"The battle flag in the distance jerked about madly. It seemed to be struggling to free itself from an agony. The billowing smoke was filled with horizontal flashes." (Crane, TRBOC).
If you were to mix Monet with the Civil War you would have "The Red Badge of Courage," penned by one of America's finest writers, Stephen Crane. His sense of hues and the dripping colors of the sky come together to paint some of the most beautiful literature humanly possible.
Stephen Crane is, above all, an Impressionist. His writing is strongly suggestive of the culmination of myriad viewpoints and perspectives. Scenes are not depicted from a distance, but rather from isolated instances on the battlefield. Esoteric symbols are utilized to bombard the reader with a certain cosmopolitan consciousness.
"The Red Badge of Courage," however, is not my favorite of Crane's works, but "The Open Boat." This short story is the monument to Crane's genius, the triumph of his language and arbitrary mode of experience, it is like viewing a story from many assorted "first person(s)."
Words could not explain my love of "The Open Boat."
Read Crane, love Crane, regardless of your High School preconceptions.
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A most magnificent piece of war journalism The Red Badge of Courage was crafted from interviews with Civil War veterans. Crane wasn't born yet when the Civil War was actually happening but by some strange feat of the imagination he takes you there. You've probably read this at some point in your school days but read it as an adult too. The prose is actually less literary journalism and more a highly crafted and stylized subjective telling of the war experience through Henry Fleming's eyes. Crane was admired by Conrad(who called him the "best of the boys" and who like Crane is also called a literary impressionist) and Hemingway whose own prose and journalism owe much to him. The short stories("Open Boat"one of the best sea episodes ever described) are also excellent and since Crane only lived 29 years this volume contains all his important work. His work was groundbreaking and his style has an immediate quality to it that leaves one with the feeling of having lived through the experiences he describes. In his short life he constantly sought the extremes. The medium length work Maggie describes a prostitutes existence and in true Crane style does not spare any of the gritty details though again it is not strict objectivity which marks the Crane style. In my mind he belongs alongside Conrad as one of the great originals who were writing at a very high point in literary history. Some would say they have not been matched. There is still much in their styles which has never been improved upon.
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Format: Paperback
Most of us read "Red Badge of Courage" in high school, and we probably think it was a dull, dated book that had only one merit: brevity. But upon rereading "Red Badge," I realized how much the book has stayed with me over the years and that my thoughts about the Civil War, war generally, and heroism have been deeply influenced by the story.

Now, having added the reading of other major Stephen Crane novellas and short stories, I have a fuller understanding of what he was trying to do and why he was so influential despite his fairly small output due to his death at age 28. He burst onto the literary scene with "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets," a pathos- and anger-filled book about life in New York's Bowery. The story wouldn't fly today because it's a little too obvious and the characters are too black-and-white, and they don't struggle hard enough against their fate. But it was a literary sensation at its time, and it brought Crane many opportunities to write for newspapers while he worked on new fiction. (His newspaper articles, which are not part of this collection, are pretty great, by the way.)

Crane masterfully characterizes (and satirizes) a number of people in "Maggie," as well as in several short stories in this collection by using irony that would be recognizable in a sitcom today. The bravado of people who have no right to it seems to be a recurring theme for him, and he repeatedly shows people cut back down to size, whether American soldiers in Cuba, Easterners going out to the West, or a Bowery tough guy. On the other hand, the good person doesn't always win, as seen most prominently in Maggie's downfall.

"Red Badge," of course, is his most enduring work. There's some satire and male-bonding humor, but mostly it's a story of anger and humility.
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