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Complete Shorter Fiction

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For the first time in one volume, this complete collection of all the short fiction Oscar Wilde published contains such social and literary parodies as "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Canterville Ghost;" such well-known fairy tales as "The Happy Prince," "The Young King," and "The Fisherman and his Soul;" an imaginary portrait of the dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnet For the first time in one volume, this complete collection of all the short fiction Oscar Wilde published contains such social and literary parodies as "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Canterville Ghost;" such well-known fairy tales as "The Happy Prince," "The Young King," and "The Fisherman and his Soul;" an imaginary portrait of the dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnets entitled "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.;" and the parables Wilde referred to as "Poems in Prose," including "The Artist," "The House of Judgment," and "The Teacher of Wisdom."


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For the first time in one volume, this complete collection of all the short fiction Oscar Wilde published contains such social and literary parodies as "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Canterville Ghost;" such well-known fairy tales as "The Happy Prince," "The Young King," and "The Fisherman and his Soul;" an imaginary portrait of the dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnet For the first time in one volume, this complete collection of all the short fiction Oscar Wilde published contains such social and literary parodies as "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Canterville Ghost;" such well-known fairy tales as "The Happy Prince," "The Young King," and "The Fisherman and his Soul;" an imaginary portrait of the dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnets entitled "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.;" and the parables Wilde referred to as "Poems in Prose," including "The Artist," "The House of Judgment," and "The Teacher of Wisdom."

30 review for Complete Shorter Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime - Lord Arthur Savile, is introduced by Lady Windermere to Mr Septimus R. Podgers, a chiromantist, who reads his palm and tells him that it is his destiny to be a murderer. (4 stars) The Sphinx without a Secret - When Lord Muchison catches sight of a mysterious and beautiful lady in a carriage on London's Bond Street, he is captivated and spends the next few days on the lookout for her again. (3 stars) The Canterville Ghost - (3 Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime - Lord Arthur Savile, is introduced by Lady Windermere to Mr Septimus R. Podgers, a chiromantist, who reads his palm and tells him that it is his destiny to be a murderer. (4 stars) The Sphinx without a Secret - When Lord Muchison catches sight of a mysterious and beautiful lady in a carriage on London's Bond Street, he is captivated and spends the next few days on the lookout for her again. (3 stars) The Canterville Ghost - (3 stars) The Model Millionaire - Hughie Erskine has a problem. He is madly in love with Laura Merton, but both of them are flat broke and unable to marry. Then a beggar makes an appearance. (2 stars) The Happy Prince and Other Tales and A House of Pomegranates collections are reviewed here (4 stars) The Portrait of Mr. W. H. - (4 stars) Poems in Prose The Artist, The Disciple, The Master, The House of Judgement, The Teacher of Wisdom (3 stars) The Doer of Good (4 stars)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    i don't think i've ever used the word "exquisite" before, especially in relation to anyone's writing, but the writing in these stories really is exquisite. the stories themselves are flawlessly conceived and executed; every other line a perfect quotable paradox. my only complaint is that it all got a little claustrophobic after all. so perfect, so finely-wrought, so heartbreakingly sad, so clever... it was all just a little bit too just-so. there are no car chases, no fistfights, no people yelli i don't think i've ever used the word "exquisite" before, especially in relation to anyone's writing, but the writing in these stories really is exquisite. the stories themselves are flawlessly conceived and executed; every other line a perfect quotable paradox. my only complaint is that it all got a little claustrophobic after all. so perfect, so finely-wrought, so heartbreakingly sad, so clever... it was all just a little bit too just-so. there are no car chases, no fistfights, no people yelling in the streets, no drunks screaming off bridges into the night... for all the talk of obscenity and decadence that surrounds wilde's name, he really is an exceedingly tasteful and polite writer. sorta made me want to go bowling. best parts: the half-page prose poem "the artist," the scooby-dooish "canterville ghost," and this horrifying tale about a little bird who presses its breast against a thorn in order to make the roses red...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The Happy Prince and Other Tales The Happy Prince: ★★★★★ The Nightingale and The Rose: ★★★☆☆ The Selfish Giant: ★★★★★ The Devoted Friend: ★★★☆☆ The Remarkable Rocket: ★★☆☆☆.5 The Portrait of Mr. W. H. The Portrait of Mr. W. H.: ★★★★★ A House of Pomegranates The Young King: ★★★★☆.5 The Birthday of the Infanta: ★★★☆☆.5 The Fisherman and His Soul: ★★★★☆.5 The Star Child: ★★★★☆ Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime: ★★★★★ The Sphinx Without a Secret: ★★☆☆☆.5 The Canter The Happy Prince and Other Tales The Happy Prince: ★★★★★ The Nightingale and The Rose: ★★★☆☆ The Selfish Giant: ★★★★★ The Devoted Friend: ★★★☆☆ The Remarkable Rocket: ★★☆☆☆.5 The Portrait of Mr. W. H. The Portrait of Mr. W. H.: ★★★★★ A House of Pomegranates The Young King: ★★★★☆.5 The Birthday of the Infanta: ★★★☆☆.5 The Fisherman and His Soul: ★★★★☆.5 The Star Child: ★★★★☆ Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime: ★★★★★ The Sphinx Without a Secret: ★★☆☆☆.5 The Canterville Ghost: ★★★★☆ The Model Millionaire: ★★★☆☆ Poems in Prose various titles: ★★★☆☆ 3.8 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    prashant

    one of the best collections of short stories i’ve read we love you gay boy wilde

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nadja

    I almost can't believe how much I didn't enjoy most of these stories. And I wasn't aware how Christian Oscar Wilde was. The Happy Prince and Other Tales The Happy Prince: ★★★☆☆ The Nightingale and The Rose: ★★☆☆☆ The Selfish Giant: ★★☆☆☆ The Devoted Friend: ★★☆☆☆ The Remarkable Rocket: ★☆☆☆☆ The Portrait of Mr. W. H. The Portrait of Mr. W. H.: ★★★☆☆ A House of Pomegranates The Young King: ★☆☆☆☆ The Birthday of the Infanta: ★☆☆☆☆ The Fisherman and His Soul: ★☆☆☆☆ The Star Child: ★★☆☆☆ Lord Arthur Savile's Crim I almost can't believe how much I didn't enjoy most of these stories. And I wasn't aware how Christian Oscar Wilde was. The Happy Prince and Other Tales The Happy Prince: ★★★☆☆ The Nightingale and The Rose: ★★☆☆☆ The Selfish Giant: ★★☆☆☆ The Devoted Friend: ★★☆☆☆ The Remarkable Rocket: ★☆☆☆☆ The Portrait of Mr. W. H. The Portrait of Mr. W. H.: ★★★☆☆ A House of Pomegranates The Young King: ★☆☆☆☆ The Birthday of the Infanta: ★☆☆☆☆ The Fisherman and His Soul: ★☆☆☆☆ The Star Child: ★★☆☆☆ Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories Lord Arthur Savile's Crime: ★★★★☆ The Sphinx Without a Secret: ★★☆☆☆ The Canterville Ghost: ★★★☆☆ The Model Millionaire: ★★★★☆ Poems in Prose: ★☆☆☆☆

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rao Javed

    Wilde Wilde shinning bring, in the literature of every time What mortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry

  7. 5 out of 5

    F.R.

    I’ve always had a suspicion that Oscar Wilde is a prime example of style over substance. Yes the writing is arch and clever, the epigrams are well crafted and plentiful – but is there really anything else there? Is his fiction merely just an excuse for Oscar to show off his brilliant intelligence and keen wit? Is there much else going on behind that? It’s something I raise knowing I’ll never reach a satisfactory answer, but this collection does contain examples for both the defence and the prose I’ve always had a suspicion that Oscar Wilde is a prime example of style over substance. Yes the writing is arch and clever, the epigrams are well crafted and plentiful – but is there really anything else there? Is his fiction merely just an excuse for Oscar to show off his brilliant intelligence and keen wit? Is there much else going on behind that? It’s something I raise knowing I’ll never reach a satisfactory answer, but this collection does contain examples for both the defence and the prosecution. Take ‘The Portrait of Mr W.H.’, which is about literary theories and frauds built onto Shakespeare’s name. In other hands this could have been a serious and thoughtful essay, and whereas Wilde is bright enough to see there are serious points to be made, he mainly chooses to be flip and glib and shy away from them all. Furthermore the twists are obvious, the literary theory feels like it’s been clumsily inserted and the whole thing ends up resembling no more than the work of a clever sixth former. But then we come to ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime’, which is a cracking tale and one of the best ruminations on fate which exists in fiction. Although it’s clearly written by Wilde, it has the required seriousness to tackle the subject but also a dainty lightness in the prose. It’s a tale I greatly admire. The same is true for ‘The Canterville Ghost’, which is the kind of comic ghost story that Charles Addams or Tim Burton would enjoy. Again it’s Wilde, but hasn’t been subsumed by the Wildean. The jury on style over substance therefore remains out. Also of note in this collection are the children’s tales – ‘The Happy Prince’ and so on. Years after I first read them I remain unconvinced though. Yes they have their moments and there’s a nice line of cruelty within them, but they always feel somewhat pompous and sanctimonious to me. And Wilde doesn’t do hectoring all that well. There are a number of other insubstantial sketches in this book, but the presence of ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime’ and ‘The Canterville Ghost’ means that even a doubter like myself has to acknowledge that there were moments when Wilde was as brilliant as he though he was.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Furqan

    Although, I prefer Wilde's plays over his stories, this is a splendid collection of Wilde's short fiction. The stories written for children are my most favourite ones. They all are brilliantly crafted and achingly sweet, ending on a rather melancholy note. As you would expect from children stories, they all contain some kind of moral lessons, most of them promoting Christian values of self-sacrifice, charity, love and friendship. Often I had my heart in my mouth whenever a beautiful phrase or sc Although, I prefer Wilde's plays over his stories, this is a splendid collection of Wilde's short fiction. The stories written for children are my most favourite ones. They all are brilliantly crafted and achingly sweet, ending on a rather melancholy note. As you would expect from children stories, they all contain some kind of moral lessons, most of them promoting Christian values of self-sacrifice, charity, love and friendship. Often I had my heart in my mouth whenever a beautiful phrase or scene would come up. E.g. "'Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,' cried the Nightingale, 'and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?'" (The Nightingale and the Rose) or "'I am going to House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?' And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet." (The Happy Prince) I've still got left to read few of Wilde's stories which he wrote for adults, though I didn't really relish The Portrait Of Mr W H. It had a promising beginning but it started to read like a monotonous literary essay on Shakespeare's sonnets, so I end up skimming through half of the story... [I shall update my review later.]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daisy

    Awesome! I don't think I could ask for more from a short story collection. These stories were thought-provoking, original, beautiful, inspiring... it was brilliant. Yes, some stories were better than others but that's an occupational hazard with short story collections, and I didn't mind a bit of light and shade. Oscar Wilde's writing is just amazing - the descriptions, the characterisation (particularly the way the characters react to things) - I love it. My favourite stories were Lord Arthur S Awesome! I don't think I could ask for more from a short story collection. These stories were thought-provoking, original, beautiful, inspiring... it was brilliant. Yes, some stories were better than others but that's an occupational hazard with short story collections, and I didn't mind a bit of light and shade. Oscar Wilde's writing is just amazing - the descriptions, the characterisation (particularly the way the characters react to things) - I love it. My favourite stories were Lord Arthur Saville's Crime (anyone who read and loved The Picture of Dorian Gray would love this story), The Happy Prince and The Portrait of Mr. W. H. The latter I would definitely recommend to any Shakespeare fan - the new perspective it brings to his sonnets and really just his life are so thought-provoking and creative and just wow. I also enjoyed all the references to Greek mythology, which, like Shakespeare, is another subject I'm obsessed with. Oscar Wilde never fails to blow my mind with his beautiful writing, creative stories and emotive visions. I am extremely glad I read this book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris M.H

    I've only read a few other authors short stories and I found only a few to be worthy of significant praise and attention while many can be all but forgotten. From Oscar Wilde almost all, in this book at least, were something to marvel at. The first 3/4 of the stories are magnificent, full of extravagance and wit, with no shortage of moral teachings and grave but appreciative warnings. The last quarter were less to my liking, with Lord Arthur Savile's crime being the hardest to rally behind but e I've only read a few other authors short stories and I found only a few to be worthy of significant praise and attention while many can be all but forgotten. From Oscar Wilde almost all, in this book at least, were something to marvel at. The first 3/4 of the stories are magnificent, full of extravagance and wit, with no shortage of moral teachings and grave but appreciative warnings. The last quarter were less to my liking, with Lord Arthur Savile's crime being the hardest to rally behind but even so this whole collection is beautiful.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    The short stories here aren't all that great, honestly. Oscar Wilde is great at quips and epigrams, but many of the stories here don't show that. Probably the story 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime' is the best one here, and 'The Canterville Ghost' is a close second. But many of his other stories are cutesy fairy tales, apparently written for children, and they just don't do much for me. I got bored and couldn't even finish parts of his collection. When the stories are good, they're great -- but they'r The short stories here aren't all that great, honestly. Oscar Wilde is great at quips and epigrams, but many of the stories here don't show that. Probably the story 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime' is the best one here, and 'The Canterville Ghost' is a close second. But many of his other stories are cutesy fairy tales, apparently written for children, and they just don't do much for me. I got bored and couldn't even finish parts of his collection. When the stories are good, they're great -- but they're not often good, and many of them are rather uninteresting and boring.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sonia

    I've been reading a story here and there for a while. My favourite stories were The Remarkable Rocket and The Portrait of Mr. W. H. I'm glad of the notes as they really helped. I've been reading a story here and there for a while. My favourite stories were The Remarkable Rocket and The Portrait of Mr. W. H. I'm glad of the notes as they really helped.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Plot: Oscar Wilde’s complete short stories is exactly what it sounds like on the cover. It is a variety of stories following different narratives, all of which have a key focus on morals and teachings. Appearing to make them designed for children rather than adults. The stories all vary in length with some being 1 or 2 pages long and others such as the happy prince were longer with more detail. The happy prince was properly my favourite story as the morals were so prominent with the focus point Plot: Oscar Wilde’s complete short stories is exactly what it sounds like on the cover. It is a variety of stories following different narratives, all of which have a key focus on morals and teachings. Appearing to make them designed for children rather than adults. The stories all vary in length with some being 1 or 2 pages long and others such as the happy prince were longer with more detail. The happy prince was properly my favourite story as the morals were so prominent with the focus point being everyone deserves to be looked after and wealth should not be the main factor to life. It follows the story of a statue who is embossed with rich jewels and a bird. The statue wants to help the people of his city who are struggling in there day to day lives and the statue looks to the bird to help him. There is a constant theme of magical realism which is present throughout the different stories and in Oscar Wilde’s stories in general appear to have this element of magical realism.

  14. 4 out of 5

    RB10_712

    '“Erskine,” I answered, “it is your duty to give this theory to the world. If you will not do it, I will. By keeping it back you wrong the memory of Cyril Graham, the youngest and the most splendid of all the martyrs of literature. I entreat you to do him justice. He died for this thing,—don’t let his death be in vain.” Erskine looked at me in amazement. “You are carried away by the sentiment of the whole story,” he said. “You forget that a thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. '“Erskine,” I answered, “it is your duty to give this theory to the world. If you will not do it, I will. By keeping it back you wrong the memory of Cyril Graham, the youngest and the most splendid of all the martyrs of literature. I entreat you to do him justice. He died for this thing,—don’t let his death be in vain.” Erskine looked at me in amazement. “You are carried away by the sentiment of the whole story,” he said. “You forget that a thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. I was devoted to Cyril Graham. His death was a horrible blow to me. I did not recover it for years. I don’t think I have ever recovered it. But Willie Hughes? There is nothing in the idea of Willie Hughes. No such person ever existed. As for bringing the whole thing before the world—the world thinks that Cyril Graham shot himself by accident. The only proof of his suicide was contained in the letter to me, and of this letter the public never heard anything. To the present day Lord Crediton thinks that the whole thing was accidental.” “Cyril Graham sacrificed his life to a great idea,” I answered; “and if you will not tell of his martyrdom, tell at least of his faith.” “His faith,” said Erskine, “was fixed in a thing that was false, in a thing that was unsound, in a thing that no Shakespearean scholar would accept for a moment. The theory would be laughed at. Don’t make a fool of yourself, and don’t follow a trail that leads nowhere. You start by assuming the existence of the very person whose existence is the thing to be proved. Besides, everybody knows that the Sonnets were addressed to Lord Pembroke. The matter is settled once for all.” “The matter is not settled!” I exclaimed. “I will take up the theory where Cyril Graham left it, and I will prove to the world that he was right.” “Silly boy!” said Erskine.”Go home: it is after two, and don’t think about Willie Hughes any more. I am sorry I told you anything about it, and very sorry indeed that I should have converted you to a thing in which I don’t believe.” “You have given me the key to the greatest mystery of modern literature,” I answered; “and I shall not rest till I have made you recognise, till I have made everybody recognise, that Cyril Graham was the most subtle Shakespearean critic of our day.” As I walked home through St. James’s Park the dawn was just breaking over London. The white swans were lying asleep on the polished lake, and the gaunt Palace looked purple against the pale-green sky. I thought of Cyril Graham and my eyes filled with tears.' 3.8 overal My favorite stories: 1. THE PORTRAIT OF MR. W. H. 2. LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’ S CRIME 3. THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE 4. THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA 5. THE SPHINX WITHOUT A SECRET 6. THE HOUSE OF JUDGMENT 7. THE DEVOTED FRIEND 8. THE REMARKABLE ROCKET 9. THE FISHERMAN AND HIS SOUL Stories like The Happy Prince or The Selfish Giant and the rest are for sure, with respect, great too, but not my cups of tea I guess, for the super simple morale and classic themes of spiritual and religious/devine-sounding kind of goodness and grace they have to present which truly dims the imaginativeness and fascination for me. By the way, I found literally half of the quotes in his book 'Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast' in these stories within the dialogues.

  15. 5 out of 5

    krystal ・゚✧*:・゚✧

    (3.5 stars) after the almost ten months that have passed since i began reading this collection i think i finally need to mark it as one that i won’t finish. it’s definitely a personal issue that i couldn’t, my attention span is terrible and i can’t focus on one thing for too long, and this collection is VERY much the same thing over and over again. but that thing is great!!! these stories are fantastic. beautiful and pure and self-indulgent and magical and lovely. “the happy prince” made me lite (3.5 stars) after the almost ten months that have passed since i began reading this collection i think i finally need to mark it as one that i won’t finish. it’s definitely a personal issue that i couldn’t, my attention span is terrible and i can’t focus on one thing for too long, and this collection is VERY much the same thing over and over again. but that thing is great!!! these stories are fantastic. beautiful and pure and self-indulgent and magical and lovely. “the happy prince” made me literally put down the book for a minute after reading because it was so wonderful and i needed time to recover. the stories that i did read were so much fun, the fact that i didn’t finish it is absolutely not a testament to the writing itself but simply the volume of stories and the time each one took to read. i loved the way wilde didn’t choose humans to be the focal point of most of the stories, instead writing about nature and animals, creating these adorable characters and storylines with the purest voice ever. oscar wilde is just so wonderful, i don’t think it’s possible for me to dislike anything he writes. the intertextuality between this collection and his other work was fascinating, being able to see the particular morals and ideas that remain consistent across them really speak volumes about wilde’s character and opinions himself. i wish i could have finished the entire thing, but short stories are already sort of “not my thing” and a 320 page book of short stories with almost identical themes and an extremely flowery writing style is just not for me. if you’re a casual reader who would be able to read one short story at a time, slowly, whenever you felt the urge, then you’d probably love working your way through this collection. god i wish that were me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meike

    I didn't like the introduction at all, but maybe that is just my taste. I thought it was very clinical and had more negative than positive vibes - it didn't make me excited about the stories and also contained major spoilers. As for the stories - there are obviously incidents of things that aren't PC. I think it's important to not just ignore that since it might be a no-go for some potential readers, but it doesn't come as a surprise considering the time in which the stories were written (and th I didn't like the introduction at all, but maybe that is just my taste. I thought it was very clinical and had more negative than positive vibes - it didn't make me excited about the stories and also contained major spoilers. As for the stories - there are obviously incidents of things that aren't PC. I think it's important to not just ignore that since it might be a no-go for some potential readers, but it doesn't come as a surprise considering the time in which the stories were written (and that's why critical reading is so important). That said, I overall like Wilde's writing style - the stories are packed with plot, some have a fairy-tale vibe, some are fables, my personal favourite "The Portrait of Mr. W.H." is an investigation of Shakespeare's sonnets wrapped in a plot. Other authors would've probably made full books out of each story, but Wilde didn't and instead gets to the point. I read one story before bed every night and it was a nice way to wind down! I even got a pen to annotate since there are many quotes I really liked. There are also many quotes and problems discussed that are strikingly applicable to today, especially politics. It was kind of creepy, and really shows that either history repeats itself or hasn't really changed at all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Viv

    Ultimately a mixed bag, I didn’t finish some of the longer ones but I read 95% of it. The decadent writing style he’s famed for was a bit of a hindrance at times but for stories like the Fisherman and His Soul I feel like it worked really well, especially considering how layered the plot was (#teammermaid, the witch was kind of a dick but aside from (trying) to persuade the fisherman to worship satan ig she was fine...) I fully didn’t understand the point of the Portrait of Mr W H. like I actuall Ultimately a mixed bag, I didn’t finish some of the longer ones but I read 95% of it. The decadent writing style he’s famed for was a bit of a hindrance at times but for stories like the Fisherman and His Soul I feel like it worked really well, especially considering how layered the plot was (#teammermaid, the witch was kind of a dick but aside from (trying) to persuade the fisherman to worship satan ig she was fine...) I fully didn’t understand the point of the Portrait of Mr W H. like I actually have no clue what the moral there was. Passion is dangerous? idk The Happy Prince and the Nightingale and the Rose were both pretty dope tragedies, that got me a bit emotional. Overall, a pretty good book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Suzanna Pearce

    Ok I really loved this! Everything Oscar Wilde writes is beautiful and this was no exception. The fairytale like stories were so lovely and the canterville ghost was very witty. I am a little confused how you get ‘poems in prose’ but that did not take away from the poems themselves (and did the introduction have me crying? Yes yes it did)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zardoz

    A mixture of good short stories and children’s stories. The Portrait of Mr. W.H. 3 stars The happy Prince 2 stars The Nightingale and The Rose 3 stars The Selfish Giant 2 stars The Devoted Friend 2 stars The Remarkable Rocket 2 stars The Young King 3 stars The Birthday of The Infanta 4 stars The Fisherman and his Soul 5 stars The Star-Child 3 stars Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime 4 stars The Canterville Ghost 3 stars The Sphinx Without a Secret 3 stars The Model Millionaire 3 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Woolston

    This was a bit dissapointing. I'm still new to Oscar Wilde but this really didn't float my boat. First up are a bunch of what i can only call "fairy stories" which all seem to have intensely Christian themes and very opulent, stylish language. I did not enjoy them very much and i began to wonder if maybe Wilde's appeal is more about style than substance. I've wanted to read Oscar Wilde for years because Morrissey cited him as a huge influence but now that i've actually sat down and read him i'm This was a bit dissapointing. I'm still new to Oscar Wilde but this really didn't float my boat. First up are a bunch of what i can only call "fairy stories" which all seem to have intensely Christian themes and very opulent, stylish language. I did not enjoy them very much and i began to wonder if maybe Wilde's appeal is more about style than substance. I've wanted to read Oscar Wilde for years because Morrissey cited him as a huge influence but now that i've actually sat down and read him i'm kind of wondering what all the hype is for.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maru Peng

    a decent collection

  22. 4 out of 5

    Larissa Naback

    “and they gave to her face something of the frame of a saint, with not a little of the fascination of a sinner. early in life she had discovered the important truth that nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Satrina Galathynius

    Listened to the audible version of this. Oscar Wilde for life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 I am torn about this one. It is The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde. But in actuality it should be titled Fables, Fairytales and a few Short Stories. I personally am not drawn to fables or fairytales. Maybe it could have to do with the very frightening illustrations that usually would accompany such tales. But I do, however, love the writing of Wilde. And therefore feel that fables and fairytales written by him are probably as good as they can get.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zofia Katkowska

    What an exquisite language!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chandar

    Absolutely loved one of the stories - Model Millionaire! Delightful humor!

  27. 4 out of 5

    qershore

    3.75/5 I really enjoyed Wilde's short stories and had a fantastic time reading all of them. Here are my rambling thoughts on all the stories. I didn't rate the poems in prose I've read because they were really short, and, to be honest, I didn't feel like rating them. Don't read any further because there are many many spoilers here Lord Arthur Savile's Crime 3/5 This is the first short story from Wilde that I've ever read and I quite enjoyed it, though, I must say it wasn't the best short story I' 3.75/5 I really enjoyed Wilde's short stories and had a fantastic time reading all of them. Here are my rambling thoughts on all the stories. I didn't rate the poems in prose I've read because they were really short, and, to be honest, I didn't feel like rating them. Don't read any further because there are many many spoilers here Lord Arthur Savile's Crime 3/5 This is the first short story from Wilde that I've ever read and I quite enjoyed it, though, I must say it wasn't the best short story I've read. I like how Lord Arthur kept trying to murder someone, but his plans kept failing. When he did manage to kill someone, it was revealed that he [Mr. Podgers] was an imposter all along. The Sphinx without a Secret 3.5/5 It was a solid read for me, though it felt a little flat to me because I expected more than I got. It was a really short story about the narrators old friend Lord Murchison, who met a woman, Lady Alroy, with whom he fell in love with. But the secrecy surrounding her made him suspicious of her. He wanted to uncover her secrets, but after a fight, he went to Norway. In the meantime, Lady Alroy caught a cold and died of congestion of the lungs. Plagued by sorrow, he decided to uncover her secret and found out there is none. After telling his story to the narrator, he asks him if he thinks there is a secret, which he [the narrator] negates. He thinks that Lady Alroy had a passion for secrecy and a mania for mystery, but ultimately was a Sphinx without a secret. The Canterville Ghost 4.5/5 I really liked this story. It combines horror with comedy and I quite enjoyed it. All the past residents of Canterville are frightened by the ghost and have mostly died, because of suicide, murder or something else. The Otis family, though, isn't scared of the ghost, making him feel insulted and disrespected lol, which is why he wants vengeance. Throughout the story the ghost fails to frighten the family and I found it very funny how he was portrayed, especially since he's supposed to be this frightening creature haunting the Canterville Chase, but ultimately is being ridiculed. He became depressed I think? and asked Virgina to help him lift the curse off of him, which she did. After a long search for her, she was found and told everybody that the ghost, Sir Simon has finally died after haunting Canterville Chase for 300 years. At the end she and her lover marry and live happily ever after. The Model Millionaire 5/5 I really liked the message in this short story. It shows how being good-hearted and empathetic will pay in the end and that you don't need to have a lot of money to be happy. The Happy Prince 4.5/5 Lovely story about the Happy Prince, who is now a statue and sees the misery of his people in the city. Being deeply influenced by them, he cries everyday until a Swallow comes along who needs shelter for the night. The Happy Prince asks him to give a seamstress his ruby to which the Swallow agrees. After doing the good deed he wants to go to Egypt for the winter, but the Happy Prince wants him to stay for another night, which he does. After giving the poor two of his blue sapphire eyes, the Prince will be forever blind, which is why the Swallow decides to stay with him. Day after day they give the poor a golden leaf, of which the Happy Prince is made of. Now he isn't a beautiful statue and the bird, suffering from the cold weather is going to die and kisses the Happy Prince goodbye, whereupon the Happy Prince's heart made of lead breaks. Now, the mayor wants to melt the statue, but the heart will not melt, which is why he throws it away with the bird. God asks one of his angels to bring him the two most precious things of this city and the angel comes back with the heart made of lead and the bird. God is pleased and gives The Happy Prince and the Swallow a Place in his garden of Paradise. The Nightingale and the Rose 5/5 Wow. It saddens me that Nightingale's sacrifice is useless. She sacrificed her life for the student's love because it must be true love, right? But the ungratefulness of the professor's daughter makes the Nightingales life go to waste. The Selfish Giant 3/5 It wasn't bad, but I didn't like this one as much as the other stories. It shows how selfishness can negatively change your life and that by being unselfish you will encounter the best years in your life because you spread love. The Devoted Friend 3.5/5 I would've given it a better rating, but the story was so frustrating. *sigh* What do you consider a devoted friend? Do you consider yourself one? What does friendship really mean and how can you be a good friend to your friends? The Water-Rat wants a devoted friend, but he doesn't understand what it takes to be one. When asked what he would do in return, he doesn't understand. The Green Linnet tells him a story about poor little Hans who is kind-hearted and his devoted friend Hugh the Miller. Miller goes on and on about being a good friend, but in reality he is anything but a good friend. He takes things from Hans without ever returning the favour. He never visits Hans on his bad days. He doesn't help Hans when he needs his help. But that's what makes him a good friend, right? He takes advantage of Hans over and over and over again and Hans never complains. Which leads to Hans dying while trying to help Miller, which he, at the end, doesn't even really appreciate??? This story made me mad because we all know people that are like this piece of shit. I know it's just a story, but I was frustrated nevertheless. And to top it of the damn Water-Rat didn't even get the moral of the story. Noice. The Remarkable Rocket 2/5 I didn't like this story at all. It is about a rocket with an inflated ego, who thinks he is better than anyone else. He likes to hear himself talk and doesn't want to listen to anybody else than himself. Funnily enough, he doesn't take off at the wedding of the Prince and is thrown away and even then he thinks he's superior to everyone he meets. Later on, the oh so remarkable rocket gets lit and does take off, but nobody sees it. such a sad story, I shed a tear The Portrait of Mr. W. H 3/5 'Twas okay. I have nothing to say about this besides that firstly Cyril Graham and then Lord Erskine were obsessed with who Mr. W. H. (Willie Hughes) was and I found it funny that in Wilde's other short story "The Model Millionaire" the protagonist's name is Hughie Erskine. I don't know if there really is a connection there, but it's still funny to me. The Young King 3.5/5 I liked this story very much, but I do prefer his other works over this. The Young King shows the problematic between the rich and the poor and how they are codependent. But after having three nightmares about his folk and how poorly and miserably they live, he decides to not conform to the standard that nobility holds him to. He defies those standards and is being acknowledged as the true king and having a face of an angel. The Birthday of the Infanta 4/5 I feel deeply sorry for the poor little Dwarf. The Fisherman and his Soul 4/5 I liked this story very much. I loved how the soul was portrayed and how it is in need of a heart to stay pure, but without it it turned evil and made the Fisherman do horrible things at first, but the power of love is so much stronger than the temptations the soul offers. The Star-Child 4/5 Arrogance is quite a common pattern in good-looking people that think they're better than everybody else because of they're looks. The Star-Child, though, learned that his behavior and arrogance isn't something to be proud of and sought out the forgiveness of his birth mother after being turned into an ugly boy. He learns to take pity on the less fortunate ones and therefore regains not only his looks, but also the forgiveness of his mother, who turned out to be the Queen. I didn't really like the end of the story. Like, after ruling for only three years of his life in the palace, he dies and the ruler, who came after him, was evil. I don't really understand why it had to end that way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Glimmer

    What predominates Wilde’s short stories, at least the conventionally original ones, is his how didactic theme and how keenly moralistic they are. There woven in the pages a moral stereotyping that prevails and lends much needed characterization for the short stories, ones directed at children especially. Yet the problem lies when that moral pillar becomes obsolete and no longer serves the same ubiquitous message it used to produce that moral stories become empty shells, and which I fear it’s the What predominates Wilde’s short stories, at least the conventionally original ones, is his how didactic theme and how keenly moralistic they are. There woven in the pages a moral stereotyping that prevails and lends much needed characterization for the short stories, ones directed at children especially. Yet the problem lies when that moral pillar becomes obsolete and no longer serves the same ubiquitous message it used to produce that moral stories become empty shells, and which I fear it’s the case here. The Happy Prince (4 stars) The happy prince is a noble attempt to create a wholesome story of praising good values that comes in expense of it being convoluted. Adopting biblical narrative style, its told through symbols and supernatural. The prince’s statue, made of gold and fine jewelries, rues the pitiful state of his people and regretfully reminisces his short reign by the time he got to live a prince on those very people that thought of him so highly and built him this statue, he regrets not having served them well. And consequently, the prince’s statue weeps for his negligence and powerlessness to do his people good, but no one notices his tears. Until and a little bird in a shape of … alight his flight and notices the drops that wet his feather that comes from the eyes of the statue. What ensues is conventional three tasks the statue labors the bird to perform to redeem his grief. Each labor subsequently involve trading a piece of the statue for the wellbeing of a commoner, and with each operation the bird puts off his flight and joining his flock. The people appalled by the sudden change in the statue’s appearance clutch hands for once. The story ends in a satirical note, the statue removed by the people as it no longer serves the attraction role it once occupies, showcasing a contrast in the prince’s concerns and the greed that blind people as to where the issue really lies. The Nightingale and The Rose (4 stars) Parody of John Keats’s Nightingale, written in mischievous intent. It has one of most romantic build-ups to its ultimate reveal. The selfish Giant (5 stars) Blend of phantasm and human kindness, in clockwork following the seasons, Oscar pours his inventive genius in a matter-of-fact way. The wanton garden of the giant with endowed with a cover of grooves and mats of leaves brought back the child with in. Meadows, trees, and walls to walk, jump, and roll over. The perfect playground is owned by a grumpy giant whose pride and possessive nature prevents him from sharing his place with the neighboring children. Growing furious with their constant intrusions, he firmly locks the garden in. As time pass by, the garden loses its charm. What once was magnet of children laughter and joy has turned the ghastly place. And only eventually the giant learns his selfish grasp has blocked the beautiful cogwheel of the seasons. He recedes his decision and open the garden’s gates, but his long possessiveness has already taken its toll and it would be long time for children’s cries to fill those vacant meadows. Until a little child in a one winter day, alarmed the now old giant’s winter soul, showed up on a tree trunk in the farthest corner of the Giant’s groove. Thus far, the trees were barren. The stagnant air that filled the garden was stopping the trees from flowering to their bloom. Nothing could've replaced what was lost, or so how it seemed. Amid that vicious winter, the tree the little boy was lying on miraculously produced flowers and blossomed to the surprise of the giant, who had been observing up to this point with awe and aggravated wonder. Done with being locked alone inside, and despite the hurling blizzard, the giant, determined, met the boy in his recluse. The boy battered with cuts and wounds spread his hands and redeemed the giant and sent him to paradise. The Devoted Friend (2 stars) The things Granny used to tell kids about collected by above-average literature student. The Remarkable Rocket (5 stars) Overblown characterization of insatiate vanity, and humorous story on its own. The Rocket could easily run a show in today settings, benefiting from media egocentric following. Starring he, himself, the one and only R.R. The portrait of Mr W.H. (3 stars) Wilde the bastard. He let me lower my fences and tempted me into dark and inconsiderate alleyways only to make fool of my curiosity and crowned me the motely bonbon (it’s a Shakespeare thesis in disguise) The Young King (3 stars) Another case of the rule of 3. Three dreams in succession prompt the protagonist to a drastic change in character reminiscing of the biblical tale of Joseph and the pharaoh’s heralding dream. Moral: Actions matter more than appearances. The Birthday of The Infanta (3 stars) Another tale of not casting judgments based on appearances. Though some effort was put to polish the infanta, the weight of story fell with how repetitive gullible protagonist trope has become. The Fisherman and His Soul (5 stars) Retelling of a beloved fairy tale for children to entertain most vicious and perilous questions. Hans Anderson’s Mermaid folktale turns the other horrible face where the soul is bargained for the man to question. Is the soul a burden to carry holding off from enjoying vices, or can it grow corrupt and if so, what is the way to obtain salvation. With such premises hovering round Faustian territory, with critical view of man, religion and mysticism. Wilde delivers his better abilities to its best execution. In comparison with Dorian Grey, the fisherman draws the more horrific and distinct picture. The Star Child (3 stars) Little tone dead to me, I couldn’t figure out what’s so special about it. A certain shooting star hits the ground, following its trail a child covered in a sheet was found lying and the ground close to landing sight. The child picked up and raised to think he was born from a star. The subsequent grandiose vanity scraps off his face, pride and loved ones. It gets to the point he denies his original mother to maintain his star-child status. The story ends in his relinquishing his vanity and acquiring paternal approbation. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (4 stars) Parody of gothic fiction. Scales with Cask of Amontillado in humor, per se The Sphinx without a secret (5 stars) I might’ve enjoyed this one more than I should for the simple reason of so long imagining Wild as the ultimate womanizer of the 19th century. Of his audience women were no shy to show their infatuation and of his relationships he wasn’t reportedly of the modest type to keep it to himself. To see his view of the general stereotypes that existed was an unraveling experience and humorous thing to read. However still, the underlying treasure remains in deciphering the most scandalous quote “women meant to be loved,” to which Wilde sure was progressive in its regard. The Canterville Ghost/ A hylo-idealistic Romance (5stars) There are ever two types of humor the one that seeps through taking its time to affect and the laugh out loud type. Flipping the traditional haunted house trope up to its heels, The Canterville’s Ghost is one endearing and fun short story that succeeds to succeed what matter the occasion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    In most of his fairy tales and short stories Oscar Wilde attempted a seriousness, even a sobriety, that did not quite jell with the sardonic, witty persona he was developing. My theory on the nature of Wilde's tragedy is that his persona gained inner reality, as opposed to being merely a veneer to amuse and increase sales of his books, while the serious values suffered atrophy. The serious values are conveyed in a few of the fairy tales, particularly "The Happy Prince" and "The Rose and the Night In most of his fairy tales and short stories Oscar Wilde attempted a seriousness, even a sobriety, that did not quite jell with the sardonic, witty persona he was developing. My theory on the nature of Wilde's tragedy is that his persona gained inner reality, as opposed to being merely a veneer to amuse and increase sales of his books, while the serious values suffered atrophy. The serious values are conveyed in a few of the fairy tales, particularly "The Happy Prince" and "The Rose and the Nightingale," through a combination of humorous irony and fierce poignancy redolent of Hans Christian Anderson. These values come to the fore completely in "The Canterville Ghost." The editor, Ian Small, claims this is a parody of ghost stories, but it is really, despite much humor, a somber, heartfelt story of redemption made possible by a child's faith. It's the star of all of his short fiction. Stories like "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Model Millionaire" are, for my money, piffle; these are parodies, and heartless ones. But, as Oscar Wilde is the author, all the stories are for that reason indispensable.

  30. 4 out of 5

    E. G.

    Chronology Introduction Further Reading A Note on the Texts The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888) --The Happy Prince --The Nightingale and the Rose --The Selfish Giant --The Devoted Friend --The Remarkable Rocket --The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889) A House of Pomegranates (1891) --The Young King --The Birthday of the Infanta --The Fisherman and his Soul --The Star-Child Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (1891) --Lord Arthur Savile's Crime --The Sphinx Without a Secret --The Canterville Ghost --The Model Chronology Introduction Further Reading A Note on the Texts The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888) --The Happy Prince --The Nightingale and the Rose --The Selfish Giant --The Devoted Friend --The Remarkable Rocket --The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889) A House of Pomegranates (1891) --The Young King --The Birthday of the Infanta --The Fisherman and his Soul --The Star-Child Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (1891) --Lord Arthur Savile's Crime --The Sphinx Without a Secret --The Canterville Ghost --The Model Millionaire Poems in Prose (1894) --The Artist --The Doer of Good --The Disciple --The Master --The House of Judgement --The Teacher of Wisdom --'Elder-tree' (fragment) Notes

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