THE RULES: Click on the link for one or more of the stories. Read the story. Post a comment about the story, using the questions provided as a guideline. Respond to other comments about the story. Enjoy yourself.

Comments are moderated, so there might be a short delay before they appear. Please keep the language clean and the comments friendly.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lamb to the Slaughter, by Roald Dahl

A woman comes up with an innovative method of disposing of a murder weapon.


1) Do you think she gets away with it in the end?

2) Do you feel any sympathy for Mary at all? If so, why?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Story of a Conscience, by Ambrose Bierce

Story of a Conscience, by Ambrose Bierce

1) Was Captain Hartroy obligated by his duty to sentence Brune to death? Was there another option reasonably open to him?

2) When then-Corporal Hartroy fell asleep on guard duty, what was Brune's true duty? Brune choose to act with mercy towards an enemy soldier even at risk of his own life. Could it be argued that Brune's duty as a Confederate soldier meant he should have taken the opportunity to escape regardless of the consequences to Hartroy? To what degree does the duty of a soldier trump feelings of compassion towards others?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury

The classic dinosaur hunting story:

A Sound of Thunder

1) Does the author establish his premise effectively, making you believe in the Butterfly Effect that changes history so drastically?

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Bet, by Anton Chekhov

The Bet, by Anton Chekhov

1) How long could you endure the sort of isolation that the protagonist endured?

2) Would such a situation be less burdensome today? It would be presumed that you wouldn't have access to smart phones or the internet, but would video games and DVDs make the situation easier?

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Coup De Grace, by Ambrose Bierce

The Coup De Grace, by Ambrose Bierce

1) Bierce seems to feel that it can be justified to kill a dying man to end his suffering. Does he make his case well? Do you agree or disagree?

2) What will the major's reaction to Madwell's action be?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe

The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe

1. What's the significance of the cat's name being "Pluto?"

2. Is there anything supernatural going on with the second cat, or is everything that happens simply a result of the narrator's alcoholism and growing insanity?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Open Boat, by Stephen Crane

Here's Crane's impressionistic masterpiece:

The Open Boat, by Stephen Crane


1) One critic has described this story as portraying a "universe essentially indifferent to man." Do you agree with this assessment?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thrown Away, by Rudyard Kipling

A very sad tale about a young soldier and his path to suicide:

Thrown Away, by Rudyard Kipling


1) Is Kipling's argument about the dangers of "the sheltered life system" valid?

2) Are the actions of Kipling and the Major justified? Would the circumstances mean that their illegal and normally unethical plan is morally okay?

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Pony Engine and the Pacific Express

Here's a delightful story-within-a-story tale as a father tells a bedtime story to his children.

The Pony Engine and the Pacific Express, by William D Howells

1) How would you describe the father's relationship with his children?

2) Did the story of the Pony Engine catch your interest on its own, or was the children's interaction with the father more intriguing?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blood of the Gods, by Robert E Howard

Here's a cracking good adventure story, set in Afghanistan about a hundred years ago.

Blood of the Gods, by Robert E Howard

1) The story has several elements that might be considered corny or stereotypical (the character with amnesia & the ironic twist at the end). Does the author pull these elements off, fitting them smoothly into the story? Or do they seemed contrived?

2) Does the enforced alliance between Gordon and Hawkston seem in character for both men?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Shooting of Dan McGrew

"The Shooting of Dan McGrew," by Robert Service

This one is a narrative poem.

1) Based on the information we are given, is the unnamed character who shoots it out with Dan justified in his actions?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving

1) Rip was clearly a failure as a farmer. Could he, though, be considered a success as a human being?

2) If you fell asleep and woke up 20 years later, what's the first question you would ask the first person you saw?