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THE GREATEST WORKS OF AMBROSE BIERCE [Authoritative and Unabridged Special Kobo eBook Edition]

THE WORLDWIDE BESTSELLER Over 300 Works by AMBROSE BIERCE 

Including AN OCCURENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE and THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY

 

EXCERPT

"All that day he traveled, laying his course by the rounding sun. The forest seemed interminable; nowhere did he discover a break in it, not even a woodman’s road. He had not known that he lived in so wild a region. There was something uncanny in the revelation.

By nightfall he was fatigued, footsore, famishing. The thought of his wife and children urged him on. At last he found a road which led him in what he knew to be the right direction. It was as wide and straight as a city street, yet it seemed untraveled. No fields bordered it, no dwelling anywhere. Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective. Over-head, as he looked up through this rift in the wood, shone great golden stars looking unfamiliar and grouped in strange constellations. He was sure they were arranged in some order which had a secret and malign significance. The wood on either side was full of singular noises, among which — once, twice, and again — he distinctly heard whispers in an unknown tongue.

His neck was in pain and lifting his hand to it he found it horribly swollen. He knew that it had a circle of black where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward from between his teeth into the cold air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untraveled avenue — he could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet!

Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene — perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium. He stands at the gate of his own home. All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine. He must have traveled the entire night. As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him. At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with a smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity. Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs forward with extended arms ..."


PARTIAL TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • THE FIEND'S DELIGHT
  • THE LAND BEYOND THE BLOW
  • COBWEBS FROM AN EMPTY SKULL
  • CAN SUCH THINGS BE?
  • IN THE MIDST OF LIFE: TALES OF SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS
  • FANTASTIC FABLES
  • PRESENT AT A HANGING AND OTHER GHOST STORIES
  • NEGLIGIBLE TALES
  • THE PARENTICIDE CLUB
  • THE FOURTH ESTATE
  • THE OCEAN WAVE
  • “ON WITH THE DANCE!” A REVIEW
  • EPIGRAMS
  • ASHES OF THE BEACON AN HISTORICAL MONOGRAPH WRITTEN IN 4930
  • BLACK BEETLES IN AMBER
  • SHAPES OF CLAY
  • THE SHADOW ON THE DIAL AND OTHER ESSAYS
  • THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
  • WRITE IT RIGHT
  • THE LETTERS OF AMBROSE BIERCE
  • A CYNIC LOOKS AT LIFE

 

ABOUT AMBROSE BIERCE

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (born June 24, 1842; died sometime after December 26, 1913) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. Today, he is probably best known for his short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical lexicon The Devil's Dictionary. His vehemence as a critic, his motto "Nothing matters" and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work all earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce".

Despite his reputation as a searing critic, Bierce was known to encourage younger writers, including poet George Sterling and fiction writer W. C. Morrow. Bierce employed a distinctive style of writing, especially in his stories. His style often embraces an abrupt beginning, dark imagery, vague references to time, limited descriptions, impossible events and the theme of war.

In 1913, Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace.

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