Stories of Ourselves: The University of Cambridge International Examinations Anthology of Stories in English (Cambridge Learning) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-11-25 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 5 user ratings

" the stories in this book were soooooo boring " said.

" Read for A Level English Literature. " said.

" For my Cambridge Exam, I am required to read 12 short stories from this book and out of those 12 stories, three of them have become my all-time favorites. Sredni Vashtar and Report on a Threatened City were eloquently written and deserve much appraisal. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading for leisure as a hobby and can appreciate writers who capture the archetype of the human mind in such a sophisticated and exceptional manner. " said.

" It's required reading for the A-Levels. I am teaching it to my students. I must say some of the stories are incredibly depressing. Writing an essay on these stories is demanding because you have to remember mini plots for some 10 + stories. I'd rather red a novel. Luckily in 2016 the choice is to substitute them with House of Mirth by Edith Wharton which I will definitely do. Not the most uplifting story, but very interesting and well-written. " said.

"The ratings for this are considerably lower than that of it's counterpart, Songs of Ourselves, but I feel just the opposite about them. Overall, it was a pretty sad set of stories, there's no doubt about that, and a few of them I did not enjoy, such as "The Contest" and "Real Time"; however, while the poem anthology was repetitive and dull, these stories had some diversity and covered interesting topics. My favorites included "Sredni Vashtar" (the one I had to do a report on)- a story about a very sick little boy who'd been adopted by his aunt, the games and 'religion' he made up in his loneliness, and his aunt's subsequent murder-, "Through the Looking Glass" - a story by and about Virginia Woolf, a metaphor for the fact that nobody sees the pain behind her 'ideal' life-, and lastly "Report on the Threatened City", my personal favorite, - a story set in the early seventies and from the point of view of aliens visiting earth in a last-ditch effort to save them and warn them of their destructive ways. " said.

" An exceptional collection of stories, some with deep and insightful messages. I enjoyed reading these stories for my A level exams. " said.

"This book has been required reading for my A level studies in literature. I absolutely loved them. Great selection of very culturally diverse stories with lots to say about them. The stories in these book landed me an A on my AS studies becuase they were so enjoyable. Even if i had only 12 to read for my exams i quickly read more of the ones that interested me. Notable mentions are 'The signalman', 'the yellow wallpaper' 'the lady in the looking glass', 'meteor', 'the lemon orchard' and the two stories named 'Journey'. These highlight topics about feminism, the industrial revolution and the gothic victorian era, reflection of identity, racism and the apartheid in South Africa, and the Maori connection to land. For all the A level students going to start reading this: please read these stories with an open mind, they have so much to say and teach you, they are powerful and they are perfect for an A* analysis. All you have to do is not fall into the 'oh my god this is required reading, i hate required reading', like plenty of other reviewers here. If you truly did not enjoy studying these stories then maybe you shouldn't have taken literature as an A level. Goodluck on your studies!" said.

"Senior year AICE/AP English Lit. That is the name of the course that landed this book in front of me.

They sent this book to my English teacher with a letter basically saying that we [the students] needed to know all these stories and be able to answer questions or write essays about them by out national testing date. That was it. No lesson plan. Nothing. Pardon my whining, but 'senioritis' is at an all-time high and I just could not be more anxious for graduation.

Anyway, these stories cover a variety of different topics, ranging from eerily unsettling macabre to thinly veiled autobiographical hullabaloo about being stuck in a bathtub. As always--I'm starting to think it's a mental thing--I find it extremely difficult to make myself read anything supposedly required of me. Reading is a hobby, one I take quite seriously. I like to explore literature of all genres and find out new things...on my own. I dislike nothing more than a ghastly-looking green book being tossed onto my desk and being told I need to have read pages 1-50 by the next day so that I may come to class prepared to discuss the "literary merit" and "strategically placed diction"....give me a break, I beg you!

Don't get me wrong. These stories weren't all bad. Edith Wharton's "The Moving Finger" was interesting, as was Virginia Woolf's Lady in the Looking Glass. Perhaps if I had stumbled across this while rummaging through the sales bin at Books-A-Million I would have been a little more interested, but unfortunately. I, in my perpetually wise obstinace fought with this book from beginning to end. I don't look back at the experience fondly either.
" said.

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