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The stories in Doyle's volume Bullfighting were first published independently as short stories in periodicals. The short story in this collection that I would give the highest rating to is "Funerals." In this, one of Doyle's midlife crisis heroes attends a funeral where he encounters--and tries to avoid--people from his past: the girl he had kissed who was a venerable grandmother now; ex-hippie men with ponytails who still embraced the appearance if not the reality of their youths; and the girl of his first kiss, now struggling against failed health.
A good short story is one in which the characters are well-drawn and the plot is tight. By tight, I mean that everything is there but it still fits into the relatively brief window of a short story. A character in a short story can still be well-developed, because short stories are often a study of a single character.
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