Some of the accounts, like Wang Renshu's "Blowfish," a failed attempt to relieve his family's suffering and hunger by feeding them the deadly fish, are heart-rending. While the surprise ending is not a prerequisite of the short story, when it is pulled off with consummate skill, it is a little like the magician's hat trick. Xing Qingjie's story about flowers promises a lugubrious ending, but delivers a joyful one.
For the aspiring writer interested in constructing a pithy story with the fewest words, this is a wonderful primer. For the reader, these examples of micro-fiction are perfect for our abbreviated age.