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Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text (French Edition) (French) Paperback – January 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0140265430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140265439
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Richard Coward taught at Bishop's Startford College and Sherborne School in England. He is now a Housemaster at Eton College, England.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Paul SanGiorgio on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is a partial body count from the twelve stories: one dead young boy, one dead young man, two children run away from home, one woman nearly freezing to death, one dead woman, and one dead donkey. There is more (many mentally unstable people, physically deformed people, etc.), but you get the point. For the most part, the stories are depressing and dull. Lots of mental anguish, lots of internal suffering, and not much else. And, as alluded to in my title, the difficulty level starts fairly low but rises quickly to the point that even in English translation some are difficult to follow. If you find the stories interesting -- as clearly the editor does -- this won't be a problem. If not, then you might consider buying something a little bit more "crowd-pleasing" like the dual-language Guy de Maupassant book.

Speaking of Guy, the editor makes the comment in the introduction that Maupassant wrote "short, sardonic narratives in which one always looks for the sting in the tail." Given that the editor is a French Literature professor, I find it absolutely mind-blowing that his entire familiarity with Guy de Maupassant is through "The Necklace." Out of the nearly 300 stories he wrote, one can count on one hand the number of stories with a "sting in the tail" and still have fingers left over. I guess I should have taken his total lack of familiarity with the greatest short-story writer of all time as a sign that maybe he and I wouldn't see eye-to-eye on what constitutes a good short story.

The English translation is excellent and very helpful.
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74 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Varady on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
The content in the original French ranges from the beautiful "On ne meurt jamais" to the confusing "Le personnage" Some works are interesting but others seem tedious. The collection presents to the reader a wide range of contemporary French literature and, if one is a student, an excellent opportunity to see the French language used in all its various applications. The editor takes the liberty of translating the sense of idiomatic phrases rather than attempting to force the words into something that resembles the original, with mixed results. The longest piece, 'David' is also one of the best, as is 'L'objet d'art'; my favorite 'On ne meurt jamais' made the purchase worthwhile all by itself.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By dennis wentraub on September 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of twelve stories by contemporary French and Quebec authors is challenging for the beginning and maybe even intermediate level student of French. However, Penguin has done an excellent job of matching the English translation on the facing pages, so it is easy to follow the stories in the two languages line by line. Coward's short introduction to the stories is smart and places the themes and techniques of the writers in context. Most of these characters are introspective to a fault(!), isolated, obsessive, delusional, desperate but also desperately hopeful. There is little in the way of humor in these pages - mostly irony and it is decidely dark. But you will be moved in different ways by 'Heloise', 'The Hunters' Cafe', the 'Accursed Notebooks', and you will be made to feel the bitter almost hallucinatory cold of a Montreal winter night in "The Objet d'Art'. You will be surprised by where these writers take you in their stories. In the end this collection is sufficiently intereresting to motivate even a relatively inexperienced student of French to push through some fairly dense prose.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Berrien on June 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Excellent in hard copy but not very useful on a Kindle because the translations are completely separated. They are therefore very difficult to flip back and forth to, from one translation to the other.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Pradel on March 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great practice for intermediate to advanced French learners. Some stories require quite a lot of
concentration and a second reading, but the parallel text translations save resorting to the dictionary ever
few minutes. A great way to expand your understanding of French.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ibrahim on July 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
The main reason we get hold of a book like this is that we may look at the French text and see how this translates into English thought as we dissect sentences and make our personal student notes. But the translator seems oblivious to the needs of his students as he makes an excellent translation, giving you the general meaning, without helping you see how these sentences work in French. Well, this won't be much help for a beginner/ intermediate student like me while it might work for an advanced student. But I can't imagine an advanced student buying a book like this when he should be now thinking in French and forget about thinking in his mother tongue. I would recommend this book for you instead:
http://www.amazon.com/Great-French-Stories-Twentieth-Century/dp/0486476235
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Lees on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not familiar with most of the authors, and a quick review of the stories shows me why. I should have paid more attention to the other reviews. I was hoping to use this to teach a class in French short stories, but instead it goes directly into the library donation pile.
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By C. Morris on September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm English trying to improve my French and although I like the layout of the pages, making it easy to check your translation for the words, the stories are very boring. I struggled to read them in English and so was unable to read more than a page or so at a time. I would like to see a similar book with stories that are more appealing.
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Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text (French Edition)
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