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Selected Short Stories (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 30, 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
This volume of 30 short stories is an extremely fine selection of his works. I was familiar with three of the stories, "The Jewels", "The Piece of String" and the most well known titled "Boule De Suif" (translated as "Ball of Fat"). In this famous story, the prostitute of the region of Rouen is traveling with upper class companions in a coach as each traveler assesses the other one, making judgements as human beings often do. Eventually the upper class passengers are hungry, as they eye Boule De Suif opening her basket filled with fried chicken and other delicious foods. Boule De Souif takes compassion on her fellow passengers by offering them some of her food, to their embarrassment and pleasure, assuaging their hunger pangs. We learn a little about the character and background of the passengers, as the author builds his plot ... The passengers became more chummy, a most unusual situation that would not occur in normal everyday life between such different classes. The coach stopped for a rest at an inn. Prussians occupied the town and were staying at the same inn. As circumstances developed, the Prussian officer wanted to speak with Boule De Suif (Madame Elisabeth Rousset) ...Read more ›
Contents: Boule de Suif, In the Spring, The Graveyard Sisterhood, Madame Tellier's Establishment, A Ruse, An Old Man, Rust, Two Friends, The Jewels, The Conservatory, The Matter with Andre, My Uncle Jules, A Duel, The Convert, In the Bedroom, Regret, The Decoration, The Piece of String, The Model, The Hand, Idyll, Mother Savage, Guillemot Rock, Imprudence, The Signal, In the Woods, The Devil, The Horla, The Mask, Mouche.
Note - You won't find "The Necklace" here, as the translator (Roger Colet) points out in his notes.
This is a very good selection of some of his most memorable tales. I would also recommend "A Day In The Country and Other Stories", which I believe is the best Maupassant collection available in English.
Maupassant was considered shocking a hundred years ago because he wrote about prostitutes and adultery in frank and unashamed terms. He was ahead of his time in that way. He never wrote a truly great novel, but 50 or 60 of his stories are real classics. Nobody who reads a great Maupassant story will soon forget it.
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes"
The great thing about his work is that it's timeless. Although most of them were written over 130 years ago, Maupassant talks of
catching "a cab" on the Champs-Elysee, pavement cafes in fashionable districts of Paris, and even cronyism in the corridors of power! As a fellow reviewer observed, all are full of wit and irony; there's something for everyone here.
And for those who think that Stephen King has the last word on horror writing: I defy anyone to name a story that is as scary as
This really is the world's finest display of the art of the short
story, and I would reccommend it to anyone.
Recently I began to read his stories, with this collection in particular as my starting point. All I can say is Maupassant is the quintessential master of the shorter tale. His novels and novellas (aside from Bel-Ami) stand in the shadows compared to these wondrous prose pieces. For the longest time I read only novels, finding short stories either too short or unsatisfying. With Guy de Maupassant, every story is satisfying, each the longer ones like "The Horla" and "Boule de Suif".
Whatever the collection, whatever the translation, if you love French literature and literature in general, Guy de Maupassant is worth exploring. He is bawdy, fun, melancholic, as well as surprising. "The Horla" I have discovered finds its way into nineteenth century horror/ghost story collections. Don't pass up the good time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
19th century French writer Guy de Maupassant was a pioneer and master of the short story. My guess is anybody reading this review is familiar with the author's classic tale `The... Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Glenn Russell
We read in "The Necklace" in class, and I enjoyed it, so I pulled my old copy of Maupassant's short stories off the shelf. And I really enjoyed them. Read morePublished on December 13, 2012 by Black Plum
Guy De Maupassant's short stories are peopled with characters that the reader feels an almost immediate connection to. Read morePublished on March 10, 2007 by R. J. Marsella
I fell across Maupassant's "The Necklace" years ago and have been a fan ever since. Many writers believe that the well crafted short story is the hardest story to write and... Read morePublished on December 22, 2005 by Dennis Mitton
Guy de Maupassant is one of those few authors you just love to hate. Maybe it has to do with the fact that he's French, but that's another thing entirely. Read morePublished on October 19, 2002 by Hassan Galadari
Maupassant wrote in the late 1800s, when Mark Twain and O. Henry were writing humorous and thoughtful short stories in the U.S. Read morePublished on December 11, 2001 by Richard R
I have been an avid reader for about 30 years and have gradually turned into a very selective one. It's not easy for me to get a powerful and lasting impression from texts. Read morePublished on May 28, 2001 by ANTONIO PETER-BLANCO