Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$9.49
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
A Simple Soul has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Simple Soul Paperback – September 26, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

See all 37 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, September 26, 2013
$9.49
$9.39 $13.28

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$9.49 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Known for his scrupulous devotion to his art and perfectionist style, French writer Gustave Flaubert is counted among the greatest Western novelists, and influenced such writers as Franz Kafka and J. M. Coetzee. Flaubert is best known for Madame Bovary, for which he was prosecuted (and acquitted) for offending public morals. His other works of note include Memoirs of a Madman, November, Salammb?, Sentimental Education, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony. His work has been widely adapted for the stage and screen. Flaubert died in 1880. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 38 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466213914
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466213913
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,635,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gustave Flaubert (1821 to 1880) was a French writer who is still considered to be among the greatest western novelists. He authored Madama Bovary which is considered to be the perfectly balanced modern novel. That novel and the author's style and approach has been hailed by a range of writers and critics including, for example, Saul Bellow, who modeled his own novels from Flaubert's works. Fluabert's writings have been referenced by Nabokov and many others as being an inspiration to a whole century of Western writers, and helped to launch the age of realism in novels.

The present story comes from the 1877 publication Three Tales (Trois Contes. It consists of the short stories: Simple Heart, Saint Julian, and Herodias. Dance of Death is another story sometimes grouped with Simple Heart and Saint Julian as Three Short Works.

A Simple Heart was inspired by biographical events in Flaubert's own life: he lived in rural Normandy, he had problems with his studies similar to the character Paul, and he was prone to epileptic seizures similar to the protagonist Felicite.

I read the story first without looking at any analysis, made up my own mind, then read the analysis. What struck me was that Flaubert had crammed a whole lifetime of human emotions into a single very short story. That all by itself was impressive. How could someone come up with that idea? Amazing.

A Simple Heart, also called A Simple Soul or Un Coeur Simple, in French, is a story about a girl named Felicité. She is a servant who has lived with the same family ever since she was betrayed by her lover. She has a strong sense of loyalty and self sacrifice: she lives to help others.

This short story has been admired by many critics over the years and used as a basis or a source of inspiration for other stories.

This takes only an hour or so to read and is highly recommended.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very brief little book - and it is hard to imagine that it is from the author of Madame Bovary! It traces the life of an uneducated, ignorant but strong and faithful French country woman who spent her life in service, both as a maid to the woman she worked for over many decades, and to the relative that she loved and finally even to her pet parrot. Her uneducated faith was her guiding principle and she was always an untiring worker. It will probably make you think of someone you have known - if you are lucky enough to have known such a person.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) is recognized as a brilliant classical writer, known for his masterpiece "Madam Bovary." He is able to capture the essence of people and describe their personalities and behaviors in interesting ways. People should read classics such as Madam Bovary and this story; they are classics because they have value, withstood time, and are enjoyed even today.

This beautiful tale is filled with pathos. Flaubert explores the tragic and sad situation of many people who are simple, who lack sufficient intelligence to fully participate in life around them. They are ignored and secluded. The issue is addressed by theologians: Why would God create such people? How does God relate to them? The issue is addressed in the New Testament and by many novelists, such as I. L. Peretz in his masterpiece, the short story, "Bontshe the Silent."

This is the story of Felicite, a simple, uneducated woman with a low IQ, who is, as many simple people, perfect at what she does; she is the perfect maid, highly respected for her work, a maid everyone would be happy to have. We read about her first love and feel for her, and how she saves her mistress, but is then exploited. Flaubert describes her yearnings, fears, reactions to deaths, her sublimated and highly unusual love for a parrot, and her final extremely sad years. We read throughout about her reliance on religion, which we know she doesn't understand. Although not in this story, we can well imagine that if a devil existed he would be laughing in derision at how God allowed such a good simple soul to be mistreated.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first, you cannot see why this is his greatest work second only to Madame Bovary. But when you reach the end, Flaubert has opened heaven, itself, to any reader blessed enough to experience the luminous gift of this story.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
M. Flaubert writes this story as a disengaged observer, but one with much understanding and compassion. It is engaging and very well constructed. The author weaves a lot of French politics, current events and iconic culture into the tale.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flaubert has always been one of my favorite authors. This brief glimpse of a servant's dedicated life demonstrates the closed world in which she lived illuminated by her mistress' children and a beloved parrot. It deals with the pangs of loyalty and death in a soul of limited compass. A simple life in all regards.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this little book. Life's challenges and toils are not all there is. In the end, we are never truly "alone." This wonderful little gem is more than inspirational: it leaves the perceptive reader "hopeful."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?