Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review- The Great Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant

Goodreads Summary: 

GUY DE MAUPASSANT was a master of the short story. This collection reflects his remarkable diversity, with stories that vary in theme and tone, and range from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. With a simplicity of style that masks complex philosophy, Maupassant can illuminate an entire code of values by means of a few telling details. He exposes the brutality of war and the hypocrisy it spawns, and depicts the petty limitations, the dissimulations and the vanities inherent at different levels of society. His stories are linked by a trenchant irony and by a preoccupation with the frailty of human nature and the futility of so many lives.


*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of The Great Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant from Jaico Publishing House in exchange for an honest review. We thank the publishing house for the book! 

There's this poster with a bio of Guy de Maupassant hanging in our classroom. With the many French books I've been reading, I thought I might as well give The Great Short Stories a try because short stories aren't that hard to read, although they can be hard to comprehend and this collection, to both, my disappointment and relief, is in English! I thought it was time I gave the author whose picture I keep looking at when I get bored in class, a try. 

The Great Short Stories is a very good collection of some fourteen short stories written by Guy de Maupassant and translated to English. These are predominantly war-themed stories, with take up a different subject line each time. Some stories tell these really beautiful and heartbreaking love stories, while others are brave and courageous stories of friendship, while some others take a look at what goes on in a family and the others take up the general lifestyle of the time gone by. 

I must admit that I didn't quite understand all the stories so my description of them above might be wrong. There were lots of errors I found in terms of translation (yay me, I can figure it out now) and editorial ones as well. The two stories I enjoyed the most were the first and the last stories, titled Mademoiselle Pearl and Useless Beauty respectively. For a time in which these stories are based, I liked how they focused on the situation of women. 

I wish I had understood all the stories in this collection better and maybe someday, when I am in the mood to reread them, I will. For now, I am proud of myself to have started this deep need that I feel to read works of old, famous and most noteworthy authors the world has seen, with a good short stories collection like this. 



  1. I have read Bel-Ami in high school and then classics were everything I wish I could avoid. I couldn't understand them then and YA was my thing. But yeah nowadays I appreciate them more and more. I'm so glad you enjoyed these short stories. If it weren't for my classes I'd never read any short stories. Great review :)

    1. That's really cool. Me too, dude, me too. Thank you, Tanja!

  2. Oh interesting, I remember also being made aware of Guy de Maupassant in school, as well! But unlike you, I've never ventured so far as to actually read any of his work. Good for you! Even if it was hard to understand, I'm still impressed you gave it a try. I really ought to read more old classics that I've never tried before...

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