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The Best Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Guy de Maupassant
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Price: 1.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 1997 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive new Introduction by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex

Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce.

In a lucidly direct style, he provides unflinching realism and sceptical irony. He depicts the deceptions, hypocrisies and vanities at different levels of society. Prostitution is frankly described, while the harshness of war is deftly exposed.

His tales have been televised and have influenced films, operas and rock music. Unillusioned but humane, Maupassant remains our contemporary.

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The Best Short Stories (Wordsworth Classics) + The Collected Short Stories Of Saki (Wordsworth Classics) + Selected Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New Ed edition (1 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853261890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853261893
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
FOR SEVERAL DAYS in succession fragments of a defeated army had passed through the town. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely beautiful 18 Mar 2006
Guy de Maupassant's strangely beautiful stories vary from uplifting explorations of moralistic living, through humorous parodies of the middle classes of 19th century France and their foolish attempts to better themselves, right through to the most critical revelations of the baseness of human existance, often revealed in the self-same stories. They are at once depressing and uplifting, cynical and idealistic, humorous and thought-provoking. The one thing that each story has in common is that it leaves the reader with a new insight into the human condition.
This collection contains:
Boule de Suif
Two Friends
Madame Tellier's Establishment
Madamoiselle Fifi
Clair de Lune
Miss Harriet
The Necklace
Madamoiselle Pearl
The Piece of String
Madame Husson's 'Rosier'
That Pig of a Morin
Useless Beauty
The Olive Orchard
A Sale
Two Little Soldiers
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, Classic, French (oh so!) 9 July 2008
A magnificent collection indeed. Guy de Maupassant is the best storyteller of the 19th century France... This particular edition has the most entertaining short stories, each capable of delivering as strong a message on moral and profoundly non-societal ethics, as remarkably to-the-point images of an average French bourgeois or an average French peasant. The heroes are complex, decorated with their subjective and objectified environments: they fall in and out of love, abandon and adopt children...unpunished thieves, unfaithful servants, families enatngled in inheritance dispairs... His pen is so powerful that story after story lives succumb in theatrical precision so benign and materialistic, yet lively and at times, even lovable.

Being one of the best literary classics and appreciated in his lifetime and eternally after, Guy de Maupassant seemingly detested the societal formalities. He remained a shrewd observer althrough his journey from one story to the other and led a comparably humble life. Known for finding the Eiffel tower a most abhorrent addition to Paris, he analogically led an observer's life from a decent enough pedestal. Albeit his expressed dislike of the Tower, he'd nevertheless go there every day for his morning coffee for "it's the only place whence I cannot see it". True to his natural longing for an absolute fairness, he wrote of lives merely looking at them and never living one himself.

For all the above reasons, by all means, definitely get a copy of this book and enjoy the read through laughs and tears.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of gems 23 Jan 2009
De Maupassant has a vivid, evocative style of writing like no other. The characters leap off the page at you and his analysis of human interactions is as relevant now as when this book was written. I really enjoyed this book - highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As you enjoy these stories, you may find some of them strangely familiar. Top-selling authors have 'borrowed' the plots of some, and re-written them for their own audience.

Don't accept any substitutes! De Maupassant is the first and the best. Each tale is beautifully crafted and his characters are entirely relevant to the modern day. Even though the settings may reflect a different era, the needs, wants, sins and passions of the principals are entirely those of the modern age.

These stories will sometimes leave you with an uncomfortable feeling that attitudes have not changed very much since the mid-nineteenth century, and self-interest and snobbery are still kings. But often the abiding emotions are joy, merriment and hope. You're sure to love this collection.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exellent 11 May 2007
almost as good as chekhov with his short stories.

got into short stories through chekhov,

short stories were not really my thing, as i prefer novels, but im changing my views.

they dont get much better than this.

full of insight into the human condition and easy to read as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading 9 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am dipping in and out of this collection of stories by Maupassant, as each one needs a little time to digest. They are quite engaging, and very much of their time, but with a slight twistedness which keeps the reader going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to dip into 9 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Entertaining and rich in background, but a little dated in expression. Best for reading in bed; no falling asleep before the end of a story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Selected stories, good read. 18 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The master of the short story has themes ranging from the brutality of war and the hypocrisy it spawns, the petty limitations, dissimulations and vanities inherent at different levels of society and all the stories are linked by a trenchant irony and preoccupation with the frailty of human nature and futility of so many lives. From tragedy and satire to comedy and farce.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant
A classic book of short stories by Guy de Maupassant set in a period of France which no longer exists but the stories will resonate long after reading.
Published 4 months ago by TabithaAna
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read!
Several short stories each very different but each was thought provoking with a good moral message. Well written by the author.
Published 6 months ago by yvonne allsopp
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Well, I bought it for a present and it has been a success! Maupassant is unique and this book is a good selection of his short stories. I like the cover too.
Published 7 months ago by Esther
2.0 out of 5 stars This is not in French
I ordered a selection of French novels, from the French language section. I even 'clicked in side' my multiple order but did not realise this is in English. Read more
Published 9 months ago by 4boys
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer
really interesting stories, great study of human nature. The Necklace, and Two friends stand out, but they're all superb. Read.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. Frances D. Dickens
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Everything was fine with this order, the book itself is great and some of maupassant's bet short stories are in this collection! Great value! No complaints, strongly recommend
Published 19 months ago by Flamingo
5.0 out of 5 stars reading great literature is its own reward
When you read Guy De Maupassant you will notice that his style is decidedly different from many other authors. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Martin Amance
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing
This book was my introduction to this author and I will certainly be reading more. The stories transport the reader through space and time but are also timeless. Read more
Published on 25 May 2009 by Patience
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