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201 of 201 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2006
I bought this book on the basis of the review by another Amazon reader. He sounded like he was doing what I wanted to do - acquire reading skills. And he is right - this is an excellent reader. There's a wide range of stories and the translations on the opposite page are excellent. There is also an extensive vocabulary at the back and questions so you don't need a dictionary with you. There are brief introductions to each author, in English. It is excellent value for money and the language is sufficiently difficult to challenge anyone with reasonable skills in French but not so difficult as to make the task impossible. My level was just post O level (I didn't do A level but I had done an extra year of conversation). But I haven't touched French for more years than I care to admit. Along with some grammar books, this has really helped to build my confidence and my vocabulary and it hasn't been painful. Many of the books are geared towards children or people wanting conversations skills so I found this a good way to get the skills I wanted. The stories are short and the styles are varied so even if one particular story doesn't appeal to you, you see a different style of expression and the effort is worth it. I wish there were more like it!
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2009
This book is a find, and a delight. Stories are varied and absorbing, and having the English translation there on the page - set out exactly in the same format as the French is a real boon. That in itself is a real stimulus to keep reading on.

Though the French is at quite a high level, it doesn't seem that intimidating, as you flick backwards and forwards between French and English'. Gradually, and to some extent subconsciously, you are absorbing certain fundamental constructions - and general grammar rules as you go.

The only alternative to these books I have seen are for young children, and I've done my time reading 'Spot the Dog' and the like!
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207 of 212 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 1998
First read this book in 1960 in college, cost 75 cents. Now relearning French and enjoying the stories, reading first the French and using the opposite page English to check my understanding and translate words and phases I don't know. This is an excellent way to enjoy interesting stories and enlarge one's French painlessly. Ordering a new copy as mine is disintegrating with age (as is the reviewer).
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2009
This is a collection of French short-stories. The stories themselves are interesting, and well-chosen. But I'd imagine that prospective buyers are more interested in the French itself.

The language used is fairly understandable to the intermediate student, but, having said that, there are certain challenges posed. The "dual-language" feature is a godsend, and I only wish there were more books like it! The vocabulary used is appropriate for word-building, and the translations are idiomatic rather than literal, so you get a good handle on "real" French, as opposed to classroom French.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2011
I purchased this as one of two similar type books for my daughter who is studying AS Level French. She has found it particularly pertinent to her studies and has found the parallel English text very beneficial because if she has been stuck on a particular word or phrase then she doesn't have to start searching through the dictionary or such-like because the translation is right next to what she is reading.

The stories are also of sufficient complexity to be challenging enough, yet are not so overly complex that they are totally beyond her limited comprehension for the level of French that she is at.

I would certainly recommend this book for AS French level or thereabouts.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2010
Ten short stories by some of the greatest French writers. Rather than going through tedious exercise books, this has a close translation facing the French text that not only enabled me to improve my French but added considerably to my enjoyment of these literary works and consequently a greater understanding of French culture.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2011
If you really want to read French but do not like having a dictionary to hand 24/7. Or if the idea of hauling yourself through Les Mis in the original is daunting, I wold suggest this first step. Manageable short stories (not quite a dozen, but enough) by Balzac and company with french on one page english on the other. Easiest and painless way of getting into the language and coping with dinner party literary chat. Only quibble is how can this ever be available on a kindle - 2 pages opposite hmm?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2010
As the title says this is a great parallel book for french learners. There is another more modern book available too on amazon, and I would not suggest getting that instead, but getting both. Both are good, but the other has more enjoyable stories for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2009
What a good book, for people wishing to develop their French language knowledge further. Excellent size, good varied stories, and one does'nt need to use a dictionary, because all translations are on the opposite page. So easy to use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2010
The translation is good because it uses varied descriptive words rather than using the same word, which is what students with a poor grasp of language do. The selected stories are a good mix of French Literature.
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