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A Parisian Affair ~ Guy de Maupassant 

After a rather long interlude, I decided to go back to the classic short story at the start of this new year. As a teenager, I remember thinking nobody does it better than Maupassant, and so I picked up this collection of thirty-four of his finest.

What struck me most as I re-read these stories, was how much has changed since I read them first. Changed in me, that is. I didn’t finish the stories now feeling entertained. Instead, to my detriment, I kept thinking how some of our modern storytellers would have written them differently. Which didn’t help matters at all. Neither did I enjoy these wonderful stories to the extent I should have nor could I come up with a satisfactory conclusion for their possible improvement.

These stories are fairly short, humorous and strikingly daring for the time they were written in. I know Maupassant, along with others of his time paved the way for the modern short story and these stories no doubt made readers think. Think about changing their thoughts and made them look at the world differently. He wrote psychological thrillers, stories bordering on science fiction, romances and those of profound thought. So to that end, his stories do their job and cannot be faulted.

Why you should read this

  • If you haven’t read any of his stories, this is a good collection to start with
  • The themes are far reaching and cover a range of topics
  • Ultimately, these are excellent stories. Some of the classical best.

Why you shouldn’t read them

  • If you’re looking to be shocked/surprised/affected
  • If you want a page turner