Book Review: Femme Fatale by Guy de Maupassant (Little Black Classic)

femme-fataleTitle: Femme Fatale
Author: Guy de Maupassant
Genre: Realism / Classics
Publisher: Penguin
Started: 31st January 2018
Completed: 31st January 2018
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: A selection of Maupassant’s brilliant, glittering stories set in the Parisian beau monde and Normandy countryside.

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

Penguin’s Little Black Classics are usually collections of short stories, collections of poetry, or sections of larger works. I have previously reviewed Come Close by SapphoA Slip Under the Microscope by H. G. Wells,  A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin, and The Tell-Tale Heart from this collection.

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was a French writer known for his short stories. He was a naturalist in terms of literature and he depicted human life in realistic or pessimistic terms.

A Cock Crowed / Un coq chanta (1882)

This story is about an extramarital affair. I genuinely didn’t understand the ending and I read it a few times to see if I could make sense of it. Nope. I was confused by this story. The writing/translation was a little bit frantic and that didn’t help with my confusion.

Femme Fatale / La Femme de Paul (1881)

Oh wow. This short story is very explicit and it depicts lesbian sex. Everything is implied (it’s not porn) but it’s very liberal for 1881! The translation was good but it’s sort of hard to work out who is who at the beginning. I liked it.

Hautot and Son / Hautot Père et Fils (1889)

This story is about a man who has to tell his father’s mistress that he’s died. He finds out that his father had another family after his mother died and he finally gets to meet them. Despite the subject matter, it is very sweet actually. The translation was nice and I really enjoyed it.

Laid to Rest / Les Tombales (c.1891)

This story is weird. Really, really weird. It starts with an old man walking through a graveyard because he likes to laugh at gravestones. He comes across a grieving woman and takes her out to dinner and back to his room. There’s a nice little plot twist in this story which I won’t spoil but I was slightly surprised by it. I enjoyed the writing style and the translation was good but it was just really weird.

Overall, a bit of a mixed collection. I liked Hautot and Son because it was sweet but the others are a bit odd.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Femme Fatale by Guy de Maupassant (Little Black Classic)

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