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Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text

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Written by authors from Quebec as well as France, the majority of these stories have been published in the last decade and reflect a rich diversity of styles and themes. From Daniel Boulanger's exploration of revenge and the desire for recognition in "The Hunter's Cafe," to Alain Gerber's brief and poetic "You Never Die," these stories make excellent reading in any languag Written by authors from Quebec as well as France, the majority of these stories have been published in the last decade and reflect a rich diversity of styles and themes. From Daniel Boulanger's exploration of revenge and the desire for recognition in "The Hunter's Cafe," to Alain Gerber's brief and poetic "You Never Die," these stories make excellent reading in any language.


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Written by authors from Quebec as well as France, the majority of these stories have been published in the last decade and reflect a rich diversity of styles and themes. From Daniel Boulanger's exploration of revenge and the desire for recognition in "The Hunter's Cafe," to Alain Gerber's brief and poetic "You Never Die," these stories make excellent reading in any languag Written by authors from Quebec as well as France, the majority of these stories have been published in the last decade and reflect a rich diversity of styles and themes. From Daniel Boulanger's exploration of revenge and the desire for recognition in "The Hunter's Cafe," to Alain Gerber's brief and poetic "You Never Die," these stories make excellent reading in any language.

30 review for Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    In my opinion, readers should serve as a bridge between textbooks and target language books. As far as I can tell, this book chose stories purely based on literary value, rather than on what would best help to bridge that gap. There was little dialogue, but lots of ornate, convoluted language. Perhaps a decent reader could have still been made out of this material, but the translator apparently fashioned himself a literary translator that won't stoop down to us learners and give us a translation In my opinion, readers should serve as a bridge between textbooks and target language books. As far as I can tell, this book chose stories purely based on literary value, rather than on what would best help to bridge that gap. There was little dialogue, but lots of ornate, convoluted language. Perhaps a decent reader could have still been made out of this material, but the translator apparently fashioned himself a literary translator that won't stoop down to us learners and give us a translation that sticks closely to the original texts. So a great deal of time is spent with more or less literary analysis in order to make sense of how the translation relates to the original text. What a drag. But when it comes to languages, I am nothing if not persistent. So I battled on, certainly learning a good deal, but at a far higher cost in time and energy than should have been necessary. I finally finished it on my way to Montreal, and donated the book to my Airbnb room since I never want to see it again.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ely

    I picked this up to see if it would be okay to pass on to the girl I tutor in French—it's not really appropriate for her age, but I found some new short stories that I really like. My favourites were definitely The Third Rate Film, which was surprisingly lovely and Accursed Notebooks, which comes from a novel that I now really want, but is available NOWHERE. I guess I'll just have to read this short story over and over again... I picked this up to see if it would be okay to pass on to the girl I tutor in French—it's not really appropriate for her age, but I found some new short stories that I really like. My favourites were definitely The Third Rate Film, which was surprisingly lovely and Accursed Notebooks, which comes from a novel that I now really want, but is available NOWHERE. I guess I'll just have to read this short story over and over again...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    I ordered this collection of short stories online after reading a few reviews that complained that the stories tended to be dark, dull and depressing. Generally, I'm not much for fiction, but that sounded like my cup of tea. I wasn't disappointed. True, some of stories are fairly dark, but I wouldn't call them depressing or dull. In fact, I kept turning pages as quickly as my bad French would allow. The highlight of this collection for me was "David" by J.M.G Le Clézio. This story is so beautifu I ordered this collection of short stories online after reading a few reviews that complained that the stories tended to be dark, dull and depressing. Generally, I'm not much for fiction, but that sounded like my cup of tea. I wasn't disappointed. True, some of stories are fairly dark, but I wouldn't call them depressing or dull. In fact, I kept turning pages as quickly as my bad French would allow. The highlight of this collection for me was "David" by J.M.G Le Clézio. This story is so beautifully written that it alone was well worth the cost of admission.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Some strange translation choices marred the English text, but honestly, it must be impossible to know which approach to take when translating a collection like this. Hew to close to a literal translation and the English text would be unreadable; make too many changes for the sake of readability and the book ceases to be useful as a study aid. Still, I found the stories themselves to be interesting, and the translation to be good most of the time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    The main reason we get hold of a book like this is that we may look at the French text and see how this translates into English thought as we dissect sentences and make our personal student notes. But the translator seems oblivious to the needs of his students as he makes an excellent translation, giving you the general meaning, without helping you see how these sentences work in French. Well, this won't be much help for a beginner/ intermediate student like me while it might work for an advance The main reason we get hold of a book like this is that we may look at the French text and see how this translates into English thought as we dissect sentences and make our personal student notes. But the translator seems oblivious to the needs of his students as he makes an excellent translation, giving you the general meaning, without helping you see how these sentences work in French. Well, this won't be much help for a beginner/ intermediate student like me while it might work for an advanced student. But I can't imagine an advanced student buying a book like this when he should be now thinking in French and forget about thinking in his mother tongue. I would recommend this book for you instead: http://www.amazon.com/Great-French-St...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eugene Vasilev

    J'ai bien apprécié 'Autodestruction'. Quant au reste - médiocre. Je crois qu'un livre conçu pour améliorer la connaissance de la langue étrangère doit être intéressant pour n'importe quel lecteur. Dans ce livre la moitie des récits n'a rien pour le sujet, dans la plus pure tradition des œuvres pseudo-intellectuelles. Dans ma langue maternelles, le russe, je les nommerais 'le pets dans l'air'. Mais attention, on parle français ici ! J'ai bien apprécié 'Autodestruction'. Quant au reste - médiocre. Je crois qu'un livre conçu pour améliorer la connaissance de la langue étrangère doit être intéressant pour n'importe quel lecteur. Dans ce livre la moitie des récits n'a rien pour le sujet, dans la plus pure tradition des œuvres pseudo-intellectuelles. Dans ma langue maternelles, le russe, je les nommerais 'le pets dans l'air'. Mais attention, on parle français ici !

  7. 4 out of 5

    Loren

    love it. great stories from some great writers. really helped build my vocabulary.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Finally finished this book after months of drifting in and out. There are some really beautiful stories in here. Coward's translations are great, they make the French so much easier to digest for a learner. I like that Coward includes a couple of Québécois stories, as well as stories from France. But I knocked off a star because he doesn't include a single story from anywhere else in the Francophone world. I would have liked to see some other flavours of French, not only for my French education, Finally finished this book after months of drifting in and out. There are some really beautiful stories in here. Coward's translations are great, they make the French so much easier to digest for a learner. I like that Coward includes a couple of Québécois stories, as well as stories from France. But I knocked off a star because he doesn't include a single story from anywhere else in the Francophone world. I would have liked to see some other flavours of French, not only for my French education, but for my literary one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A wonderful collection of French short stories published side-by-side with English translations on each spread. It is interesting to see how the translators chose their particular diction as compared to the original French language. Each side is subtly different. And usually better in French!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Rathbone

    I think this book should be renamed “Depressing and Pointless French Short Stories”.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Philipp

    Not sure how to rate it. The stories are pretty good. But that wasn't the meat of my reading experience, since I read it mostly to refresh my French. What I did notice, though, was that the words I knew didn't include the numerous gradations of clarity that got mentioned. I guess that's a cliche of French short stories - at least the ones in this book. From misty to foggy to murky to clear and sparkling and brilliant - those are words I never had encountered in the books that showed me how monsie Not sure how to rate it. The stories are pretty good. But that wasn't the meat of my reading experience, since I read it mostly to refresh my French. What I did notice, though, was that the words I knew didn't include the numerous gradations of clarity that got mentioned. I guess that's a cliche of French short stories - at least the ones in this book. From misty to foggy to murky to clear and sparkling and brilliant - those are words I never had encountered in the books that showed me how monsieur and madame Leroc ordered food in a restaurant.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I am not fluent by any means, but I found some of the translation to be a little off, and my dictionary seemed to confirm me in a few places. Also, be forewarned that while many of the stories are individually very good, the collection as a whole is awfully dark... it's pretty depressing if you decide to read several consecutively. I am not fluent by any means, but I found some of the translation to be a little off, and my dictionary seemed to confirm me in a few places. Also, be forewarned that while many of the stories are individually very good, the collection as a whole is awfully dark... it's pretty depressing if you decide to read several consecutively.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I got the book to help brush up on my French before a vacation in Paris. The language is very difficult for me to follow and the story lines are 'unusual.' I haven't read all of the stories yet and don't know that I will ever read them all. It's still on my reading shelf - just in case. I got the book to help brush up on my French before a vacation in Paris. The language is very difficult for me to follow and the story lines are 'unusual.' I haven't read all of the stories yet and don't know that I will ever read them all. It's still on my reading shelf - just in case.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Ok from a studying French standpoint, but from the perspective of someone who has a great respect for the short story art form, it fell abysmally short. C'est dommage. Ok from a studying French standpoint, but from the perspective of someone who has a great respect for the short story art form, it fell abysmally short. C'est dommage.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Reading this book made me realize that I am not a fan of shortstories.....but as learning material I can only recommend it ;) However I thought I'd enjoy reading it which I can't say I did so far... Reading this book made me realize that I am not a fan of shortstories.....but as learning material I can only recommend it ;) However I thought I'd enjoy reading it which I can't say I did so far...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Sol Cruz

    Linguistically very heavy, but it's good to get back into French after 20 years! Linguistically very heavy, but it's good to get back into French after 20 years!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thetravelingpanda

    I liked this book, overall the translations were good but sometimes too simplistic and maybe not the best.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Brent

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sofie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cesar Umezaki

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh Miller

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lichen Craig

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rani

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Blinkhorne

  27. 5 out of 5

    R K

  28. 5 out of 5

    KR

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Tobier

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