Timeless masters in their own right, the composers of these short classics would bear increasing influence on future generations of English-speaking authors, their impact reaching the varied fields of existentialism, surrealism, and absurdism. Performers Jim Killavey and Walter Zimmerman take turns delivering this eclectic mix of short stories, which includes humorous parables from Anton Chekov and Guy de Maupassant, rollicking adventures from Alexander Dumas, and the tremulous psychological exposés of Fyodor Dostoevsky. A veteran performer of Russian masterworks, Zimmerman shows a knack for accents and role-playing while maintaining a quick-clipped clarity. Killavey recites the French greats in his clear, eloquent baritone. A seasoned performer, Killavey was instrumental in the movement toward recording the classics in an unabridged format.
The short stories presented in this volume include eight by Guy de Maupassant: "Love's Awakening", "Useless Beauty", "In the Moonlight", and "The Horla". Also included are "The Thief" and "The Wedding" by Fyodor Dostoevsky; "The Mysterious Mansion" and "Christ in Flanders" by Honore de Balzac; "The Bet","The Kiss", "The Lottery Ticket", "A Work of Art", and "The Slanderer" by Anton Chekov; "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol; "Zodmirsky's Duel" by Alexander Dumas; "The Shot" by Alexander Pushkin; "The Long Exile" by Leo Tolstoy; "The Thief" by Fyodor Dostoevsky; "Captain Burle" by Emile Zola, "The Wedding" by Fyodor Dostoevsky; and "In the Moonlight" by Guy de Maupassant.
What did you love best about Great French and Russian Short Stories, Volume 1 (Unabridged Selections)?
The recording seems to be a little dated and tinny which may account for previous reviewers withholding stars. But the readers are skilled and they don't over-dramatize the prose.
It's a good collection and encompasses a variety of themes - most are dryly funny or ironic, a few are tragic, one is hopelessly sentimental. The stories are all entertaining and are a wonderful exposure to French and Russian authors without committing 20 hours at a time. I'll be looking for more like this.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this audio. I have never listened to short stories. I enjoyed going from one story to another instead of listening for 14 hours to one. As can be expected, some stories are great-others very slow. I enjoyed most stories and discovered new authors I am intrested whose works I am intrested in reading.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful
I don’t have a deep background in 19th century French and Russian literature, so I was taken somewhat by surprise by the heavy moralizing and didacticism served up by these works. A few of these stories come across as clumsy and primitive, while others yet sparkle by their cleverness and ingenuity, nevertheless all are a revealing window into the era and locales. The quality of the narration is uneven, distractingly bad at times with some apparently recorded from the bottom of a well, and at least one narrator showing even less personality than Stephen Hawking’s speech synthesizer. A major disappointment: Guy de Maupassant: "Love's Awakening" abruptly stops mid-story without explanation. I’ve contacted Audible with the hopes that they can supply missing part, but all they’ve been able to offer thus far is a generous cash credit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Warning. The readers of these stories range from poor to unbearable. Truly awful - full of annoying mispronunciations and dreadful accents.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful
before getting this book...
Indeed, the readers butcher the Russian names - something dreadful. I understand that it is impossible for an American to roll "R"s or pronounce a hard "L". But it behooves a reader to find out where to place an accent.
Mari'a Gavrilo'vna really grates on the ears of anybody even slightly familiar with Russian language. Oh yes, it should be Ma'ria Gavri'lovna.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful