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Editorial Reviews

Guy de Maupassant's story "Useless Beauty"  is performed with elegance by Walter Zimmerman. Maupassant is a master at depicting the intricacies of human nature - in this case, listeners are drawn into the drama of a beautiful French housewife in the early 19th century, who is condemned by her husband to the "penal servitude of childbearing". The audio begins with the countess finally rebelling against her captor - revealing that one of their seven children is not his - an affair, she exclaims, was the only way by which she was able to go against his authority. Zimmerman draws listeners into the irresistible drama with a deliberately paced, elegant performance. Timing, both in composition and performance, are key to this audiobook's genius.

Publisher's Summary

Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. In this Useless Beauty ( L'Inutile Beauté ) a woman who is being kept at home by a jealous husband as a "trophy," finally reaches her limit to the astonishment of her husband.
(P)1987 Jimcin Recordings

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Joanna
  • Hillsboro Beach, FL USA
  • 10-16-09

Great Story

A very good short story with an interesting twist~those Edwardian ladies had their special way of getting what they wanted. Wish it had been longer.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 04-13-13

Almost Great Maupassant Short

This is the best Maupassant short story I have listened to so far, and it is quite good except for a boring philosophical preach in the middle of the story. Otherwise I really enjoyed the characters, prose and narration. This particular story has aged very well and with 46 minutes at 95 cents I would recommend this one.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A masterpiece.

What made the experience of listening to Useless Beauty the most enjoyable?

A priceless mix of the primitive, of God, of cunning and revenge. A story like none i have read. What surprise.

What does Walter Zimmerman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Well read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Audio quality is sub-par

Check the audio quality before you download this book. It's a bit tinny & some people may find that frustrating.

For that though it is a clever story & for the price I enjoyed it a great deal. Normally below average sound quality would annoy me but I knew the story was only going to last 45 minutes so I wouldn't be stuck listening to it for days, and it's very cheap.

Haven't come across Guy de Maupassant before & would try his stories again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 04-14-13

What a tangled web we weave....,

Any additional comments?

This is a great short with an ending that could go many different ways. I liked the suspense. Would recommend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful