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The Horla

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,081 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Our woe is upon us.

This chilling tale of one man’s descent into madness was published shortly before the author was institutionalized for insanity, and so The Horla has inevitably been seen as informed by Guy de Maupassant’s mental illness. While such speculation is murky, it is clear that de Maupassant—hailed alongside Chekhov as father of the short story—was at the peak
Paperback, 79 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Melville House (first published 1886)
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Community Reviews

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May 15, 16
* Also on my blog.
** You may read this short story in Spanish or English
Jun 26, 2015 Fernando rated it it was amazing
Guy de Maupassant (a quien admiro, realmente), escribió más de 300 cuentos y no acostumbraba a encasillarse en un género, más allá de ser un protegido de Zolá y Flaubert y un alto exponente del realismo y del naturalismo, tenía una técnica brillante para elaborar sus cuentos. El Horla, un cuento sobre la locura, y, tal vez, su mejor cuento, tiene para mí, connotaciones autobiográficas. Era un talento para este tipo de cuentos, ya que él sufrió un proceso de este tipo en carne propia. No olvidemo ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I listened to the audio first, and followed up by reading through the print. It would have been a different experience if I'd flipped the two, because once I hit halfway I definitely wanted to "skip to the end." I almost always feel that way about horror stories, though. So much time and energy spent on describing something atmospheric or suspenseful and I just want to get on with it. That may say more about me than about the story.

As horror stories go (this is grouped with ghost stories, but t
May 26, 2016 Radwa rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
The fact that this story of one man’s descent into madness was published shortly before the author was institutionalized for insanity, makes me perceive it as Guy de Maupassant’s mental illness and descent into madness himself.

In the form of diary entries, over the course of 4 or 5 months, we see one man's taking notes of the strange occurrences he feels in his house and around him. He's convinced of the existence of some otherworldly creature in his home, and we see how he tries to deal with th
Aug 09, 2009 Shawn rated it it was amazing
Great collection of one of my favorite stories (this edition has two previous versions Maupassant composed from different points of view, before settling on the final text) - it's interesting how the new understandings opened up by the sciences at the time (19th century - the actual scale of natural processes and our small scope in them and ability to understand them) can be interpreted by some in the culture as positive, while others like de Maupassant ("The Horla"), Ambrose Bierce ("The Damned ...more
Aditya Mallya
Sep 01, 2015 Aditya Mallya rated it really liked it
This was the biggest surprise in the collection of nine Maupassant stories that I read. All that I'd read by the great writer so far were simple, intimate stories drawing out wry drama from small-town life - to see his name on a full-blooded horror* story seemed completely odd, but it turned out to be a literary surprise of the best kind. This increasingly unsettling story about a man who begins to feel a sinister presence in his house was reminiscent of Dracula, and I am not sure if Poe could h ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Nadine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Ich bin nicht sicher, ob das hier die richtige Ausgabe ist... ich hatte eine Sammlung von 14 Kurzgeschichten.)
Ich war sehr positiv von der Kurzgeschichtensammlung überrascht. Die Titelgeschichte hat mich noch nicht umgehauen, aber es gab einige köstliche Geschichten, mal recht traurig, mal unglaublich komisch.
Hat mich sehr gut unterhalten!
Alaide Mo
Mar 10, 2016 Alaide Mo rated it really liked it
Shelves: university-books
Oh, incertidumbre, hace mucho que no nos encontrábamos; es un cuento INCREÍBLE, en todos los aspectos. (Y sí me dio miedito).
Ana Maria Rînceanu
Oh, syphilis, what a treasure you are! okay, now seriously can you imagine what it must be like for a person to suffer from hallucinations from an unknown cause?! In the period in which Guy de Maupassant wrote, people were starting to examine the human mind and body in order to interpret how we interact with the world around us and how to explain our existence, purpose through science. Before there was a conviction that God or fate gave us our bodies, our state of mind, everything, but now we be ...more
Heather Clitheroe
Sep 13, 2012 Heather Clitheroe rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
'The nights are feeding on my days.' What a great line.
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 26, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
The Horla - 1887 (final version) - Fantastic piece of Gothic horror! I've read Maupassant before but this is my first time reading this story. A series of journal entries as a man tells how he is not feeling well. He takes various vacations, feels better but his illness always returns when he gets back home. He starts to believe he is going mad as his physical ailments lead to hallucinations and eventually he muses upon whether he is a rational man having hallucinations or simply a madman. Howev ...more
I went into this wanting a quick but spookily atmospheric read. And I think, as much as a 30-page story can be, The Horla was pretty spooky. Especially later in the story when things really started kicking off, I felt really tense reading it. I loved the diary format and the writing was awesome too (even though this is translated). The whole way through I was desperate to find out how it would end and when I did get to it, I thought the conclusion was satisfactory. I'm glad I gave this short sto ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Gaëlle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Le peuple est un troupeau imbécile, tantôt stupidement patient et tantôt férocement révolté. On lui dit : « amuse-toi. » Il s’amuse. On lui dit : « Vote pour l’Empereur. » Il vote pour l’Empereur. Puis, on lui dit : « Vote pour la République. Et il vote pour la République.
Ceux qui le dirigent sont aussi sots, mais au lieu d’obéir à des hommes, ils obéissent à des principes, c’est-à-dire des idées réputées certaines et immuables, en ce monde où l’on n’est sûr de rien, puisque la lumière est une
Melville House Publishing
This beautifully packaged series of classic novellas includes the works of Anton Chekhov, Colette, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Leo Tolstoy. These collectible editions are the first single-volume publications of these classic tales, offering a closer look at this underappreciated literary form and providing a fresh take on the world's most celebrated authors.
Kawtar Morchid
Jan 02, 2016 Kawtar Morchid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2016
Mar 24, 2016 Michiko rated it really liked it
Wonderfully creepy. I found this book on Oxford University Press’ timeline of vampire literature, but the horla isn’t like your stock blood-sucking vampire from other Gothic literature. If you’re more into psychological horror, the horla is scarier. I casually tossed the book aside after finishing it and thought, “Well that was something,” but then later that night I didn’t even want to sleep with the lights off. The best part is the ending, which can be interpreted in a couple of equally chilli ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
مجموعه داستانهای کوتاه
Jun 03, 2015 Matea rated it really liked it
I liked it.
Sep 16, 2015 Amelia rated it really liked it
Shelves: vampiri, racconti, horror
Potete leggere la recensione anche sul mio blog:

Partiamo col dire che “L’Horlà” è un breve racconto, forse un poco prolisso in alcuni punti, scritto assi bene e in forma di diario, senza che però il protagonista venga mai nominato.
La versione del vampiro che viene proposta al lettore è assai particolare e innovativa, al punto che la figura del non morto si assimila a quella della creatura invisibile, che si manifesta all’interno del racconto, solamente pe
Sep 21, 2011 Katsumi rated it liked it
This volume contains three stories: two versions of ‘The Horla’ from 1886 and 1887, and ‘Letter from a Madman’, first published in 1885. The two earlier stories work at the themes but only in the final version of ‘The Horla’ – presented here first – does Maupassant achieve a thoroughly satisfying telling.

Our unnamed narrator begins with unexplained mood swings: “Where do these mysterious influences come from that change our happiness into despondency and our confidence into distress?”
It is his d
Oct 18, 2009 J rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Not the first short story I've read about crazy people and the diaries they keep. The format of this story is similar to Gogol's "Diary of a Madman", in it's first person epistolary narrative (Is it epistolary if it is a diary?) through which we witness the sliding into madness. However wherein Gogal's Poprishchin isn't conscientious of his slipping sanity, the narrator of "The Horla" seems very self-aware, ambivalent, questioning and his lucid account of his transformation makes the reader also ...more
Shawn Birss
May 01, 2016 Shawn Birss rated it liked it
This is a story of atmospheric horror, a psychological thriller that exists almost entirely in the protagonist's head. The style of writing as journal entries reminded me of Dracula. The descriptions of the (possibly unreliable) narrator's terror reminded me of Lovecraft.

I would steer potential readers to The Yellow Wallpaper before this story, but readers who enjoyed that story, may enjoy this one as well.
Sep 03, 2014 Gustl rated it it was amazing
"Forse riusciamo a vedere la centomillesima parte di ciò che esiste; pensate al vento.." Considero questo famoso racconto uno tra i più belli del genere "soprannaturale". La storia apparentemente narra di una possessione di un entità estranea, ma potrebbe benissimo rivelarsi l'alter ego del protagonista (Maupassant) totalmente alienato. La magia e la capacità dello scrittore normanno è quella, non solo nell'Horlà, di saper descrivere in modo nitido una realtà totalmente soggettiva e deformata, r ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Beckie rated it it was amazing
"Where do they come from, these mysterious influences which turn our happiness into gloom and our self-assurance into distress?"

A brilliant short story that was thought-provoking as well as unnerving. My only wish is that I hadn't read this when I'm currently in the house alone.
aljouharah altheeyb
May 01, 2015 aljouharah altheeyb rated it really liked it
لم اقرأ لديبوسان من قبل كما اظن، والسبب لقرائتي هارلا هي انها ذكرت في كتاب هارنولد بلوم وقررت ان اتعرف عليها لان الرعب النفسي والجنون مثيرين في القصص القصيرة.

للأسف لم اشعر بالانشطاه والضياع كما في ورق الحائط الاصفر او القلب الواشي وغيرهما، لكن بإمكانك بشكل كبير تلمس اسلوب حياة وطريقة تفكير الشخصية الرئيسية: كيف انه ليس رجلا عاديا، او امرأة ضجرة، او طفل عبر بيت جار ذي ماض مشبوه. بل العكس من ذلك، انه رجل علم غني وذي شبكة معارف كبيرة ومتمكنة في مجالات العلوم والطب كما يبدو.
انه رجل عملي، جاد، نزيه
Mar 16, 2008 Tyler rated it really liked it
The life of Guy De Maupassant, for me, is one of the deciding factors of why I bought this book. I find it intriguing that an author wrote short stories at three different times, all about a man supposedly gone insane, and they're incidentally seemingly reflective of the author's own downward spiral into madness.

The ending was slightly anti-climatic to my taste, but I found this novella entertaining. It seems to give you a glimpse into the state of mind Maupassant might have had while he was wr
Apr 01, 2016 Loki rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Fascinating early horror novel of a man's descent into madness - written in 1887, just before its author was committed... one of Lovecraft's acknowledged influences. I can see why.
Jan 16, 2015 Samantha rated it it was ok
I read this over the course of a few days. It is supposed to be one of the scariest stories. I must be a product of my time, because it didn't really scare me. Maybe before all the advances in special effects in movies, it might have been more scary to me, but not now. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't very spectacular, either. It was only okay. In fact, it was even a bit anticlimactic; at the end, I was disappointed that it ended as it did. The whole time reading it, I kept thinking it was one or ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Lalo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos, 2016
Lo primero que leo de Guy de Maupassant, un excelente relato que deja ese sabor de boca que el protagonista está loco y alucina.

El narrador, cuenta que se comienza a sentir cada vez más débil,hasta que se da cuenta que algo se toma su agua y leche por las noches, cada vez cae en un estado de paranoia y descubrimientos terribles que lo dejan al borde de la locura.
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Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless dénouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who get crushed i ...more
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“Certainly solitude is dangerous for active minds. We require around us men who can think and talk. When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms.” 13 likes
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