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Paris Tales

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
If you've never been to Paris, here is your chance to experience it; if you have been there, here is your chance to return. Paris Tales is a highly evocative collection of stories by French and Francophone writers who have been inspired by the mystery and charm of different locations in this most visited of capital cities. The twenty-two stories-- by well-known writers inc ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 9th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2004)
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Sam Sattler
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The completion of Paris Street Tales marked my completion of exactly one dozen short story compilations in 2016, allowing me to reach what, coming into the year, I figured would be one of the more unachievable goals I had set for myself. Needless to say, I enjoy short fiction as much as anything I read today, and this Oxford University Press publication reminds me why that is.

Short story collections can be pulled together in many different ways, including: best stories of the year; complete shor
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Its very French, no its very Parisian. Avant guard, quirky little stories translated from french to english about that most wonderful city. Some of the stories were odd but thats the beauty of short stories. Recommended
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wonderful collection of stories, I read this while in Paris which made it even that much better :) I loved that is wasn't filled with ALL cheerful stories, Paris isn't always a magical city of romance and happy times. This book showed the other sides of Paris!
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
A great book to savor small bits of Paris in various times and places.
Mason Jones
This is more of a two-and-a-half star book, but the stories are generally pretty good so I'll give it a three. This collection of French stories states that each story has to do "with particular streets in Paris" but that's really not the case. They're all stories set in Paris, and they each no doubt take place on one or more streets, but it feels like a collection idea that turned out to be too difficult to entirely accomplish. Nonetheless, the stories are all fairly good, if very uneven. With ...more
"It's true that once you have gone back into the city you tell yourself perhaps quite rightly that you would be bored to death cut off from society like that in a little house, in that silent, isolated road. And yet, every time you come and immerse yourself again in the soothing melancholy of this spot, you get the same feeling. It's as though the forgetfulness and peace you might seek in the contemplation of faraway endless shores - you might find them here, all together at the end of a bus rou ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Short stories range from well-known French authors (Colette, Georges Simenon, Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola) to modern authors with ties to Charlie Hebdo.
Urenna Sander
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was drawn to this book of short stories by two authors: Guy de Maupassant and Maryse Condé. I read short stories by Maupassant some time ago. I had begun Ms. Condé’s Segu, but never completed it. Next year, I will complete Segu.

In Family Portrait, Maryse Condé, a native of Guadeloupe, gives a non-fictional slice of her eight-year-old childhood, in 1946. Although unable to do so during the Second World War, every year, her upper middle-class parents visited France with their seven children. Whe
Apr 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: literary people who appreciate dreary well-written stories in translation
Recommended to Amy by: suggested reading by EF Tours for high school trip to France
*spoiler alert*

I wanted to like this collection of short stories, I really did. I wanted the essence of Paris, but by and large these stories were dark, dreary, sexually-charged, or all three. Is that what Paris really is? Is that all it is? Isn't there any joy or hope there? Could Helen Constantine (the translator of all the stories, and the compiler of this collection) not have noticed that every single story is so depressing? Didn't she care?

The first story, by Guy de Maupassant, Nightmare: a
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this breathtaking. I'm not sure whether this was because of the writing (which was wonderful!) or because I am quite obsessed with the city of Paris, having lived there for a while and having fallen head over heels in love with it.

I love reading about the different parts of Paris and the kinds of people who live in them, and this was an excellent collection. Some of the stories I couldn't understand fully, and they were a bit too poetic for my tastes, but I really enjoyed the majority of
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Like so many collections, this was incredibly uneven. I like a good short story, but, for me, essay and short story collections just aren’t worth the reading time investment for the few good ones, especially in translation. However, despite my general reservations about collections, I had high hopes for this one because of the Paris setting, but there were very few stories that provided a real sense of place, notably “Montmartre Cemetery” by Colette, “The Adventure” by Cyrille Fleischman, and ma ...more
Gene Lecouteur
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I did not enjoy it as much as I expected. But it was cheaper than a trip to Paris so well worth the time. I found the more modern stories most compelling.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
a mixed bag. Some very good others not so
Andrew Bailey
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot. Short stories with many hidden depths, all exploring an aspect of the human condition - our faults and positive qualities.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Nicely written short stories collection - a gift from a friend as I anticipated my first paris vacation.
Wayne King
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Jan 05, 2015
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Feb 03, 2012
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Dec 27, 2011
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Apr 08, 2012
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Dec 12, 2007
Mîrț Paula
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Nov 14, 2016
Adam Scovell
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Oct 13, 2017
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Oct 19, 2016
rated it did not like it
May 18, 2014
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Mar 18, 2012
rated it it was ok
Feb 19, 2009
SAPL Christina
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Jun 17, 2010
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May 31, 2016
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Dec 28, 2014
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Dec 30, 2012
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Who can resist this first paragraph-- 1 6 Dec 12, 2007 06:27PM  
  • Provence A-Z
  • Quiet Corners of Paris
  • Paris In Mind
  • A Corner in the Marais: Memoir of a Paris Neighborhood
  • The Secret Life of France
  • Paris in the Fifties
  • Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910
  • Walks through Lost Paris: A Journey into the Heart of Historic Paris
  • Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris
  • True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris
  • Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe: 25 Years of Travel Tales from America's Favorite Guidebook Writer
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Sex & Love in the City of Light
  • French or Foe?: Getting the Most Out of Visiting, Living and Working in France
  • Into a Paris Quartier: Reine Margot's Chapel and Other Haunts of St. Germain
  • The Virago Book of Women Travellers
  • Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience
  • Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul
  • Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France
Helen Constantine read French and Latin at Oxford. She was Head of Languages at Bartholomew School, Eynsham, until 2000, when she gave up teaching and became a full-time translator. She has published volumes of translated stories, Paris Tales, and French Tales and edits a series of City Tales for Oxford University Press. Paris Metro Tales will be published in March 2011. She has translated Mademoi ...more
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