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The Necklace and Other Short Stories

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  15,403 ratings  ·  428 reviews
The French author Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was a master of the short story, creating detailed character studies and brief but moving dramas well suited to the genre.
The nine stories in this collection provide a vivid portrait gallery of his typical subjects — from simple peasants and prostitutes to soldiers, government clerks, and provincial bourgeois. Brilliantly nat
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 5th 1992 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1884)
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3.95  · 
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 ·  15,403 ratings  ·  428 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Diamonds may not be a girl's best friend.


My initial rating of this 1884 short story by the French author Guy du Maupassant was 3 1/2 stars, but after rereading it, I'm bumping it up to 4 stars, maybe even 4 1/2.

I first read "The Necklace" in a college English short story course, more years ago than I want to say. The professor was rather odd and had (I thought) an undue hang-up with making the students try to distill the meaning and theme of each story into a sentence that we would offer up to
Ahmad Sharabiani
The necklace and other short stories, Guy de Maupassant
The French author Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was a master of the short story, creating detailed character studies and brief but moving dramas well suited to the genre.
The nine stories in this collection provide a vivid portrait gallery of his typical subjects — from simple peasants and prostitutes to soldiers, government clerks, and provincial bourgeois. Brilliantly naturalistic, these short works also reveal Maupassant's ability to obser
Mansuriah Hassan
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
This classic book never gets out of date. I read this short story when I was in high school and I really enjoyed it. Now looking back at it in my book shelf, it brings back the memory of mixed feelings I had when I read it last time. I opt to re-read this classic once again. Since this is a short story, I don’t want to go into detail.

The Necklace is a poignant tale about Mathilde Loisel who is a beautiful young woman married to an unimportant clerk. She dreams of the finer things of life and is
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-novels
The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant would always be in my top short stories recommendation list.

Reminding of O. Henry and yet having a perfectly different style, the author never ceases to create humor and astonishment.

Read this one if you still haven't.
Guy de Maupassant is another example of a splendid short-stories writer. If my memory can still be relied on, I learned to love short-stories reading Maupassant! The Necklace and Other Short Stories is a great example. Read it and enjoy!
Ahmed  Ejaz
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, short-stories
SHE WAS ONE OF THOSE PRETTY AND CHARMING GIRLS BORN, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans

Mr Loisel
A clerk in Ministry of Education.
Mathilde Loisel
She is beautiful but poor by background. So she marries a poor clerk. But she isn't happy with this because she thinks she deserves to have wealth, good expensive clothes and jewellery.
Madame Forestier
She is a school friend of Mathilde and she is rich.

Mr. Loisel gets an invitation of
This is the first time I read this writer and I'm a bit confused now. I really liked a couple of short stories but the rest just seemed okay for me. For example, "Boule de Suif", his most famous short story, is simply brilliant (nothing new about that). I loved it and hated it at the same time. I loved the writing, the irony, but I hated the story itself. It made me feel bad and... violent. And that is what makes it good: the ability of creating those mixed emotions in us. It is set in the Franc ...more
I remember reading this at school in Grade 10, and absolutely loving it. Of all the short stories they ever made me read in all my years of high school, this was the best!
What a pair of fools! This is like Aesop's Fables, only for adults.

Never have I wanted to bang two heads together so much. Mathilde and her husband are idiots, plain and simple. Why, oh why, didn't they go to Mathilde's friend in the first place and explain what happened?

Instead they keep it to themselves and waste ten years of their life.

(view spoiler)
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I have a tender place in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.

No, that doesn't ring true for Maupassant. In fact, I don't feel much tenderness at all from his writing. But what he does have in spades is a firm grasp on the reality of his time. He seems to be a man who tells it like it is, and fuck your feelings. You should have seen it coming. Because we're all so damn predictable - would rather live years in torment than fess up. We'll give up all we have to be liked and respect
Gary Inbinder
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent selection of Maupassant's stories, of which "The Necklace" is the most familiar from numerous anthologies. Several of the stories including "The Necklace", are examples of Slice of Life Realism. Many are set in the author's native Normandy, some on the coastline by the Channel, others to the south by the Bay of Biscay. A few have an urban setting, usually in Paris, and one is set in the Alps. The story-lines run the gamut, from comedy (Theodole Sabot's Confession and The Wrong House ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
For good reason is this entitled 'The Necklace and Other Stories' because The Necklace is one of the few stories really worth reading. Most people read The Necklace at some point in their education. Maupassant created a delightful fable with important lessons that can be gleaned from it.

Other stories that were interesting, though I don't think they have as much inherent value as The Necklace were Ball-of-Fat, Miss Harriet, and The Horla. Ball-of-Fat follows a group who are fleeing their war-torn
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone.
An okay sampling of de Maupassant's works which I suspect were a bit more entertaining in his era than now. Not a bad piece but few of the stories actually grabbed me and one or two of those were not the endings one is lead to believe he will find, which I suspect was his forte.

The Necklace continues to be a priceless story.

Short collection. Easy read
Defying D
“The Necklace” weaves a tale about Madame Mathilde Loisel who dreams of the finer things of life and is not content with her secure, middle class lifestyle. The price she pays for a single evening of elegance turns into years of drudgery and despair. This is a story that has stood the test of time and is as relevant today as when Maupassant wrote it in the late nineteenth century.
He masterfully uses irony to produce a surprise ending in this short story. In doing so, he attempts to teach his rea
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
You've probably read "The Necklace" at some point: in grade school, perhaps in a college literature class, or in a collection containing short stories from various authors. It's very good, and its mirror image, "The Jewels" (which I hadn't read previously) is also very good. I appreciate that "Ball of Fat" (Boule de Suif) is translated here as "Butterball", a slightly nicer word for the prostitute who appears within the story. Two "horror" stories here entitled "The Hand" and "The Entity" feel l ...more
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-long-time-ago
i remember when my parents and relatives would give me big heavy leather-bound books as presents. Now we get emails with redemption codes on them for ones and zeros. I'm not trying to be profound, or whiny, I love both. But I'm just in awe of some of the books I read years ago. And how my standards have degraded, lol. aunt Kunmimi gave me a copy of this in junior high. Maybe it was for a birthday or to congratulate on a piano recital. Either way, I need to find that book. It was bea
Aug 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shortstories
I can't help it, but I loved this short story because the protagonist got what was coming to her. That's what happens when you are ungrateful, prideful, and went more than you can afford. Just desserts as the say...

I never used to enjoy short stories, because well, they are short. Once you get into them they're over, but I'm finding great pleasure in reading them. I think it takes great skill to write short stories, because you have to work harder to catch the attention of the reader, because yo
Jackson Cyril
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of the stories here are breathtakingly beautiful, and others unbearably sad. All told in Maupassant's spare, barebones prose.
Diane S ☔
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
In the necklace a young woman unknowingly changes her life beyond measure, for a fleeting chance of pretending to be something and someone she is not.
Danielle N
I enjoyed this collection even with its slower pace. Each story seemed to hide a small and worthy message.

I picked it up for 'The Necklace'. This was a very short story that admittedly somewhat dry for my tastes. But it was also an easy read and interesting allegory of a young woman’s struggle with her own social status.

The main character is quite cantankerous and ungracious. However, as most tales with a moral will have it, she is dealt a hard lesson in the end with a somewhat predictable yet s
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jithin James
Rating 5*
In this short story, Maupassant paints a beautiful portrait of myriad human emotions through the unfolding of a singular event - the loss of a "diamond" necklace - in the life of Mathilde, a common housewife, which changes the future course of her life.

Through this tale Maupassant fabulously portrays :
- The desire to achieve something beyond one's means.
- The path one adopts to attain the objective.
- The sense of happiness and completeness felt on achieving it.
- The sense of despair
Christina DiMinni
I would use the short story "The Necklace" from this collection. This short story would introduce to students how one's economic status/wealth can define their identity. The main character of the story is very materialistic and misguided by riches, and she faces the consequences of trying to be something she is not. Before reading this short story, I would provide students with an Anticipation Guide focusing on how material items can control one's identity, and can cause one to try to be somethi ...more
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I haven't read Maupassant, but these stories interested me. They don't have quite as much of the lead up as some of Balzac's work, less rigid, but perhaps that is because Maupassant was later. Still, Maupassant seems to imbue the stories with more compassion. There is less of a sensation of the characters as spectacle. Maybe that's just me, but that's the way it seemed. He does seem a bit obsessed with prostitutes.
Autumn Darling
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of my favorite short stories of all time. I remember reading it while my English Teacher droned on and on about "Like Water For Chocolate" (that book sucked by the way). I was so bored in her class that I opened my English book and randomly read stories I found in it. "The Necklace" grasped my attention and my heart. It's been 11 years since I read that story but I still quote it often. I now own the book. This is a story every woman should read.
Jenny Clark
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These short stories run the gammet from quick little sketches, to humor to terrifying.
Ball of Fat shows how a common prostate can have more breeding than high ladies.
The Necklace and A Piece of String are both ironic short tales, driven by the characters.
Mme. Tellier's Establisment is a portrait of a time
Mademoiselle Fifi is a hot blooded tale of French patriots
Miss. Harriet is a dark little tale
A Way to wealth and My Uncle Jules are both just ok, not much to them.
The Horla is absolutely terrif
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting story. Read it here:

Thank you, Tadiana! Read her review here:
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Essentially picked this up for "The Inn", it's great. And I've long been a Maupaussant fan, so many of the stories are dear to me. But "The Inn" was a bit unknown, kind of has a precursor to "The Shining" vibe.
Chip Howard
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to Maupassant in my college years, where stories like “Le Horla” were used to demonstrate a concise and unique (in this case, a diary-esque) way of telling a story. I was pretty enthralled by this tale and found myself reading more of his supernatural short stories (which—I’m now sure—were the seeds that grew into my fondness of late 19th and early 20th century ghost stories).

However, in reading this collection, newly translated by Sandra Smith, I was surprised to find I wasn’t as much st
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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
“She was simple, not being able to adorn herself, but she was unhappy, as one out of her class; for women belong to no caste, no race, their grace, their beauty and their charm serving them in place of birth and family. Their inborn finesse, their instinctive elegance, their suppleness of wit, are their only aristocracy, making some daughters of the people the equal of great ladies.” 9 likes
“She stayed there, in her ball dress, without strength to go to bed, overwhelmed, on a chair, without a fire, without a thought.” 6 likes
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