French Zombies, Anyone?

Was It A Dream? by Guy De Maupassant (188-s)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   April 9, 2013

The drama factor in Was It A Dream is at the high end. And the chill factor, yeah, this one will get you.

There is something about De Maupassant’s writings that make me feel like I’m living the events with the character—a right-in-the-moment quality. And this story was written over a hundred years ago but it still delivers. De Maupassant was a best-selling author in his day; he wrote over 300 short stories and received much acclaim and praise.

The theme of this shortie is love and death. Such a combination cannot fail to affect with the skills of this author.

The story opens with the exclamation, “I had loved her madly!”  I dare you to stop reading.

By the fourth paragraph, tragedy strikes and our narrator laments his lost love. There is quite a lot of exclamation here, clear prose, a heavy dose of reality, and vivid descriptions that our author is known for—quite sensuous, I might add (Flaubert was De Maupassant’s mentor so of course there’s quite a bit of flair).

The central action of the story takes place in a cemetery. I will tell you, I’m not a zombie fan but these zombies are my kind of zombies! After reading this story, you won’t likely forget it.

Try this exhilarating short read, less than 2000 words at The Literary Gothic:

Follow me on Twitter

Next week’s Tale of Terror will by Henry James in honor of his birth date.


Filed under Dreams, fiction, ghouls, horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

11 responses to “French Zombies, Anyone?

  1. Hi, Paula. I heard about your blog from Laurence Santoro of Tales to Terrify. Thanks for the reading suggestions. Amy H. Sturgis mentioned “The Horla” on an episode of the Starship Sofa podcast some time ago, and I’ve been meaning to read it. I’ll do it now.
    Keep the fun coming, and I’ll keep reading.



    • Hi Steve and thanks for commenting. I’m happy to find other readers who enjoy and appreciate the classics. I just discovered Tales to Terrify and I’m having great fun with it. The Horla is quite good. De Maupassant is a master at this kind of soft-core horror, which is my favorite.


  2. I find it fascinating, Rob, how De Maupassant’s mental instabilities affected his work so intensely. I wonder if writing gave him some momentary sense of sanity–his stories are so cleanly written. Kind of like keeping the devil one step away. Speaking of, I just read “The Devil,” and that story actually gave me a nightmare. The subtle evil of being frightened to death! Thanks for your comment.


  3. Rob

    Hi Paula,
    I must admit that Le Horla is among my favourite Maupassant tales. It’s terrifying, and even more so when realises that Maupassant wrote this tale not long before he had begun to descend into his own madness.

    Another story written around the same time is Who Knows? It’s nowhere near as chilling in plot as Le Horla, but it does wholly reflects that all is perhaps not well with Maupassant’s mental state.


  4. Thanks for the nudge to read this, Paula.


    • My pleasure, Danielle. I’m actually having more fun with this blog than you can know. Even my husband has become curious now and asks, “so what terror are you cooking up for this week?” Thanks for appreciating.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s