Classic novel in the original French. According to Wikipedia: "Henri Rene Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 - 6 July 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. As a protege of Flaubert, his short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless denouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught, emerge changed - many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s."