1. Antoine de Saint-Exupery - “The Little Prince”

It's probably the most important work of Antoine de Saint-Exupery with author's drawings. A wise and “humane” fairy tale-parable, which simply and soulfully speaks loyalty, friendship, royalty, beauty and intolerance of evil.

Learn more about littérature française.

2. Alexander Dumas - “Count of Monte Cristo”

The plot of the novel was drawn by Alexander Dumas from the archives of the Paris police. The genuine life of Francois Pico under the pen of a brilliant master of the historical adventure genre turned into a fascinating story about Edmond Dantes, prisoner of If Castle. Having made a bold escape, he returns to his hometown to do justice - to take revenge on those who destroyed his life.

3. Gustave Flaubert - “Madame Bovary”

The main character, Emma Bovary, suffers from the inability to fulfill her dreams of a brilliant, secular life full of romantic passions. Instead, she is forced to eke out the monotonous existence of the wife of a poor provincial doctor. The painful atmosphere of the outback strangles Emma, ​​but all her attempts to escape beyond the bounds of a gloomy world are doomed to failure: a boring husband cannot satisfy his wife's requests, and her outwardly romantic and attractive lovers are actually egocentric and cruel. Is there a way out of life’s impasse? ..

4. Gaston Leroux - The Phantom of the Opera

“The Phantom of the Opera really existed” - one of the most sensational French novels of the turn of the XIX-XX centuries is devoted to the proof of this thesis. It belongs to the pen of Gaston Leroux, the master of the police novel, the author of the famous “Secrets of the Yellow Room”, “The Scent of a Lady in Black”. From the first to the last page, Leroux keeps the reader in suspense.

5. Guy De Maupassant - “Dear Friend”

Guy de Maupassant is often called the master of erotic prose. But the novel “Dear Friend” (1885) goes beyond the scope of this genre. The history of the career of the ordinary seducer and playboy Georges Durois, developing in the spirit of an adventure novel, becomes a symbolic reflection of the spiritual impoverishment of the hero and society.

6. Simone De Beauvoir - “The Second Sex”

Two volumes of the book “The Second Sex” by the French writer Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) - “a born philosopher”, according to her husband J.-P. Sartra - are still considered the most complete historical and philosophical study of the whole complex of problems associated with women. What is a “female inheritance”, what is behind the concept of “natural sex”, how and why a woman’s position in this world differs from a man’s position, is a woman able, in principle, to become a full-fledged personality, and if so, in what conditions, what circumstances restrict the freedom of women and how to overcome them.

7. Chollerlo de Laclos - “Dangerous Liaisons"

Dangerous Liaisons, one of the most vivid novels of the eighteenth century, is the only book by Chauderlo de Laclos, a French artillery officer. The heroes of the erotic novel Viscount de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil embark on a sophisticated intrigue, wanting revenge on their opponents. Having developed the cunning strategy and tactics of seducing the young girl Cecile de Wolange, they masterly play on human weaknesses and shortcomings.

8. Charles Baudelaire - “Flowers of Evil”

Among the masters of world culture, the name of Charles Baudelaire burns with a bright star. This book includes the collection of the poet "Flowers of Evil", which made his name famous, and the brilliant essay "School of the Gentiles." The book is preceded by an article by the remarkable Russian poet Nikolai Gumilyov, and completes the rarely published essay about Baudelaire by the outstanding French poet and thinker Paul Valerie.

9. Stendhal - “Parma Monastery”

The novel, written by Stendhal in just 52 days, has received worldwide recognition. The dynamism of the action, the intriguing course of events, the dramatic denouement combined with the image of strong characters capable of anything for love’s sake are the key moments of the work that do not cease to excite the reader to the last lines. The fate of Fabrizio, the protagonist of the novel, a freedom-loving young man, is filled with unexpected upheavals taking place during a historic turning point in Italy at the beginning of the 19th century.

10. Andre Gide - The Counterfeiters

The novel, a landmark for the work of Andre Gide, and for French literature of the first half of the XX century in general. A novel that in many respects predicted the motives that later became the main ones in the work of existentialists. The intricate relations of three families - representatives of the big bourgeoisie, united by a crime, vice and a labyrinth of self-destructive passions, become the backdrop for the story of the growing up of two young men - two childhood friends, each of which has to go through its own, very difficult school of “raising feelings”.

Check out for more que lire information.

Author's Bio: 

Johnny Fortune is an eternal student of books and literature. Always looking for the next big thing in learning and knowledge.