Title: Waiter, A ‘Bock’
Date Read: 5th September 2011
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: The narrator randomly walks into a large beer hall, and is taken aback when the scruffy man he sits next to begins speaking to him. He’s even more surprised when he soon realises that he actually knows this man.
Afterthoughts: This is a rather woeful froth-filled tale from Maupassant about a man who’s down and out on his luck. It’s the reason why he’s got himself in trouble that’s the most intriguing thing about this story, and it’s all, well, a bit sad really. Certainly not the most sorrowful tale I’ve read from Maupassant, but it’s definitely one that should be filed in the box marked, gloom. Recommended? Yes, but if if it’s real sadness you want to read from Maupassant, then check out The Blind Man, The Begger or The Piece of String.
Notable Quote: At a glance I recognized a “regular,” one of those frequenters of beer houses who come in the morning when the place opens, and do not leave till evening when it is about to close. He was dirty, bald on top of his head, with a fringe of iron-gray hair falling on the collar of his frock coat. His clothes, much too large for him, appeared to have been made for him at a time when he was corpulent. One could guess that he did not wear suspenders, for he could not take ten steps without having to stop to pull up his trousers. Did he wear a vest? The mere thought of his boots and of that which they covered filled me with horror. The frayed cuffs were perfectly black at the edges, as were his nails.
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.