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Monday, November 05, 2012

Reader's Diary #889- Josef Essberger: The Winepress



After a month of horror stories for October I was looking forward to a break in November. Instead I decided to resume my short story globetrotting and went looking for something from Madagascar. It was then I came across "The Winepress" by Josef Essberger. While the author is British (I believe), it's set partially in France, partially in Madagascar. But, with a rather macabre plot, it could have easily fit into October's Halloween theme.

Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me of Poe (as it did many others if you read the comments), which is somewhat strange considering it's by a modern author. Stranger still when it's posted on a site dedicated to learners and teachers of English. English is clearly my first language but I even added a few words to my vocabulary while reading it. In any case, it comes across as a legitimate short story (versus one written merely to teach someone English).

It's a story about a man, the Count de Gruse, entertaining guests at his place in Paris, recounting a tale told to him by a winegrower who had spent some time in Madagascar where the winegrower had met his wife. It has a bit of a twist at the end, but given that the Count de Gruse doesn't appear to really like his guests, Essberger wisely leaves open the possibility that he is an unreliable narrator.

Enjoy it with a glass of wine. Red wine.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm going to pour myself a glass of Malbec and come back to read. Thanks for the excuse to drink at 4 o'clock.