A collection of short stories from Boccaccio’s The Decameron translated by Peter Hainsworth.
Book number one in the 80 volume Little Black Penguin Classics set that I purchased at the beginning of the year, I have set myself the challenge of reading 100 books in 2018, including the 80 of this set, so it will be interesting to see if I can keep up the pace of writing reviews (on average) twice a week.
The first book in this set is by an author I have heard nothing about, ever, but a quick google tells me that he is a Florentine writer from the 1300’s. Apart from the setting of the short stories, I would not have picked the time that he was born, given the lively interpretation of what is a racy and ribald account of virility, infidelity, trickery, manipulation and lust.
There are four short stories in total, all of which relate to some instance of sexual misconduct or relationship management. As they are short stories, to give the plot away would also give much of the charm away, so I would simply say that as a start to a collection of 80, it was an engaging, funny and ironic way to kick it off. The more time you spend reading classics and tales from hundreds or thousands of years ago, the more you realise that we are not so advanced as we may think. Technology can only mask human nature to a certain extent, but these stories certainly do not seem dated or out of place in modern society, even if the settings are certainly straight out of the 14th Century.
I have no expectations of what to expect from the set of Little Black Penguin Classics, but nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised at the nature of volume one. A good mix of humour and sex, two things that never fail to entertain.
Onto the next one!
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports