Compiled for entertainment rather than edification, this provides full reader value in a collection of stories at once classical and popular, and of permanent appeal. The selection, while familiar, is reliable, and includes examples of the traditional Balzac, George Sand, de Musset, Flaubert, Daudet, Zola, de Maupassant and Anatole France. Of more recent years and experiences, there are some_significant writings by Duhamel, Joseph Kessel, Malraux, Saint-Exupery, and Jean-Paul Sartre. There's substantial story merit here -- as well as so-styled cultural appeal. This -- with the added impetus of Literary Guild December selection, should catch a big Christmas gift sale.