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Penguin Classics Bel Ami Film Tie In Edition [Paperback]

Maupassant Guy De
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 19 2012
Young, attractive and very ambitious, George Duroy, known to his friends as Bel-Ami, is offered a job as a journalist on La Vie francaise and soon makes a great success of his new career. But he also comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt society in which he lives - the sleazy colleagues, the manipulative mistresses and wily financiers - and swiftly learns to become an arch-seducer, blackmailer and social climber in a world where love is only a means to an end. Written when Maupassant was at the height of his powers, "Bel-Ami" is a novel of great frankness and cynicism, but it is also infused with the sheer joy of life - depicting the scenes and characters of Paris in the belle epoque with wit, sensitivity and humanity.

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From the Back Cover

Un essai
Étude approfondie d'un grand texte classique ou contemporain par un spécialiste de l'oeuvre : approche critique originale des multiples facettes du texte dans une présentation claire et rigoureuse.

Un dossier
Bibliographie, chronologie, variantes, témoignages, extraits de presse. Eclaircissements historiques et contextuels, commentaires critiques récents.

Un ouvrage efficace, élégant. Une nouvelle manière de lire --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

GUY DE MAUPASSANT (1850-93) was a literary disciple of Flaubert and part of the group of young Naturalistic writers that formed around Zola. In addition to his six novels, which include Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888), Maupassant wrote hundreds of short stories, the most famous of which is 'Boule de suif'. By the late 1870s, he began to develop the first signs of syphilis, and in 1891 he was committed to an asylum in Paris, having tried to commit suicide. He died there two years later. DOUGLAS PARMEE is a well-known French translator.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars French April 18 2014
By steph
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't like this book cuz I couldn't read it it's all in French ughhhh!! Not cool at all guys
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5.0 out of 5 stars La réussite sociale dans tous ses états Nov. 9 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Portrait très convaincant (et pour cause…) d’un « vagabond mondain », jeune homme issu des champs, mais qui veut devenir homme de la ville. De la grande ville, puisqu’il s’agit de Paris au XIXe siècle, avec sa société très hiérarchisée où il faut être beau et riche pour gravir les échelons de la reconnaissance sociale. C’est ce que cherche notre ami, à tout prix, aidé toutefois par son apparence de jeune premier. Il lui suffit alors de trouver la richesse et il a bien compris que pour cela il fallait trouver la femme influente. Des jeux de société habilement racontés par l’auteur, sans trop de grincements de dents, mais quand même avec une critique acérée par moments, en particulier, du milieu journalistique. Des réflexions empruntes aussi parfois de pessimisme à la façon de Schopenhauer(un des maîtres à penser de Maupassant) mais souvent on peut sourire de ce tableau qui culmine dans ce que l’auteur lui même appelle « une salade de société » dont la sauce, je dirais, est assez relevée. Un livre marquant sur ce sujet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Friend Less Beautiful Sept. 15 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A great work by a giant of 19th century French literature who died young, perhaps before fully realizing his immense talent.

But not before leaving us with Bel Ami, an awesome work that skewers mid-19th century French society in a way that should resonate with readers today, who will recognize our world of sleezy power-brokers, hypocitical and greedy businessmen and corrupt professional politicians equally exposed as those de Maupassant wrote about.

Highly recommended.

~ ~ ~ J.A.I.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Story on 19th Century French Society May 26 2003
Guy De Maupassant (1850-1893), if "Bel-Ami" is any indication, must rank as one of the best writers in the history of the western world. Born in Normandy in 1850, Maupassant became a disciple of the French author Flaubert early in life. Guy quit his job with the civil service after publishing his first short story, "Boule de Suif" in 1880. What followed was a phenomenal flurry of 250 short stories and six novels before his premature death from syphilis in 1893. During his short life, Maupassant helped to form the "groupe de Medan," a loosely knit group of naturalist writers headed by Emile Zola. He also worked as a journalist, covering such important events as the French campaigns in Algeria and Tunisia. A hard worker when it came to writing, Maupassant also possessed a zest for life, including a love for the ladies that eventually killed him.
"Bel-Ami" is hardly an original premise. How many books written through the years discuss the idea of a rural man heading to the city to make it big? That is exactly what happens with this book in the form of main character Georges Duroy. After a five-year stint in the French army, Duroy moves to Paris to make his fortune. Regrettably, Duroy is languishing in a lowly job as a railroad clerk until he meets his old army buddy Forestier. From this point forward, Georges is on the fast track to success. Forestier gets him a job at a scandal rag named "La Vie Francaise" where Georges rapidly ascends the ranks from lowly reporter to chief editor. Along the way, Duroy engages in all sorts of amorous adventures with women both high and low on the Paris social register. By the time the story ends, Georges is within sight of the highest positions in French society, all accomplished through sheer cunning and social maneuvering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic! Feb. 4 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just a beautifully written story. This is my second time reading it, and I can't wait to read it again in 10 years! Love Maupassant, I would recommend it for sure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars social climbers June 3 2004
By myshiak
The novel can make you wonder how the society can be so porous to allow somebody to get from dire poverty to filthy richness. It is important to note that Georges Duroy, unlike Rastignac from Balzac's "Pere Goriot/Old Goriot", was never torn between good and evil and, unlike Julien Sorel from Stendhal's "le Rouge et le Noire/the Red and the Black" never won women's hearts as a plebeian. Georges Duroy may personify the cynical and corrupt society, however his success would not have been possible without the society, in spite of all its vises, being so sensuous (especially the female part of it).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sleaze, Manipulation, Mediocrity March 29 2004
This is a story of how sleaze, manipulation, and mediocrity prevail and get certain people ahead in life.
Georges Duroy is one of those incompetent losers who gets others to do his work for him and sleeps his way to the top, basically. This story is an expose of the corrupt and unscrupulous aspects of the newspaper publishing world and the immoral seductions of Parisian high society.
Duroy begins in the poverty and squalor of a worker's tenement building where he's struggling to make a living. Through sheer determination to change his situation and make something of his life, he moves to Paris and soon finds himself in the artistic salon of a wealthy and intelligent political hostess and the home of a rich Jewish banker and newspaper owner. Here Maupassant skillfully shows how a mediocre, untalented nobody becomes really successful in life through cunning, through good luck... and good connections!
David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars rien ne se traduit! il faut apprendre le français
je ne peux pas comprendre les gens qui lisent la littérature française en anglais. d'abord, rien ne se traduit (tradurre e' tradire). Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Polyglot
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly 'modern' classic
Maupassant's characters are more real and colourful than those created by any of the other French naturalists. Bel Ami, his first fill length novel, is simply a joy to read. Read more
Published on June 12 2001 by "stephenmackintosh"
5.0 out of 5 stars right up there with Madame Bovary
I would never have known that Guy de Maupassant wrote novels along with his great short stories if another amazon reader hadn't turned me on to their existence. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2000 by M. H. Bayliss
5.0 out of 5 stars French Tickler
We can always learn something from the French, and this novel of one journalist's rise in 1880s Paris is full of little 'life lessons' about the way of the World and how to turn... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2000 by Captain Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, But Doesn't Quite Attain Excellence
I enjoyed this book very much and readily recognize that it is head and shoulders above so much contemporary fiction -- particularly all this Oprah Winfrey-approved garbage. Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Pick
Has anyone ever asked you what 5 books you'd take with you to a desert island? Consider Bel Ami.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Read more
Published on May 10 2000 by Timothy P. Peterson
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