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Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

Bel-Ami (1885)

by Guy de Maupassant

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Georges Duroy, an ex-soldier down on his luck meets a former comrade, who offers him a job as a journalist. Georges starts to make his way up 1880s French society by manipulating and seducing a series of women.

Even allowing for the differences between views of women then and now, Georges is a nasty piece of work as he uses and discards the women he seduces. I kept waiting for him to get his comeuppance but of course nothing stops his irresistible rise. Despite my dislike of him, I felt unable to look away, which is I suppose a tribute to de Maupassant's writing. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 8, 2014 |
Georges Duroy wants more from life than just his dreary job and constant lack of funds. While moping around Paris, he happens upon a friend and former soldier who convinces him to try writing, setting him up at his paper -- the Vie Française -- where he's tasked with writing an article about his experiences in Africa during the war. However, writers block sets in and Duroy begs for help from his friend to get the article started. His friend introduces him to his wife Madeleine, a smart and attractive woman, who at once draws the story from Duroy and gets him to write it down. Sh also takes an interest in him and invites him to a salon where she introduces him to the high society ladies of Paris. Duroy uses his good looks and charm to worm his way into the lives of the women, devising a plan to gain respectability and wealth at the cost of their hearts.

"Bel Ami" presents a vivid look at 19th century Paris, from the corruption of politics and the influence of the press to the salons of society matrons, all told through the eyes of Georges Duroy. He's unscrupulous and conniving, always scheming to find a better life, to earn more money no matter the cost. He uses women as if they were chess pieces, inching him closer and closer to his goal, and discarding them when they're no longer of use. You can't help not liking him, but that's what makes the story such a good read: you want to see to what lengths he will go for his ideal of fortune and fame. It's definitely a book worth reading. ( )
  ocgreg34 | Sep 20, 2014 |
sigh. this was a really frustrating read for me, which is such a shame, it was all kind of bland and one-dimensional - save for mme. forestier-du roy. she should have been the lead.

while reading, i continually found myself wondering WHY people were doing things to help georges duroy? he was not described in any way that offered he was a man of particular intelligence, charm, or handsomeness.i mean, his nickname is 'bel-ami' -- but there really was not any evidence he was a good friend - he was, in fact, a terrible friend. even as a satire -- it wasn't strong enough for me. he has no depth (which may very well be the whole point, but lack of depth in a 'scoundrel' makes for a not very enjoyable read). there was nothing special about him that would, to me, make someone want to do anything for him. and yet...he advances his lot in life through a repeated cycle of using women. there were some weird threads left dangling - mostly to do with motivations. and the ham-handed jesus moment nearly blew up my brain. sigh! ( )
  DawsonOakes | Jul 20, 2014 |
Oh, how much I hate the main character!! A young man who owns nothing slowky but steadily climbs the social ladder, by using lies, betrayal, manipulation of mostly women and young girls.

Hadn't it been a 1001-book, I wouldn't have made it past the half-way mark. But it is and I finished it. I'm so happy I'm done :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 2, 2014 |
Reseña de Fantasía Mágica

Bel Ami es una novela muy curiosa. El protagonista no es el clásico héroe, ni tampoco es un anti-héroe. George Duroy, a quien comienzan a llamar Bel Ami gracias a una niñita (eso me pareció muy simpático), es un personaje que me resultó muy difícil de querer, porque pese a todo, me pareció falto de carisma.

Bel Ami es considerado encantador por todos, pero en realidad es cobarde, envidioso, desagradecido, arrogante, traicionero, codicioso, mujeriego, ambicioso e insensible (si, todo eso); y con el correr de la historia se vuelve cada vez más mesquino. Sus cualidades se van potenciando, alimentándose a si mismas a medida que logra sus objetivos, y aún así no es feliz.
Nunca está conforme, siempre encuentra un punto de comparación con alguien que tiene más que él y lo desea, valiéndose de cualquier método para conseguirlo.
Se aprovecha de las mujeres solitarias con maridos importantes, las seduce, las usa y luego las rechaza. Algunas se obsesionan con él al extremo de resultar patéticas, como es el caso de la mujer de Walter que se rebaja hasta límites insospechados por seguir siendo objeto de las "atenciones" de Bel Ami.
Cuando uno cree que finalmente está mostrando un poco de humanidad, hace algo que nos saca del error inmediatamente.

Se lee muy rápido y está escrito de forma muy amena -sobre todo considerando la época en que fue creado-, y si bien se hacen referencias sutiles, no hay una sola escena de sexo.
Este libro genera sentimientos encontrados hacia el protagonista y produce intriga sobre cómo irá a terminar. ( )
  outlanders22 | Sep 21, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (66 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maupassant, Guy deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bac, FerdinandIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bakker, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bigliosi, CinziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bory, Jean-LouisContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caproni, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuijlenborg, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, F.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szac, MurielleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Quand la caissière lui eut rendu la monnaie de sa pièce de cent sous, Georges Duroy sortit du restaurant.
After changing his five-franc piece Georges Duroy left the restaurant.
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Nederlandse ed. ook verschenen o.d.t.: Vrindje, De strever, Adonis
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140443150, Paperback)

Guy de Maupassant's scandalous tale of an opportunistic young man corrupted by the allure of power, "Bel-Ami" is translated with an introduction by Douglas Parmee in "Penguin Classics". Young, attractive and very ambitious, George Duroy, known to his admirers 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. Douglas Parmee's translation captures all the vigour and vitality of Maupassant's novel. His introduction explores the similarities between Bel-Ami and Maupassant himself and demonstrates the skill with which the author depicts his large cast of characters and the French society of the Third Republic. Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was born in Normandy. By the late 1870s, the first signs of syphilis had appeared, and Maupassant had become Flaubert's pupil in the art of prose. He led a hectic social life, and in 1891, having tried to commit suicide, he was committed to an asylum in Paris, where he died two years later. If you enjoyed "Bel-Ami", you might like William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", also available in "Penguin Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:58 -0400)

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"Maupassant's second novel, Bel-Ami (1885), is the story of a ruthlessly ambitious young man (Georges Duroy, christened 'Bel-Ami' by his female admirers) making it to the top in fin-de-siecle Paris. It is a novel about money, sex, and power, set against the background of the politics of the French colonization of North Africa. It explores the dynamics of an urban society uncomfortably close to our own and is a devastating satire of the sleaziness of contemporary journalism."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443150, 0141196793

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