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Bel Ami Paperback – 23 Dec 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Empire Books (23 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619491990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619491991
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,794,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Marshaw on 1 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a thrilling read. Thouroughly recommended. Maupassant died from syphillis at a middle age and his mysery and thoughts on death are pasted thourought the book. It has affected me deeply and I suggest you buy this just for the experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
disappointed 29 Mar 2010
By Lucye S. Parson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want to know if this was an edited version of this book. I read it years ago and I remember it being much more explicit. This book seems to be toned down quite a bit. Is this a rewritten book? Is there an original book available.?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Young Man on the Make 10 Feb 2013
By Anne Mills - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
De Maupassant's classic remains shocking today, almost 130 years after publication, and is shockingly contemporary in some ways. What's shocking in this tale of a young man on the make is the complete amorality of the central character, and, indeed, of most of the characters in the book. And what's contemporary is the same thing. The ways and means of chasing success have changed since de Maupassant's time, but the compulsion to succeed -- at any cost to any one -- remains very much in place.

"Bel Ami" traces the career of Georges Duroy, an ex-solider from the provinces who comes to Paris to make his fortune. At first, he has no contacts and no skills, but he does have a handsome face and a quick mind. Through an accidental meeting with an old comrade-in-arms, he gets a chance at a newspaper job, and the friend's wife helps him clinch the job with a well written article. From there on in it it's onward and upward, as Georges uses his attractiveness to women to advance himself socially and professionally. When a women ceases to be useful, he ends the connection and moves on to the next, until, at the end of the novel --- well, no spoilers here.

Duroy never suffers any qualms of conscience about the women he seduces (and abandons) or the men he cuckolds. Where a reader looks for some effort at self-justification, there is a deafening silence. For example, remember Gordon Gecko's "Greed is Good"? Duroy doesn't even argue that his doings are OK, he just does them. Most of the other characters are equally amoral. They use their professional positions, their social contacts, and their lovers to get them more money and more power. And most don't seem to think the worse of anyone else for acting this way: indeed, they expect it.

As to the book's surprisingly contemporary echoes, it's about ambition. The electronic world has replaced the social world as a route to quick-time fame and fortune (think reality TV) and the roles of men and women are much less differentiated than they were. But individual ambition that becomes its own justification, and takes no account of the damage it has done, remains very much with us.

As a novel, this one works like a charm. The story keeps pulling the reader along, as -- even though it is hard to like any of the characters very much -- you get very curious about what will happen to them. Historically, it provides a vivid look at Third Republic Paris, full of glamor, glitter, and what de Maupassant called a "rather smutty elegance". (The book has no overt sex, but there is a lot going on just offstage-- one sees why the 19th century English found the 19th century French so shocking). An excellent novel, and an enjoyable read despite its age.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting reading 25 Aug 2012
By LuciaCalwen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Author succeed in gripping depiction of French society at the end of 19th century. When reading this book, I was able to visualize and understand what it was like to live in that era.
Even though Bel Ami is considered to be literary classic, the book is very accessible for contemporary readers and it is very easy to read.

I have never ever read another book with such an immoral and self-absorbed main character. Georges Duroy values only two things in his life - success and money - and he is willing to do anything to get it. He does not have any restrains and during whole book he abuses most of the people he gets in touch with (especially women).

I found very interesting that author leaves Georges unpunished. It shows how it works in reality and this story full of machinations could easily take place in our present time. This books is definitely one of the bests literary classics and I would like to recommend it to everyone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
bel ami 24 July 2012
By sammyg4 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was very slow and ended rather odd. Did not enjoy the book.
i hope the movie is better than the book.
Incomplete Edition 11 May 2014
By Bailey Bloom - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition was not the complete book! Whole paragraphs and pages were left out, and nothing in your description said that it was a shortened version.
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