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Betty Blue: The Story of a Passion [Hardcover]

Philippe Djian
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1988

They were predicting storms for the end of the day but the sky stayed blue and the wind died down. I went to take a look in the kitchen - make sure things weren't getting clogged up in the bottom of the pot. Everything was just fine. I went out onto the porch armed with a cold beer and stayed there for a while, my face in the sun. It felt good. It had been a week now that I'd been spending my mornings in the sun, squinting like some happy idiot - a week now since I'd met Betty.'

BETTY BLUE remains a cult book and film nearly twenty years since its first outing. The extraordinary story of an erotic, doomed love affair has transfixed hundreds of thousands of readers around the world.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Grove Pr (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555841120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555841126
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A brilliant, painful account of a doomed love affair. While the storm clouds are gathering, the teller of the story belives the picnic is forever. (Carlo Gebler)

A story of love found and thwarted that also becomes a remarkable journey backward: from modernist narrative resignation and ennui into full-fledged emotional engagement, complicaiton, deepening of character and resolution... (Kirkus Reviews)

Djian is a major writer. A page of his prose reads like nothing else, except perhaps another page of his. His writing is the real thing. (Le Monde)

An atmosphere reminiscent of, by turns, Diva and Paris, Texas... Dijan's books soar above those of his contemporaries. (Paris Match) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The major European bestseller that was made into the celebrated film. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifique! 26 Nov 2006
Told from a guy's perspective, this is a love story with a difference. The unnamed narrator (called Zorg in the film version) meets Betty, a beautiful and fiery character. She takes him away from his simple but mundane life after discovering manuscripts for a book he has written. After burning his bridges they embark on a journey through France making friends along the way. It says it was translated into English by H Buten but, sadly, it was translated into American. I found this perplexing and felt that some of the minutiae of the European culture on display was lost. Even the title, Betty Blue, is a testament to this because the original title, 37.2 Degrees in the Morning (a poignancy that I can't explain here without revealing a plot spoiler) doesn't translate to the American Fahrenheit system. What were the publishers thinking? Apparently this book is the only Philippe Dijian novel to be translated into English - I'm not surprised - he must be livid!
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By A Customer
Philippe Djian - what an author!
A fantastic film - see it to believe it.
The book? Even better - brilliant! A book I found hard to put down. Anyone who had felt true love for another inspite of everything that is going on around them will understand this book - live it, and breathe it. Fantastic!
Why, oh why, oh why are there no more books translated into English! I will have to learn French!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 18 Feb 2013
This is such a lovely, inspiring book, if with a heart-breaking ending. So pleased to see it has only got five star reviews, because that is what it deserves. May I suggest seeing the director's cut of the film. About three hours long, it covers the book completely, with relatively few changes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but tragic. Couldn't put it down. 26 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant but tragic, definitely one of the best books I have ever read and will no doubt read again at some point. The film is of course awesome too, but the book gets you so much more emotionally involved. A real life love story that most people who live in the real world can relate too. Couldn't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written. Great story. 18 May 2010
Well worth reading. I hope they translate more of Philippe Dijan's novels. I was very surprised that this is the only one in English so far. Do please contact me if you know of any other books of his in English, my French isn't that good. This one was clearly translated by an American but if you can get past the few americanisms that creep in you will thoroughly enjoy this. Only watch the film Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD]after you've read the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All consuming passion. 14 Aug 2009
By shazza
This is an amazing read and the desciptions of all the characters and places are extroadinarily colourful and vivid. You really do feel your there in the intense sweaty heat of the summer as the narrator falls in love with an all consuming passion.

Betty must be the most passionate and firey person on the planet and she turns our heros life upside down. When she finds he has written an unpublished manuscript she drags him from his small town existance accross the country on a mission to get it published.Never taking no for an answer Betty gets them into all sorts of trouble but also makes him feel incredibly alive.

There is an abundance of Life,zest,emotion and tragedy in Betty Blue. Once picked up i couldn't put it down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one's a treat! 13 Nov 2000
It's a long time since I came across a book with such a 'voice' as this one. Believe the hype..'I couldn't put it down'...I couldn't. Achingly sensitive and a truly original writing style. I haven't seen the film, but it's got a lot to live up to. Pity I can't find any other books translated by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I read this book in my twenties but didn't finish it. In my forties I found an old copy and couldn't put it down, BB it complex character, very manipulative I couldn't wait to see... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mizde
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This book was given to me by a friend after hearing them profess it's brilliance, yet even their compliments didnt prepare me for the enjoyable writing style that drew me in... Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely Amazing.
What an amazing book. This is a story that will always remain with you. You really feel for this couple and understand the emotions involved in their love. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars wallpaper the inside of your head with the pages of this ..
I allways come back to this phenomenal book like a mentor,theres lines from it locked inside me that after 2 years STILL come back to me like the words of some cool older brother... Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragic story of true love
This is quite simply the best book I've ever read. I completely adored the film - rated as one of my top five films of all time. But the book is even more vivid and compelling. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing out of France since Frogs Legs!
I can't speak for the film, I haven't seen it - but the book left me speachless. A kind of modern day Romeo and Juliet - A tragic story about two lovers who are destined to be... Read more
Published on 31 May 2000
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