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Her Lover: (Belle Du Seigneur) [Paperback]

Albert Cohen , David Coward
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 13.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2005

Handsome, worldly and intelligent, Solal holds a position of enviable power in 1930s Geneva. But as Under-Secretary-General of the League of Nations, he has become bitterly disillusioned by international affairs and the self-serving people who surround him. His one hope for redemption is through love - and he embarks on the audacious seduction of Ariane, the beautiful, daydreaming wife of a dull-witted, social-climbing employee of the League.

In Her Lover, Albert Cohen created a world humming with the many vivid and eccentric voices of its wonderfully observed characters. Brilliantly inventive and baroquely detailed, this magnificent novel is a merciless satire of middle-class manners and ambitions, and of the Byzantine machinations of global politics.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (3 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188300
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 13.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A masterpiece that stands alongside the classics of French literature... a virtuoso work on Joycean scale' -- Boston Globe

'Quite simply the most beautiful love story ever told' -- Andre Brink, The Guardian

From the Publisher

In Her Lover, Albert Cohen created a world humming with the many vivid and eccentric voices of its wonderfully observed characters. Brilliantly inventive and baroquely detailed, this magnificent novel is a merciless satire of middle-class manners and ambitions, and of the Byzantine machinations of global politics.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
He dismounted and strode past hazel and briar, followed by the two horses which the valet led by the reins, through the crackling silence, stripped to the waist under the noonday sun, smiling as he went, a strange, princely figure, confident of coming victory. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The reason that I read and re-read this book, time and again (I'm currently on my sixth, and far from last, go-round) is because this book never fails to make me laugh. It is genuinely funny, and if any of you are at all familiar with the work of the Canadian comic book artist Dave Sim, who did a really great run of stories about an aardvark named Cerebus, which was absolutely fantastic until it turned to sh--crap, then you'll be pleased to learn that this novel features not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR Groucho Marx impersonators, all of whom are Solal's uncles, running around and generally making things worse than you could possibly imagine. And anyone who's ever held down a time-wasting government job (like I have) will more than relate to the portrait of the timewasting class-hopping jerks of the League of Nations.

The love story isn't really a love story, either, which is why I enjoy reading this in public, with its tawdry cover, and making people think I'm some sort of romantic dolt, when the truth is that I just love a good comedy, and this is one of the best. You really can't go wrong with this book, and I can't recommend it highly enough. In fact, I'm going to put this up on the amazon page and then promptly return to reading it. Again.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dreadful translation or just had it's day? 5 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have heard that the language in this book is beautiful in the original french. My penguin edition uses the word "pukka" several times in the first 200 pages. I have to assume this is in the working class cockney sense rather than the original indian (pakistani?) it was appropriated from. In the book it is used to reveal how inferior the social class of the doomed husband's family is. This constant attacking of social standing is quite jarring. Only a snob could find it funny as it is so relentless. Elsewhere the language and grammar is practically Victorian, probably literally (and lazily) translated. This adds to the anomaly of the Jamie Oliver mockney raver attempts at modernisation.
I am left wondering if the french original has also had its day or not. The humour presumes one is terribly impressed by 'genuine' refinement as opposed to these social climbers. Quite spiteful and inhumane in all. That which isn't is just slapstick.
I want to get on to the finely nuanced romance stuff but am struggling to get past this graceless setting up of the fall guys.
These grimy oiks are so frightfully amusing don't you think?
Wealth and birth right, so effortlessly charming and wonderful, you agree?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars promised lots 13 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
This French classic promised a lot and didn't deliver much IMO. I couldn't drag myself through any more than a third of it. Characters are way too self absorbed_ not in an amusing way, but in a very boring way. Maybe if I find myself bed ridden for a few months I'll give it another go.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reviews, good value. 23 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading that it is an essential read for all women, however, I found it abit slow to get into and put it aside to take up again later (it doesn't reel you in instantly), but I'm sure it would be great if I had more quality time to read rather than the occasional half an hour that I do have. Recommended for readaholics!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic 2 May 2008
By John C. F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Albert Cohen was born in 1895 on the island of Corfu which belonged to Greece at the time. His parents took him to France when he was five. He was French, not by birth but by adoption and conviction. He became a Swiss citizen, spent time in Egypt and generally speaking was one of those people that didn't really know where he belonged.
I can tell you where 'Her Lover(Belle du Seigneur)' belongs. It belongs on your bookshelf. Witty, intelligent, beautifully written.
All passion spent; the absurdity of love shall spend us.
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Romance 23 Jun 2007
By BRETT GILLEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is not only a laugh-out-loud masterpiece, it is also the Bible of Romantic Love, which is to say, the most all-encumpassing work of sexual attraction consumation and disgust ever before wrought or heretofor imagined. You are a different person having read Belle du Seigneur than you were before, and you will be forever enriched if you've yet to take the plunge.

Read this book. Buy this book. Make a statement to the Universe that we are here for good reason: to live, to learn, and to love.

btw,
The English translation of the title could not be more innane or incorrect. Belle du Seigneur means litterally Girlfriend of God.
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