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Bel Ami Paperback – November 29, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
This classic chronicles Georges Duroy's (the main protagonist of the novel) quick rise to power from a poor, lost, ex-soldier to one of the most successful men in all of Paris. Georges is a young man who has indeed been blessed. He's exceptionally handsome, smart, charismatic, resourceful, etc... however, like many men who have been spoiled by the gods, Georges is completely self-centered. It's all about him. He uses these gifts to exploit people, especially women, and without conscience, he manipulates his way to the top of his profession.
I have to honestly say that I have never despised a main male character in a novel more than I did Georges. He is such a lowly cad, a man who is completely amoral and sans ethics. While I was reading the novel I kept waiting for Georges to get his come-uppance. For truly no man can live a life so loathsome before Karma finally decides to pay him a visit. Maupassant's excellent writing style and the hopes that Georges would get his just do, were the two main reasons I kept turning the pages. I could imagine a feminist wanting to burn this book, because of the way the main protagonist deceives women. However, that being said, most of the female characters in the novel are almost just as bad as Georges. They all cheat on their spouses, are self-absorbed & consumed, and lack integrity.
Maupassant interpretation of the hypocritical world of the Paris privileged in the late 19th century is both vexatious and morose. I just can't believe that people could be so damn unprincipled! There wasn't anyone to really root for in this story, no one whom you could really build a connection toward.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An okay book, although I found it boring after reading it once I was into it.Published 3 months ago by Tess Clayton
A must read to understand selfishness and egocentrism as the core of psychopathological behaviour. Written more than a 100 years ago, it amazingly depicts today's individualistic... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Megan Levy
Maupassant is a master at creating atmosphere and characters who are compelling. A great expose of the greed and cynicism of French society in the 1880's.Published 20 months ago by Amelia Elstub
Because, I think the writer should have made George go through more difficulties before the end, otherwise 5. I enjoyed it!Published 21 months ago by lelfia khaleghi
Didn't realize this was in French when I purchased it. So complete waste of money on my end. But I learned a lesson - READ THE FRICKIN' DESCRIPTION BEFORE PURCHASING!Published 21 months ago by Aunt Paige
This book really gets into the thinking process of a man who's entire life uses whatever he can to get what he wants......historically accurate...... Read morePublished 22 months ago by woodsever
Maupassant's best novel, though none of his full-length fictions are equal to his short stories. UNE VIE is the shadowy second, but you can easily skip the rest of his novels... Read morePublished on December 7, 2013 by reading man
This book is well-written and has a great story line and cast of characters. Not sure if the movie matched its quality, but this is a must read. Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Anonymous