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Betty Blue (Abacus Books) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Abacus Books
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349101108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349101101
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Djian's five novels have won acclaim in Europe, and the present one was a bestseller later adapted into an offbeat film. It's not likely, however, that this tedious and melodramatic on-the-road novel of the most formless kind will have much impact here. The story revolves around the love affair between a drifter with an unpublished novel to his credit and a beautiful girl with itchy feet who, for no discernible reason (Djian doesn't seem to believe in reasons), goes from such eccentricities as pouring paint over a car and torching a house to self-destructive madness. Her passion-driven lover follows her from place to place (none identified), flattered by her faith in his literary talents and ready to try his hand at practically anything to keep the affair afloatplumbing, housepainting, pizza-making, selling pianos and, finally, armed robbery. The lovers fail to inspire credibility, or even interest, the events smack more of fantasy than reality and every so often the generally sloppy prose sinks to the level of "A smile spread over her face like an atomic bomb." Here is one disciple Kerouac would have disclaimed.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An X-rated novel for readers who like X-rated movies. Of course, the novel came first (the French film Betty Blue was released recently in this country). Set in the United States, it is a French counterpart of Kerouac or Oates at their most complacently demoralizing. It is so authentically translated that it sounds as if written in English, and considering how derivative it is, it might as well have been. The narrator is a writer of the James Jones variety, and Betty is his victim and victimizer. Their saga of mutual abuse reaches a closure with her insanity. A best seller in France, this novel holds serious interest only for popular culture. Marilyn Gaddis Rose, SUNY at Binghamton
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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We were both pretty out of it - good thing we were sitting." (p113) "Eddie was feeling better.
Surferofromantica
Betty Blue is a compelling first-person narrative, beautifully descriptive and emotive, a paean to romance, and a stark reminder of the pain that love can bring.
Ms. G. Pugh
I have read many books by many authors but this is still my tale, clear concise use of language, rich in imagery.
lara7@netscape.net

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. G. Pugh on April 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Betty isn't the kind of girl you meet every day of the week. Most girls don't set fire to apartments, attack people, or kidnap children. But Betty is different, and whatever she might do, her boyfriend loves her with all his heart. This is his account of how he tries to keep up with the woman that he loves and his desperate attempts to make her happy, all resulting in danger, violence and constant action. Betty Blue is a compelling first-person narrative, beautifully descriptive and emotive, a paean to romance, and a stark reminder of the pain that love can bring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I guess i have to agree with what everyone said about this book, it truely is fantastic. Please email me should anyone knows where i could get any other book(s) by this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sungun on February 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
i loved it. djian is a great writer. i write my own stories but after djian i decided to quit. he's done everything i want to do. u must read this... fabulous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lara7@netscape.net on March 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Betty Blue shimmers... like the ocean just after sunrise on a clear morning. I have read many books by many authors but this is still my tale, clear concise use of language, rich in imagery. There is nothing forced in Djian's writing. One is swept away by the story and only on rereading Betty Blue does one realise with what skill and subtle mastery Djian has transported one to the tale's powerful emotional climax. On the first reading I was awed by the story and on the second reading by his use of language. Simply put, I love it for its passion, I love it for its use of imagery, I respect the author for simply telling and not philosophising. What a shame that it should be out of print! If anyone knows of any other books by the author, please e-mail me
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By Surferofromantica on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Betty Blue has long been my favorite movie, probably ever since I saw it in the early nineties. Great story, great acting, great characters that you really care about, and a fantastic soundtrack, not to mention great editing, comic relief, tragedy, everything. And in French too! The film has its original release, as well as a "version integrale" with full scenes that were cut out of the film to make it tighter for its original release (the original cut tends to balance the stories of the two main characters, Betty and Zorg, while the longer version makes the movie feel more like it's about Zorg - which makes sense, since the original book is narrated by him and there are quite a few "scenes" that Betty doesn't appear in).

Recently I've been reading the original novels of my favorite movies, most often to my disappointment (Saint Jack, Let The Right One In, etc), but this one doesn't disappoint at all. If anything, I can say that I like it even better than the film as you can really get into Zorg's head, there are a few good scenes that don't appear in even the longer version of the movie; it also has a killer "original" ending that even I couldn't predict. Zorg is a writer, but more than that he is a languid casualist of the Charles Bukowsky mould, and many of the passages of the book (which I will probably be quoting at length in this review) are screamingly witty, pithy and ironic (and sometimes punk anarchic) as hell. Wow!

Betty is a passing train in the film (or maybe she's a passing train wreck). All we ever learn of her is what the narrator (he's called Zorg in the film, but in the book he's unnamed - even the iconic, eponymous Betty is called by her given name only) has to say about her. Which is plenty.
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