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Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant, Classics

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  19,985 Ratings  ·  939 Reviews
"We fancied each other and that's that. Now it's over." Georges Duroy (the protagonist of Bel Ami, Guy de Maupassant's first novel-length work), is a cad -- a social climber who literally sleeps his way to the top. Here is a young former soldier, a man fighting for social and material position in the rat race that was Paris of 1870s. Scandal, political intrigue and sexual ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published 1885)
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Kalliope

Guy de Maupassant was responsible for a couple of items named Bel-Ami. One was his very successful 1885 novel and the other was his small sailing yacht.

Here is what the latter looked like, from a Sale advertisement.





Advertisement for the sale of Guy de Maupassant's Yacht 'Bel-Ami' (litho) (b/w photo)


In Maupassant’s mind both the novel and the boat must have had a great deal in common, for we must remember that le bateau in French is of a masculine genre.

I also see a link in the great deal of ple
...more
Kim
Jul 26, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a novel published in 1885 and set in the Paris of that period, this novel has a remarkably modern feel. It's about sleazy journalism, corrupt politicians, sex, money and power. And through it all is the Bel-Ami of the title - Georges Duroy, who uses his liaisons with rich and / or powerful women to achieve the wealth and social position he craves. Bel-Ami is the nickname given to him by the daughter of a mistress. It means "handsome (or beautiful) friend", but the nickname, like almost every ...more
Steven  Godin
A while back, I happened to read some of De Maupassant's darkly humorous short stories from the 'Parisian affair' collection and found them a pure delight. He no doubt had a talent of capturing the bourgeousie society and predominantly focusing on relationships between men and women, exploring the nature of the human character, thumbs up here.

'Bel-Ami' although a solid enough read just didn't leave me with that same feeling of his shorter work. Zola, Balzac and Flaubert I find far more engaging
...more
B the BookAddict
Oct 12, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recommended Reading
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Angela & AAB members

Just who is Bel Ami? 'bel ami' (beautiful/handsome friend) is Georges Duroy, ostensibly a love rat, a man intent on procuring fortune and social status by way of the women in his life rather than by more usual means. A man of humble parentage, he's an ex-soldier with nothing to live on but his desire to do better for himself; trading on his charm, his wit, good looks and sex appeal. Never satisfied with what he has, Duroy furthers his status, employment and bank balance via his wife and his mist
...more
Manny
On the surface, the moral of the book is simple: be a complete bastard, treat all the women you meet like dirt and exploit them as much as possible, and you'll be a stunning success. The author stays deadpan thoughout; it's impossible to tell for sure whether he's being ironic, though one strongly suspects he is. Fans of the Flashman series will probably enjoy this too.

Isaiah's comment highlighted for me why the book is so fascinating. Most people don't want to admit to themselves how important
...more
Carmo
Oct 26, 2016 Carmo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frança
É capaz de ter uns spoilersitos.

George Duroy - mais tarde George Du Roy de Cantel e para sempre Bel-Ami - não tinha bens, não tinha conhecimentos, não tinha família influente. Não tinha nada disto mas queria tudo.
Subiu na horizontal, foi suficientemente astuto para perceber que as grandes oportunidades nasciam muitas vezes na intimidade das alcovas. E não era necessariamente entre cônjuges...
As mulheres rendiam-se-lhe; conquistou por oportunismo, conquistou por vaidade, conquistou por vingança.
...more
MJ Nicholls
A rollicking tale from Flaubert’s protégé chronicling the inexorable rise of social climber Georges Duroy. Translated by Douglas Parmée, who rendered A Sentimental Education into irresistibly sumptuous English, Bel-Ami is powered by electrifying dialogue and a terse descriptive prowess Flaubert seemingly overemphasised to Maupassant—the prose is so compact you could park it in your driveway. Duroy is a misanthropic schemer and exploiter, but something of a “working-class hero,” if we understand ...more
Chrissie
5 stars
This is a really good story and I totally loved it.

I mean I LOVED it.

When you come across fiction that it this good you must stand up and clap. I am clapping.

OK now, Chrissie, explain why you loved it.

I loved it because I was laughing from start to finish. I loved it because it has a message that is oh so true. The message being that those who succeed, those who attain power, and position and money and fame very often do it by the least of admirable methods. This dire message is never
...more
Alice Poon

This was my first Maupassant novel and it impressed me as a brilliantly told story about how a journalist-turned-parvenu of low-born parentage attained status, wealth and power by sleazy means in Third Republic France.

In a witty and crisp style, the story flows smoothly along as the protagonist jumps from one woman’s embrace to the next, gathering each time more worldly benefits like career advancement, social recognition, wealth and status. His only weapon of conquest is his youth and his hands
...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou
Ο Ζωρζ Ντυρουά άλλως ο Φιλαράκος (Bel-Ami) είναι από τους πιο αντιπαθητικούς χαρακτήρες που διάβασα αν όχι φέτος, την τελευταία δεκαετία. Το δε εξώφυλλο ασχολίαστο. . .

Όπως λέει και η λέξη άλλως (το οποίο χαρακτηρίζει, τουλάχιστο στην Κύπρο, άτομα του υποκόσμου), ο Ντυρουά είναι ένας λεχρίτης, αχρείος, εκμεταλλευτής, γυναικάς, και δόλιος άνθρωπος.
Ευχόμουν να πεθάνει στη μονομαχία, ευχόμουν να πέσει στο Σηκουάνα να πνιγεί, ευχόμουν να τον μαχαιρώσει κανένας σε κανένα σκοτεινό σοκάκι, ευχόμουν να
...more
Sketchbook
Jul 05, 2011 Sketchbook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Maupassant's accidental careerist moves with charm from
boudoirs to ballrooms in this worldly social comedy. The
story is very contemporary : it reveals print journalism
with its tricky newshounds, vulgar publishers and ambitious
scenesters - pretentious, posturing - for whom insincerity
is almost enough. The observant Maupassant says that too
often nothing succeeds like mediocrity and a big portion
of luck. Ironic, pitiless and monstrously humane.
Laure
This book would make an excellent HBO mini series! A glorious amoral tale of rags to riches through fraud, sex and shameless self-aggrandizement. I loved the ferocity of the omniscient narrator. There is something of the satire in this book, and the reader can only but squirm and smile in turn as fortune favours our totally corruptible 'hero'.
Jorge
Nov 28, 2016 Jorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cuando era niño, en mis tardes de aburrición, solía acudir a los largos libreros que había en la casa paterna y entretenerme en leer y releer los títulos de todos los libros que contenían esos estantes de color café. Entre todos estos títulos, había algunos que me parecían interesantes, otros misteriosos, otros divertidos, otros sugerían aventura o romance y los que más llamaban mi atención me invitaban incluso a leer la pequeña reseña que se hacía de ellos en la parte posterior.

Entre toda aque
...more
Luís C.
Bel-Ami ... What a great discovery! I honestly enjoyed reading this. It is fluid and addictive, really, and Maupassant offers a good range of characters of the time, more or less interesting but with a role in the plot, which I greatly appreciate; I particularly liked the pessimism (however realistic) of the poet Norbert de Varenne - I also believe that Maupassant has a bit of him in that character (they are both obsessed and consumed by the idea of death , especially).
That, in any case, radical
...more
qwerty
May 02, 2016 qwerty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
4.5 *

Since most of my holiday reading books were complete & total dreck, seeing my Kindle used for good as well as evil was a bit of a relief.

& I'm not saying that Georges was good! For me, the change in Georges from a pleasant if rather aimless young man to evil personified was a bit abrupt, but that could have been the translation or me not paying enough attention to the clues being laid. Certainly not a word was wasted.


The ending genuinely surprised me. My first read of this author b
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
If Flaubert has his heroine Madame Bovary, then Guy de Maupassant has his hero, George Duroy, nicknamed "Bel Ami" ( can't understand, however, why in the English translation of the book "Bel Ami" is translated as "Pretty Boy" when it actually means "good friend" and "pretty/beautiful boy" is "beaux garcon"). Both characters, you will either love or hate.

Had George Duroy (he later changed it to "George Du Roy" after he succeeded in marrying into money to make his name more aristocratic-sounding)
...more
Hadrian
Nov 20, 2010 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, fiction
In vague technical terms, this is a French realist story about a young disaffected impoverished officer who learns the mechanisms of social norms, and uses them to advance his own position within society, with substantial commentary on the decay of French morality in the 19th century.

In other words, it's the story of a complete shit-heel who manipulates money and people and rises through society quite easily. Maupassant has a few cutting remarks (see - fencing scene) and he has a very nice contr
...more
Jonfaith
Sep 16, 2011 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's to scalawags; I loved this tale of triumph about an absolute bastard who quickly understands how the world works. I thought at times that Bel-Ami was an almost self-conscious pastiche of sorts, including the better bits from previous hallmark novels of Parisian decadence. Apparently, such wasn't exclusively the case. The novel remains an incredible joy, a vibrant pulse of narrative curiosity and folly.
Eric
I got my clammy adolescent hands on this just months before my parents mustered the courage to give me The Talk. Oops. "But Mom, I already know about all that stuff...Who told me? Umm, my friend, Gee...Who's he? Umm, he's this, like, syphilitic roué I met at Barnes and Noble."
Celeste Corrêa
«Bel-Ami» de Guy Maupassant ( 1850-1892 )

Georges Duroy, um soldado francês do século XIX , ao regressar de África instala-se em Paris e começa a trabalhar - por um feliz acaso - como jornalista no La Vie Française.

Sedutor, cativante, conquistador começa a ser apelidado de Bel-Ami e aproveita-se das várias amantes – todas muito diferentes – para alcançar o sucesso. Pertencia àquela raça aventureira dos vagabundos da vida com esperanças de grandeza, de sucesso, de renome, de fortuna e de amor.
Bel-
...more
[P]
May 21, 2015 [P] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read so many French novels about cads and ladies men that I’m now something of an expert. I am able to recognise the subtle differences of approach these men take, and their various motivations, like a marine biologist who can adroitly identify different breeds of shark, which to a layman would all look the same. Take, for example, Julien Sorel, who conducts his amorous pursuits as though they were a military campaign, who, as I said in my review of The Red and The Black, is all about winni ...more
Gary Inbinder
Mar 07, 2013 Gary Inbinder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Whit Stillman's film, Metropolitan, one character describes his rival as follows in a funny scene at a Debutante Ball after-party:
"Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women."

That description from a 1990's Indie comedy of manners could apply to Georges Duroy, aka Bel Ami, the quintessential unlikeable protagonist of Maupassant's 1885 masterpiece. Grante
...more
Roberto
Apr 13, 2017 Roberto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Basic instinct

Duroy, soprannominato Bel Ami, è un uomo opportunista, cinico, ambizioso, senza scrupoli, invidioso, dalle capacità mediocri, che non guarda in faccia e non ama nessuno.

Non sa scrivere, è abbastanza ignorante, ma fa il giornalista. Non è un nobile, ma fa il nobile. Non è ricco, ma si atteggia a ricco, spendendo e spandendo. Non è interessato alle persone, ma diventa un politico. Non è un gentiluomo, maltratta e tradisce le donne, ma piace alle donne.

Capisco di avere sbagliato tut
...more
Francesco Fantuzzi
La lettura di un capolavoro, molto di frequente, concede sin dalle prime righe la possibilità di intuire che ci troviamo di fronte ad un' opera d'arte indiscutibile. Ebbene, la lettura di "Bel ami" ci rende consapevoli del fatto che ci troviamo a fare i conti con un personaggio, Georges Duroy, per molti versi emblematico, uno di quei personaggi che "fanno epoca", cioè che ci parlano dell'epoca loro e dell'epoca nostra. Il contenuto del romanzo si delinea sin dalle prime battute: si seguirnno la ...more
Marilena.
Mar 06, 2016 Marilena. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Όλοι έχουμε γνωρίσει εναν 'bel ami'.
Γοητευτικός,ψεύτης εκ πεποιθήσεως και έτοιμος να πατήσει επι πτωμάτων για να καταφέρει τον στόχο του.Είμαι αρκετά ανεκτική στους χαρακτήρες-καθίκια και αντί να μου προκαλέσει εκνευρισμό,κατέληξα να τον λυπάμαι γιατί έχει πάντα την αίσθηση του ανικανοποίητου.
Bel ami,until we meet again..
Chiara
Mar 30, 2016 Chiara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Al realismo del romanzo di costume di Flaubert, che con il suo Madame Bovary ha fatto scandalo, oltre che storia, preferisco a mia sorpresa l'allievo: l'antieroe di Maupassant, Bel-Ami, è straordinario.
L'egoista, arrivista e sensuale Georges Duroy è la sintesi perfetta di una società viziata e corrotta, la sua totale mancanza di scrupoli lo rende a mio avviso uno dei personaggi più interessanti della letteratura francese dell'Ottocento. Non ci sono in questo protagonista tutti i tratti salienti
...more
Roberta
Feb 05, 2012 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francesi, 1001
Sono contenta di averlo finalmente letto. Non sono preparata sugli autori francesi, ma la presentazione a "Per un pugno di libri" mi aveva interessato molto.
Il Bel-Ami è un arrivista, un piacione che arriva ai vertici della scala sociale grazie alle donne di cui si circonda, e che seduce. Il problema è che, per quei 5 minuti in cui deve innamorarsene, ci riesce davvero. Le donne lo accettano non perché racconti loro semplicemente quello che si volgiono sentire, ma perché lo fa con intenzione e s
...more
John Gaynard
Jul 10, 2012 John Gaynard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting for me to read this soon after reading The Doll by Bolesław Prus. The end of the nineteenth century in Paris shows Maupassant's Bel Ami cynically using a succession of women to get a foot hold in the world of journalism and then in politics. He seduces and discards his conquests, passes himself off as a noble by changing his name from Duroy to Du Roy and, worse than merely discarding women, he compromises them in any way that can serve his own ends.

The hero of the Doll, in fin
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
826. Bel-Ami, Guy de Maupassant
بل آمی - گی دو موپوسان (مجید) ادبیات فرانسه
داستان در مورد روزنامه نگاری شهرستانی است که برای رسیدن به اهدافش دست به هر کاری میزند. جزء کتابهای نایاب است
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18791
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless dénouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who get crushed i ...more
More about Guy de Maupassant...

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“The only certainty is death.” 67 likes
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