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Bel Ami

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,469 Ratings  ·  844 Reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published January 11th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1885)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Aug 31, 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
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
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
B the BookAddict
Dec 01, 2015 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

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 mistresses.
...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
Mar 27, 2016 Alice Poon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
qwerty
May 16, 2016 qwerty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jonfaith
Aug 23, 2014 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.
Sketchbook
Mar 16, 2014 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.
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."
[P]
May 22, 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
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 10, 2016 Marilena. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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..
Hadrian
Aug 07, 2012 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
Roberta
Aug 24, 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 17, 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
Jane
Jul 21, 2012 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I have been to 19th century Paris, but I barely knew it. Because I have read a book with a style, with themes, with a story, that felt so very, very contemporary.

This is a story of journalists with dubious ethics, of politicians who use their position for personal gain, of men and women caught up in the quest for power, money and social status.

And at the centre of it all is Georges Duroy. He was an ordinary man, a former soldier, who rose from the bottom of society to the very top. An old friend
...more
Roberta
Apr 10, 2011 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici, favorites
Georges Duroy is not a conventional hero: he is selfish, tries to take advantage of everything and he is very stupid. The reason he achieves success is that he is handsome and lucky, incredibly lucky.

It is luck that makes him meet with a journalist and his looks makes him merry the widow of his friend, a smart woman that wrote the articles of his previous husband and now writes Georges'.

The most interesting part regards the newspaper: it has not much quality but it has political sympathies (symp
...more
Issicratea
I thought this book was going to be made for me. I don’t know late nineteenth-century literature all that well, but I have enjoyed my recent forays in the field (both the sublime Theodor Fontane and the lesser but intriguing George Gissing.) I do like a dislikeable protagonist, as well, and Georges Duroy sounded well qualified on that score.

In fact, though, Bel-Amileft me somewhat cold, although there were things I enjoyed about it. Duroy manages to be both scheming and vapid, a tricky combinat
...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
Chiara[EmmaBovary]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.

The Paris of Maupassant sparkles with mischief, with possibility, with sex; relentless changes from the Revolution to the Second Republic have left only a mixed and fractured set of ideologies still standing. Business and economics have become a game for the adventurer, politics a circus, and religion a shadow of its former self. Love was where you might choose to find it.

The one story that still holds our interest, though, now or then, is that of the young man making his way from rough beginni
...more
Doroti
Nov 23, 2013 Doroti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ужасно е колко ужасни са хората, а още по-ужасно е, че са били такива преди векове, не са се променили сега и едва ли някога ще се променят. Само заобикалящата среда и епохата са различни. Всеки си плете кошничката и драпа за неговото си - пари, власт, влияние... Интрига след интрига... Понякога се замислям и за другата гледна точка - може би именно обстоятелствата принуждават човек да бъде така безпардонен, безцеремонен и безскрупулен; в противен случай не успява (каквото и да се разбира под "у ...more
Shaherzad ahmadi
Jun 06, 2012 Shaherzad ahmadi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, the writing isn't GREAT, but I'm sure it loses some zest in the translation; perhaps if I had read the original French I would have given it a 5. However, currently I am limited to what I can read. Admittedly, there are some great moments, and very, very good writing (though affected dialogue). The one glaring annoyance I can report is his general lack of comfort with describing SEX. Yes, the entire book is about it but Maupassant hates to directly discuss what it is that makes Duroy so rich ...more
Simona Bartolotta
Aug 15, 2012 Simona Bartolotta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1800
«Eppure eccola qui l'unica cosa bella della vita: l'amore! Stringere fra le braccia la donna amata! Questo è il limite ultimo della felicità umana.»

Come spesso accade, quando ho preso Bel-ami tra le mani ero assai scettica. Da qualsiasi parte mi girassi, trovavo qualcuno che me lo consigliava, perché c'era il film in uscita e allora sì, se fanno il film lo devi leggere assolutamente. Se poi c'è Pattinson.
Insomma, l'affare mi puzzava. A tutt'oggi, non ho visto la versione cinematografica e non s
...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
My first exposure to the fiction of Guy de Maupassant, and I loved this novel. M. Georges DuRoy (aka "Pretty Boy") is, simply put, one of the most monstrous scoundrels I've encountered in fiction. He is right up in that thin air with Gilbert Osmond from Henry James' great novel, The Portrait of a Lady. DuRoy's cavalier treatment of his friends, family and all of the women in his life is all geared towards enriching himself both financially and in social status. There's a strong lesson in here fo ...more
Kaloyana
Jan 25, 2012 Kaloyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Моето лично откритие напоследък наистина е Мопасан. След Един живот, прочетох Бел-Ами. Историята на Бел-Ами е толкова близка до днешния ден, че имам чувството, е е писана сега. Мопасан е гений. С нищо друго не мога да си обясня факта, че книга написана през 1885 година е толкова динамична, езикът жив, написана толкова умело история, която за миг не те оставя, а и звучи толкова съвременно. За жалост има и друго - хората не сме се променили към по-добро. Искам още Мопасан!

П.П. Вече официално - фен
...more
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  • The Masterpiece (Les Rougon-Macquart, #14)
  • A Harlot High and Low
  • The Temptation of St. Antony
  • La confession d'un enfant du siècle
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Against Nature
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • Julie, or the New Heloise
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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“Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.” 56 likes
“The only certainty is death.” 56 likes
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