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A Sentimental Education: The Story of a Young Man (World's Classics)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  13,319 Ratings  ·  482 Reviews
Set against the backdrop of the 1848 Revolution, A Sentimental Education is the story of young lawyer Frederic Moreau's infatuation with the demurely exotic Madame Arnoux.
paper, 528 pages
Published January 11th 1990 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published November 17th 1869)
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Paul Bryant
Sep 30, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, novels
This one is often described as “the novel to end all novels” and I understand why – when you are reading it you say to yourself very frequently “if this is what novels are like I am never going to read another one in my entire life”.

From about page 50 until when I stopped, I was having these strong bibliocidal fantasies. I thought – maybe I will leave this accidentally on the bus to work. But I forgot to forget it, like that country song. Then I thought – maybe a column of army ants will chomp
MJ Nicholls
An exhausting thrill-ride through the zany world of womanising socialite Frédéric, or—for the first 300 pages, at least—wannabe womanising socialite Frédéric. Because Frédéric can’t make it happen with his mate Arnoux’s missus, nor his mate Arnoux’s mistress, this frustration is the bane of his existence as he falls in and out of money, society and love. Against the backdrop of the 1848 Paris uprising this novel heaves with ornate descriptive grandeur, political commentary and violence, a frenet ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Finished. What an achievement. Writing it, not reading it.

I marvel that he has written a book with no character for which one could have a shred of sympathy and yet somehow we sit there caring what happens. I mean, really caring, reading through breakfast caring.

I kept thinking of The Great Gatsby when Nick says to Jay "They're a rotten crowd...You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." and isn't that what makes the book work, that there is somebody worthy of our caring. But here there is
Feb 23, 2011 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*this book deserves anywhere between 4.2 and 4.7 stars

“Funny, how the things you have the hardest time parting with are the things you need the least.” (Bob Dylan)

With every work I read or reread by Flaubert, I am all the more convinced that he was the master craftsman, that he was master of attention to the tiny stuff, the small details that are layered brick by brick (word by word), the master of attention to even the mortar between the bricks, and master of raising the whole damn superstructu
Jan 23, 2017 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Crimes of Passion are All the Fashion, A Gentleman's Picturesque Ideations of Adulterous Procreation

Frederic Moreau comes of age in 1840s Paris. Given to flowery fancies of romance, he falls "in love" with Madame Arnoux, a lady at least a decade his senior, and becomes frustrated with the failed revolution of 1848, a Parisian fiasco. Flaubert said he set out to write a "moral history of the men of [his] generation...the history of their feelings... a book about love, about passion... in
David Lentz
Jun 29, 2013 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The French word for sentiment is "sentiment" (san-tee-mon). So Flaubert is concerned essentially about what a young French man, presumably him, has learned about love and lust, affection and disaffection, friendship and betrayal, loyalty and disloyalty, admiration and disdain, and other sentiments. He writes precisely within the complex pixilist history of a turbulent political era for France as new liberal rights emerge versus the power of kings and their conservative bedfellows. There is blood ...more
Jan 01, 2014 ZaRi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, novel
فلوبر در یک نامه در 1852 به لوییز کوله می نویسد:

"دوست دارم کتابي بنويسم درباره هيچ، کتابي که بر هيچ چيز بيروني که خارج از خود باشد دلالت نکند، کتابي که بتواند به نيروي دروني سبکش، روي پاي خودش بايستد، درست بدان گونه که کره زمين بي هيچ تکيه گاهي خود را در فضا نگاه دارد... کتابی بیهیچ وابستگی به دنیای بیرون، کتابی که به یمن نیروی درونی سبکش، قائم به ذات باشد، همچنان که زمین خود را در خلاء فضا نگه میدارد و از هر پایهای بینیاز است، کتابی که کموبیش هیچ موضوعی ندارد، یا دستکم موضوع آن نادیدنی است، الب
Mar 15, 2013 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An educational reading indeed, either spiritually or rationally speaking.
The novel talks about the life of a young man, Frederic, during the French Revolution and the founding of the French Empire in 1848. It is said that Frederic is in fact Flaubert himself telling about some real events in his life and of course about his platonic love for an older woman, in the book, called Mme Arnoux.
We are able to follow, with a somehow ironic and pessimistic tone, a different set of characters who live th
Look, its Flaubert. I don't have any fault to find with this writing. But I've still got 100 pages to go and its been weeks and I have no intention of finishing this. I get these characters- way waaay too much. I want to claw my eyes out rather than spend any more time with them though.

So probably too good a job, M. Flaubert. But I'd prefer to spend time with Emma so many times over. Even at her most whiny.

Review to come.
Oct 31, 2009 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long time friends will know I have a great love of the English novel of the nineteenth century, but, heavens, it’s a ponderous beast when compared to this work by Flaubert.

Written in 1869 this feels a far more modern novel , with a rapid pace which covers events in two chapters that it takes most contemporaneous novels a volume to deal with. Indeed it would be hard to imagine such a swift style ever use in 1800s Britain, if anything it feels more appropriate to a novel about 1960’s Carnaby Stre
Jun 09, 2016 سوشی rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
خیال میکنم هنوز نمیتوانم رمان نو را درک کنم. مثل «جادهٔ فلاندر» که با هزار امید و آرزو شروع به خواندنش کردم و بعد با شلمشوربایی بیسروته مواجه شدم، تربیت احساسات هم ناامیدم کرد. در این رمان با یک جوان بیاراده، خجالتی و احساساتی مواجهیم که از اول تا آخر کتاب بین زنهای مختلف سرگردان است. هیچ کاری نمیکند، هیچ اتفاقی نمیافتد، و خواننده در نهایت به هیچ نتیجهای نمیرسد. خود فلوبر گفته بود «میخواهم کتابی دربارهٔ هیچ بنویسم. کتابی که خودبهخود در هوا معلق بماند» و همین کار را کرد. کتاب از ابتدا تا انتها شر ...more
Maria Thomarey
Aug 20, 2014 Maria Thomarey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Όταν είσαι 18 χρόνων και διαβάζεις αυτό το βιβλίο , σε σημαδεύει για όλη σου τη ζωή .
El adulterio no está tan mal visto si lo comete un hombre que si la instigadora es una mujer, en el siglo XIX y en el XXI. Por eso Madame Bovary (1857) escandalizó tanto a la sociedad parisina decimonónica. En La educación sentimental (1869) el adulterio es un mero trámite que tiene que cumplir cualquier burgués que se precie, y si además de una amante casada tenía una querida (o varias) soltera, más envidiado era el joven aspirante a brillar en sociedad. Así, Frédéric Moreau se sirve de su pode ...more
Lucas Vargas Sierra
Cuando terminé el quinto capítulo de la tercera parte tuve que cerrar el libro, pararme de la mesa, y caminar por toda la casa blandiendo en alto el puño, maldiciendo a Flaubert por haber hecho lo que hizo, por la injusticia tan aberrante que no es suya sino del mundo. La situación, si alguien quiere imaginarla con mayor claridad, incluye un apartamento con cuatro gatos en el que yo vocifero en contra del autor francés mientras mis padres duermen en la alcoba principal.

Sólo esa escena (la última
Ho letto l’ultima riga, ho chiuso il libro e sono stata colta da un’improvvisa tristezza, profonda come poche altre volte. Al contempo, però, sono soddisfatta perché ho letto un libro che non può non essere letto, imperdibile. E da ora in poi ne consiglierò a tutti la lettura. E’ “IL ” romanzo, per me. Perfetto, stupendo in ogni sua pagina, in ogni riga. Un mondo racchiuso in poco più di 500 pagine.
C’è il mondo di Frédéric Moreau, uno studente diciottenne che, intorno al 1840, lascia Parigi per
Sep 20, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Pretty much the best thing ever. Not really Maybe. Yeah, it's 500 pages long and about a guy who wastes his life and is incredibly selfish and everyone else he knows is even worse ). And yeah, not much happens, especially in the first 200 pages or so.

YET the book manages to be fucking intoxicating. The writing is precise, trenchant, etc, as expected, and perhaps because of this it is insanely simple to just get immersed in this world of 1840s Paris. (I know this is selling it on a pretty base l
Jun 03, 2016 Mb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob Koelle
Aug 01, 2007 Bob Koelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this based on Woody Allen's recommendation [] in "Manhattan" when I was 17. Frederic, the protagonist, goes through the tumultuous years of early 19th century France in love with an older woman, Madame Arnoux, but never having more than a close friendship with her, while yearning for much more, and watching her go through one personal and financial disaster after another. Anyway, after years of separation, she visits him at the end of the book, and ...more
Jim Coughenour
Flaubert was Kafka's favorite author, and A Sentimental Education his favorite novel. After rereading this book, I think I can understand why. Flaubert's "story of a young man" is the story of a rather witless protagonist and his almost indistinguishable set of friends and lovers, each immersed in her or his illusions, each almost equally stupid (in the phenomenological sense). There is indeed a "sentimental" romance at its heart, which is more or less a disappointment stretching from the first ...more
Mohammad Mahdi Fallah
این دومین کتاب بلندی بود که از فلوبر خوندم و هر دو عمیقا ملال آور بودند. کتاب سرشار از توصیفات و اتفاق هایی ست که هرچند ممکنه ذکرشون خالی از لطف نباشند و در نهایت منجر به ترسیم بهتر شخصیت در ذهن شود ولی آن چیزی که مسلم است، به واسطه اینکه کارکردهای مشخصی براشون قابل تصور نیست، غالب صحنه ها و رفت و آمدها شدیداً کسالت بارند؛ انگار که ما بخوایم رشد یافتن یک کودک رو گام به گام و لحطه به لحظه ببینیم.
سه جهارم انتهایی کتاب ولی ریتم داستان به نسبت مطلوب تر می شود و شاهد اتفاق هایی هستیم که با ترسیم گری
Anastasja Kostic
Jan 12, 2015 Anastasja Kostic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
Savršenstvo od knjige.
Daria Bejan
Oct 08, 2016 Daria Bejan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"O iubea fără gânduri ascunse, fără speranţa că ea i-ar fi putut împărtăşi iubirea, într-un chip absolut; şi, în aceste porniri mute, asemănătoare unor avânturi de recunoştinţă, ar fi vrut să-i acopere fruntea cu o ploaie de sărutări. Totuşi, o înfiorare lăuntrică îl înălţa deasupra lui însuşi, era o dorinţă de a se jertfi, nevoia unui devotament imediat, ceva cu atât mai tare cu cât nu putea fi stăpânit."
May 23, 2016 Gabriele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho perso il conto di quanti anni è rimasto nella mia coda di lettura questo romanzo. Pensavo fosse uno di quei libroni pesanti e noiosi, da dover affrontare in un momento di estrema attenzione, anche a causa delle varie recensioni lette in giro in cui si dice che, essenzialmente, in questo romanzo non succede nulla. Ok, Flaubert non sarà Hugo, ma non è neanche Proust, giusto per nominare due scrittori francesi agli antipodi (da una parte lo Hugo ricco di colpi di scena, dall'altro il mio amico P ...more
Mohsen Rajabi
فلوبر، در میان نویسندگان قرن نوزده فرانسه، یک خصوصیت مهم دارد از نظر من: مقابله با ویکتور هوگو از نظر سبک نوشتار. این تقابل، به گونه ای است که فلوبر یکی از دلیل های نوشتن کتاب تربیت عاطفی را ارائه روایت خودش از انقلاب 1948 فرانسه (که ویکتور هوگو قبلا در رمان بینوایان آورده بود) می داند. در بین دوستداران ادبیات فرانسه، وقتی کار به نویسندگان قرن نوزدهم می رسد، معمولا خواننده به یکی از دو قطب هوگو-فلوبر نزدیک تر است و کمتر می شود خواننده ای را دید که ستایشگر آثار هر دو نویسنده باشد.

من از دسته هوگوی
Sep 10, 2013 Eadweard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been educated.
Jul 15, 2009 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about failure, plain and simple. And maybe this is what our lives end up being when it is all said and done, but I can't help but find my taste in fiction not that of realism genre. So why was this book just "okay" for me, well it has to do with the characters, all of which serve little to no purpose whatsoever, and none of them possess much in the aspect of redeeming value. This is probably what Flaubert and realism where all about, but the funny thing about this is how detached ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Amir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
رمان خوب برای من رمانی هست که فاجعه و تراژدیاش نه توی کلمههای کتاب، که توی ذهنم و موقع خوندن اون اتفاق بیافته. اگه رمان معاصر ـ رمانی که متعلق نباشه به ادبیات تعلیمی ـ خودش رو موظف بکنه به شرح و بسط تمام ریز و بم قصه، یکجورهایی میشه گفت تخیل خوانندهاش رو با نشمه اشتباه گرفته؛ گویا. چند سال پیش که یکی از یادداشتهای اورهان پاموک رو میخوندم، توی یکی از بحثهای «ما چگونه ما شدیم؟»ایش، میاد و نویسندهی ترک نسل قبلش رو میزاره رو ترازو و میگه تفاوت رماننویس ترک با رماننویسی مثل تولستوی تو اینه که رماننوی ...more
Sarah Anne
This was an interesting book. I thought it would be a romantic wasting away type of a thing but instead I got a 19th century womanizer and a lot of politics. It was funny, ridiculous, sentimental, poignant, lovely, and absurd all wrapped into one package. I enjoyed this almost as much as Madame Bovary and I look forward to reading more of Flaubert's work.

My audio and print editions were unfortunately by different translators. The print book was the superior translation but I was in a hurry and m
Aug 27, 2015 Nataša rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frederik Moro mi se u prva dva dela knjige nikako nije dopao..doživela sam ga kao slabića, emotivno nezrelog momka koji ne zna šta želi..ili zna, ali nema hrabrosti da željeno i ostvari. Činjenica da je, kao uostalom i svi mi, samo čeznuo za pravom i iskrenom ljubavlju, naterala me je da bar saosećam s njim i delimično nađem razumevanjr i opravdanje za njegove postupke. U trećem delu susrećemo se sa novim Frederikom, ozbiljnijim, emotivno stabilnijim, čovekom zasićenim površnim odnosima, koji ne ...more
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Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He was born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, in the Haute-Normandie Region of France.

Flaubert's curious modes of composition favored and were emphasized by these peculiarities. He worked in sullen solitude, sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page, never satisfied with what he had composed,
More about Gustave Flaubert...

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“It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.” 389 likes
“Years passed; and he endured the idleness of his intelligence and the inertia of his heart.” 28 likes
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