Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chéri” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chéri (Chéri #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,507 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Léa de Lonval, une courtisane de près de cinquante ans, est la maîtresse de Fred Peloux, surnommé Chéri. A mesure qu'elle éprouve le manque de conviction croissant de son jeune amant, Léa ressent, avec un émerveillement désenchanté et la lucidité de l'amertume, les moindres effets d'une passion qui sera la dernière. Pourtant il suffira à Chéri d'épouser la jeune Edmée pour ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Chatterley Press International (first published 1920)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chéri, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chéri

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

Description: Léa de Lonval is an aging courtesan, a once famous beauty facing the end of her sexual career. She is also facing the end of her most intense love affair, with Fred Peloux—known as Chéri—a playboy half her age. But neither lover under-stands how deeply they are attached, or how much life they will give up by parting ways.

1/5. After a six-year affair, Cheri announces to Lea he is about to enter into an arranged marriage.

2/5. Lea has to face the
Feb 07, 2014 Nigeyb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in readiness for a group discussion. There are lots of positive reviews around so clearly many readers have found much to enjoy. I found nothing to enjoy, indeed I thought it was one of the worst books I have ever read and give it one star - a rating I have never used before.

The basic plot is very straightforward (and, as it was on cover of my edition, I don't think the story is meant to be the point): 25 year old Chéri (real name Fred), the son of a wealthy courtesan, has been
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

From BBC Radio 4 - 15 Minute Drama:
Colette's tale of a love affair between a courtesan and a man half her age, set in Paris before WWI.

1/5. After a six-year affair, Cheri announces to Lea he is about to enter into an arranged marriage.

2/5. Lea has to face the harsh reality of her young lover Cheri's marriage to another woman.

3/5. Cheri returns from honeymoon dissatisfied, yearning to know where Lea has fled.

4/5. Lea has returned to Paris, lonely and y
Jun 29, 2014 Margarida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilhante. Uma bela cortesã de quarenta e nove anos, Leónie Vallon, Léa de Lonval, deixa-se conquistar por Fred, Chéri, um jovem de vinte e cinco anos, mimado, petulante e infantil, e ele entrega-se sem tréguas a esta experiente mulher. No entanto, ela continua uma mulher independente, de personalidade forte e segura, até que o casamento por interesse dele coloca um ponto final na relação.
Paixão, sedução e volúpia pairam neste pequeno romance fascinante, numa excelente tradução de José Saramago.
Mina Soare
With stunning prose, engrossing descriptions and spectacular character depictions, Collette outdid herself. The level of significance in every detail makes every scene even more expressive for the relationship between setting, society and character marking this a realist balzacian novel.

Now, despite the numerous modern elements, the title drawing attention to the enigma of one character being the most conspicuous, I don't like neither the realism nor the ending so there goes one star.

Jun 24, 2011 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What to make of a "love story" between a woman of 50 and a young man half her age? She is attracted to him because of his youth, his good looks, his easy-going ways. She appeals to him for her sophistication, both in her looks on which she expends enormous energy, and her exquisite taste in food and entertainment. But he, the "Cheri" of the title, marries a woman his own age, it being an appropriate thing to do, and the older woman (Lea) goes off on an extended vacation to try to forget her los ...more
Jul 28, 2009 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Colette fans
Recommended to Wayne by: Colette, of course!!

A wonderful look at the cultural trappings that every society brings to the most natural and urgent of natural instincts - consequently and ironically well and truly "fucking" it up for just about everybody.

I enjoyed "Gigi" and "Cheri" once I'd got my head around the sexual culture of certain segments of French Society of the Fin de Siecle.
The Loneliness and yet High Social Profile of the Courtesan is well and truly captured by Colette. Its ironies, possibilities of great wealth,its pitfalls,its
I think this was the wrong book for me at this time. However, it would never be a favorite as I found the pace too slow. Colette gives beautifully written descriptions so I can understand why some would appreciate her writing more than I did.

As for the plot, I could relate to Léa (as I am also a woman of a certain age) but Chéri struck me as a lout and so I couldn't really understand his appeal.
This is more like a 2.5 stars but as always I round down.

I read this book to practice my French and if you are reading the book for the same reasons Colette is both a good and bad choice. Good because she uses a lot of different words (I now know a bunch of ways to describe how people lean on things lol), but bad because some of her words are so... idiosyncratic? I guess? that some of them weren't in dictionaries I looked at. Her French was also kind of difficult for me at times that I had to l

What a frustrating book. It isn't badly written, but only if it were written quite differently would I really enjoy it.

Chéri and Léa are difficult, unsympathetic characters - but this is a type I often find interesting to read about. Books can show such people's underlying thoughts and feelings, and the events that made them so disagreeable: they can make them sympathetic and understandable if you are reasonably open-minded.

But we hear nothing of Chéri's inner life, and in writing alone ther
Sep 18, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so wonderfully written. The dialogue is too realistic; it's painful to read the conversations between Chéri and Léa and between Chéri and Edmée. Colette's treatment of relationships is excellent. She builds the characters and their interactions with each other quickly. This book is less than two hundred pages, yet I feel like I've known Charlotte, Léa, Chéri, and Edmée. I understand their world, why and how they are the way they are with each other. The last ten pages are the best f ...more
May 17, 2014 Susanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
"Chéri" habe ich zum erstenmal als Film gesehen. Ich wusste damals nicht, dass er auf dem Roman von Colette basiert, mich hat in erster Linie die Fin-de-Siècle-Atmosphäre mit den wunderschönen Kostümen auf dem DVD-Cover angesprochen. Der Film hat mir übrigens sehr gut gefallen (mit Michelle Pfeiffer als Léa) und als dann die Bücher für wenig Geld zu haben waren, habe ich zugegriffen.
Léa ist eine Pariser Halbweltdame, inzwischen fast 50 Jahre alt und mit dem 25-jährigen Chéri, dem verwöhnten, ob
Whitney (First Impressions Reviews)
Cheri by Colette, centers around Lea and Cheri and their six year love affair. Respectfully 49 and 25 at the novels opening, both believe that their relationship to be casual until Cheri is to be married and realize that they were in fact in love. After Cheri's marriage they are separated for six months due to Lea's inability to cope with the new revelations. When she at last returns Cheri visits, they have one last romp in the sheets and the next morning while Lea plans their future together, C ...more
Nose in a book (Kate)
Chéri is one of Colette’s better known works, so I already knew the rough storyline before finally reading this, but as always her language is as much the attraction as her stories. Chéri is an attractive wealthy young man who has been coached for six years in the art of love by middle-aged courtesan Léa. Now it’s time for Chéri to marry a suitable young lady, and in parting ways, both he and Léa must face their true feelings for one another, which have long been a source of irony and gentle reb ...more
Селина Йонкова
романът на колет "шери" потвърждава клишето, че някои книги трябва да се прочетат в точното си време, за да ви "намерят.
явно, аз съм пропуснала въпросния момент, поради което проточих четенето на тези малко над 150 страници, малък формат, като да се боря с дебел том.
да, ако я бях прочела, когато четях многобройните класики разказващи за увлечението на поодъртял пръч по някоя крехка козичка, колетовата "шери", щеше да уравновеси донякъде нещата. казвам донякъде, защото авторката, като всяка дам
Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter
However much has been written about Colette's "Chèri" and despite all the praises sung about Colette's work by the likes of Marcel Proust, André Gide, Cocteau, Simenon and de Beauvoir, I was sceptical about this book, which told the story of an aging courtesan's relationship with a younger man of striking beauty and his impending marriage to a younger woman. There was no need for scepticism! "Chéri" is a psychological masterpiece and its language with all its changing colours and shades of light ...more
Ana Rînceanu
O poveste de dragoste plină de melancolie, fericire şi suferinţă, care ţi se înfige în suflet în ciuda faptului că nu îţi poate oferi iluzia unui final de basm.
Dec 24, 2016 Aprile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parte sfrontato, arriva dolcissimo e profondo
Come mi è piaciuto! E questo nonostante le prime trenta-quaranta pagine che trovavo superficiali e che mi ricordavano Jezabel della Némirovsky (naturalmente scritto dopo, ma da me letto prima). Grande prosa, grande incalzar dell’emozione. E’ l’analisi della crescita – o meglio, dell’evoluzione - dei due protagonisti, lei quarantanovenne di splendide attrattive – ma le righe del collo non si possono nascondere – e lui, bellissimo ragazzo della metà dei
As a story, there wasn't a lot to this—an aging, but still lovely courtesan has a six-year affair with a selfish young man. The affair ends when he marries. They both suffer.
BUT there was a lot more to it than that.
Colette's writing is beautiful (in French anyway, I don't know how her language translates). In all her work, the natural world--trees, flowers, skies—is lovingly described. Reading her, I can practically smell the rain on the pavement or imagine the greenery in the Bois de Boulogne.
Apr 28, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marta Traverso
Vi è mai capitato di caricare un libro di aspettative, per poi rendervi conto che è qualcosa di radicalmente diverso da ciò che pensavate?

Con Cheri mi è successo più o meno questo. Definito un capolavoro da tutte le direzioni, ho divorato il romanzo più celebre di Colette in un paio di giorni (sono poco più di 100 pagine). Cheri ti entra dentro come un fulmine, tanto è rapida la scrittura: inizia con una scena che sta volgendo al termine, finisce con una scena rimasta in sospeso.

Lui, lei, la dif
Jul 25, 2016 Crito rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What makes Colette so endearing and what probably pulls her away from the spotlight of the French canon is just how fun and breezy she is. Her prose is light and nimble, never stumbling for a second as she lets her energetic characters spar wits against each other in good fun. This light atmosphere she herself takes joy in does its best to mask everything that's going on under the hood of this novel, from its psychologically intricate characters, to the depth of observation she has, and of cours ...more
Publié en 1920.

Thème: l'amour entre une femme âgée et un jeune amant. Thème très d'actualité sociale alors que nos journaux décrivent les couguars.

Le roman est étrangement prémonitoire dans la vie de l'auteure. En effet, Colette, alors qu'elle venait de divorcer de son deuxième mari, eut une affaire avec le fils de ce dernier. Colette avait alors 50 ans et le garçon 19 ans. Vengeance ou vraiment amour ? Peut-être un peu des deux. Chéri a toutefois été publié avant l'affaire.

L'histoire est celle
Jul 14, 2011 Rainbowgirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman, romance, favourites
Voici un livre que j'ai dévoré avec un émoi que je ressens trop rarement. J'ai été séduite par le style, léger et beau, par le raffinement des bijoux, des meubles, des vêtements, la grâce des personnages, l'humour discret mais non moins mordant, comme un rire sous cape, l'étrangeté de la situation où l'amour des amants ressemble à celui d'une mère et de son enfant, les jeux de la séduction, la subtilité des émotions qu'on n'admet pas, et surtout le personnage de Léa, un personnage tragique qui s ...more
This is my fifth Colette book and I enjoy her stories. Cheri is the story of a privileged and wealthy young Frenchman living with a wealthy courtesan (Lea). She is much older, 50 vs 25, and when Cheri marries a young woman, Lea realizes that she loves him and he is gone forever. It's a little more involved but that's the gist of the story. It's well written but not exceptional. 3.5 stars.
Maria Beltrami
Jul 18, 2012 Maria Beltrami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una storia del demì monde di inizio novevento, personaggi che non esistono più come le grandi cortigiane in grado di attirare anche in tarda età amori e patrimoni, a volte lasciandoci il cuore, ma senza mai farne un dramma.
Libro molto ben scritto, ma un po' lontano dalla mia sensibilità.
Jan 14, 2012 Deanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Short and sweet tale of a young, spoilt, rich young man and the end of his affair with a woman 24 years his senior.
Jul 27, 2016 ëlle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jolie écriture, ton léger mais teinté de mélancolie, pour une histoire d'amour entre un homme de 25 ans et une femme de 50.
Collette writes what I consider to be dull drivel. I guess it was sexy for its time, but the dialogue sounds so lethargic and stilted to me. Who cares about these characters? I certainly don't.
They should give you a "didn't finish" option.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bright Young Things: March 2014- Cheri by Colette 15 27 Mar 16, 2014 12:50AM  
  • Un roi sans divertissement
  • Le Côté de Guermantes I
  • Les jolies choses
  • The Devil in the Flesh
  • Le Grand Meaulnes
  • Le boucher
  • La sposa normanna
  • Some Dream for Fools
  • Jezebel
  • The Ravishing of Lol Stein
  • Il piacere - Giovanni Episcopo - L'innocente
  • The Belly of Paris (Les Rougon-Macquart, #3)
  • Elle et lui
  • Selected Letters
  • Alien Hearts
  • Armance
  • Adolphe
  • The Counterfeiters
Colette was the pen name of the French novelist and actress Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known, at least in the English-speaking world, for her novella Gigi, which provided the plot for a famous Lerner & Loewe musical film and stage musical. She started her writing career penning the influential Claudine novels of books. The novel Chéri is often cited as her masterpiece.
More about Colette...

Other Books in the Series

Chéri (2 books)
  • The Last of Cheri

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer.” 109 likes
“They looked at each other in open hostility—she, leaning on her elbow in a flurry of frills and lace; he, sitting side-saddle on the edge of the bed. He was thinking ‘Who’s she to talk of any wrinkles I may have one day?’ and she ‘Why is he so ugly when he laughs?—he who’s the very picture of beauty!’ She thought for a moment, then finished aloud: “It’s because you look so ill-natured when you’re joking. You never laugh except unkindly—ᴀᴛ people, and that makes you ugly. You’re often ugly.” 3 likes
More quotes…