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Boule de Suif

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,980 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Guy de Maupassant achieved instant fame with Boule de Suif, his first published story, set during the Franco-Prussian war. Considered his greatest novella, Boule de Suif is about a group of travellers who are fleeing occupied Rouen by coach to Dieppe. Forced to accept the courtesan in their midst, their baser instincts are brought to the surface when they are faced with a ...more
Paperback, Penguin 60s Classics, 58 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Penguin (first published 1880)
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Frankie
This brief but charming little story/novella owes some credit to Flaubert and Zola, both friends of Maupassant, for his borrowing of their style to some extent. Where he excels the Parisian writers, is in his devastation theme (Franco-Prussian War period) and his somewhat pastoral setting. His hero "Butterball" character type, however, is very original and her enigmatic circumstance is as well. This is a fable on the hypocrisy of the upper classes, as usual, but with the Balzacian, provocative u ...more
Richard Duerden
This is the first story in a collected works of Guy De Maupassant I am reading and it is very very good.

Boule de Suif (Suet pudding in English) is the name given to a prostitute who is the central character of the story. Her body is used as a trading tool when a group of 'worthy' folk are detained as they journey through a France occupied by the Prussians after the 1870 war.

Boule de Suif is by far the most moral of the characters and exposes the hypocrisy and cowardice of her travelling companio
...more
Charlotte
Guy de Maupassant successfully told a story about how hypocrite society could be. It's amazing to see that what seemed to be a problem of nowadays society is, in fact, a story that never grows old. Boule de suif was an amazing woman, a brave fighter for those people who didn't deserve her. She was too good for her times and, why not?, for her country. In the end, those who accused her of being shameless were the ones who deserve to be punished.
Krishna
Maupassant's genius at short story writing is on display here. In about twenty five pages he portrays a complete world eclipsed by war and German occupation of France, which is creeping deeper into the country by the day. The characters are universal, for their political, professional and other belongings. While fleeing towards away from the occupying forces, the circumstances bring out the best and the worst in them. The fascinating description of the early cold morning they leave and the event ...more
Melda
I liked this book and the story. However, I read it in Dutch (reading it in the original language would have been better) and the fact that I had to read it for school didn't make it any better.
Annaelle Allez L'OL!!!
J'ai bien aimé les petites nouvelles mais je m'étais attendue à une longue histoire donc j'ai été un peu déçue. C'était un livre genre le horla. Sinon, on remarque le talent de l'écrivain, tout est si tellement bien écrit. Même la description, que d'habitude je n'aime pas du tout, nous aide à visualiser le contexte parfaitement.
Boule de Suif parle d'une prostituée qui se retrouve dans une «voiture» entourée de personnes de la haute société qui la méprisent. Cependant, ils se rendront compte qu'i
...more
Fia Eamónn Wåhlin
I have read about this book before and now when i've read it I really understand why it's a classic. Great story and great writing.

It's about a french party of high society people traveling to safer grounds during a war against the Prussia. And one of the passangers is a local prostitute with a very heavy figure, called Bouel de suif. (fettpärlan)

On the way they are being stoped by a Prussian regement and held in an inn without any obvious reason. The Officer are giving them a demand for their
...more
Jason Béliveau
Drôle et féroce, un recueil qui subjugue, principalement pour la nouvelle éponyme, Boule de suif, à mettre aux côtés de La métamorphose.
Realini
La Rempailleuse by Guy de Maupassant
On Love

The moral of this short story seems to be that Love is the most noble of all feelings and even if you are a Rempailleuse, it will transform you like it did to Cinderella, from a mere commoner to a lady of emotions.
In the view of the expert Barbara Fredrickson, Positivity is obtained from gratitude, joy, awe, interest, amusement, inspiration, pride, hope, serenity and most of all love!
In other words, science has come to confirm what writers like Maupassa
...more
Lucinda
Boule de sSuif est une merveille de nouvelle, dans laquelle Maupassant expose les bassesses humaines lorsqu'elles sont confrontées à des situations extrêmes, ici en l'occurrence, la France occupée par la Prusse à l'hiver 1870. Tous les personnages, excepté l'héroïne éponyme, sont détestables à souhait et on ne peut que s'émouvoir de la triste situation de cette prostituée livrée en pâture à l'ennemi à cause du bon vouloir et du petit confort de ces messieurs dames.
De manière générale, cette da
...more
Sathyan
In these stories, particularly the title story, the author's cruel and sharp imagination is given full reign, without exhausting itself and falling in a heap, as it does near the end of longer stories such as Le Horla. By a few gentle scenes in each story we become enamored of the players, and a quick turn-about is all that is necessary to invert our feelings entirely, whether to sympathy or to outrage. M. de Maupassant's is, with exceptions, a tight style of writing, which allows for the packin ...more
Ella
J'aurais tellement voulu aimer davantage ce livre. Étant habituée aux nouvelles fantastiques de Maupassant, j'ai été déçue par cette histoire simple et moralisatrice. Il n'y a pas vraiment de retournement de l'intrigue, ni même un véritable questionnement pour le lecteur.

Pendant la guerre franco-prussienne, une diligence remplie de personnages divers entame un voyage. Parmi eux, Boule de suif, une prostituée. Inutile que les bourgeois forcés de partager son espace ne sont guère tendre avec elle
...more
Gabriel
Where there is Guy, there is no clemency

Guy de Maupassant has a very distinctive type of writing. It was quite toilsome to follow at first, but once I got accustomed to his vocabulary the flow became more natural.
He displays an extremely fastidious language, erratically describing in great detail matters and objects that are of a trivial and feckless importance; nevertheless, certain elements are relevant and reflect the owner's personality (Cornudet’s pipe, for instance).

In a more idealistic pe
...more
Czarny Pies
Aug 30, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers
Recommended to Czarny by: My father
Shelves: french-lit
Nobody was better than Guy de Maupassant as a writer of naturalistic short stories. He describes the people and social behaviours of the early Third Republic with such extraordinary accuracy, that the reader forgets he was a pioneer. De Maupassant in fact seems contemporary to the modern reader through the sound structure of all his stories, the economy of words and the judgements that he makes of this characters.

The reader who enjoys quirkiness or eccentricity will be left somewhat cold by de
...more
Delitcia
Je commence cette chronique doucement et plutôt maladroitement. En effet, je ne sais pas trop comment critiquer un roman “classique”, c’est une tâche ardue, cependant je vais y donner mon avis. Guy de Maupassant a une prose des plus sublimes et est mon auteur classique favori. J’adhère totalement à sa façon d’écrire, de raconter et je suis d’ailleurs tomber amoureuse de son style en écoutant une lecture sur une radio au beau milieu de la nuit. Boule de Suif fût une bonne lecture, bien que je res ...more
Carol
This is the short story that launched Guy de Maupassant's career. Others have summarized it so I will try to do a bit of analysis. In the story de Maupassant is comparing three well-to-do couples, with two nuns and a prostitute who are sharing a ride in a carriage to a nearby town in Normandy. This is in 1870 when Prussian soldiers have invaded France.

Boule de Suif (ball of fat or tallow ball) is the way the prostitute is referred to in the story although her real name is Mademoiselle Elizabeth
...more
Quinn Slobodian
The stories are set around the 1870-1 war between France and Prussia. Men are dressed up in military scarlet, admiring their thighs in shop window reflections. Others are smug in their radical bearded leftness or their seigneurial title or their possession of a horse-and-cart. All prey on women, women who are by turns fat, slender, diseased, virginal, clueless and savvy. All have the aura of the injured Marianne--one leaves her syphilis untreated so she can infect as many occupying Prussians as ...more
Nazli .K
This book was chosen as our reading task in our swedish class.
I finished it within three days and I really enjoyed it quite.
The author succeeded in creating imparable and ever interesting characters.
Even though the story was short and simple, it definitely was much more than that, I don't tend to like stories that are set in 1700s-1800s, (without the exception of the Infernal Devices trilogy) but this book was different, in a good way of course!

Good book!
/N

gauldy
Krátký příběh o předsudcích, vlastenectví, cti, obětavosti a nevděčnosti.
Kulička je děvka. A zbytek společníků, se kterými putuje, jsou bohatí podnikatelé a lidská smetánka. Snadno se dá představit, co z takové skupiny může vzejít - ale překvapí člověka, když šlapka se ujme role vychované a milé ženy, zatímco druhá strana uchopí otěže pohrdání. Tomu všemu přihlíží dvě jeptišky - zcela klasicky apatické ke svému okolí - a jediný ve svých úmyslech upřímný muž, republikán.
No a o tom je celá Maupas
...more
Giornata_di_sole
Maupassant descrive, con grande abilita’, uno spaccato della societa’ francese al tempo della guerra franco-prussiana...Non si tratta, pero’, della societa’ degradata popolata da poveri e affamati, bensi’ della societa’ delle classi agiate e nobili, i cui esponenti, ipocriti ed egoisti, non esitano a spingere la giovane prostituta Palla di sego tra le braccia dell’invasore tedesco.
L'autore segue l’alternarsi delle speranze e delle disillusioni della giovane…La speranza di essere accettata dalla
...more
Noor
A realistic short story, and I would even say that it contains some aspects of naturalism by the end. De Maupassant tried to show the courage of the french women during the war even if they figure in "prostitute" image, but for him they are ideal ones since they fought for the country in their own way. He also uncovered the hidden reality of the prussiens .
Melanie
Feb 20, 2010 Melanie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Set during the Franco–Prussian war, Butterball is a sympathetic portrayal of a prostitute’s mistreatment at the hands of a cold–hearted bourgeoisie. It is published here with a selection of stories about prostitutes, making this a unique collection. Foreword by Germaine Greer.
When Butterball’s carriage is halted by Prussian soldiers, they demand her sexual services as ransom. Her fellow passengers—hitherto disdainful of her company—are suddenly more than happy to benefit from her “immoral” trad
...more
Harrystuart
Devo dire che mi ha sorpreso moltissimo. Libretto corto a cui non daresti due lire e che invece è un capolavoro di maestria nello descrivere l'ipocrisia delle persone che ci circondano.
L'autore con 3 pennellate magistrali ha centrato in pieno il nocciolo della questione: quando si ha a che fare con la meschinità mai sperare in un ravvedimento.
Christina
I seriously loved Boule de Suif! I had to read it for French class and I got a 9.3/10!

The story is about a prostitute in French, during the war between France and Germany (in that time Prussia). A group of people leave their hometown, taken by the Prussians. Boule de Suif is one of them. The other travellers are mean and proud towards her. When they stop in a town, they're not allowed to travel further by a Prussian officer. They can only pass the city if Boule de Suif sleeps with the officer.
...more
Frumenty
I read a lot of Guy de Maupassant short stories in English translation in my youth, and I have always rated him, with Chekhov, among the very best in that genre. I admit that many have the added appeal of a little frisson of sex about them, but somehow that never seemed to detract from their value as truly great stories. This is the first I have read in French, and I think the first in about 35 or 40 years anyway. I find time has not changed my response to de Maupassant. He is still one of the b ...more
Cipriana Leme
A masterpiece. When I read this I was not much into classics or stories that were not related to crime and adventure. This is the book that made me realize there is a lot more out there and I havent stopped since. Love this story and remember every page. ...more
John Sdrallis
Η ταξική διαστρωμάτωση μέσα σε μια χούφτα εμβληματικούς χαρακτήρες και ο τρόπος σκέψης και λειτουργίας τους μέσα από ένα ευχάριστο μυθιστόρημα.

Η υποκρισία όσων θεωρούν εαυτούς άξια μέλη αυτής της κοινωνίας σε αντίθεση με τους "απλούς" ανθρώπους που το μόνο που τους αναγνωρίζεται είναι η θυσία για το γενικό καλό που όταν πραγματωθεί περνάν στο περιθώριο της ιστορίας σε πλήρη απαξία
Cass
Maupassant is amazing. He blew my mind with the short-story "The Necklace", and this one was even better. The story, what it means, why the people behaved the way that they did, all play on my mind over and over. Marvellous.
Benjamín Hernández-Rodríguez
"-En momentos difíciles como el presente, consuela encontrar almas generosas."

"-Aceptamos, agradecidos a su mucha cortesía."

"¿Prefiere vernos aquí víctimas del enemigo y expuestos a sus violencias, a las represalias que seguirían indudablemente a una derrota?"

"Sí, por cierto. Se me ocurre decir a ustedes que han fraguado una canallada."

"Ninguno la miró ni se preocupó de su presencia; sentíase la infeliz sumergida en el desprecio de la turba honrada que la obligó a sacrificarse, y después la rech
...more
María Romanov
Maupassant told a short story about how thankless and cruel the people could be. The endings of stories are cold, realistic and unanticipated, I love the little novels
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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...
Bel-Ami The Necklace and Other Short Stories Une vie Le Horla et autres nouvelles fantastiques Pierre et Jean

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“L'angoisse de l'attente faisait désirer la venue de l'ennemi.” 8 likes
“Un rideau de flocons blancs ininterrompu miroitait sans cesse en descendant vers la terre; il effaçait les formes, poudrait les choses d'une mousse de glace; et l'on n'entendait plus, dans le grand silence de la ville calme et ensevelie sous l'hiver, que ce froissement vague, innommable et flottant de la neige qui tombe, plutôt sensation que bruit , entremêlement d'atomes légers qui semblaient emplir l'espace, couvrir le monde.” 5 likes
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