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Boule de Suif (Penguin 60s)

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,464 ratings  ·  66 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, 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
Thomas Ullman
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
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
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
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
Emmy Woksepp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 El
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
Benja Min
"-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
Christine
Smutný příběh, který dokazuje, že někdo koho společnost odsuzuje jako špatného, padlého a nemorálního je ve skutečnosti mnohem více, než "počestní občané".
Priscila
“Elle se sentait noyée dans le mépris de ces gredins honnêtes qui l'avaient sacrifiée d'abord, rejetée ensuite, comme une chose malpropre et inutile.”
MischaS_
Víte, co je na tom nejhorší? Že takový pokrytci jsou všude kolem nás. Jinak mě docela překvapil popis Kuličky, vždycky jsem si ji představovala jako hubeňoučkou slečinku. :D
Pyke_1
great imagery in this little story. short but powerful.

I also love the hypocricy of the characters, especially with a line such as "c'est les grands qui font la guerre"... it adds to the message

not a single character is boring, but none of them are really all that likeable from the get-go. you learn to sympathize along the way though

and the premice is almost funny...

highly recommended if you're looking for a short story that does not leave a massive impact but leaves you with some sense of... I...more
David
I think is a good book, but Boule de Suif isn't as good as I thought
Chris
Free on gutenberg and only the size of a short novella, I feel I have to write something in order to recommend it.

My first Maupassant, and wow, such incredible writing! And an immersive story to boot. A few upper-class folks, a prostitute and some nuns go on a carriage-ride through Prussian occupied France. War and suffering looms in the background while it looks closely at their treatment of each other. The themes are rich in depth and abundance... but it's the writing! It knocked my socks off.
Drew
The subtitle for this short story collection should be "And 5 other women who put out with disastrous results." Along with the wry title story about a chubby, patriotic prostitute who's encouraged to screw an enemy soldier to appease her fellow travelers, every tale here concerns a woman ruined in part by a jinxed seduction. My favorite of the lot is "Bed 29" which has a particularly delicious surprise ending. De Maupassant has mastered the art of conveying an optimistic doom.
La pointe de la sauce
Guy de Maupassant. What a goy! As the saying goes, 'stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence wriggles and hides itself.'
I loved the story, which really doesn't reflect in the 3 star rating, but there's a hidden message which eludes me at the moment. One day I'll do it the justice it deserves.

2013:
The hypocrisy of all parties is apparent but what eluded me was the hypocrisy of Boule de Suif.
Wendy Low
Mar 05, 2013 Wendy Low rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Serious readers and thinkers; people who love really good writing.
One of my favorite stories ever, and a classic in the page range between long short story and novella. I like it when an author plays with my head. Plus, an unforgettable character.

de Maupassant's whole ouevre is must reading. I reread all of De M. from time to time. The shorter stories bear reading before bed in an endless cycle with Chekov, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Munro, and other masters.


Charles Puskas
A French prostitute with a sense of national pride who refuses to submit to a Prussian officer who is occuppying the town that she and her fellow travelers are passing through on their way to Le Havre, 1871. He refuses their coach to proceed until she consents. Her fellow travelers, a group of respectable plutocrats, are doing their best to encourage her to consent to the young officer.
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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
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“L'angoisse de l'attente faisait désirer la venue de l'ennemi.” 7 likes
“Elle se sentait noyée dans le mépris de ces gredins honnêtes qui l'avaient sacrifiée d'abord, rejetée ensuite, comme une chose malpropre et inutile.” 5 likes
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