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

Read Book* *Different edition

Le Grand Meaulnes

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,796 Ratings  ·  440 Reviews
When Meaulnes first arrives in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring, and charisma. But when he attends a strange party at a mysterious house with a beautiful girl hidden inside, he is changed forever. This evocative novel has at its center both a Peter Pan in provincial France-a kid who refuses to grow up-and a Parsifal, pursuing his love to the ends o ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Penguin Classics (first published 1913)
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 Le Grand Meaulnes, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Stephen AB I read a review in London Review of Books, and the reviewer reckoned that Frank Davison’s is the "tried and true translation".
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
44th out of 639 books — 1,172 voters
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaPeter Pan by J.M. BarrieHowards End by E.M. ForsterMy Ántonia by Willa Cather
Best Books of the Decade: 1910's
46th out of 245 books — 415 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Esteban del Mal
Sep 21, 2010 Esteban del Mal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who wonder what Cirque du Soleil would sound like if they talked
Dear Henri Alain-Fournier,

Some people claim you had great talent as a novelist. Many more would claim I don't. Is it fair that you died in World War I while I live, free to write this review and feeling like I'm having a bad morning because I didn't have all the usual ingredients for my breakfast shake? Your remains weren't identified until 1991, true, but do you know that without yogurt, steel cut oatmeal, goji berries and banana congeal like pond scum when blended with almond milk? I guess in
Eddie Watkins
Nov 17, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was about 10 I spent what felt like an entire summer playing in a marsh with a friend. The marsh was a gradual discovery. Each day, as our courage increased, we penetrated deeper into it, crawling and hopping from tree mound to tree mound, until we had mapped out quite a large area in our imaginations. And of course we were the only two who knew about it. This area of the marsh became our sprawling fort, with significant crossings and islands given names from my primary reading matter of ...more
May 16, 2015 [P] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
Some time after leaving university I was in a club; and at one point in the, er, festivities I was tapped on the shoulder. I turned around, and there was an attractive blonde girl. She spoke my name; I stared back at her blankly. ‘Don’t you remember me?’ she asked. I had to confess that I didn’t. ‘Nicole,’ she said. I was about to embarrass myself further, and admit that I still could not place her, when it came to me. Ah, Nicole! Of course! She had been in the same halls of residence as I. We d ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 21, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: classics, 501, ya, french
Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri Alban-Fournier (1886-1914), a French author and soldier. Le Grand Meaulnes (1913) was his only novel, filmed twice and is now considered one of the greatest works of French literature. He was a friend to Andre Gide (1869-1951) who wrote The Fruits of the Earth (1897), Strait is the Gate (1909), The Counterfeiters (1927) among many others. Alain-Fournier started work on a second novel Colombe Blanchet in 1914. However, that same year, he joined the army a ...more
Ben Winch
Apr 26, 2015 Ben Winch rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
A few moments later a strange equipage drew up in front of the glass doors: an outlandish old farm wagon with rounded panels and moulded ornaments; an aged white horse with head bent so low that he seemed to be hoping to find grass in the road; and in the driving seat―I say it in the simplicity of my heart, well knowing what I say―perhaps the most beautiful young woman that ever existed in the whole world.
For the first half of Le Grand Meaulnes I was well-nigh intoxicated by the air of romance
MJ Nicholls
Le Grand Meaulnes is supposed to be untranslatable, and this translation by French classics legend Robin Buss doesn’t convince me otherwise. The novel hinges upon the titular Meaulnes being such a charming force of character in a lower-class school, his name echoes down the ages and his antics and adventures make him a much-beloved geezer in the province. Doesn’t quite work. But the narrator François is certainly smitten and describes Meaulnes’s first love in fits of florid descriptive prose wor ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Helynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although Le Grand Meaulnes (sometimes translated as The Wanderer or The Lost Estate) was written in 1913, which was more in the decadent or modernism era, this lovely, mysterious novel falls definitely into the category of late Romanticism. Just one year after publishing his one and only novel, young Henri Alain-Fournier was killed in a World War I battle at Epargnes in 1914. The literary world is so much the poorer for his loss as well as for the loss of many more novels he surely would have w ...more
Sheyda Heydari Shovir
Apr 28, 2016 Sheyda Heydari Shovir rated it really liked it
عجب کتابی. سه فصل داره و من آخرهای فصل دوم کاملا سرخورده شده بودم و از خودم میپرسیدم چطور کتاب باین بچگانهای انقدر ستوده شده و مشهور شده. صدوهفتاد هشتاد صفحه گذشته بود و دیگه چی میخواست بشه. ولی از همون فصل سوم کتاب از خاک بلند شد، راوی نوجوان دو فصل اول بزرگ شد و فصل آخر خیلی درخشان شد. از اون فضای دبیرستان بیرون اومد و یکهو (همونطور که خیلیها تجربهش کردهند) وارد اندوه و گرفتاریی شد که هیچ راه فراری ازش نبود. بسیار تکاندهنده و موثر.
در مواجهه با اینجور آثار همیشه فکر میکنم نباید اون تکهٔ اول اون
Jul 05, 2015 Elham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a boring afternoon of one of these days of June, I chose Le Grand Meaulnes immediately in the local library right after the librarian's alarm that they were closing. It was French and I thought I had a glance on a review before. By reading a few pages of it, I realized that it was a young adult story of two boys François and his best friend Meaulnes who lived in a lower-class school in a village. Narrating in a first person, I thought despite its title there was no trace of Meaulnes himself. ...more
Feb 26, 2013 Realini rated it it was amazing
Le Grande Meaulnes, by Alain –Fournier

I loved this book, which will make me pay more attention to The Le Monde top of 100 best novels…up to know I placed emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon critics’ lists of The Guardian and TIME…

Le Grande Meaulnes is “one of France’s most popular novels…much loved yet little read”
F. Scott Fitzgerald borrowed its title for The Great Gatsby (some think even the characters).

All the life of the author was influenced, moved round a single afternoon, when he met Yvonne, whic
Never have I found it more difficult to finish a lovelier book. My first attempt was derailed five years ago; the second was ultimately successful only after a three-month hiatus. And this little volume carried so much weight by now, as a favourite of several people - exes, friends, the hard-to-label - from different times and places in my life ... all of which have something of the partially-lost domain about them.

I started reading it again in a sunny May garden surrounded by birdsong - the fir
Oct 14, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An elegy to lost love, an evocation of the sad inevitability of time, in the form of a modern chivalric romance: a questing youth stumbles upon an engagement party that seems an enchanted otherworld, falls in love therein, tries forever to return, but is foiled by the slow, dread entanglements of the everyday world and his own failings—he finds the woman, but never again the enchanted moment. The tale is told with an almost minimalist delicacy. Magical and melancholy.

Favorite quote: Weeks went b
May 15, 2010 Katri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, french
A strange, haunting book about adolescence and growing up, and about the enchantment and madness of spending your life on supposedly grandiose but ultimately self-absorbed romantic quests at the expense of your happiness and especially that of other people.

I must say I did not like the character of Meaulnes at all. I think he's obnoxious, self-absorbed and empty, and there's no reason for everyone to be worshipping him as much as they do. It didn't detract my enjoyment of this book, though, beca
Nov 22, 2012 Bogna rated it it was amazing
I read "Le Grand Meaulnes" at school when I was ca 16, the book stood in its own category, the impression it left hard to describe. And then it disappeared - from my life, but strangely enough, also from public interest in Poland. I remembered it again after coming back home from Duino two years later, and wanted to get it, to go back, to decipher it better, but nobody I asked knew it. I kept looking in libraries, book-shops, in vain, not even on the internet for a long dozen of years did anythi ...more
May 10, 2009 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-lit
A unique and dream-like book about youthful ardour and longing. The story of Meaulnes and his search for his lost love is unforgettable. Impulsive, reckless and heroic, Meaulnes embodies both romanticism and a search for the elusiveness of the world between childhood and adulthood. I found this book both enjoyable and thought-provoking in its exceptional depiction of romantic feeling. The result was a haunting ability to remain in my memory with a sort of nostalgia for the reading that I have ra ...more
Πολλά συναισθήματα μου δημιούργησε αυτό το βιβλίο... Πρώτα με την ονειρική του ατμόσφαιρα που θυμίζει την παιδική ηλικία και την δροσιά της εφηβείας, βυθίζομαι στην αναζήτηση ενός εξιδανικευμένου ( ; ) έρωτα και τόπου που κάνει τον ήρωα να πιστεύει πως αυτό μπορεί να του χαρίσει την ευτυχία, όπως ένας έφηβος ελπίζει σε κάτι συγκεκριμένο για να ευτυχήσει. Όμως αυτή η αποτυχία που παρουσιάζεται μετά μου φάνηκε σαν τα βουλιαγμένα και κατακερματισμένα όνειρα των παιδιών που βλέπουν τις ελπίδες τους ...more
Dec 09, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK GIVES ME FEELINGS. UGH. *sobs with abandon*
Jim Coughenour
Alain-Fournier's novel evokes a lost world, not only the inevitable loss of childhood but also a lost world of fiction, specifically 19th century boy's fiction: adventure stories full of treasure, mysterious maps, mysteries barely glimpsed, adolescent hero worship, and love that knows nothing of lust. David Copperfield; Kidnapped; Kim. A year after it was published, its young author disappeared into the carnage of the first world war, buried in a mass grave. Unlike Swann's Way (also published in ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Is this an ironic title? Not sure what was so magnificent about Augustin Meaulnes. Let's see some of the magnificent thing this guy did shall we. Takes off from school which his mother is bordering him to go to, gets lost with a borrowed horse and buggy, crashes a party for three days, falls "in love" with a girl he met for like 30 seconds, then loses touch with her and pines for her for years, then he falls in love with the girl's brother's ex-fiancee but wait a minute he finds the first girl a ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most French people read this book at school and a recent poll in France made it the sixth best book of the 20th century.

Unlike the average French person, I came to this story of adolescent love in my early 50s. Would the book's charms work for the older reader? The answer is an emphatic yes. It perfectly captures that magical period when emotions are at their most intense.

Le Grand Meaulnes, the protagonist, is an adventurous, charismatic wanderer who stumbles across a lost chateau where partyg
A Note on the Translation

--The Lost Estate
نشد که ادامه ش بدم
شاید وقتی دیگر
شاید هرگز
Aug 24, 2013 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romans-francais
Oh, this book. Where do I even start? It's known to most English speakers as "The Lost Estate" or "The Wanderer", but actually translates to "The Great Meaulnes". From what I understand, you either love this novel or hate it. It is one of the few books I've given 5 stars to, but it deserves each one as I absolutely adore it.

It is told by a young (and maturing) Francois Seurel about a childhood friend (Meaulnes) who turned out to have one of the biggest impacts on his life. First love, coming of
David Rain
Jun 08, 2012 David Rain rated it it was amazing
Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of a French writer, real name Henri Alban, who died in the First World War at the age of twenty-seven. The narrator of this, his only novel, is a young boy, the son of a schoolmaster in provincial France in the late nineteenth century. The story begins when a new pupil comes to the school, the extraordinary Augustin Meaulnes. Taller than the other boys, stronger, more daring, Meaulnes seems destined for adventure, and adventure soon comes when he absconds from sc ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Bethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regular-fiction
Apparently this novel is big in France while it's not very well-known in the English-speaking world. The author died in World War I at the age of 27.

Childish and flawed, it's nonetheless fascinating, mysterious, whimsical and magical. Set in the provinces of France, it is primarily the story of two young men who met at school and are friends. There is a light and plaintive touch to the writing and I think it is very special, for its obvious flaws in structure and characterisation; but some of t
Feb 13, 2016 Somayeh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
به خاطر اسم مترجمش به سراغ این کتاب رفتم، اما آنطور که انتظار داشتم نبود.
همانطور که در توضیح پشت جلد آمده این کتاب از جمله کلاسیکهاست، داستان کمابیش خطی عاشقانه ای دارد با نثری روان و بدون پیچیدگی.
اگر دلتان برای کلاسیکهای فرانسوی تنگ شده میتواند گزینه خوبی باشد، داستانی خوشخوان با فصل بندی های کوتاه.
Jul 10, 2015 Sylvester rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
For the first time I too am on the path of adventure. For once it is not for shells left stranded by the tide that I am prospecting...nor for specimens of orchis unknown to the schoolmaster...I am looking for something still more mysterious: for the path you read about in books, the old lane choked with undergrowth whose entrance the weary prince could not discover. You'll only come upon it at some lost moment of the morning when you've long since forgotten that it will soon be eleven, or twelve ...more
Fatema Hassan , bahrain

/ مولن الكبير /
* نقلها للعربية إدوار البستاني *

رواية ( آفاق الصبا / مولن الكبير ) للفرنسي الآن فورنييه / -/
نشرها قبل عام من وفاته على الجبهة الفرنسية في الحرب العالمية الأولى عن مايقارب ال عام ، لذلك تجد هذه الرواية الفرنسية الأكثر شعبية من ناحية القراءة بين الأجيال الفرنسية و الأكثر شيوعاً في مراحل الصبا فهي تناقش قضية عناقيد المغامرة الشهية والمغرية للإكتشاف في أول ربوع الصبا ، و هي الأكثر تدارساً على ما يبدو فهي تحوي النسق الوصفي المثالي للواقعية الفرنسية في ذلك الأوان ، ناهيك عن الرومانس
Jul 05, 2012 Rozzer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, along with a few others in various languages, is a real test of the very idea of translation. A challenge to those who believe in the inherent capacity of any language to absorb and present the feelings, impressions, beliefs and atmosphere of works originally expressed in another language. Myself, I only have two languages: English and French. I was raised with both and have some idea how each of them works. I read Le grand Meaulnes in French, of course. (No one should read anything i ...more
May 27, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
For anyone stalked by the memory of enchantment. A boy's mania 'n' failure to pocket that lost domain.

"I've kept a single image of that time, and it is already fading: the image of a lovely face grown thin and of two eyes whose lids slowly droop as they glance at me, as if her gaze was unable to dwell on anything but an inner world."

P.S. The new Penguin translation absolves the book of poetry. Avoid. Even the title The Lost Estate has connotations of property restoration programmes.

*growls at
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bright Young Things: The Lost Estate/Le Grand Meaulnes 39 28 Sep 23, 2014 01:00PM  
French endings 6 61 Aug 22, 2012 12:17PM  
  • Thérèse Desqueyroux
  • The Horseman on the Roof
  • Under Satan's Sun
  • Count d'Orgel's Ball
  • Aurélien
  • La confession d'un enfant du siècle
  • A Harlot High and Low
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Les Vrilles De La Vigne
  • Manon des Sources
  • Alcools
  • Le Silence de la mer
  • Zazie in the Metro
  • La Modification
  • Paroles
  • The Sea Wall
  • The Journal of Jules Renard
  • Capital of Pain
Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri-Alban Fournier (1886 – 1914), a French author and soldier. He wrote a single novel, Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), which was adapted into two feature films and is considered a classic of French literature.

Alain-Fournier was born in La Chapelle-d'Angillon, in the Cher département, in central France, the son of a school teacher. He studied at the Lycée Lakanal in
More about Alain-Fournier...

Share This Book

“This evening, which I have tried to spirit away, is a strange burden to me. While time moves on, while the day will soon end and I already wish it gone, there are men who have entrusted all their hopes to it, all their love and their last efforts. There are dying men or others who are waiting for a debt to come due, who wish that tomorrow would never come. There are others for whom the day will break like a pang of remorse; and others who are tired, for whom the night will never be long enough to give them the rest that they need. And I - who have lost my day - what right do I have to wish that tomorrow comes?” 28 likes
“Je pensais de meme que notre jeunesse etait finie et le bonheur manqué.

I thought too that our youth was over and we had failed to find happiness.”
More quotes…