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Les Belles-Soeurs
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Les Belles-Soeurs

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,357 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Germaine Lauzon, ménagère de Montréal, a gagné un million de timbres-primes. Une bonne occasion pour inviter parentes et amies à une soirée de "collage de timbres". Mais les 15 femmes entassées dans la cuisine n'en restent pas longtemps aux civilités : jalousies, vengeances et haines personnelles éclatent, venant gâcher la fête. Dans ce huis clos parfait, difficile de ne p ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published 1972 by Leméac
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(showing 1-30)
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Manybooks
A decent enough English language translation (I guess), still set in Montreal, and supposedly this particular version of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Sours was the one performed at the Stratford Festival in 1991. But while it does faithfully keep to both the general and particular themes and contents of the French (Canadian) original, I sorely miss the Joual, the sociolect or dialect of East End, working class Montreal of Tremblay's text (as this rather standard English language translation real ...more
Manybooks
While The Guid Sisters (a translation of Michel Tremblay's absolutely brilliant and often wildly humorous, but nevertheless always critical, even at times infuriatingly heartbreaking drama Les Belles-Soeurs into modern Scots by William Findlay and Martin Bowman) does indeed faithfully keep to both the general and particular themes and contents of Tremblay's French (Canadian) original, and while I actually do very much appreciate the sense of working class parlance that this translation into a sp ...more
Beth
This play put me in mind of a piano piece I played when I was growing up, entitled “Two Ladies Gossiping” by Russian composer Aram Khachaturian. Except that the title of this play could have been “Fifteen Ladies Gossiping.” With an all-female cast, the action of this play takes place on a single night when middle-aged Germaine Lauzon invites over all of her friends and relations to solicit their help in putting her recently won million department store coupons into coupon books. In other words, ...more
Becky R.
Mar 04, 2012 Becky R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billed as representing French-speaking Quebec, with their own working-class culture being stamped on the play, I really was quite intrigued. I can't say that I've read anything that was said to represent that culture, nor do I know much about it. In short, this was a pleasure to branch out and give a go.

Germaine seems like an image of a 1950's housewife, with her desire to redecorate her home and do it all on the trading stamps she won from the local department store. I suppose that I imposed my
...more
Colin
Mar 11, 2008 Colin rated it liked it
In my continuous efforts to understand Québec, I bought this play. Michel Tremblay is the quintessential québécois writer, and this is one of his most important pieces. Written in the joual of Montréal, it tries to capture how people actually speak. Like the Irish of J.M. Synge or that weird New England accent of Eugene O'Neill. I would have loved to have my roommate read it to me because I can't hear the accent always in my head, but I don't know if that would have been considered weird.

There
...more
Care Thomas
Sep 22, 2013 Care Thomas rated it it was amazing
My first encounter with "joual" and I will never forget it.
Cassandra
Jun 21, 2017 Cassandra rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
I'm not really a fan of québécois slang, but this was okay.
Natasha Whyte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrés Canella
Jul 27, 2015 Andrés Canella rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
En 1965 quinze femmes se réunissent afin de coller un million de timbres-primes que Germaine Lauzon a gagné. La pièce de Tremblay est importante sur le plan historique québécois, non seulement grâce à son emploi du joual, mais aussi en raison de ce que ça révèle dans la société québécoise en transition durant la révolution tranquille: "Mettre le pied dans un club, c'est déjà faire une péché mortel." La plupart des femmes sont ménagères ou sans emploi, se mêlent des affaires des autres, et s'indi ...more
Czarny Pies
May 26, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Quelqu'un qui veut mieux connaitre les Canadiens Francais
Recommended to Czarny by: Je l'ai lu après avoir vu une réprésentation au théatre
Pour quelqu'un qui croit mal connaitre le Québec, il n'y a pas de manière plus efficace d'approfondir sa connnaissance que de lire les Belles Soeurs ou mieux d'aller au theatre pour voir une representation.

À premiére vue, c'est un drame des milieux populaires ou les commeres du quartier se rencontrent dans le but de voler honteusement une des leurs. Cependant, les Belles Soeurs est aussi un ouvrage du lendemain de la Révolution tranquille ou les Quebecois se sont liberées de la classe dirigeante
...more
Lucile Barker
Dec 08, 2016 Lucile Barker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
169. The Guid Sisters by Michel Tremblay
This is a rendering of Les Belles Soeurs into Scottish brogue and it is even funnier than the original. One of my friends and I read it out loud and we could barely stop laughing. When one of the women, Germain Lauzon, wins a million trading stamps and they need to be put into books to be redeemed, she calls on her friends to help her do it. But not everyone is happy about her win, and soon the books of stamps start disappearing into bags, purses, pockets
...more
Michel Bruneau
Nov 26, 2009 Michel Bruneau rated it it was amazing
A play between book covers rarely measure-up to the “live happening” itself. This is particularly evident with “Les Belles Soeurs” as one must hear the vivid rhythmic lamentations recited by the sisters, in unison without expression, like a requiem for the lost hope of a meaningful life, to feel their dark despair and appreciate the innovative signature of the author. Nonetheless, while waiting for an opportunity to see the play, the written word also succeeds in conveying the forceful message. ...more
Léa Vaillancourt
Apr 04, 2016 Léa Vaillancourt rated it it was ok
Ce fût une des choses les plus exaspérantes que j'ai lues dans ma vie. Je comprends le but de la pièce, mais les chicanes étaient tout simplement ridicules. J'ai quand même ri, une fois: "Ça l'a le yable au corps, c'te fille-là! Une vraie possédée! D'ailleurs, est rousse."
Il est en effet bien connu que les roux n'ont pas d'âme.
Audrey
Jan 01, 2016 Audrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-other
C'était correct. Les personnages étaient exaspérants et il ne se passait pas grand chose...
Gwen
Jan 20, 2017 Gwen rated it liked it
La fin était..... quelque chose.
Marcia Oster
Sep 18, 2008 Marcia Oster rated it it was amazing
Shelves: french-novels
Great for learning/analysing Quebecois slang.
Caitlyn Andrea
Jan 22, 2017 Caitlyn Andrea rated it it was ok
wow what an adventure
Marissa
Michel Tremblay’s play Les Belles-Soeurs is raucous, energetic, and boisterous – and, because women so rarely get to be boisterous onstage, it’s revolutionary. The play plunks you down in the kitchen of Germaine, a middle-aged housewife in 1960s Montreal. She’s just won a million department-store coupons in a contest, and she’s invited fourteen of her neighbors to help her paste the coupons into booklets. Gossip, squabbling, scandal, and even a brawl ensue.

John Van Burek and Bill Glassco have tr
...more
Alina
Oct 24, 2015 Alina rated it really liked it
Okay, first off: I grew up in Montreal. I have a Québécois accent. But I do not use the Québécois dialect. Contrary to what other provinces or countries believe, not all of Québec speaks the way the Belles-Soeurs do.

Ever since I started high school, our French teachers had been rambling on and on about Les Belles-Soeurs. How it was such a quintessensial representation of "our society" and "our dialect". And on, and on they went. And I, as the typical immigrant, could not care less about this pla
...more
Danielle
Nov 30, 2016 Danielle rated it liked it
Pour être entièrement honnête, il faut que je dis que je ne l'ai pas vraiment aimer. Par contre, après l'avoir lue, j'ai eu l'opportunité de voir une adaptation sur scène et je l'ai beaucoup plus apprécié. Michel Tremblay a écrit une pièce très engagé et pertinent à son temps, mais la plupart de ses personnages n'ont, à mon avis, point de characteristics rédemptrices. Ceci fait en sorte que j'ai eu du mal a pouvoir aimer les personnages, oublions vouloir les aimer. Le texte lui même, pour moi, m ...more
Sam
I was looking forward to reading this, as I've heard it's THE Québécois play, but it did nothing for me.

Maybe I missed out by not reading this in the original French, but I didn't get much out of this play. The characters are so over-the-top, and so awful to each other! The only halfway-decent character was Pierrette, and her entire family has disowned her because she works in a club? Again, maybe I'm missing something and it's supposed to be implied that it's some kinky sex club or something, b
...more
Joy
Dec 10, 2014 Joy rated it it was ok
Shelves: theatre
It has some interesting ideas, not sure if this is something that really happens (happened?) in Quebec or if the playwright invented it, but the play's premise begins with one of the sisters winning a million stamps and throwing a stamp pasting party where her friends all paste stamps in booklets. The booklets can then be redeemed for household goods - like furniture or dustpans.

It's very much about the lower class and their belief that they'll never get ahead while giving all of their money to
...more
Razan
Sep 21, 2015 Razan rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this play. It was funny and weird in it's own way. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because I thought it was a bit too short. And even though the ending was hilarious, yet somehow sad, I was frustrated that I didn't really understand why they were singing the Canadian anthem. Like I found it funny that they were doing that in the middle of a crisis, but I didnt understand why they were doing it. Nonetheless, still an enjoyable read. I totally recommend it to anyone w ...more
Jessica Barkl
Oct 20, 2012 Jessica Barkl rated it really liked it
I read this play today with the Actor's Circle of the Albuquerque Theatre Guild, and it was quite a surprise of awesomeness. It is all female play and the characters are very blue-collar and very Catholic. The characters reminded me a lot of women I grew up in Northern Idaho. I absolutely loved the humor/farce and the monologues. This is definitely something to remember for an all female play and for anyone looking for a fabulous all female play with great characters...this is one of them...a lo ...more
Ganise C
Apr 02, 2015 Ganise C rated it really liked it
Dénonciatrice, cette pièce est pas mal intéressante. Au cours de celle-ci se déploit une panoplie d'injustices que connurent les québécoises du 20e siècle. J'ai eu l'occasion de la lire dans le cadre d'un cours de littérature française. Nous avons étudié le joual (langue des ''Belles-Sœurs''), ce qui a évoqué, chez moi, plusieurs tendres souvenirs d'enfance.
Judith
Nov 11, 2011 Judith rated it it was amazing
This drama is hilarious, and very life-like! You may want to take a course in Québécois French dialect first though, because Michel Tremblay lays the dialect on really thick. For me it was perfect, because I studied the dialect before and love it. My only regret is that I can't seem to find any video of it even though it is said to have been on Canadian TV. I MUST see this played!
Ana Calabresi
Jun 27, 2016 Ana Calabresi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, 2016, funny, play
Set in the 70s in Quebec. I laughed out loud in some parts, it reminded me so much of my mother and aunts, all that Latin blood of gossip, competition and quarrel. I like the social criticism - the hypocrisy of religious people, like some sins are worse than others.
Maura
Mar 09, 2013 Maura rated it really liked it
My 11th grade role in the school play as Gabrielle Jodoin made these women real to me, and very sympathetic. When I read this as an English student at university I realized how unsympathetic they could be. Interesting read, very funny.
Sarah
Another "look at the miserable condition of Canadian women" piece. Read The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts instead.
Jim
Jul 13, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Wow. I can see what the fuss is about. What a great play with remarkably well drawn characters. Chus ben content d'l'ai lu. Au moins quatre étoiles. Je me demande que serait l'impacte de la pièce en traduction en anglais. I'm really impressed.
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