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

The Mandarins

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,459 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
In her most famous novel, Simone de Beauvoir does not flinch in her look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II. Drawing on those surrounding her -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Arthur Koestler -- and her passionate love affair with Nelson Algren, Beauvoir dissects the emotional and philosophical currents of her time. At once an engrossing drama and ...more
Paperback, 752 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published October 21st 1954)
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 The Mandarins, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Fluencer The book is ponderous, but it got me hooked right from the beginning. This is one of my favorite books. But if you don't like it you shouldn't read…moreThe book is ponderous, but it got me hooked right from the beginning. This is one of my favorite books. But if you don't like it you shouldn't read it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
A lot of people appear to dislike Les Mandarins, which I think is a pretty excellent novel, so let me try and explain what I think is good about it. To me, it's basically about what happens to people (particularly to women) when they realize that they are no longer young. This has several consequences. To start off with, not being young means that you're no longer as physically attractive as you were. Of course, you can go into denial, and say that as long as you eat healthily, exercise, and thi ...more
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I learned that Simone de Beauvoir was one smart cookie. I learned about existentialism for the first time and absuridty and the French resistance and Paris bars. I took this book to Paris and read it there. I went to the bars and cafes and read it there. I was on a late and horrible honeymoon and still have the book but the husband.....non
It’s a horrible thing, a woman who labors to lead a man’s hands to her body by appealing to his mind.
The irony of the author of The Second Sex having published this five years after the previous kills me, it really does. What's worse is her having won the Prix Goncourt for it, a weighty stamp of approved literature prowess that says nothing less than, yes, this is how you discuss philosophical theories in the midst of love and warfare: trot the men out trigger happy and reduce the women to sel
Steven  Godin
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I believe this to be her best work. It's long, probably too long, but that's a small niggle compared to all that's so good about it. 'The Mandarins' gives us a brilliant survey of the post-war French intellectual. It's accuracy and its objectivity combine to present a dazzling panorama of the men and women caught up in ever-changing times. As a fan of the existentialist movement this was no-brainer for me to read, it's an expression of her unique style, represented with such vibrancy, that diffe ...more
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I might be alone in really loving this book. I'm not sure if I understand what is not to love. This book is a bright light in a period of self-important post-war literature-- our 1984s and Wastelands-- in that it carefully avoids the moral preachiness and overabundant heavy-handed symbolism by which the supposed major works of this period are so weighed down.

The Mandarins is a treatise on life in suspended animation: when the war ends how does life continue? One way to look at it is the book is
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
یک رمان دو جلدی با بیش از هزار صفحه که به وقایع جامعه روشنفکران فرانسه بعد جنگ جهانی دوم می پردازد، علیرغم حجم بالا، رمان از شیوه ی روایتی جذابی برخوردار است که در کنار وقایع داستان به حقایق تاریخی زیادی نیز اشاره می کند، سیمون دوبووار نویسنده ی رمان را بنیانگذار موج دوم فمینیست بعد جنگ جهانی دوم می دانند که در این رمان نیز زنانی با افکار متفاوت و از نسلهای مختلف وجود دارند که بنا به گفته ی منتقدین از افکار نویسنده و فلسفه ی خود وی در این زنان دیده میشود. آن، نادین و پل، سه زنی که هرکدام روش و ا ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب های بلند را دوست دارم. نه از این نظر که متن طولانیی دارند. بخاطر این که زمان زیادی با هم در تماسیم. شخصیت ها کم کم واقعی میشن. عادتها ، فرهنگ حرف زدن ها و ... روز مره میشن. چند روزی توی کتاب زندگی میکنم . اولین بار تجربه ی این غرق شدن در فضای کتاب را با دن آرام داشتم و اینم دومین بار.
اعتثراف میکنم کتاب را با بی انگزگی شرو کردم . توی دویست سیصد صفحه ی اول حوصلم سر رفت جوری که چند بار کتاب را تصمیم گرفتم رها کنم ولی خوب شد که نکردم. کتاب از نظر زمانی اواخر و پس از جنگ جهانی دوم اتفاق می افته
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pour l'anglais "mind-blowing", une amie avait proposé la traduction "qui souffle la tête". Simone de Beauvoir m'a soufflé la tête.

Les Mandarins, roman somme, roman phare, décrit le cercle des intellectuels de gauche parisiens dans la tourmente de la période post seconde guerre mondiale, à travers deux narrations alternées : une narration omnisciente qui suit tour à tour le parcours et les pensées de certains personnages, et une narration à la première personne, depuis le personnage d'Anne, psyc
Steven Walle
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing. It was written by one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. The author was a great philosopher and phemonist of her era. I suggest all read this book and any others you can find by her.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
شروع اثر نان فیکشن بزرگ و اثرگذاری مثل "جنس دوم جلد اول حقایق و اسطورهها" باعث شد تا نسبت به آثار داستانی دوبووار کنجکاو شم . بعد از اثر کوچک مرگ آرام قرعه به نام ماندارن ها افتاد
داستان از اولین لحظات اتمام جنگ جهانی دوم و آزادی فرانسه شروع میشه و تا اواسط دهه ی پنجاه ادامه پیدا می کنه . ماندارن ها اثر بزرگ و پرماجراییه
که تلاش عده ای از روشنفکران پاریس برای اثرگذاری در سیاست رو به تصویر می کشه و در این بین گریزی هم به مسائل عاطفی ، فمینیستی و فلسفی داره. پنج شخصیت اصلی و تعاد زیاد شخصیت های مک
G.R. Reader
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that's how to write a lightly fictionalized kiss 'n' tell memoir.
Laura لاورا
Una delle letture liceali che più mi appassionarono, all'epoca argomento di temi, interrogazioni ed elucubrazioni varie.
Testimonianza straordinaria di quelle che sono state le mobilitazioni e le diverse prese di posizione da parte della "casta" intellettuale parigina nel secondo dopoguerra, in relazione ai vari avvenimenti sulla scena mondiale. Sullo sfondo di una città che a poco a poco riprende a vivere dopo le vicende belliche, l'engagement trova piena realizzazione.
E quale definizione miglio
Apr 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book reads like a French version of an Ayn Rand novel (and this is not compliment). "The Mandarins" is full of flat characters whose voices are scarcely distinguishable, awkward dialogue, insipidly clunky internal monologue, and a surprising lack of atmosphere (how can de Beauvoir make Paris so boring?). The book has pretensions to being philosophical and rich, but it is unfortunately dated and vapid. If this novel represents French intellectual life immediately following WWII, then its mos ...more
Mar 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favoratefiction
The story meanders across the last half of a lifetime and is at times absolutely brilliant. The second chapter in and of itself is a masterpiece. I frequently read this portion on it's owns a random times in the year and it is able to bringing me to tears almost everytime.
Nihan E.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Mandarinler, İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrası Paris'te yaşamakta olan bir grup entelektüel yazarın hayatlarıyla ve birbirleriyle olan ilişkilerini, mücadelelerini konu alıyor. Ve bu yazarlar Simone'nin hayatındaki insanların ta kendisi. Henri karakteri yazar Albert Camus'u, Anne karakteri Simone'nin kendisini, Anne'in kocası Robert ise tabi ki de Jean Paul Sartre'ı canlandırıyor. Olaylar Henri ve Anne'in ağzından aktarılmış. Bu sebeple Simone'nin yaşadıkları dolayısıyla neler hissettiğini çok iyi bir ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, women
يك روز به نادين توضيح داده بود كه از مقايسه كردن خودش با ديگران پرهيز مي كند ولي لحظه هايي هم مي رسد كه آدم مجبور به اين كار مي شود ، ديگران به اين كار مجبورش مي كنند .

نياز به كمك داشتم تا اين روزها را بگذرانم ، روزهايي كه هر ساعت آن بايستي ياد مي گرفتم و عادت مي كردم كه ديگر دوستم ندارد .

من زنده ام و دوستت دارم : اين خودش خيلي چيزهاست .
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, feminism
It's hard to separate what I think about this novel from how fascinating I find her as a person and a thinker.

Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it
My reactions to Simone's massive novel about life with J.P. Sartre, Albert Camus, and Nelson Algren are violently mixed. It's fascinating to read about an era where prize-winning novelists were resistance fighters and political organizers, and though they're continually bemoaning their powerlessness, I'm amazed by how much what they do and say matters in their vanished world. On the other hand, it's discouraging the way Simone turns Sartre into a plaster saint, and Camus into a heroic godlike cr ...more
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
Yes, it's not big literature, it might not even be good literature, but it's close to my heart, I've read it in various key moments of my life and it has always given me something I needed. What author nowadays would dare to reflect so openly and unashamedly about what it means to be an intellectual? No one wants to be an intellectual nowadays, which is a pity, and stupid because what are we? For me, this is a powerful exploration of what is important in life, and no, it never gets old to think ...more
Erika Westman
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an amazing achievement. Ambitious, intelligent, engaging. It's the first of her fiction that I've read, and I was delighted to find that Simone de Beauvoir's characters were so varied and three-dimensional. But they are not just well-drawn fictional characters; they are interesting people, the intellectuals of post-war France. A couple of well-known (fictional) writers who were heavily engaged in the resistance during war years, continue to grapple with rebuilding a free France in t ...more
The Mandarins, sadly, is the only thing I have read by Simone de Beauvoir. And it is great. A fictional account of her relationship with Sartre and the friendship between Sartre and Camus, The Mandarins is a novel that deeply explores interpersonal relationships and gives the reader insight into what may have been between these three famous French intellectuals. The extent to which what Beauvoir writes is historically accurate, I am not sure. However, I think one of the valuable things about thi ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Da hat das Buch schon über tausend Seiten und für mich könnte es glatt nochmal so lang weitergehen.
Seit langem habe ich endlich mal wieder etwas von Simone de Beauvoir gelesen und mich gleich wieder wohl gefühlt. Ich liebe ihren Stil, ihre Charaktere, und Geschichten. Man bangt, zweifelt, liebt und desillusioniert sich mit ihnen zusammen.
Mir hat die Abwechslung zwischen den beiden Erzählweisen gut gefallen, auch wenn ich manchmal wegen der zeitlichen Überschneidung etwas verwirrt war.
Zum Inhalt
Julie Iskander
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed every page, reading it to me was an enriching journey. The post-war intellectuals struggle to survive and make a difference, was enlightening. I couldn't avoid comparing that to the state of the Egyptian resistance and the euphoria we lived in February 2011 and all the helplessness we fell in afterwards. I know a lot of differences lie in between. However the slight similarities touched my heart.
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
for all of my bitching and moaning, this was one of those books that answered on one of those Rilkean crying out nights, and it did such a lovely job of telling at least three different stories, and yes, six hundred pages was sometimes a slog, and yes existentialism sometimes makes me reach for a sweater, but I still loved this book and it will be living in my head for a long time.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
رواية رائعة بكل المقاييس و كعادة سيمون لغة بسيطة و معاني و تحليلات عميقة تتناول حياة الطبقة المثقفة بعد الحرب في فرنسا و تنتاول شخصيات جان بول سارتر و البير كامو محبي الفلسفة الوجودية سيفتتنوا بهذه الرواية ..

May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

جالب بود چه به لحاظ شنخات کمونیسم و چه به لحاظ شناخت انسانها و تفکرات انسانی علی الخصوص زنان ، اینکه وقایع همسان یکبار از نگاه یک زن و یکبار از نگاه یک مرد روایت شده بود جز نقاط قوت کتاب بود و کمک زیادی به شناخت تفاوت های این دو جنس می کرد.
Vahid Feizi
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
دوبوار، یار دیرینهٔ سارتر و پرچمدار مکتب اگزیستانسیالیست به حق میتوان گفت قلم گیرا و نافذی دارد.
نویسنده ای ندیده ام که انقدر وجودگرایی را اینگونه ظریف و موزون در لابلای نوشته هایش اثردهد.
رمان حاضر فراز نشیبها و حال و هوای دوران جوانی دوبوار را به تصویر کشیده است. دوران تجدد و ظهور افکار نو و گاها هنجار شکن پسامدرنیسم؛
Christel Amalie S. Mørup
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
af visse grunde ville jeg ikke give mandarinerne (bind 1, anne) fem stjerner, men den er oprigtig og deprimerende og ubehagelig, og det var vigtigt for mig. det, og så en række franske, intellektuelles saftige liv.

dog skal man passe på, hvis man er typen, der sætter spørgsmålstegn ved sin eksistens. man kan ikke ligefrem kalde den feel good.

Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kurt Kemmerer
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A harrowing classic that deftly covers the onion-like layers of individual decision making and the multitude of actions and inactions that decision making process affects over a short period of time, especially in the wake of a great trauma. In this case, the trauma is WW II, and most of the characters fought for the French resistance. In the aftermath of the war, the change from necessary, immediate action to assessing each act for every possible outcome becomes daunting. Exploring the affect o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography
  • Alberta and Jacob
  • Thérèse Desqueyroux
  • The Vagabond
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Les caves du Vatican
  • Tête-à-Tête: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Iron in the Soul
  • The Chateau
  • The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
  • The Three Sisters
  • The Tree Of Man
  • A Day in Spring
  • Thaïs
  • Under Satan's Sun
  • Moderato cantabile
  • Last Nights of Paris
  • A Dangerous Liaison
Simone de Beauvoir was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary femini ...more
More about Simone de Beauvoir

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Oceans Apart
    $7.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Between Days
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Super Sad True Love Story
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Girls from Corona del Mar
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Embers
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
“She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal.” 2242 likes
“She would never change, but one day at the touch of a fingertip she would fall to dust.” 170 likes
More quotes…