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Pierre et Jean

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  5,747 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Pierre, médecin, ne comprend pas pourquoi un ami de sa famille a légué sa fortune à Jean, son frère cadet. Au terme d'une véritable enquête policière, il mettra au jour un terrible secret. Le quatrième roman de Maupassant (1850-1893), publié en 1888, est sans doute le meilleur. Le récit, qui tient à la fois de l'étude naturaliste et de l'analyse psychologique, s'appuie sur ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published March 13th 2001 by Adamant Media Corporation (first published 1888)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  5,747 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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Luís C.
Mr. Roland, a former Parisian jeweler with a passion for sailing, retired to Le Havre with his wife and two sons: Pierre, the eldest, a medical graduate, and Jean, his youngest five-year-old, who has just finished his law degree . During a family fishing trip with a young widow, Mrs. Rosemilly, the two brothers, to please the young woman, engage in a frenzied rowing competition that reveals, under the appearance of union and of affection, the rivalry that opposes them. The same evening, they ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of those sad, sad stories about families and their inability to be good for and to each other!

Maupassant excels at neat studies of dysfunctional family situations. Beautiful French, just as in Une vie.

I found myself constantly wanting to tell Pierre's and Jean's parents that they cause all problems themselves by neglecting the less fortunate son in favour of the easy-going, happy-go-lucky younger son Jean.

For all his bad mood and disturbing thoughts, Pierre is the person I related to,
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pierre and Jean is a novel about brotherhood and how they are driven apart when one of them becomes the heir of a great fortune, left him by a close friend of the family from long ago. From then off the family gets focused upon Jean, the heir. Pierre feels neglected and decides to become a doctor on one of the large steamships to New York.

It isn't a cold and unpassionate story which you get in some french novels. You feel Jean's triump and luck. Meanwhile you feel the desperation of Pierre, who
Darrin Frew
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The obvious reading of this novel is that of the fragility of familial life, how the intertwined relations of multiple persons over a lifetime can be rent asunder by a chance of fate that was neither sought nor expected.

Yet I can't help think there is a deeper meaning to this novel than this surface level analysis. Maupassant seems to hint that the whole of civilised life runs on a complicit falsehood operating at a societal level.

Anyone who tries to upset this falsehood, through probing,
Dũng Bùi
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel displays all the things lurking in the character's mind . I like Pierre's thoughts , some writings are good and that's all .


Not my cup of tea
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
What can easily ruin the relationships between mother and son, and siblings? Maupassant offers an answer in this novel and he presents it so simply, so matter-of-fact, and so straightforward that I found myself completely moved by the story of Pierre and Jean. The psychological impact of this book got me thinking about the characters long after I have finished reading. The dilemma and heartache of Pierre over his slow discovery of his mother's past and his subsequent "exile" to resolve the rift ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isn't it romantic ? Younger son Jean is left a fortune by "a friend of the family" and older brother Pierre perceives that mum may have sought other hugs years ago. Moral : Be careful what you sniff for.
Mohsin Maqbool
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I IMMENSELY enjoyed reading Maupassant's novel 'Pierre and Jean', a story of two brothers whose jealousy of each other shakes the family's foundations.
The French author wrote 13 books of short stories and six novels. This is his fourth novel and probably his best.
W. Somerset Maugham was influenced in a big way by Maupassant's writing.
Highly recommended.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanuj Solanki
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: french
Office read on the Adelaide edu website.

As a review, I'll share a few of the notes I made while reading it.

(1) In his preface to the book, Maupassant writes, in an essay, that action should be present to conceal the psychology of a character, simply because psychology should not be flaunted. I never imagined anyone putting it so succinctly.

(2) There are nine chapters. Chapter 5 is notable the character, Pierre, who is almost the conflicted center of the novel, feels here the germs of misogyny.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first Maupassant, a very pleasant surprise. The story is strong and realistic presented. the psychological drama, the inner wars are masterfully written. It opens ways for discussions, it is a book of the "what would you do..." sort. There is no naivety, no easy ways out. Maupassant does not make it easy for the reader.
I quite simply could not relate to the main characters - i.e. Jean, Pierre and their mother. Everything they said and thought, well I thought differently! We live in different eras, but I do believe it is not just a question of that. One doesn't have to do what is the norm. Then there is the father. He is drawn as a total idiot from start to finish. He understood nothing. There was no depth to his character.

Then there this question - who is a father? Is it he who raises a child or is it the
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1315-read
Two grown brothers. A lifetime of competitiveness and jealousies. A woman. An inheritance. A secret.

Gosh, and that ending! When my oldest son went off to military boot camp, I felt that same sense of loss and emptiness.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Very little plot here, but good characterization, so just the type of book I like! This is a story of two brothers who are unalike in every way. One is dark, the other blonde, one is moody, the other steady, one couldn't settle on a course of study, the other picked one and stayed with it. How do such two different men react when one inherits a small fortune from a family friend?
Then I was jealous of Jean, thought he. That is really vilely mean. And I am sure of it now, for the first idea which
MJ Nicholls
Unlike Robbe-Grillets predatory eyes and unspoken menace, Maupassant offers a tale of overt bitter jealousy, with a healthy dose of bastardism thrown into the mix. Jean is the sole inheritor of a family friends fortune, leaving his brother Pierre dazed as to his own bad luck. Quite rightly in that situation, youd be guttednothing for me? who was this tosser? So Pierre arrives at a simple conclusion that tears his family apart, all very suddenly, after many pleasant pages of boating and courting ...more

Preface: The Novel
--Pierre and Jean
Book Wormy
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-read, 2020-read
I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to.

What I found interesting was the viewpoint of the society of the time, when I read about Jean's windfall I thought nothing of it but then as we watch Pierre be influenced by the opinions of society what I missed did seem obvious. In fact Maupassant did spell it out for the astute reader (not me) from the start. Those with a suspicious nature will probably look at the opening and know immediately what will follow.

I also found the family dynamic
Pierre et Jean
Maupassant (1850 1893)
Just like Bel Ami, Une Vie, and Mont-Oriol, Pierre et Jean is a novel with a moral background.
While reading, you realize that there is much of déjà vu. It really seems as if Maupassant had taken one basic moral situation and then has worked out variations. His great imagination has come up with complex and unimaginable implications and outcomes.
His style and language at this time are praised as true French, likely the top of his literary life.
A story of a family secret, the shame of an affair (if you are a woman), the suppression of truth, that money can divide a family and wealth is wanted but not necessarily a good thing.
The younger brother Jean surprisingly obtains a comfortable inheritance from a family friend. His elder brother is first happy then starts to see the dark side of why.
Quite an interesting look of France culture in the 1880s.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Durrant
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
In one of his last novels (1888/89), Maupassant turns to the old and familiar theme of fraternal jealousy and also depicts the unhappiness and hypocrisy that so often lurks just below the surface of the happy family. The character of the two brothers provides much of the novels interest. Pierre is tempestuous, Jean is placid; Pierre is insightful, albeit not so much as the prostitute or the immigrant (just one more expression of the literary motif of the insightful social or political outsider), ...more
Monty Milne
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect gem of a tale. Right up until the last page, I was not sure how it was going to end. Although I know Le Havre only slightly, I spent a few days in St Malo not so long ago, and I was vividly reminded of the sunlight sparkling on the rock pools and drinking bock in beachfront cafés...this would have been the perfect book to read on that visit. (Although I won't spoil the end, I will say that it gave me the perfect sensation of mingled sadness and pleasure, and those were the sensations I ...more
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I love about the French is that they're perfectly happy to present you with a character, make them suffer intensely, and by the end of the book have no fear in leaving them that way. It's true to life and makes me realise how much of an illusion certain books are, most obviously evident with Dean Koontz. His novels always begin with some impossible-to-overcome difficulty for the central characters, and then somehow they manage to wriggle their way to a happy resolution. It's fine if you're ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, 19th-century
M. Roland is a retired jeweller who, loving the sea, has retired to Havre with his wife. Pierre and Jean, their two grown sons have now completed their eduction in Paris, one a doctor, the other a lawyer, and have joined their parents for a rest before setting up in their professions. The brothers have been competitive their entire lives and now they meet Mme. Rosemilly, a well-to-do widow of only twenty-three. But this is only the first incident in a series of happenings that threaten to tear ...more
Wayland Smith
This book is like a recipe for family disaster. Take two brothers with a strong thread of jealousy. Add an unexpected inheritance. Let simmer.

Maupassant created a family drama with a lot ugly twists. The dark side of family life comes through here starkly and well.

Definitely not a book to share with your siblings.
Janet Aileen
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gem of a novella...well drawn characters, sense of place, and period. The family tale of tragedy is written in deMaupassant's clean, beautiful prose to it's poignant end.
Masterful and succinct. I almost enjoyed the preface more than this great little slice of wonderful French writing.
Tyler Jones
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nay, but she had deceived his tenderness, his pious respect. She owed to him to be without reproach, as all mothers owe it to their children.

One of the many things good fiction can do is to make us reflect upon our own behaviour by reflecting on the actions and thoughts of characters. In this novella Maupassant does not give simple answers to moral questions, but allows the reader to see how human behaviour is motivated by a complex system of self-deceptions. To me its only flaws are that it is
Hated it when I read it as a pre-teenager... Should give it another chance one of these days thought.
joy pun-joz
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pierre et Jean and Continuity in Maupassant's Stories

Illegitimacy and women's extra-marital infidelities are apparently among G. dM's "pet subjects" and well-explored issues. He, being a lawyer, thankfully has the ability to lay open a psychological struggle and its connections with willed unpleasant family outcomes. With the high sensitivity and considerations in presenting these controversies, it was remarkable accomplishment to churn out a string of works on these cases, alongside this Pierre
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Reading 1001: Pierre and Jean - de Maupassant 3 11 Mar 28, 2020 12:03PM  

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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 ...more

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