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Jules et Jim

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,455 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Jules arrives from Austria in belle epoque Paris, where he is befriended by Jim. Together they embark upon a riotously Bohemian life, full of gaiety, color and bustle. And then there is Kate, the enigmatic German girl with the mysterious smile.

Capricious, untamed and curiously innocent, Kate steals their hearts in turn, and so begins the moving and tender story of three pe
...more
Paperback, collection folio, 242 pages
Published March 1st 1979 by Gallimard (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  1,455 ratings  ·  115 reviews


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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Menage a Quatre

At the heart of this novel is a menage a trois between two men (Jules and Jim) and various successive women (Lucie and Kate).

It's told in the third person, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Jules (view spoiler) is the implied author. We get a fair amount of insight into each of the participants, which differentiates the novel from the likes of Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" (which still occurs very much inside one or other of
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Manny
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psycho bitches, people dating psycho bitches
Recommended to Manny by: Pierrette
Jules (short, German, philosophical) and Jim (tall, French, romantic) meet in 1907 and immediately become best friends. People wonder if they're gay, but they're not: they just really like each other. They always seem to end up dating the same women, and live a wild and complicated life. After a while, they both fall for beautiful German Kathe, who's the original psycho bitch from hell. She hangs out with each of them in turn, has children with them, falls into fits of jealous rage and abandons ...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jules et Jim is one of the most famous celluloid love stories of all time. It is the story of a love triangle between two Germans (Jules and Katie) and a Frenchman (Jim) in early 20th century Europe, it is the story of a threesome who sought to “redefine love” and the heartache which is caused by this plan. It is, however, a little known fact that the story is partially based on actual events and is based in the criminally unknown novel of the same name, by Henri-Pierre Roche. The novel is one o ...more
John
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, favourite-reads
My interest to read "Jules et Jim" was peaked after seeing Truffaut's film adaptation of the novel, a cult-classic made up of memorable moments unravelling at an awkward pace. Not quite sure of what to make of the film, my only thought about the work (the core of the work -- the novel that inspired it) was that it must have more to it than what meets the eye.

The book lived up to this expectation. The awkward pace is all there; a series of simple, precise sentences that present themselves betwee
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Jazzy Lemon
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A different kind of love story.
El
Jun 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Jules and Jim become friends in Paris and share much of their life together - particularly their women. It's a story of Bohemian Paris in the early part of the 20th-century, plenty of love (er, lust) and cigarettes and alcohol and free will.

Kate, a German woman, enters the picture, especially striking Jules' fancy. He initially asks Jim not to make any advances towards her, but ultimately Kate turns to Jim for the desire she is lacking with Jules. There is very little conflict surrounding this a
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Vanessa
I haven't seen the famous film of this novel, but I know people that I have, and they have all sung its praises. When I saw this book in the library (I wasn't even aware the film was based on a novel before!), I couldn't resist snapping it up. It was an easy read, but the subject matter wasn't as lighthearted as I'd assumed from reading the blurb on the back.

Anything to do with bohemianism, Paris, café culture and free spirits tends to lure me in where books are concerned, but I was surprised to
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Paul Secor
I'm rating this on memory. Read it years ago because I loved Truffaut's film. I enjoyed the book a lot then, but I should give it another reading. ...more
Stephen
I liked it. The language was simple, short and to the point..apparently it's actually a 'social revolution' masquarading under pages full of lust.
The word 'love' is thrown around quite a lot. In my eyes, Jules starts out as a pompous idiot but then matures into a man while the other two (Kate & Jim) remain blissfully ignorant children, completely prey to their wills and wants.

Unlike a lot of books that I read, this one was easy for me to rate, I liked this book. I didn't think it was amazing at
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Aida
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Make yourself a gift and read this gem of a book.
Sam Smith
It began enchanting, this exploration of relationships twixt friends and lovers. Then, about half way through I began to tire of the self-indulgence that their being middle-class afforded them. When it became self-pampering I almost closed the book. Shortly after I came across this, 'The word 'normal' was almost offensive to them,' and I dropped the book into the charity bag. I had lost empathy with all the characters and they their credibility. Not often I find a film preferable to the book, bu ...more
freya
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jules and Jim

This was quite a bizarre read, living up to its set reputation.

'If you both wrote the story of your relationship - but wrote it separately and fully, you from your own irreducible point of view, Kate, and you from yours, Jim, and published them together, it would make a very unusual book.'

The lives experienced by Jim, Jules and Kate were all completely unconventional, making this novel a fascinating tale.

I truly fell in love with the distinctive setting and characters crafted by
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Maureen
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: novel, french
The story of Jules and Jim and Catherine was turned into one of Francois Truffaut's most beloved movies. Its big, messy plot is set in Europe, during and after the first World War. A shy writer, Jules, becomes friends with Jim. They have various adventures with young women until they meet Catherine. Catherine and Jules fall in love and get married, but Jules is always there: more outspoken, and not shy in revealing his affections for Catherine. During the war, the two friends fight on opposite s ...more
Carol
Aug 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Probably read in the ‘80s when I first saw the film. 3/4/29 re-watching the film
Glass River
Jul 24, 2020 marked it as fic-guided
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I see that the plot summary given by Goodreads uses the word "tender" to describe the title duo's intermingling love affairs, which may be accurate for the girls leading up to Kate. But, to me, it seems Kate, the focal point of the central love triangle of this book, is either a sociopathic monster or a seriously mentally ill woman desperately in need therapy. Nevertheless, the casualness of the writing, much like a listing of notes made in a day planner turned into a diary, is an engaging read ...more
Ricardo Fagundes
Enjoyable Novel about a life-time triangle, Jules, Jim and their shared "wife", Kathe, most of the joy lying on the spice of the situation itself and on the timeless-classic subject of the jealousy (and the absence of jealousy) and its distructive potential in a realationship.
By half of the reading I was feeling that Jules&Jim is somehow the anti-Javier-Marias novel; meaning: on most of Javier Marias's novels (one of my favourite contemporary Novelists) about 20% of the time Javier Maria is writ
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Meghana34
Jules, Jim and Kathe are three friends who lead simultaneous lives. Jules and Kathe marry, divorce then re-marry. Jim and Kate are involved in an on-and-off relationship. Jim has been involved with a young woman, Gilberte, for years. Jules and Kathe have two daughters.

Jules is so in love with Kathe that he forgives her numerous love affairs. Kathe is a beautiful and stylish, but also self-centered, woman. (view spoiler)
...more
Ulla
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandmother bought me tickets to the Francois Truffaut movie "Jules et Jim" when I was 15 and it made a huge impression on me. It's not until recently (almost 40 years later) that I realized that the movie was based on a novel which in turn is loosely based on real-life experiences. I am not a huge fan of the book, but it is well written, though a bit tedious at times with many details of everyday quarrels between lovers, and it is interesting and unusual in the way that it is written with gr ...more
Franciccian
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book because of a quote I found while on social media. Each page took me more and more until it tore me inside. It is a hymn to uncontrollable love, in many ways sick and toxic. But the author's way of telling the story is incredibly simple but captivating! I loved all the characters but what struck me most was Jules, both for good and for bad. I ate this novel in less than a day, I couldn't stop. Then I saw the movie and I didn't like it as much as the book, probably beca ...more
Abigail
I loved Roche's simplistic style, there was something very urgent in his staccato lines that kept me reading. Jules and Jim are opposites in every way, but are drawn to one another in friendship. The book is about their entanglements with women, often the unfortunate fact of their loving the same ones. Jules tends to put women on a pedestal and worship them while Jim lets himself be carried away with feeling, but doesn't command. Inevitably, they both fall for Kate, whom Jules marries and forgiv ...more
Lina
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars in my rating system is a mediocre book. Mediocre because it was so difficult to like any of the characters in the book. Not even like but give a slight damn about them at all. Jules blended in to a wallflower somewhere in the middle and I had hopes for him. Despite sharing the title with Jim (and so much more), his fading siluette was my biggest regret.

Oh, these emotions... That weird love that is impossible to understand. All the love triangles and that artificial drama.

To read if
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Corley Elizabeth
I picked up Jules et Jim last July and never got around to actually reading it, mostly because I started losing interest. With COVID-19 and me self-isolating right now, I'm trying to knock out some of the books on my TBR. There wasn't anything wrong with this, I just wanted something with more characterization. The simplicity of the story, the way we're kept at a distance, might have been Roché's intention, but I didn't care enough to continue. ...more
Maneesha Pramod
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book is about two friends Jules and Jim and their love for the same women. Enter Kate, who although beautiful is selfish and gets the men to dance to her whims. The Setting - Bohemian Paris, is wonderful. The bitter sweet ending is perfect for the tone of the book and the language makes it an easy read (albeit dry).
Two stars because I still fail to under stand how the woman could exploit two stand up guys through most of the book and have them coming back for more.
Jonathan
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve owned a copy of this for years but have never given it my full attention. I’m very glad I finally did. Roché is able to say so much in so few words. The story unfurls at breakneck pace, but it is a tale of emotion and struggle between friends (and lovers). It is no wonder that, upon picking it up, Truffaut knew he would make a film of it.
Wilde Sky
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Two men have a relationship with a woman.

This was an unusual tale - it was quite interesting and evoked a different time. I couldn't help thinking that the characters could only live as they did because they had money.

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Shawn
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I breezed through the first half loving the matter of fact tone, episodic narrative, and strong characters. By the end, I had just had enough. Enough, already, people. Let’s just drown it all. I may have to rewatch the movie to see how my reactions may differ.
Laura Malkin
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jules et Jim. Joue Le Jim. Play Jim. Is Jules the tool of displeasure? Maybe my French is bad. Maybe I think too much idk!!
Gergana
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very french novel. It is quite human and real. The book grew on me with every page. It does depict a beautiful piece of literature.
BoBandy
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annoying, and yet I give it four stars. Loved the characters Jules and Jim, but I never shared the two friends' passion for Kate. ...more
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“Soon after they went back, Jules said to Jim: 'I love Magda. But it's a habit; it's not a great Love, not the real thing. To me, she's like a young mother and an attentive daughter, both at once.' 'But that's fine!' 'It's not the love I've always dreamed of having.' 'Does that kind of love exist?' said Jim. 'Of course! My love for Lucie.' Jim checked himself from saying, 'Because you do not possess her.' 'Besides,' Jules went on, 'knowing myself as I do, I shall never be able to forgive any woman for loving me. To love me is a sign of perversion or compromise -- and Lucie doesn't suffer from either. There's not a particle of me that she accepts.' 'With her, any man could think that.' 'Yes, could...' said Jules 'But I do.' 'Oh well,' said Jim, 'it's heroic and one can't help respecting it. It's a bit like martyrdom. And it's the key to your Life. If Lucie loved you...' 'She wouldn't be Lucie.' said Jules.” 4 likes
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