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Boule de Suif (21 contes)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,738 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Pendant l'hiver, 1870-71, durant la guerre franco-prussienne, la ville de Rouen (Normandie) est envahie par les Prussiens. Pour fuir l'occupation, dix personnes prennent la diligence de Dieppe : un couple de commerçants, un couple de bourgeois, un couple de nobles, deux religieuses, un démocrate et enfin Boule de suif.
Le voyage s'annonce difficile, la diligence n'avance pa
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Paperback, 253 pages
Published January 2nd 1984 by Albin Michel (first published 1880)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,738 ratings  ·  197 reviews


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David
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: French peasants, Prussian officers, hypocritical merchants and nobles, patriotic prostitutes
Now that I've read my first collection of Maupassant stories, I can say that he is indeed a great writer, though being as prolific as he apparently was, I think you probably need to read a lot more to really be familiar with his work. He was a student of Flaubert, the French "realist" school, hence all these short stories being basically slice-of-life stories about (mostly) provincial French life. There are morals, sometimes, but rarely made explicit - in fact, often the stories just end, like o ...more
Oleksandr Zholud
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a short novella, set in Germany occupied France in 1870-71. I’ve read a Ukrainian translation.

A group of French middle and upper class married couples travel by a coach to the sea-port in order to possibly move to Britain if Prussians remain in France. In this company there is a big woman, who is known for her dalliances with men. Initially she warms up the group’s attitude toward her by sharing a meal, but later they are stopped by a Prussian officer, who insists that she should sleep w
...more
David
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
De Maupassant is one of the few French authors I feel competent to read in the original French. It helps that his chosen form is the short story - it makes him much less forbidding than someone like Balzac or Hugo. Although I've been in Paris for just a little over two weeks, I'm already doing pretty well with these stories. He is particularly good at exposing the hypocrisies of small-town 19th century French life, the title story of this collection being an excellent example. But his character ...more
Wayne
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles or anyone who imagines they MIGHT be one!
Recommended to Wayne by: the Reading of a Randm couple of de Maupassant Tales !
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story, classics
Maupassant's genius at short story writing is on display here. In about twenty five pages he portrays a complete world eclipsed by war and German occupation of France, which is creeping deeper into the country by the day. The characters are universal, for their political, professional and other belongings. While fleeing towards away from the occupying forces, the circumstances bring out the best and the worst in them. The fascinating description of the early cold morning they leave and the event ...more
Richard
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first story in a collected works of Guy De Maupassant I am reading and it is very very good.

Boule de Suif (Suet pudding in English) is the name given to a prostitute who is the central character of the story. Her body is used as a trading tool when a group of 'worthy' folk are detained as they journey through a France occupied by the Prussians after the 1870 war.

Boule de Suif is by far the most moral of the characters and exposes the hypocrisy and cowardice of her travelling companio
...more
Fadoua ϟ
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
The Edition my sister has contains only three stories . However, I could't find it among GOODREADS' Edition choices .
I picked up this book one day and decided to read it for the only reason that it is written by one of my favourite authors .
I have read two : " COCO , COCO , COCO FRAIS !'' and UNE PAGE D'HISTOIRE INEDITE which is technically not a story but ''HISTORY'' as GUY DE MAUPASSANT said : '' On ne touche pas a l'histoire.''
I JUST LOVED THEM BOTH . There is something in GUY DE MAUPASSAN
...more
Charlotte
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Guy de Maupassant successfully told a story about how hypocrite society could be. It's amazing to see that what seemed to be a problem of nowadays society is, in fact, a story that never grows old. Boule de suif was an amazing woman, a brave fighter for those people who didn't deserve her. She was too good for her times and, why not?, for her country. In the end, those who accused her of being shameless were the ones who deserve to be punished.
Maddy
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writing in Boule de Suif "Ball of Tallow" the ten characters in the main story are thrown together in a coach by their urgency to flee the imminent invasion of the Prussian army into french territory. Each character is cleverly portrayed as a deadly sin, and De Maupassant manages to make the reader question their own moral values while we sit back and watch the story unfold. Its a very thought provoking short story! The other short stories in my copy were also very insightful.
Carol Fenlon
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the old ones are the best. I first read Guy de Maupassant at the age of 12 and thought his stories were amazing, long before I'd developed any powers of judging literary talent. Sometimes when you return to an author you thought amazing in your youth, you are sorely disappointed but this collection, headed by the famous 'Boule de Suif' had me gripped from start to finish. Who could but admire Maupassant's talent for dry description, for painting human nature, bourgeoisie and peasant al ...more
Fia Eamónn Wåhlin
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read about this book before and now when i've read it I really understand why it's a classic. Great story and great writing.

It's about a french party of high society people traveling to safer grounds during a war against the Prussia. And one of the passangers is a local prostitute with a very heavy figure, called Bouel de suif. (fettpärlan)

On the way they are being stoped by a Prussian regement and held in an inn without any obvious reason. The Officer are giving them a demand for their
...more
Everett Darling
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
If I could give this 6 stars, I would.
Marc
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Relentless observations on poor, little man, the hypocrisy yet also possibility of happiness!
Melda
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book and the story. However, I read it in Dutch (reading it in the original language would have been better) and the fact that I had to read it for school didn't make it any better.
Lexane
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
MAIS JE WOW POURQUOI COMMENT
Rut
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the reviews I read about this book, asked where Guy de Maupassant had been all his life. As I finish this book, I echo that feeling.
Maupassant is a master of short stories. He has literrally made me fall in love with the genre, like no other author I have read until now. Maupassant has such control of the narrative, such power of visualisation, so as to make a few paragraphs suffice to create a whole scenario in the reader's mind. You want to keep reading, and the only thing you regret i
...more
Nacho Cuadrado
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Writers like Kafka or Chejov, were outlined for being big narrators of stories, but a long before these should gain completely his laureates' reputation, there was a writer who turned to the story in the most notable of all his works. Finally to be recognized as the maximum exponent; the father, the king of the story. With more than 300 writings, Guy de Maupassant founded this literary style. Showing that it must not be underestimated in the most minimal thing, but everything opposite. Ball of t ...more
Rebecca
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories with the crowning glory of Boule de Suif - 'dumpling' - my favourite. De Maupassant cuts straight to the heart of any matter, whether it be the hypocrisy of French aristocracy in the title story, or the heartbreak of characters stuck in the past such as in Minuet, an allegory for his contemporaries still clamouring for the return of monarchy. In addition, he manages to write in such a way that makes an afternoon pass in what seems like minutes. A must-read collectio ...more
Tienikov
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: france
He didn't sympathize with these women at all. Just use it as a dagger to satirize the reality. The more I read Maupassant, the more I feel that the distance between my heart and his works is getting farther and farther: I know that the stories of those in his novel can never be reproduced in my own real life. I can never love Maupassant like when I think of Chekhov’s shadows of the neighbor ’s pond in a cool autumn evening, and think of Joyce's "The whole of Ireland is snowing" in a snowy, whizz ...more
Enora
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic, fiction
It is hard to find the words to describe this novella. All I know is that it is Maupassant's first published work and it is a masterpiece. This book makes me feel angry at human nature. There's something unique to the 19th century in the deep and accurate description of human psychology. I don't know what else to say. It will disturb you, as it should, but read it.

French audiobook via Audiolube.
Eamon
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and beautifull book on pure heartedness and simplicity in the face of pretention and hypocrisy... a book to read so one can remeber how in situations of crisis most people are cowards, not heros..
Not a reader
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
It's good because it's short.
Honestly the story is not that bad, even very good. It points out a common phenomon.
But once you've read it, you forget about it. And it gets a bit boring once you have to study it in class.
A good novel, but not that impressive.
Philip
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
6 stars
Guy de Maupassant has become my favourite author
Jane Erickson
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cautionary tale about a woman who surrenders her dignity to the revolting hypocrisy of the upper class.


Lloyd Hughes
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My second story that I’ve read by Guy de Maupassant. He understands who we are. His style is crisp. Excellent.
Obalola Ibrahim
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sad, the society's double standard.
Vellai Pura
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Realistic demonstration of cruelty and judgmental nature of shallow people, that's the purpose of this work.
Hypatia
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Kateřina Kadlecová
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very easy to read. Funny in the same time it can make you feel upset about the society..
Pia Houghton-Budd
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
i loved this little read! really great character development for such a short story, however although i kind of love the ending for its meaning, it makes me sad nonetheless :(
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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 i ...more

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