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Entre les murs

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  646 ratings  ·  74 reviews
"Ne rien dire, ne pas s'envoler dans le commentaire, rester à la confluence du savoir et de l'ignorance, au pied du mur. Montrer comment c'est, comment ça se passe, comment ça marche, comment ça ne marche pas. Diviser les discours par des faits, les idées par des gestes. Juste documenter la quotidienneté laborieuse."

Entre les murs s'inspire de l'ordinaire tragi-comique d'u
Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Gallimard (Folio) (first published January 12th 2006)
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Average rating 3.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  646 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Apr 09, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy this book...I was looking for catharsis...I was hoping to find that teaching the kinds of students discussed in this book held the same challenges no matter where you went. In short, I wanted to share in someone else's recounting of "Oh-look-at-how-difficult-it-is-to-teach-I'm-such-a-good-person-but-so-unappreciated."

Instead, here's what I learned: Teaching would be much more pleasant if I could touch or strike students, knock them down, swear at them, or otherwise abuse
Mar 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found the narrator/teacher's voice really annoying. He never seemed to give his students the benefit of the doubt and would come down hard on them even before they gave him cause.
AHHHHH! This guy is such a jackass! With every page I turned I liked him less. He embodies all the bad habits and bad attitudes a teacher can acquire over a teaching career. He blows off students with serious questions about the material and difficult life situations, parents who are trying to have a real and honest conversation with him, and staff who are as negatively like-minded as he is. I just couldn't believe how negative everyone was about the kids, what low expectations they had for the ...more
Oct 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-italian
Being a teacher in a Secondary School, I can relate with many experiences and situations described in this book. I should also add that we do have kids like those ones here, but we teachers have to be quite different... We could never say "You're an idiot" to a pupil, or talk so 'freely' with them-for example. Those who dare, are at risk of a formal complaint. This said, I've found the book a bit boring rather than 'vivid' as it was described in the back cover: the writing style is quite monoton ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. I have not read a translation for a long time. I always wonder what gets "lost in the translation."

What I enjoyed most about this book was its honest relaying of the facts. There have been a spate of books, movies, and books made into movies that dissect the teacher-student relationship - "Freedom Writers Diary," "Stand and Deliver," etc. Though these can be very inspirational, they can also be very dangerous in that they set up the expectation that all teachers can and should be he
Lorenzo Berardi
May 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, french
They better call it a screenplay rather than a novel.
"Entre les murs" is poorly written in its dry dialogue-led realism with only a few selected moments of a decent, but mainly sarcastic irony.

Frankly speaking, the reason why I found this book interesting is mainly comparative, thinking to the Italian system of education.
What I learned is that apparently in France you can be suspended from class or even expelled from school just by calling your professor "you" or not asking the permission for
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I saw and loved this film years ago and really expected this book (on which the film is based) to be much better. This is a rare instance of a movie, in my opinion, exceeding the book. The book itself felt too vignette-driven, which prevented me from caring for the characters (including the teacher) in the way that the film (by focusing more on a handful of the characters) allowed. It may be more accurate that a teacher's role really is spread across a larger number of students, especially in a ...more
If I didn't have to read this for my french lit class I SO would have DNF'd this
Meg Petersen
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this in English, but can't find that version listed here. This is one of those rare cases where the movie is so much better, but the movie is oh, so good.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
François Bégaudeau’s portrayal of a young teacher’s struggle to teach French to a multi-ethnic class of fourteen-year-olds in a tough Parisian suburb was made into a Palme d’Or-winning film. I found the film more effective, in that the teenage pupils who improvised their role for weeks to get into their parts are very convincing, while the inspired director Laurent Cantet manages to select characters and scenes from the book to create a much stronger narrative than the original.

In a succession o
Angélique Moreau
I know that the French Education Nationale is facing many troubles, but when one does not want to be a teacher, one should not become one. This is what this book confirms, read by many people after the movie was screened and gloated over by foreign critics, who have never set foot in a classroom.

I cannot blame the author for having presented himself as a slightly angry teacher, who becomes more and more disillusioned as the year progresses, who insults his pupils, tries to shake them a little bi
Amélie Gourdon
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's not of a great style, but Bégaudeau knows definitely how to keep you reading without being able to stop. Certainly because of the context: as "L'esquive", it benefits from the rhythm of French urban language, and Bégaudeau adds to this a segmented narration, the whole thing becoming easy to read and quite addictive.
As for the "documentary" part, it gives you a glimpse on a handful of issues, without ever have this usual moralistic tone you tend to expect from any "Ministry-of-Education" pro
I have not yet seen the movie based on this book, although the book is very interesting. The movie, at least, has a reputation as being an unflinching look at socioeconomic divisions, so I was surprised by how aloof the book turned out to be. It's very spare, almost stream-of-consciousness without actually exposing anyone's emotions, with the classic French willful ignorance of racial distinctions (no students' backgrounds are explicitly stated, but there are a number of references to the bled a ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching
What a disappointing book. I only finished reading it because I was sure something had to happen before ending, but the closer I got the more I saw that wasn't going to be true.

I picked it up originally because it is about a language arts teacher and takes place in France, both being characteristics I was drawn to. But while it follows a teacher and his class for the duration of a school year, there really isn't a story, and it was pessimistic through to the end. No characters stood out, and the
Elizabeth Hunter
Since I'm unlikely to see the movie, I thought it would be interesting to read. The translation is very idiosyncratic and really communicates the rhythms of the original French. The writing is very disjointed and impressionistic, which gives a wonderful sense of the chaos of a class and school full of young adolescents, but makes it hard to keep track of characters, settings and the passage of time. There seems to be no real point, no plotline, just an account of a particular year in the lives o ...more
I read this after seeing the movie. It is wonderful to read a book that presents an unromantic view of a classroom (and too see that copiers are not out to get my school in particular. It apparently is a global problem). The Class seems to be a rather honest account of what occurs in a classroom and in schools in general. The book is forthright in showing when teachers and students make mistakes. It does help to have some working knowledge of French, if just to understand why teachers are upset ...more
It's a really interesting novel about the school system (and a lot of ideas carry over to the US school system). I'm not sure I've ever read a novel about school from a teachers perspective, and if I have they were most certainly portrayed as heroic.

The only major problem with this book is in the translation. Not the translator's fault, but dialogue about kids misspelling and mispronouncing words don't carry over well. But it was done as well as possible and it didn't really interfere with the

Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Complicated, but rather funny at times, although one gets the sense that the narrator-protagonist is a terrible human being.

Also a smack in the face for any student of French who, having learned all the grammar rules and all the basic vocabularies, has them upturned in her face to accommodate the vicious metamorphosis of a living, breathing language in a living, beating world.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sort of an international version of Stand & Deliver, the narrator, an instructor of French language & literature in France, has such disdain for his students that he's not going to endear himself with a potential youth audience! The structure of the dialogue, with so little attribution, may be somewhat challenging for readers to distinguish whom is speaking.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young teachers of today
Recommended to Anca by: Anticariat ExLibris
Only when you are confronted with a similar situation (teaching in a school with students that come from different cultures, different religions and different visions of how you ought to live your life) you can fully understand the humour and irony of being a teacher. One that is supposed to inspire to aspire.
A realistic look at one year in an inner-city school in Paris. Sort of disjointed writing hence the two stars but I enjoyed it and the movie made based on it (called "The Class" in English) that won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-big-screen
I saw the movie first (The Class) which I liked better than the book. In the movie Begaudeau was more laid back and in the book he is portrayed as grumpy. I guess if you were teaching lazy middle schoolers, anyone could become grumpy.
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a new teacher dealing with students in a poor high school in France. He definitely faced his share of challenges, but he managed to overcome them.

I read it to learn new vocabulary. Mission accomplished
Nov 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
So I'm not actually reading Entre Les Murs. I'm reading The Class, the English translation, but that wasn't on Goodreads. It's a pretty interesting depiction of a teacher's experience teaching at an inner-city school in Paris. Ah, the parallels to schools in Richmond...
André José
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-problems
Really really good book! I just can't answered to the question: "How can François Know so much about this subject"!
I read this book in just 1 week and it was amazing... I remember to laught a lot with the compositions of the students.
It's awesome and I recommend it to everyone!
Oct 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Was disappointed in the style and content - maybe the movie's better.

Kind of Ishiguro-esque in understatement, but without the impact, I thought.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I like the book, but I read it in French, so I don't think I totally understood.. However, the theme is very interesting!
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
The Class (Movie Tie-In Edition) by Fran
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
first time to actually prefer the film to the book. the film really brings the dialogue to life. interesting insight into the life of a teacher
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A simple story about the life of students in a school class. You can see how the teachers are dealing with all these different kind of people as many of them from different ethnicity.
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He was born in Luçon, Vendée and was first a member of the 1990s punk rock group Zabriskie Pont. After receiving his degree in Literature, he taught high school in Dreux and in an inner city middle school in Paris. He published his first novel, Jouer juste in 2003. In 2005, he published Dans la diagonale and Un démocrate, Mick Jagger 1960-1969, a fictionalized account of the life of Mick Jagger.