Anne's Reviews > Bel-Ami

Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
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's review
May 24, 2012

liked it
Read from May 27 to 29, 2012

Ok so I read this because I saw the trailer for the film with Robert Pattinson and was intrigued, as embarrassing as that is to admit.

It was a quick read, the ebook I read was only about 200 pages. The alternative title is 'The History of A Scoundrel' and I think that pretty much says it all. Georges is quite deplorable which is rather unusual for a lead character in a book. I found his exploits entertaining at the start of the book but by the end I was just frustrated with him. Also I found it hard to believe that someone with a moustache could be so attractive.

This book was written in 1885 but is surprisingly easy to read. The only issue I had was that some of the words lose their meaning from the French translation. There are many instances where the direct translation doesn't quite work. In that vein I also felt that some of Georges behaviour was rather over the top but I wonder if it would have been considered normal in France? For example at the start of the book he kisses a young girl (a child) on the lips. I found that to be quite odd behaviour. Not to mention how many times he dramatically falls at the knees of a woman he 'loves' although I suspect that may have been done for comedic effect. In general the word 'love' is used far too liberally I thought.

3 stars from me. It was an easy enough read. I'll be interested to see how they do the film portrayal. And whether they'll keep the same ending...
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Reading Progress

53.0% "Only 111 pages and already halfway! Seems very quick compared to A Suitable Boy!"
07/19/2016 marked as: read

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