Bel Ami

( 22 )

Overview

Georges Duroy is no Edward Cullen, but he is as handsome as the "hero of the popular romances" This PattinsonOnline Fansite Edition of Guy de Maupassant's book contains photographs of Robert Pattinson on the set of the Bel Ami Movie, which is set for release in 2011. Robert Pattinson stars in the movie as Georges Duroy. Maupassant's book tells the rags to riches tale of a soldier turned journalist. Duroy uses sex as a mercenary weapon to ascend to his position as Baron. Each woman he seduces serves a purpose, one...
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Bel Ami

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Overview

Georges Duroy is no Edward Cullen, but he is as handsome as the "hero of the popular romances" This PattinsonOnline Fansite Edition of Guy de Maupassant's book contains photographs of Robert Pattinson on the set of the Bel Ami Movie, which is set for release in 2011. Robert Pattinson stars in the movie as Georges Duroy. Maupassant's book tells the rags to riches tale of a soldier turned journalist. Duroy uses sex as a mercenary weapon to ascend to his position as Baron. Each woman he seduces serves a purpose, one as his lover, one as confidant, and another one for ascension. Politics, manipulation, and opportunism best sum up this book. It is this year's classic summertime beachside or poolside novel.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In several ways, Bel Ami, Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel of corruption and infidelity, is so representative of its era that it can be read simply as a social portrait of the Belle Époque, but even those not well-versed in French history can read this extraordinary fiction for its stark characterization and unvarnished human critiques. A classic still neglected among English language readers. Editor's recommendation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781116265644
  • Publisher: Fandemonium Ltd
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

The French writer Guy de Maupassant (1850-93), a protégé of Flaubert, was known for his hugely influential short stories and the vivid realism of his novels. He was born in Normandy and served in the Franco-Prussian War, which would become the subject of some of his best-known stories. Maupassant wrote six novels and nearly three hundred stories, among them “The Necklace,” “Boule de Suif,” “The Horla,” and “Mademoiselle Fifi.” His financial and critical success as a writer made him a prominent figure in fashionable society, but in his last few years he suffered mental and physical symptoms of the syphilis he had contracted in his early years. After a suicide attempt in 1892 he was committed to a private asylum, where he died the following year at the age of 42.

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First Chapter

Bel Ami


By Guy De Maupassant

Vintage

Copyright © 2010 Guy De Maupassant
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307740885

PART I
I

WHEN the cashier had given him the change out of his five-franc piece, George Duroy left the restaurant.  

As he had a good carriage, both naturally and as an ex-soldier, he threw out his chest, twirled his moustache with a familiar, military gesture, and threw upon the lingering customers a rapid and sweeping glance—one of those self-assured glances which take in everything, like a casting net.  

The women looked up at him—three little working girls, a music mistress of uncertain age, disheveled, untidy, and wearing a bonnet always dusty and a dress always awry; and two women of the middle class dining with their husbands, all regular customers at this cheap chop-house.  

When he got outside on the footpath, he stood still for a moment, and wondered what he would do. It was the 28th of June, and he had just three francs forty centimes in his pocket to carry him to the end of the month. This meant a choice between two dinners without lunch and two lunches without dinner. He reflected that, as the earlier meals cost twenty sous apiece, and the later thirty, if he were content with the lunches, he would be one franc twenty centimes to the good, which would further represent two snacks of bread and sausage and two bocks of beer on the boulevards. The latter was his greatest extravagance and his chief pleasure at night.  

He began to descend the Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette. He walked as in the days when he had worn a hussar uniform, his chest thrown out and his legs slightly apart, as if he had just left his horse, and he shoved his way through the crowded street, pushing and shouldering people rather than step aside. He wore his rather shabby tall hat slightly to one side, and brought his heels smartly down on the pavement. He always seemed to be defying somebody or something, the passers-by, the houses, the whole city, with the swagger of a dashing military man turned civilian.  

Although wearing a sixty-franc suit, he was not without a certain loud elegance which was a little vulgar. Tall, well-built, fair, with a curly moustache twisted up at the ends, bright blue eyes with small pupils, and reddish-brown hair curling naturally and parted in the middle, he bore a strong resemblance to the dare-devil of· popular romances.  

It was one of those summer evenings on which there is no air in Paris. The city, hot as an oven, seemed to swelter in the stifling night. The sewers breathed out their poisonous breath through their granite mouths, and the underground kitchens gave forth to the street through their windows the stench of dishwater and stale sauces. The concierges in their shirtsleeves, astride strawbottomed chairs within the carriage entrances, were smoking their pipes, and the pedestrians were walking with flagging steps and bare heads, their hats in their hands.  

When George Duroy reached the boulevards he paused again, undecided as to what he should do. He now thought of going on to the Champs Elysées and the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne to get a little fresh air under the trees, but another wish also assailed him, a desire for a love affair.  

What shape would it take? He did not know, but he had been awaiting it for three months, night and day. Occasionally, thanks to his good looks and gallant bearing, he stole a few crumbs of love here and there, but he was always hoping for something more and better.

With empty pockets and his blood in a ferment, he kindled at the contact of the prowlers who murmur at street corners: "Will you come home with me, dear?" but he dared not follow them, not being able to pay them, and, besides, he was waiting for something else, other less vulgar kisses.  

He liked, however, the localities in which women of the town swarm — their balls, their cafés, and their streets. He liked to rub shoulders with them, speak to them, make love to them, inhale their strong perfumes, feel himself near them. They were women at any rate, women made for love. He did not despise them with the innate contempt of a well-born man.  

He turned towards the Madeleine, following the flux of the crowd which flowed along, overcome by the heat.. The chief cafés, filled with customers, were overflowing on to the footpath, and displayed their drinking public under the dazzling glare of their illuminated windows. In front of them, on little tables, square or round, were glasses holding liquids of every shade, red, yellow, green, brown, and inside the decanters glittered the large transparent cylinders of ice, serving to cool the bright, clear water. Duroy had slackened his pace, and a longing to drink parched his throat.  

A hot thirst, a summer evening's thirst assailed him and he thought of the delightful sensation of cool drinks flowing down his throat. But if he even drank two bocks of beer in the evening, farewell to the slender supper of the morrow, and he was only too well acquainted with the hungry hours of the end of the month.  

He said to himself: "I must hold out till ten o'clock, and then I'll have my bock at the Café Américain. Confound it, how thirsty I am, though." And he scanned the men seated at the tables drinking, and the people who could quench their thirst as much as they pleased. He went on, passing in front of the cafés with a sprightly, swaggering air, and guessing at a glance, from their dress and bearing, how much money each customer must have about him. Wrath against these people quietly sitting there rose up within him. If their pockets were rummaged, gold, silver, and coppers would be found in them. On an average each one must have at least two louis. There were certainly a hundred to a café, a hundred times two louis is four thousand francs. He murmured "the swine," as he walked gracefully past them. If he could have got hold of one of them at a nice dark corner he would have twisted his neck without scruple, as he used to do the country-folk's fowls during manoeuvres.  

And he recalled his two years in Africa and the way in which he used to pillage the Arabs when stationed at little out-posts in the south. A bright and cruel smile flitted across his lips at the recollection of an escapade which had cost the lives of three men of the Ouled-Alane tribe, and had furnished him and his comrades with a score of fowls, a couple of sheep, some gold, and food for laughter for six months.  

The culprits had never been found, and, what is more, they had hardly been looked for, the Arab being looked upon as somewhat in the light of the natural prey of the soldier.  

In Paris it was different. One could not plunder prettily, sword by side and revolver in hand, far from civil authority, at liberty. He felt in his heart all the instincts of a corporal let loose in a conquered country. He certainly regretted his two years in the desert. What a pity he had not stopped there. But, then, he had hoped for something better on returning home. And now—ah! yes, now it was lovely!  

He clicked his tongue as if to verify the parched state of his palate.  

The crowd moved past him slowly and exhaustedly, and he kept thinking. "Set of hogs — all these idiots have money in their pockets." He pushed against people and softly whistled a lively tune. Gentlemen whom he thus elbowed turned grumbling, and women murmured: "What a brute!"  

He passed the Vaudeville Theatre and stopped before the Café Américain, wondering whether he should not take his bock, so greatly did his thirst torture him. Before making up his mind, he glanced at the illuminated clocks in the middle of the street. It was a quarter past nine. He knew himself: as soon as the glass full of beer was before him he would gulp it down. What would he do then up to eleven o'clock?  

He thought for a moment. "I will go as far as the Madeleine," he said, "and walk back slowly."  

Continues...

Excerpted from Bel Ami by Guy De Maupassant Copyright © 2010 by Guy De Maupassant. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    I was pleasantly surprised.

    This is a newer version, which I found to be a very easy and enjoyable read. Yes...I read it because of the upcoming movie, but this is well worth the read.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    A great classic, a fantastic read

    Having read this book during bright college days some 30 years ago for French lit (yes, back in the day when there were core requirements like history, art, & literature), I remember Bel Ami as a great book, vividly depicting Paris, circa 1880. I am now enjoying rereading. This is a first-class book, which should not be missed since the culture it presents is not a far cry from our world today. It is sensual and earthy, looking at social position, money, love, marriage, morality, courage, and athleticism. For those who are interested, the story also reflects bits of Maupassant's life. The story of Georges Duroy could be 2012 as easily as circa 1880. Cheers to Robert Pattinson for being part of this upcoming film version! I consider him to be an amazing young actor, with tremendous talent,range, & charisma, inspiring people to read & to see the films while apparently remaining humble & off the radar. Hope he keeps his head & continues to grow & flourish in his craft. Highly recommend this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

    Good but not great

    I was so excited for this to arrive in the mail, but was kind of disappointed when it came. The cover is very nice, but the photographs inside are cheap looking and not even in color. I'm still happy I bought this, as I am an avid Robert Pattinson fan, but I wish I got a better product for my money.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Love it!

    This book is one of my all time favorites!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    Good Representation of 19th Century France

    The main character is a complete douche, I loved hating him as he climbed the social ladder acting like a complete ladies man.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    R. PATTZ

    OMFG Robert pattinson plays the lead and its gonna be AMAZING! luv u rob

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    wanted to read before the movie with Robert Pattinson comes out!

    I like Robert Pattinson so I thought I would read this before the movie comes out. The story is ok but not much action or real romance. Not much meat to the story and the end is abrupt. I think Uma and Rob will make this movie better than the book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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