Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bel Ami

Gosh, I have not been up to much lately - nothing to talk about at least. The only things I seem to post are book reviews. It's quite sad, but this post is no exception.
A few nights ago, I got Bel Ami by Henri Rene Guy De Maupassant. This story, written in 1885, is set in France and tells the story of an immoral character, Georges Duroy (nicknamed Bel Ami). He is a lonely character, who moved to France after working in Algeria for a long time. He starts off as a poor ex-non-commissioned officer who is reacquainted with an old friend from Algeria, Monsieur Forestier. With M. Forestier's aid, he becomes a journalist in an effort to get money.
Throughout the book, Georges' main goal is to be wealthy and successful. He realises at the beginning of the book that he has the ability to make women swoon over him, and he uses that to manipulate a number of powerful, intelligent and wealthy women to gain power, money and social status. The women that M. Duroy deceived were married, or promised and he easily won their hearts. As for men, Georges was threatened by them, and quite a coward.
It is a well written and short story and amply named Bel Ami: The History of a Scoundrel. I liked that I could understand the descriptions, since most period books make me sit with a dictionary. My favourite character was a cynical old poet, Norbert de Varenne, who had a very small mention in the story. I give it 3.5/5.

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