Guy de Maupassant is revered for his naturalistic fiction, which brilliantly captures flesh-and-blood characters as it evokes the most telling details of everyday life. Considered one of the finest French novels ever written, Bel Ami follows journalist Georges Duroy and his increasing stature among the Paris elite. With an immense thirst for power, Georges is not above an almost gleeful use of wealthy mistresses to achieve his ends.
©2001 Margaret Mauldon (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By caroline on 14-05-12

A Great Listen

I loved listening to this book. It is so beautifully written, so evocative, the characters flawed and real.
The narrator is excellent, perfect for this piece. I would definitely recommend Bel Ami.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 11-12-14

Maupassant in American

Would you try another book written by Guy de Maupassant or narrated by John McDonough?

A North American translation and North American accent are barriers to accessing Maupassant's novel. In addition, French pronunciation is lamentable - remember when you think you're in Caen you're really in Cannes and 'Jock' Rival is really a Frenchman called Jacques......On the plus side John McDonough reads expressively and intelligently at a sensible pace.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Neil Chisholm on 03-12-13

Bel Ami or how to socially climb in 1885 Paris

Bel Ami starts as a penniless returned soldier and by the end of the book after affairs and marriages he is one of the most powerful men in Paris if not France. He tramples on all he meets, money and position become everything and his sexual gratification is the cherry on the top.

The women in the story seem to be strong but really are weak and bend to his every whim and it shows that the story is basically a story of human desire, weakness and determination. Maupassant was well know for his excellent characterisation and in Bel Ami the characters are brilliantly portrayed.

Listening to my favourite Maupassant has really stimulated my hunger for more French literature which I have read extensively in my 30s. However, having it read to me gives it a whole extra layer of richness and complexity (and correct pronounciation of the French names and places!).

This book is highly recommended - listen to it before you see the film. The movie has been given a bad review but if you go in knowing the story and the main characters you might get more from it. Certainly you will go in understanding better the times and morals and be less judgemental. I hope to see the movie myself shortly. Standby - I might add to this review after I have seen it!

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 26-09-11

Thought-provoking commentary on the human conditio

Typical Maupassant story of a young man developing his character during an earlier era.. A social commentary on the mores of the times with a fascinating narrative of a young man finding his way in the world when marital fidelity amongst the upper classes was accepted.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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