Publish date: 1885
Number of Pages: 357
“Bel Ami” is a story set in 17th century Paris. A story of social repute, predominance, and coitus measure and the means of acquiring everything one desires and aspires for. The main characters are: George Duroy, Madame de Marelle (aka Clotilde), Madame Forestier (aka Madeleine, along with many other acronyms), and Madame Walter. All of the female characters have their respective spouses, but none seem to leap off the pages as these four do.
The central character is George Duroy, who arrives in Paris, penniless, after finding the military a less than desirable way to make a living. He prefers to reside in a much better habit and is in want of the easiest means possible to achieve said goal. With a few well placed friends, George procures a job as an incipient young journalist for the “Vie Française”. Having been interposed to a higher society of people, he longs for riches, and above all prestige. George resorts to seducing and betraying various women of wealth in order to attain these goals.
I long to tell you how this novel ends seeing as how I am an ending person, but alas, no spoilers here! I will say that the novel was deeply engaging, but not what I predicted in the end.And for those of you who are non-readers I have some tasty tidbits for you as well! The new movie version came out in theaters August 25th, 2011 and stars Robert Pattinson as George Duroy, Uma Thurman as Madame Forestier, Christina Ricci as Madame de Marelle, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Virginie Rousset.