Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“I loved this book. It's complex on so many different levels. First of all, it asks the question, "Does anyone ever really know himself?" It also analyzes love and the reasons one falls in love with another? Do you love someone because they're beautiful, successful, rich, intelligent, talented?...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Personnellement, je trouve ce bouquin ennuyeux à souhait et le personnage principal atrocement désagréable.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Alexia W said: 1 Star
I couldn't finish this guy. The details and pace dragged beyond what I could bear and the main character was such a twat. What a relief to put this book down.”
“I strongly dislike this book.”Jacqueline Ramirez wrote this review Thursday, May 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Having recently finished reading Bel Ami by Maupassant, I was struck by the similarity in plot line. A carpenter's son is raised into high society by means of his connections. Julien Sorel is extremely intelligent, but also incredibly arrogant and contriving. There are moments when I felt sympathy for him, but on the whole my sympathies lay with other characters - those whom he used in order to advance himself. Julien has a lack of pity for others while feeling that he rightfully should be the object of other's pity. He has a number of affairs which eventually leads to his downfall. I have to say I found this leaving a slightly uncomfortable feeling as I didn't feel that Julien ever felt actual remorse, nor did I think that he learnt much as a character. He continued to use people right up to the end of the novel and it didn't make for comfortable reading.
That said, the style is easy to read and, while it is a long novel, it is not a difficult one. It examines the differences of those in high society with those of the lower ranks and the main character at times reminded me of Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. I thought it was well-written, a good translation and an interesting read. I suspect I missed a lot of the deeper themes of the novel as I was reading it as a novel, not as an object of discussion. As such, I enjoyed it but came away with a number of thoughts on the human character and whether we ever do actually learn from our mistakes. ”
“My friend Agnes of Bemerton sums this book up as "very French" and I think that's it in a nutshell. A handsome amoral "hero", some very vivid heroines, a great many marquises and dukes, petty bourgeoisie, Jesuits, a guillotine, and l'amour, l'amour, l'amour. ”Lord Manleigh wrote this review Friday, March 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For the first time I ve read a book that made me really feel a character falling in love... and twice! Sorel's passion for the two ladies are incredibly well written and the whole process of falling in love detailed.
Some parts can be a little tricky, specially if you, as me, do not know pretty much about Danton, Robespierre, jansenists, jacobines and the french revolution context. Sorel's beliefs are also complex: deist thoughts like Voltaire's ones, and hate towards the christian God.
It was a pleasure to read, although it took me almost 2 months.”
“It's very French. ”Agnes of Bemerton, Shopgirl wrote this review Tuesday, March 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the major classics of French literature; this is one of the first examples of psychological realism in the novel, although written during the Romantic era and with some Romantic features.
The protagonist, Julien Sorel, is an intelligent and sensitive young man who idealizes the Napoleonic era during the Restoration; forced to become a conscious hypocrite to get along with the hypocrites he has to deal with, his own genuine character occasionally bursts out at inconvenient times. The characters are Romantic in the sense of being unusual individuals rather than representative types, but they are intertwined with and influenced by social and political forces in a way foreign to the Romantics.
The novel is written in a relatively direct style that keeps the reader interested, without much extraneous description or poetic affectation; while not exactly sympathetic, the characters keep the reader's involvement. This is a much easier book to enjoy than say a novel by Flaubert; it never struck me as just a "famous" novel to be read for historical reasons, but as one which still has something to say about life and society.”
“One of my favorite novels.”Paul Jampal wrote this review Thursday, February 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked it! It describes the life of people in France during Restoration Period. The main character Julien Sorel, being poor, is looking for a better life. His motto is "the ends justify the means". But his nature is contradictory. On the one hand the nobility and on the other hand his ambition are in constant conflict. He can't even decide who he is in love with - Madame de Renal or Matilda. Although the novel is splendid, Julien seemed too childish, hopeless and pathetic.”tan wrote this review Tuesday, February 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No