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    Hi TSR!

    I'm currently in year 12 studying AS level French. I really enjoy it, so I've set my heart on reading a really good French novel during the summer holidays. I was wondering if anybody could possibly recommend me a French book that I can really get my teeth into!

    Thanks,

    Toothbrushes x
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    We studied Le Blé en herbe by Colette for A2 and it was quite good... the only irritating thing is that the author waffles on and on and on about flowers, hills, the surroundings, smells and that sort of thing when setting the scene, and makes it very dry if you're not into that sort of thing. It teaches you a lot of new vocab though, and it has intergenerational sex scenes :p: You can probably do better though. I'm reading a book originally written in Icelandic that's been translated into French called L'Homme du lac by Arnaldur Indridason, which is very good so far.
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    If you're just starting out reading French books try Bonjour Tristesse, it's very readable and I enjoyed it.
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    Guy de Maupassant's short stories are good. Suite francaise was good too, dunno if it might be a bit hard though.

    I've read so much French literature, yet whenever anyone asks me questions like this I always go blank, lol.
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    Thanks to everybody so far! I'm going to look up all of your suggestions on amazon right now!!!
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    I think a really really good novel to read which isn't too tough to understand and is an interesting story is Guy de Maupassant's 'Bel-Ami' (Tink12 above already mentioned his short stories).

    Plus anything else from the 19th Century, Zola, Balzac etc., you won't regret it!

    Ps. Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami! *really highly recommends this story*!
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    (Original post by Duck and Cover)
    I think a really really good novel to read which isn't too tough to understand and is an interesting story is Guy de Maupassant's 'Bel-Ami' (Tink12 above already mentioned his short stories).

    Plus anything else from the 19th Century, Zola, Balzac etc., you won't regret it!

    Ps. Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami! *really highly recommends this story*!
    Me too!! :woo:
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    As someone above mentioned, Bonjour Tristesse is a good starting point for someone of your level. However I highly recommend Le Petit Prince in French, you gotta love that story!
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    (Original post by Duck and Cover)
    I think a really really good novel to read which isn't too tough to understand and is an interesting story is Guy de Maupassant's 'Bel-Ami' (Tink12 above already mentioned his short stories).

    Plus anything else from the 19th Century, Zola, Balzac etc., you won't regret it!

    Ps. Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami, Bel-Ami! *really highly recommends this story*!
    I was just about to recommend this too!:p: I started reading it last night and finished chapter 1 this afternoon - it's odd, because in spite of nothing significant having happened so far, it's easy reading and enjoyable. It also helps that Maupassant doesn't use overly-flowery language which is impossible to decypher!:p:

    So yes, definitely try Bel-Ami by Maupassant!
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    Okay, thanks everybody! I'll try to read all of your suggestions but it seems like I'll be starting with "Bel-ami"!!
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    I'm tempted to try and find Bel-Ami from your posts, but I've already got far too many French books I need to read over the summer!
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    you can't go wrong with maupassant, camus or satre
    maupassant is linguistically a little difficult- I read boule de suif in parallel translation/original- but he's very good.

    I'd start with a modern-ish short story and see how you go.

    for god's sake, don't go near bonjour tristesse if you value your life..
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    La Bicyclette Bleue by Regine Deforges.

    I read it at the end of year 12, it was an interesting book which showed the how the role and importance of women changed during WW2. Fairly easy to read, though some of the sexier French needed a dictionary!
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    (Original post by toothbrushes)
    Hi TSR!

    I'm currently in year 12 studying AS level French. I really enjoy it, so I've set my heart on reading a really good French novel during the summer holidays. I was wondering if anybody could possibly recommend me a French book that I can really get my teeth into!

    Thanks,

    Toothbrushes x
    Anna Gavalda's books are excellent, really easy to read and understand and you won't stop reading once you started. I find it pretty good to re-read books you know well, but in a foreign language, because you'll make comparison and will remember stuff (idioms and vocab) better. Voltaire's Zadig ou La Destinee is really short and pretty fascinating, maybe you'll like Candide, too (the story is quite strange, though). There's a thread about it if you ever think of using the search function, btw.
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    Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris (the Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
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    I would recommend "Le petit prince" d'Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This book is written for children but there are so many levels in this book that many French adults still have it as their bedside book. This is very easy to read.

    Here is an extract:

    Bonjour, dit le petit prince.
    - Bonjour, dit le marchand. C'était un marchand de pilules perfectionnées qui apaisent la soif. On en avale une par semaine et l'on n'éprouve plus le besoin de boire.
    - Pourquoi vends-tu ça ? dit le petit prince.
    - C'est une grosse économie de temps, dit le marchand. Les experts ont fait des calculs. On épargne cinquante-trois minutes par semaine.
    - Et que fait-on de ces cinquante-trois minutes ?
    - On en fait ce que l'on veut...
    Moi, se dit le petit prince, si j'avais cinquante-trois minutes à dépenser, je marcherais tout doucement vers une fontaine...
    Mais il arriva que le Petit Prince ayant longtemps marché à travers les sables, les rocs et les neiges, découvrit enfin une route. Et les routes vont toutes chez les hommes.
    - Bonjour dit-il.
    C'était un jardin fleuri de roses.
    - Bonjour dirent les roses.
    Le Petit Prince les regarda. Elles ressemblaient toutes à sa fleur.
    - Qui êtes-vous? Leur demanda t-il stupéfait.
    - Nous sommes des roses, dirent les roses.
    - Ah! Fit le Petit Prince...
    Et il se sentit très malheureux. Sa fleur lui avait raconté qu'elle était seule de son espèce dans l'univers. Et voici qu'il en était cinq mille toutes semblables, dans un seul jardin ! Elle serait bien vexée se dit-il si elle voyait ça... Elle tousserait énormément et ferait semblant de mourir pour échapper au ridicule. Et je serais bien obligé de faire semblant de la soigner, car sinon, pour m'humilier moi aussi, elle se laisserait vraiment mourir... Puis il se dit encore: Je me croyais riche d'une fleur unique et je ne possède qu'une rose ordinaire. Ça et mes trois volcans qui m'arrivent au genou, et dont l'un, peut-être est éteint, pour toujours, ça ne fait pas de moi un bien grand prince... Et couché dans l'herbe il pleura.
    Les hommes n'ont plus le temps de connaître quoi que ce soit. Ils achètent des choses toutes faites chez les marchands. Mais, comme il n'existe pas de marchands d'amis, les hommes n'ont plus d'amis...
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    I will avoid mentioning authors that have already been commented upon. I believe Marcel Proust is underrated and often overlooked; somewhat like Graeme Greene or D.H. Lawrence from an English perspective.

    I also enjoy reading Anaïs Nin's erotica. Her style is quite simple but often falters, which makes her readable yet tiresome; probably a translation issue to be fair. But her narrative structure is so strong that you cannot help admire her boldness. The Woman on the Dunes is a perfect representation of her artistic ability to describe sex, and her ability to draw an emotional response from the reader.
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    Stupeur et tremblements - Ame'lie Nothomb
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    Yes, Stupeur et Tremblements is a very easy book to read. It is written in a very direct style. Amélie Nothomb's writing is very enjoyable.
 
 
 
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