Reviews - What do customers think about Gigi (Le Livre de Poche)?
Wry, witty and delightful Colette novella Apr 13, 2006
Fifteen year old Gilberte (Gigi), born into a family of Parisian courtesans, is being raised to follow in the footsteps of her older female relatives. Well-educated at a girls' day school, and drilled in matters of etiquette, dress, and jewelry connoisseurship by her formidable Aunt Alicia (once one of the great ladies of the demimonde), she is the one hope for a family of women with no current income. When an old acquaintance, the wealthy but jaded Gaston Lachaille--thirtyish, bored with Paris high society and his extravagant mistress--begins to think of Gigi as something other than a child, her aunt and grandmother are delighted. However--surprise, surprise! The girl does not want to be mistress to the rich and famous, but prefers the idea of an ordinary life. This entertaining tale, rich with detail and amusing dialogue, is one of Colette's less "serious" stories, as well as one of her best known works (having been made into a movie musical starring Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdain, and Maurice Chevalier, lo! so many years ago).
First Love Aug 12, 2005
Gigi was the first novel I read in French, and at the time that I read it, probably it was the raciest book I ever read, I was a mere lad of I don't know, eleven or so. I couldn't figure out exactly who was who. I tried reading GONE WITH THE WIND in French but that was too long. Gigi was perfect. She was, after all, a young girl, though from a different world than mine. She had several aunts who wanted to train her into the high level world of the Courtesan. A good parallel would be the recent novel MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden.
What distinguishes Colette from Golden is that the French writer built a legend around herself in terms of the beauty and poetry of her language. Not only did she possess a stern and acute mind from which no nuance of regret or longing escaped her gaze, but she wielded a pen like an angel. She was incapable of writing a phony sentence, and like the American modernist poet William Carlos Williams she found beauty in the ordinary and the commonplace. A swatch of wildflowers growing in the graveyard where Gigi's mother lies becomes the palette of an artist with the dappled colors suggesting possibility. Gigi's hopes, dreams and fantasies lie mingled, like sooty water, with the harsh realities of her existence. Basically she must find a rich man to cling to, or lose all her status.
For a young boy reading her story, and trying to puzzle through the evocative French, I found myself stumbling at times, but at the end I became convinced that I knew this girl, and I took pleasure in her small triumphs and her enemies became mine.
Today many of Colette's works have been translated but she is still very much caviare to the general. Another couple of books I can recommend to you are CHERI and its sequel, THE LAST OF CHERI. (Cheri's a guy despite his name which to me seemed feminine before I got the drift of things.)
People this is a BOOK, not a DVD Jul 23, 2004
I just need to point out, given that all of the reviews on this BOOK are about the MOVIE, that this item is the novel, Gigi, not the movie.
And it's in French.
Read what you are reviewing before you review it please.