The Unmade Bed

The Unmade Bed

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Edouard Maligrasse is a bright young playwright, the toast of the literary scene. Beatrice Valmont is the beautiful actress who becomes his mistress. This is the story of their changing passions as each struggles for supremacy and a commitment of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 139.7 x 218.44 x 30.48mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0749000198
  • 9780749000196

Review Text

The very French love affair of fortyish actress Beatrice and somewhat younger playwright Edouard - viewed with occasional (and welcome) irony but, more often, with heavy-breathing ponderings: "Where did the inviolable begin in someone who had already been violated and who could only be violated again and always, in both body and heart?" Edouard is "a kamikaze lover, ardent and suicidal," totally devoted to Beatrice - who likes him in bed, cares for him, but is constantly unfaithful and really passionate only about her career. "She might have been his Destiny, but he obviously wasn't hers." This imbalance of amour, of course, leads to much jealousy, mooning about, leaving in a huff, and sighing - which most American readers will probably find more childish than moving. When Beatrice goes to film on location, Edouard follows; she's obsessed with the filming, so he keeps her attention by pretending to be writing an article about the film for a top U.S. magazine (the book's most comic, most appealing sequence). And when, at long last, Beatrice does say, "I love you," Edouard thinks, "Why didn't it make him feel happier and more triumphant?" Sigh. Strangely enough, Sagan is weakest when dealing with this heart-strung tug-of-war, strongest with the supporting cast from the chi-chi Parisian theater-and-film world - especially an acerbic ex-lover of Beatrice's who is dying of cancer and for whom Beatrice is the only acceptable company during the final days. Many moments of verbal elegance, some flashes of marvelously undercutting dialogue, even a few probes of sub-surface insight. But Beatrice and Edouard - beautiful, petulant, selfish, and soulful - are the stuff of a Sagan short story; ad infinitum, they are mixed company at best. (Kirkus Reviews)show more