Guy de Maupassant. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? “The Necklace” is a well known short-story that holds the moral that the truth is much easier than deception. Maupassant is known for his short stories. However, his novel Bel-Ami is a creation beyond compare.
Yes, it is now a film. No, the film cannot be a substitution.
The novel follows a man trying to climb the social ladder through deception, manipulation, and (the most effective) seduction. Georges Duroy can be heartless and nasty but, the writing keeps him charming. It is an experiment of the sexes. It is a commentary on social mobility. It is a peek in to the belle epoche.
All hail the Guy!