The story chronicles the rise to power of journalist Georges Duroy from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris -- most of which he achieves by means of a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy mistresses.
s a year here for two articles a week."
As they were leaving they met a short, stout man, with long hair and untidy appearance, who was puffing as he came up the stairs.
Forestier bowed low to him. "Norbert de Varenne," said he, "the poet; the author of 'Les Soleils Morts'; another who gets long prices. Every tale he writes for us costs three hundred francs, and the longest do not run to two hundred lines. But let us turn into the Neapolitan café, I am beginning to choke with thirst."
As soon as they were seated at a table in the café, Forestier called for two bocks, and drank off his own at a single draught, while Duroy sipped his beer in slow mouthfuls, tasting it and relishing it like something rare and precious.
His companion was silent, and seemed to be reflecting. Suddenly he exclaimed: "Why don't you try journalism?"
The other looked at him in surprise, and then said: "But, you know, I have never written anything."