The rise from the poverty of a humble clerks position to a p[lace on a Parisian newspaper is handed to Georges Duroy because of an old military connection with a fellow journalist.
Having served in Africa the ex-soilder has left his peasant roots and headed to paris to make his fortune but he is getting nowhere until he bumps into an old friend and manages to get a lucky break into journalism.
The world of newspapers is described as one of low morales, low effort and a position used almost solely for personal gain. As he enters deeper into that world, taking a society mistress to bulk up his ambitions, Duroy starts to change to become greedy.
Just how far the worlds of power and politics will impact him remains to be seen...