Tag Archives: pierre choderlos de laclos

Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

16 Mar

Started – 4/3/13

Finished – 16/3/13

Format – Kindle e-book

Challenges – 1001 Books You Must Read

 Synopsis – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos produced “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in an effort to “write a work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on this earth after his death.” He did just that. First published in 1782 in four volumes, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” was an immediate success, and has since inspired a large number of literary commentaries, plays, and films. The novel is an epistolary piece, written as letters between members of the French noble class. An egotistical battle for control ensues between the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, with the promise of sexual gratification to the victor. The primary victims are Cecile, a naïve but pretty young girl, her admirer, the Chavelier Danceny, and Madame de Tourvel, a virtuous (and married) young woman. This scandalous web of sexual desire, intrigue, infidelity, the struggle for power, and the corruption of the French upper class is a masterpiece from one of the most subtle and skillful novelists of the 18th Century.

 My Thoughts – I read this book as part of the March reading circle. Now with books that were written a fair few years ago i either really love them or I’m not able to get into them. I have to say that this was a book that i really could not get into at all.

This is a book that is told through a series of letters and this is a format that i do normally like and can get into very well. However i had a lot of trouble with the language of the book and the characters. I couldnt really understand who was who and how they all knew each other. For some reason i couldnt seem to understand the language and i had a lot of trouble because of this.

I did feel quite sorry for one character Cecile who it seemed things never seemed to go right for and it was her letters that i understood the most and looked out for.

I did like how the story was told through letters and it was interesting how the story came about through this. Also i read somewhere that there was a fair few different translations of the orginal which was written in French and i am thinking that if i had read a different translation i might have been able to get into the book a bit more.

I am glad that i stuck with the book and followed it through as i did get into it a bit more towards the end but i cant say that i thought it was a very enjoyable read in all honesty.

Rating – 2/5