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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Immoral Tale
Penguin here give us a new translation of Dangerous Liasions that is very good. M Laclos apparently said that he wanted to write a book that would stand out and cause a stir after he was dead. I suspect that he didn't expect people to be avidly reading it over 200 years later and still enjoying it.

What Laclos gives us is a story in the epistolary form of what...
Published on 27 Jan. 2008 by M. Dowden

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6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read
We selected this title for our Book Group's August reading, wanting to tackle a 'classic' as well as the modern literature we've been choosing. Oh boy. I don't want to criticise a title that's established in the literary canon (who am I to say whether something is good or bad like that?) but I can say with hand on heart that I found it hard going. The nature of the...
Published on 14 Sept. 2009 by the wordy bird


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Immoral Tale, 27 Jan. 2008
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M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Penguin here give us a new translation of Dangerous Liasions that is very good. M Laclos apparently said that he wanted to write a book that would stand out and cause a stir after he was dead. I suspect that he didn't expect people to be avidly reading it over 200 years later and still enjoying it.

What Laclos gives us is a story in the epistolary form of what happens when people are rich and titled and have become bored, looking for new ways to entertain themsleves; much as the Marquis de Sade wrote about. Two people a man and a woman, go about taking people's virginity, causing a stir and scandal amongst others, in an attempt to outdo each other. Of course things don't always run smoothly between these two people, with disastrous results.

Although this book was written in the eighteenth century it still carries a resonance in todays world. There are people out there who take advantage of others and play games like those in this book, with no idea or care of the trouble they cause, and that is why this book has remained so popular. Laclos did more than write a book of his times but did something special, he wrote a book for all times.

Be warned this book will shock you and make you laugh, due to its darkly black humour, but you will not be able to stop yourself from reading it cover to cover, and re-reading it again and again. This a definite must have for any bookcase.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study of Nastiness, 29 Mar. 2009
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I first read "Dangerous Liaisons" as a set text for an Open University course. "Oh dear! France in the 18th. century. Ah well - needs must!" After the first 2 or 3 letters - wow! Read it on the Underground going to work. Read it in coffee break. Read it when I should have been working. Read it in bed. What a wonderful account of two dissolute, amoral, exploitive, over-privileged, self-regarding French aristos, devoting their idle, pointless lives to the destruction of others' reputations. They even exploit and involve their own servants in their pathetic schemes. You find yourself hoping that the Marquise and the Viconte ended up "looking out of the Republican window" when the French Revolution rounded up their ilk. The writing style is inevitably ornate by modern standards, with some sentences the length of Guardian leader columns - but you get used to it. I think that in this edition, the translator has attempted to render some of the 18th. century French idiom into its modern English equivalent. Hey - there's maybe an Open University Ph.D degree in that!
An afterthought - surely the book is way, way better than any film that could be made of it?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Delicious!, 29 Mar. 2012
This novel stands out in two distinct ways. The first is that the narrative moves along in the form of correspondance between several characters who are all connected to each other through the manipulation of the two main anatagonists: Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont. It is refreshing original even today.

The second way in which it stands out is how involved you become with the plot. Each letter changes your mindset as you imagine yourself to be the intended recipient of each letter. This is easy to do almost from the onset as the characters are strongly defined: from the immature and naive Cecile Volanges to the physically weak but wise Madame de Rosemonde.

The evil scheming which takes place is still shocking even in modern times due to the planned destruction of peoples lives that takes place in these letters. If you reflect on the times of this book alone then you will feel very little pity as to what happened to the French aristocrats.

My only reason for giving it four stars is that I unfortunately seen the movie first which obviously ruins the element of surprise. However, if you have seen the movie do not be deterred - this is still worth reading.

Interesting fact for those who like background - Marie Antoinette was said to have been a fan of this book. Buy this book reader and get ready to eat cake! (Couldn't resist sorry!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on earth after my death- Choderlos de Laclos, 6 July 2010
Although this book represents a historical period from the past, which is the french aristocracy a few years before the french revolution, I believe Dangerous Liaisons is still of actuality. After all, libertinism is still popular in high circles of society, whether political or artistic such as Hollywood, while adultery, cruelty and manipulations are weapons still used by several couples and certain people, in all circles of society, whether they are rich or poor. For the success of Dangerous Liaisons is not only due to its excellent representation of the french aristocracy, but it is also a masterpiece of storytelling where several characters fall into a pit of vengeance, lust and cruelty, which Madame de Merteuil, a powerful but dangerous Marquise, employs as she pulls the strings of this story and manipulates all she meets in order to accomplish her projects. Of course, the Vicomte de Valmont is her equal in terms of cruelty and lust, but Madame de Merteuil remains the most diabolical as her thoughts and actions are revealed through her letters, along with the other characters, whose letters are all condensed in this epistolary novel, which inspired Heiner Muller to write a play called Quartett, with the same characters, a theater adaptation by Christpher Hampton, and a movie by Stephen Frears whom several people consider a masterpiece.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, 11 July 2010
Told through letters, Les Liaisons chronicles the erotic adventures of the evil Madame Merteuil and her former lover the Vicomte de Valmont. This sadistic duo teams up to manipulate, corrupt, and drag the reputations of countless individuals into obloquy. The sad part is they succeed in everything they set out to do. If there is any vindication, it comes at too high a cost. There are no heroes or winners in this novel, only victims. Though written in the 18th century, this epistolary novel still has the power to shock, disturb, and titillate. People today may recognize dangerous truths contained in its pages or pitfalls that they might have encountered in their callow days. I was not particularly fond of this novel, being as it was a catalogue of the escapades of a pair of perverse, lascivious, cruel individuals, however I am glad that I read it, and I do not rule out re-reading it again. As a slamming indictment against the decadence of the French aristocracy and against the loss of long-cherished values among the women of today, this book is worth studying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well translated, 20 Jan. 2012
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I am sometimes hesitant about buying translated versions of French classics, as sometimes they just don't sound right. This version, however, reads very naturally and is a very good translation. The book itself is great, a really good story and very intriguing. Highly recommend both the story and this version..
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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it from the first until the last page, 12 Sept. 2014
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This book is a masterpiece. I enjoyed it from the first until the last page. The characters of Valmount and Merteuil are truly seductive, although very mean and subtle (especially the Marquise). Unexpectedly great, I would read it again and again!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 2 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this book. Quite a page turner. Loved the unique format of letter writing in this book. It gives a wonderful insight into the minds of the two evil protagonists. Every woman should read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!, 7 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) (Kindle Edition)
Even though it's such an old book and you have to take a bit more time to absorb the details and get to grips with some of the wording it's a wonderful read and fabulous story line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Story of manipulation and abuse, 11 Nov. 2013
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A good translation of a French Classic which shows human nature hasn't changed over the last two centuries or more since it was written
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Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses)
Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
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