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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Justine
I must admit that it has been years since I last read this tale, so it was good to get round to re-reading it once again with this edition. The writing of this, which is the extended version that de Sade wrote of his original novella, and Juliette, meant that de Sade was once again imprisoned. Personally I always classify de Sade's writing into three catergories,...
Published on 17 Sep 2010 by M. Dowden

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult
While this contains some interesting exploration of morality, religion and society it is far from a pleasent read. The narrator is subjected to a constant array of torture and abuse described in explicit detail, which becomes increasingly difficult to read. By the end it gets repetitive as the heroine escapes the clutches of one libertine to fall into the hands of another...
Published 19 months ago by schwartz


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Justine, 17 Sep 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I must admit that it has been years since I last read this tale, so it was good to get round to re-reading it once again with this edition. The writing of this, which is the extended version that de Sade wrote of his original novella, and Juliette, meant that de Sade was once again imprisoned. Personally I always classify de Sade's writing into three catergories, extreme, moderate and mainstream (which are usually short stories). This tale I would place in moderate.

Justine does have a subtitle, The Misfortunes of Virtue, and that is indeed what the whole story is about. Brought up as a devout Catholic Justine wishes to always do the good and right thing, and values her chastity. But in a pre-Revolutionary world, where the Church is corrupt and the rich and powerful can get away more or less with anything, she finds that her ideas of right living aren't others. Witnessing flagellation, incest, gay sex and other crimes, both sexual and of a more material type, Justine finds herself falsely accused of murders and theft. But when Justine takes refuge in a monastery can she still keep hold of her virginity, or will others prove stronger?

As with most of de Sade's writings he takes things to the extreme to get a point over, so as well as this being a black comedy it also contains some of his thoughts and ideas of politics and philosophy. This is also a biting satire on the Catholic Church.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, if you're prepared for the sadomasochism..., 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Justine (Kindle Edition)
As someone who is very interested in the Marquis de Sade, I found it a fascinating exploration of his views on religion, gender differences and the human ego. However, the main character does get put through some serious torture at times, and it's pretty disgusting to read... but if you can get through that, and the somewhat repetitive libertines constantly talking about their beliefs, then it's actually a pretty gripping book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, 13 Dec 2012
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While this contains some interesting exploration of morality, religion and society it is far from a pleasent read. The narrator is subjected to a constant array of torture and abuse described in explicit detail, which becomes increasingly difficult to read. By the end it gets repetitive as the heroine escapes the clutches of one libertine to fall into the hands of another to suffer a similar round of abuse, never learning from her past. The ending is a relief when it arrives, though feels like it has been tagged on by someone else to add a moral message onto an otherwise depraved book.
De Sade's reputation should mean that anyone buying this knows what they are in for. It is worth taking a look to satisfy curiosity, as his work is unique. Just don't expect to enjoy it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocker, 10 Sep 2010
Interesting how a man's fantasies can be evaluated academically or just curiously. I read for academic purposes but found it interesting from a psychological perspective. Weird how the mind works. Still, a shocker for the time it was written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Obscure language, 10 Jan 2013
By 
R. J. Morris (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Obscure language gets in the way for me. Obviously, this is a very old work, so this was inevitable but I did struggle on occasion (despite being fully literate). Subject matter at times could be distressing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars read justine, 5 Jan 2013
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ok book by good auther can be slow going and linger on certain parts of the story .besides this it is still a good read and would recomend to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intellectually fascinating, but too messed up to finish., 25 Nov 2012
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I've just finished listening to the American Psycho audiobook. That was a walk in the park compared to this! In the parts where young children aren't being raped, there are very interesting religious and social theories, even some amazingly early existentialist points. I just haven't got the strength to wander through the rest of the mind of the "Father of Sadism" . Not a fun read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help!, 12 April 2011
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
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A brilliant expose of power and its impact upon bodies. De Sade details the lives of two sisters Justine and Juliette. This was his shredding of morality as it was then bleated by the Catholic Church. He dissected the violence and double standards as Justine journeys throughout the novel from one disaster to another.

De Sade shows the mindset of Josef Fritzl centuries before he was born. He exposes power and its linkages to sexual orgasm as form of release like no other author. The sexual thrill is bound within the need to exercise power, subjugating and humiliating the victim. Pure Justine is the vehicle for De Sade to show how those who cling to morality are asking to be used, tortured and castigated. The scenarios flow with knights gallant offering their services in order to betray.

It is unremitting but a light read compared to 120 Days of Sodom. Juliette the sister book is the hard lubricious masturbatory fantasy of sexual anhilation. This is a more philosophical dissection of his beliefs around power, morality, psychology and double standards.

It still resonates and should not be ignored.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wordy, 3 April 2014
By 
M Smith "Ma'eee" (Twickenham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Justine (Kindle Edition)
I'm giving up about 25% through. Those expecting erotica will be disappointed; it's more of a treatise on the illogicality of morals and the purpose of men and women respectively. Furthermore, I don't think the translation to English has helped the readability at all. It's easy to lose track of which character is talking, monologues lasting pages are common. I wouldn't bother
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 28 Feb 2014
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J. Gould "cinema lover" (Downham Market, Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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Although a well known work and upon reading the book again, I found the subject dated. Probably because my reading habits have changed over the decades. You cannot recapture lost youth when such books were considered a daring read.
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Justine by Marquis de Sade
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