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Customer Review

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, 25 Aug 2008
This review is from: Against Nature (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This is a very interesting novel; not only in terms of its content, but in terms of its function as a touchstone of decadent 1890s English literature. Indeed, it's rumored to be the novel which corrupts Dorian Gray in the Wilde novel of 1891.

A novel with only one main character sounds a bit strange. And it is. But rather than the focus being on linear plot, action or conventional emotions, the reader of this book - whilst carrying out their own solitary activity of reading - seems to form a symbiotic relationship with the book's protagonist, Des Esseintes. Reading about the things that this French loner does purely out of boredom is fascinating; indeed, the very act of reading about his mad experiments and activities gives the reader as great a hedonistic pleasure as it gives Des Esseintes himself by doing these things.

Whilst most people today associate money with being able to have a nice house, eat well, drive nice cars etc, this fictional account of a bored, rich man sees a much more fascinating way to toy with boredom and money. The translation is great, capturing Huysmans' tone and sentiment perfectly.

Reading this book will change your life.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Oct 2013 22:25:18 GMT
HOw can it be English literature when it's quite clearly French??

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2013 11:10:25 GMT
This Penguin Classics edition of the book is in English. You appear to be confusing the book on this page with another edition.
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Michael Jacobs
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