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Torture Garden by [Mirbeau, Octave]
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Torture Garden Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 124 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description


Following the twin trails of desire and depravity to a shocking, sadistic paradise - a garden in China where torture is practiced as an art form - a dissolute Frenchman discovers the true depths of degradation beyond his prior bourgeois imaginings. Entranced by a resolute Englishwoman, whose capacity for debauchery knows no bounds, he capitulates to her every whim amid an ecstatic yet tormenting incursion of visions, scents, caresses, pleasures, horrors, and fantastic atrocities. "The Torture Garden" is exceptional for its detailed descriptions of sexual euphoria and exquisite torture, its political critique of government corruption and bureaucracy, and its revolutionary portrait of a woman - which challenges even contemporary models of feminine authority. This is one of the most truly original works ever imagined. Beyond providing richly poetic experience, it will stimulate anyone interested in the always-contemporary problem of the limits of experience and sensation. As part of the continuing struggle against censorship and especially self-censorship, it will remain a landmark in the fight against all that would suppress the creation of a far freer world.

Written in 1899, this fabulously rare novel was once described as "the most sickening work of art of the 19th century."

About the Author

Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) was a French playwright, journalist, novelist, and staunch supporter of the anarchist cause in France. His work was influenced by many, especially Moliere and Dostoyevsky. He was also a lover of art and was one of the earliest supporters of Van Gogh, Pissarro, and Rodin.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 543 KB
  • Print Length: 124 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1596540672
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Y8XUI4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #463,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the other reviews on here (and Wildes recommendation!), and being a fan of this type of literature anyway, I decided to give this book a try. Despite having a cover that mimics a bad black lace novel (oh come on, it really does!) I was pleasantly surprised that the old adage is true and you can't, indeed, judge a book by its cover.
The book is divided into two distinct and utterly different parts. The first deals with society as a whole, discussing the various politics, hypocrisies and foibles of the (then) modern 'civilised' life and building up the introduction to the second part. On it's own, this text represents a wonderful and thought-provoking read, the only slight criticism being that it does lean towards being an unnecessarily long introduction to the second part of the book; The Torture Garden itself.
The second part is made up of wonderfully illustrative, creative writing which, when coupled with smatterings of horror and torture, make for a fascinating and interesting read. The 'love interest' in this book takes the form of Clara, a beautiful and wealthy woman with a taste for the unusual. Clara is described beautifully, as are her surroundings, and you read in fascination as she seems to become detached, lustful, unstable, perverse and everything in between throughout this incredible second part.
*Slight spoiler* The main character makes an interesting transition through the book; from a criminal and a rogue, who sees himself as the darkest and most evil of creatures, who becomes what can only be described as a simpering and whining fop who, by the end of the book, seems utterly incapable of controlling his emotions.
It does have to be said, the book is not quite as shocking as some of the other reviewers may have you believe.
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Format: Paperback
Having read other people's reviews of this book I can see that if you look at it from those perspectives then yes Mirabeau pushed the boundaries etc. What I found when reading this book is that I haven't the stomach for such horrors! I expected a trip into sensuality, instead I get a woman who is so demanding and changable that I want to hit her, a man so fauning and miserable I wonder why he continues on this horrific journey. The tortures themselves are so diabolical that I had many nightmares whilst reading this and I recommend that anyone who attempts this should seriously consider whether they really want to read a book which describes people being skinned alive, animals being trapped so that they will bore into human flesh and rotting meat being thrown to people being starved so that they will rip each other apart to eat it. I do believe people should be able to choose freely what they watch, read etc but at least have an informed choice!
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Format: Paperback
Torture garden has been compared to the Marquis de Sade. It begins quite normal, a drawing room discussion, the subject however is murderers and their role in society. After this it develops into the most cruel book i've ever read, a decadent story that ends in the Torture Garden, a chinese garden with the most horrific tortures imaginable. Distorted views on beauty, mixed with blood and flowers. Life is as important as death. "Passions, appetites, greed, hatred, and lies; law, social institutions, justice, love glory, heroism, and religion: these are it's monstrous flowers and it's hideous instruments of eternal human suffering" Octave Mirbeau is an original and powerful writer. Underneath the surface of this book lies his motive, to expose the hypocrisies of society; to shock the reader into a realisation that much of what he takes for granted is cruel and ugly. Like Sade, Mirbeau was an atheist, and at that time that was something outrageous. he knew what good and evil was, but what bothered him was that in the so called civilised society, so much evil was portrayed as good, and most people didn't notice or care. In torture garden he set out to show people what their world, behind it's hypocrisies, was really like.
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By A Customer on 8 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Wilde's beautifully poetic description of this materpiece of decadence is the perfect synopsis of this great work of nineteenth century anarchism. Mirbeau's form and style switch between the comic and caustic, as the narrator continues his Heart of Darkness style journey into the Orient. Set against the background of the opening of China in the nineteenth century by the European powers, Mirebau brilliantly explodes the myth of Western ideas of supperiority and insulaity that imperialism spreads. For many, the vivid metaphors of sado-masochism are difficult to stomach, but the juxtaposition of the depravity and exploitation with the decadence of nineteenth century French high society is perfectly pitched. A seminal, crucial work that firmly establishes Mirebau as one of the great French writers of the nineteenth century with Rimbaud and Zola. In these belligerent times, it is even more apt
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Format: Paperback
Mirbeau has came up with a book which mixes the corruption of "civilised" society and the brutality which he says lies in every one of us. One of the most disturbing passages in the book contains a torturer discribing "the rat torture", however it isn't the details of the torture that is so frightning, but the joy of which the torturer has in telling it to the narrator.
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